×

Luck of the Irish

Virus casts a pall on some St. Patrick’s Day business

By Walt Frank

wfrank@altoonamirror.com`

Despite the coronavirus pandemic consumers are expected to spend an average of $40.77 — or a total of $15.1 billion nationwide — while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year.

The latest consumer spending data from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2021 St. Patrick’s Day survey found that 49 percent of U.S. adults said they plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Similar to what people have seen over the past year, consumers may be adjusting their celebrations with COVID-19 in mind.

While this can traditionally be a holiday where one meets up with friends or attends parades, significantly fewer are doing so this year. Over half (55 percent) said they’ll be avoiding gatherings this year, as a result of the pandemic.

But 32 percent of consumers plan to keep the spirit alive by planning a special dinner or celebration at home, according to the NRF.

St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17, this year, is typically a good day for local taverns but that may not be the case this year.

“We usually have a very big St. Paddy’s Day celebration, but this year will not be a very big celebration. We usually have a band that plays, and it is a big thing for us. We actually closed last year before St. Patrick’s Day, when the governor closed restaurants down. The pandemic has had a very big impact on our business as a whole. We hope to get back to normal very soon,” said officials of PJ’s Tavern in Cresson.

Other taverns also are scaling back compared to the years before the pandemic.

“We have Full Kilt at Zach’s on St. Paddy’s Day, but it is going to be very limited capacity and scaled back greatly. We had more scheduled for that week, but had to cancel it because our governor, for some reason, has not lifted any restrictions on us for months,” said Anthony Pacifico, whose family owns Zach’s Sports and Spirits, 5820 Sixth Ave.

Pacifico’s family also owns Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub, 1600 Bell Ave.

“Unfortunately, at Molly’s, we had to cancel everything that was planned for this year’s St. Paddy’s Day.

“Saint Paddy’s Day is typically a great day for us, and we’re hoping to get back to our normal Saint Paddy’s celebrations next year,” Pacifico said.

St. Patrick’s Day usually provides a boost in sales for businesses such as Party Town & Novelty, 307 Union Ave.

Virus casts a pall on some St. Patrick’s Day business

By Walt Frank

wfrank@altoonamirror.com`

Despite the coronavirus pandemic consumers are expected to spend an average of $40.77 — or a total of $15.1 billion nationwide — while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.

The latest consumer spending data from the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics’ 2021 St. Patrick’s Day survey found that 49 percent of U.S. adults said they plan to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Similar to what people have seen over the past year, consumers may be adjusting their celebrations with COVID-19 in mind.

While this can traditionally be a holiday where one meets up with friends or attends parades, significantly fewer are doing so this year. Over half (55 percent) said they’ll be avoiding gatherings this year, as a result of the pandemic.

But 32 percent of consumers plan to keep the spirit alive by planning a special dinner or celebration at home, according to the NRF.

St. Patrick’s Day is typically a good day for local taverns but that may not be the case this year.

“We usually have a very big St. Paddy’s Day celebration, but this year will not be a very big celebration. We usually have a band that plays, and it is a big thing for us. We actually closed last year before St. Patrick’s Day, when the governor closed restaurants down. The pandemic has had a very big impact on our business as a whole. We hope to get back to normal very soon,” said officials of PJ’s Tavern in Cresson.

Other taverns also are scaling back compared to the years before the pandemic.

“We have Full Kilt at Zach’s on St. Paddy’s Day, but it is going to be very limited capacity and scaled back greatly. We had more scheduled for that week, but had to cancel it because our governor, for some reason, has not lifted any restrictions on us for months,” said Anthony Pacifico, whose family owns Zach’s Sports and Spirits, 5820 Sixth Ave.

Pacifico’s family also owns Molly Maguire’s Irish Pub, 1600 Bell Ave.

“Unfortunately, at Molly’s, we had to cancel everything that was planned for this year’s St. Paddy’s Day.

“Saint Paddy’s Day is typically a great day for us, and we’re hoping to get back to our normal St. Paddy’s celebrations next year,” Pacifico said.

St. Patrick’s Day usually provides a boost in sales for businesses such as Party Town & Novelty, 307 Union Ave.

“We sell mostly wearable items such as hats, glasses, necklaces and tattoos and things along those lines. The pandemic has definitely affected this type of holiday with not being allowed to gather in large groups,” said owner Jason Yoder. “Even though the larger functions have been postponed, business has been doing very well as many people have been having small get togethers or simply been doing what they want.”

Overall St. Patrick’s Day is a very minimal candy holiday.

“Other than chocolate coins and some “all green” candy orders, the overall sales don’t seem to increase much,” said Mike Dandrea, Blair Candy Co. director of sales. “Without a doubt our chocolate gold quarters and chocolate gold half dollars are the best selling. Some other green wrapped items do well also.

“This year I did bring in a new line of Guinness Beer chocolate bars which seemed to go over quite well and ran out rather quickly,” said Dandrea.

Area grocery store sell lots of corned beef and cabbage.

“We buy approximately 14 truckloads of corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, 75 percent of our annual corned beef sold is in the two weeks around the day. On the cabbage side, it’s about 13 truckloads,” said Ashley Flower, spokeswoman for Giant/Martin’s.

“St. Patrick’s Day is more of a specialized holiday. We don’t see a general lift as we do during Christmas or Thanksgiving, but we do see strong demand for corned beef in meat and cabbage in produce, particularly this year since customers are taking — and usually cooking — their meals at home due to the pandemic,” said Weis Markets spokesman Dennis Curtin.

Meanwhile, Tyrone will hold its annual Irish Heritage Festival next weekend. The events which start Friday feature numerous events including a parade and Shamrock lighting ceremony. Food and craft vendors will be lined along 10th Street.

The event is sponsored by Tyrone Events and Promotions, a committee of the Tyrone Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We are excited to have an outdoor event that is going to refresh our community. We want to make it an extra special weekend for Tyrone,” said Sue Griep, committee member. “We are following all CDC guidelines, encouraging masks and social distancing. We just want to make sure it is safe for everybody, we feel confident with our decision to hold the event.”

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
   

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today