RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Businesses usually gear up on Fridays but this Friday was extra special for the Hibernian Irish Pub, which prepared for customers to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
"We were up an hour early. We are going to close off North Street by over here as well you saw we've had people here since 4-5 o'clock today trying to get everything tidied up one last time," said Wes Alexander who is the general manager.
The pub was expecting even bigger crowds this year.
"Definitely slow down big-time from COVID. I'm hoping this year will start to see a little more back to normal with everyone getting away from it and COVID is not gonna leave us but we can live with COVID and have a good time," said Alexander.
The corn beef hash, shepherd's pie, and of course all the drinks were on deck. They also offered a special menu.
"Last year it was 32 degrees, I think, with snow flurries, there was nobody outside but the weather is working with us so it's a whole lot better," Alexander said.
The streets and businesses along Glenwood South stayed busy Friday evening with people making merry as part of the holiday.
"A regular Friday night on Glenwood is already a good time, but you add St Patrick's Day in it and it's the best night," said Josh Johnson, who works at the Hampton Inn in Glenwood South. "People are in good spirits even though it's raining, so it's fun."
With all that fun comes safety. Law enforcement is increasing patrols this weekend as part of the Booze It and Lose It campaign for St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
"We see them a lot now on the streets," Alexander said. "More than six months to a year ago, you kind of wanted to see it more. But it's nice during closing time. I close Friday and Saturday: you can see them all up and down the road here."
During last year's weeklong St. Patrick's Day enforcement campaign, 225 motorists were killed or seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes on North Carolina roads.
Police said that as a matter of security, they do not comment on specific numbers of officers or specific locations where officers will be deployed.