HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - The Holyoke St. Patrick's weekend may be filled with fun and festivities but this annual celebration pumps millions of dollars into the local economy.
There's a pot o' gold at the end of the Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade.
After running in the road race and marching through the city, as many as 400,000 spectators pour more than $20 million into the local economy.
A UMass Donahue Institute study of the 2011 parade found there's green in more than just the decorations.
"We couldn't believe it either, we were astonished. We are people who work 12 months a year on this parade and you never realize because you're on the inside looking out, you don't realize what the outside looking in is like," said Richard DuPuis the President of the Holyoke St. Patrick's Parade.
Call it the luck of the Irish, pubs in the area actually make 1/4th of their profits for the entire year just on this St. Patrick's Day weekend.
It's a time bar manager Tom Butler says everyone in the city looks forward to, "There's a lot of businesses, a lot of bars that would be up for sale if it wasn't for Road Race Day and Parade Day it just makes it all go."
As the saying goes, "Everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day," Capri Pizza Shop gives an Italian dish and Irish twist all in anticipation of a crowd.
"You've got people coming who used to live in Holyoke they're coming into town. They're coming from Eastern Mass, Central Mass, that's what our customers have been telling us," said Gennaro Santaniello manager at Capri Pizza.
The study also found the weekend supports an estimated 254 jobs in the region by the spending associated with the parade.