SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — The official St. Patrick’s Day festivities may be over, but Savannah businesses say they are ready to keep seeing crowds through the weekend. Those in the expanded festival zone said Thursday’s celebration brought a major boom in business.

This year, to-go cups were allowed to be carried from River Street all the way to Victory Drive, near the Starland District. It’s something city officials said was done to help boost local businesses. Owners in the area said it did just that.

“It’s always a little unnerving as a business owner to kind of see what that would do and change this area with the open container piece in place,” said Tyler Kopkas, owner and partner of Ardsley Station. “But, we had nothing but responsible folks swinging by here that did want to take a drink to go on their next stop to wherever they were headed.”

Kopkas said they had a strong crowd at all hours of St. Patrick’s Day, which is already spilling over into the weekend.

“Definitely I think in between just our regular locals that are here in Ardsley Park and Baldwin Park, tourists that are in town definitely found their way out into this up-and-coming neighborhood,” he said.

Down the street, management at Starland Yard they prepared to see the worst, but were surprised by the best.

“When I think of St. Patrick’s Day I think of this very massive crowd of green,” said general manager Ava Pandiani. “There definitely was people walking around, but it wasn’t like unmanageable or absurd.”

Now that the holiday is over, you can only carry your drinks inside the Historic District. But both businesses said the expanded to-go cup zone is something they’d like to see, even when people aren’t decked out in green.

“Locals get it, but it is confusing for tourists especially,” Pandiani said. “If you’re downtown and you’re going out, you’re on Congress Street, or going out to dinner and you can bring a drink outside then all of a sudden a mile away you can’t do that, I think it’s confusing. I think it sort of interrupts the flow of what people are expecting when they come to Savannah.”

In 2020, the city did pilot a program to extend the zone to include the Starland District. Pandiani said if it ever becomes permanent, additional trash collections would also be necessary.