VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The fact Saint Patrick’s Day falls on weekend this year presents a somewhat rare opportunity for local bars, which are ready to cash in on the festivities.
The holiday won’t be on a Friday or Saturday again until 2023.
The difference between the holiday falling on an ordinary weekday versus a weekend, is gargantuan says Jeff Guignard with the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of BC, the group that represents private liquor stores and bars.
“It’s like Christmas in the industry. We’ll treat it with as much celebration as that. It will probably be the most profitable day of the year for a lot of people.”
He says it’ll probably be the single busiest day for most bars. “It’s an opportunity to have a great big party and there’s a whole lot of activity going on in the pub and it’s a very, very profitable day for everybody.”
Guignard adds most establishments don’t need to offer any incentives. “You’re right, you don’t even have to do very much aside from be open in a busy area and customers will want to pop in.”
A reminder to drink responsibly
While people will be out drinking green beer at many of Metro Vancouver’s bars and pubs all day long, local police say they’re prepared.
Port Moody Police Chief Dave Fleugel expects most people to celebrate responsibly, although it could be a bit different this year.
“Saint Patrick’s Day, especially if it falls on a weekend just like Halloween, if it falls on the weekend we generally do pay a little bit more attention to it than midweek,” he says.
Fleugel adds cities which hold a Saint Patrick’s Day parade typically see more alcohol-related problems. However, since there’ aren’t any around here this year, he doesn’t expect too many problems.
“There are lots of Canadian cities that do sort of a parade, which would obviously impact the police and then some of the alcohol consumption in the evening that does tend to ramp up when there’s a big civic event like that.”
The Vancouver Saint Patrick’s Day parade — which was set to take place today — was called off late last year.
Organizers say it has become too expensive to put on the event without a major sponsor.