River Street Businesses, Vendors, Prepare for Huge Crowds - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/16/06

River Street Businesses, Vendors, Prepare for Huge Crowds

Today is the big arrival day for most of our Saint Patrick's Day visitors. They'll be checking into their hotels, but they won't stay inside long before getting out in downtown Savannah.

It's expected to be elbow to elbow on River Street for Saint Patrick's Day. Vendors and business owners spent all day preparing for the biggest day of the year.

They say they're ready for the big crowds. All day today, trucks were making their last-minute deliveries and vendors were cooking, getting ready for what is shaping up to be one big celebration.

"The day has been a mad house," said Lynn Zeigler, a manager at Dockside. "You see them backed up bumper to bumper down on River Street."

Zeigler was referring to the constant flow of delivery trucks.

"It's all hands on deck," said Bill Byler with Pepsi. "Everybody that is available is hauling drinks, getting vendors so they are ready."

Ready for the crowds of people that will swarm River Street. While employees put up last-minute decorations, vendors are cooking up everything from sausage to meatball subs to French fries.

"We are getting ready for them, cause they are coming," said vendor Richard Wampler.

Wampler spent most of the day setting up five food booths that will be along River Street. He loves Saint Patrick's Day in Savannah. "We do Mardi Gras and then come here, and this is as good as Mardi Gras."

And Lynn Zeigler was "moving things around in the restaurant to try and make room for all the extra food and beer."

Food and beer that no doubt will sell very quickly. Business owners and vendors tell us if Mother Nature cooperates, this weekend they are expecting to have a huge crowd.

"I grant you won't be able to walk across that street," said Linda Underwood, who works at a River Street candy shop. "You haven't been able to do that for years."

Reported by: Brooke Kelley, bkelley@wtoc.com

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