Star City gets double dose of St. Patrick's Day celebrations

ROANOKE (WSLS10)-- Americans are expected to spend more money this St. Patrick's Day than ever before-- creating a positive impact on the restaurants and businesses in Downtown Roanoke.

The celebrations come less than a week after the massive St. Patrick's Day parade in Roanoke. The day of the parade is one of the busiest days of the year for spots like Martin's Downtown, which holds a block party bash to celebrate.

For many restaurants, the real St. Patrick's Day, on March 17, gets lost in the shuffle after a big weekend of celebrations centered around the parade.

This year things are different-- with both the parade and actual holiday falling on separate weekends, businesses are expecting big crowds downtown.

"The parade is St. Patrick's Day, at least in most people's minds in Roanoke," says Jason Martin the GM of Martin's Downtown. "If the days are too close together, you just kind of lose the 17th. If it falls on a Wednesday or a Tuesday, it's just not that big of a deal. I feel like everyone has had time to recover now with six days in between. I really feel like we're going to get two great days. Especially with it being a Friday, there's no excuse for people not to come out."

It's not just restaurants that will be benefiting today-- toher downtown shops, museums and storefronts are expected to see a big boost in business because of the holiday as well.