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Folks gearing up for St. Patrick's Day celebrations

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's the middle of March and Saint Patrick's Day kicks off this weekend. That means an even more crowded downtown. Friday night, patrons to downtown were already making plans for Sunday. They say they are staying out of their cars and off the roads.

"It is definitely a bigger deal downtown," said one Downtown patron. "There seems to be a lot more people out on the bar crawls. It just always seems a lot more crowded out."

People going out this Friday night already made plans for the big, green celebration.

"You'll probably find us an Irish pub somewhere, hanging out and have a few drinks with friends," Downtown Patron Garrett Chappell said.

So it is no surprise that in New Hanover county and across the state... law enforcement agencies are cracking down for the holiday weekend. They kicked off the Saint Patrick's day "Booze It and Lose It" campaign early Friday by unveiling the new "Batmobile," a breath alcohol testing unit that will help officers bust drunk drivers.

"I don't think anything is gonna scare people from drinking. Not on St. Patrick's Day," Downtown visitor Keith Braun said.

They do think it will stop people from drinking and driving. Patrons we talked to say they will find a safe ride home.

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St.Patricks day parade

I will never come downtown for the St.Patrick's parade ever again . The city still enforces the parking meters during the parade. i know the parking deck is a better option. As a downtown business owner i have a space that i pay monthly for so this does not affect me but the people coming to the parade are getting tickets and hunting for change does not encourage them to come again. I was also told i could not stay by the Wilmington PD because i had brought my dog. Dogs are not allowed at this type of event. Also its bad that you have to buy a ticket to get a beer but when the tickets are a half a block from the beer tent ,well
thats just stupid. I WONT BE BACK and i would not suggest it to any of my customers either. P S The parade seems to be getting smaller .