Downtown Fort Myers St. Patrick’s Day celebrations were in full swing Friday afternoon, with people creating a sea of green.
Everyone was in a good mood and had been celebrating throughout the day, looking forward to Friday night.
Live music started at 5 p.m. throughout downtown, and many restaurants hosted street cookouts making traditional Irish dishes.
WINK News spoke to several people who are thankful to be here this year.
“St. [Patrick’s] Day has come at a perfect time where everyone is coming together as a community so we can rebuild, put everything in more perspective and have a good time. Beautiful weather can’t beat 82 degrees even in the worst of times,” said Sam Plapp.
The official party runs through 8 p.m. Friday, but bars and restaurants are ready to welcome you until closing time.
“Everybody’s Irish today,” said one person celebrating downtown. “I’m here to go to be hanging out. And this is the only place to go right now.”
Through the day and night, no matter what, people found a way to get to the festivities.
“Worth coming every year, every year. It’s something a little different. And I’m from Philly, so it’s worth coming,” said Laurie Todd.
Even if that means fighting the crowds.
“Last year, we parked a good over a mile away. So it was a little rough. So it was easier just to Lyft forget worried about everybody else, and just get out,” Todd said.
“Once there’s an event going down here, it’s full to the brim,” said Joshua Collins.
Downtown Fort Myers parking garage attendant Collins said it happens with any major event. “So when 50 cars leave, we get another 50 and go back and forth,” said Collins.
Todd says its best to get a ride. “Just Lyft or Uber here. That way you can have a good time. Maybe have three drinks and not worry about driving home.”
Celebrations continue throughout the night downtown. As for parking, the city council plans to discuss what can be done to help when it comes to special events.