Savannah, G.A. (WSAV) – Some steady crowds in green came out on Saturday to continue the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on River Street, but business owners say they’re left feeling underwhelmed after Friday’s festivities.

“I’ve been doing this for many, many, many years. Yesterday was a very beautiful, quiet evening. Not like it used to be, you know millions of people. But it was really, really nice,” says Nick Pappas, who has owned Olympia Café on River Street for over 30 years.

They say things are slowly getting back to normal after a big hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Well, slowly everything comes back to normal, apparently. And yesterday we had a gem day, of course. People want to get out after COVID, you know, so it was good,” says Pappas.

This weekend is huge for business owners, who usually see big spending from partygoers.

“They save all year to come spend money in Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day.  I mean, from hotel rooms, to food, to beads, they love it,” says Amanda Gallop, the general manager of Cassandra’s Jewelry Imports.

For some stores—the profits are just fraction of what they once were.

“We didn’t know what to expect. We were kind of just sitting back waiting to see what the people did. It’s been like a quarter of what we typically see, you know before COVID. So far, the crowd’s been good, it’s like controlled chaos, so it’s been kind of nice to see people catching their bearings and getting back out there. I’m excited to see what happens next year for sure, though,”

Amanda Gallop

Though things aren’t what they once were, business owners are excited to see people come to the hostess city again to celebrate.

“Yesterday we had people coming from Atlanta, from North Carolina, from the south, they come from Florida, they come from everywhere. So, it is like a national holiday here, you know,” says Pappas.