SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people on Thursday were celebrating early on this official Saint Patrick’s Day.

Bars are ready for the crowds, and the business they lost over the last two years. 22News stopped by Francies Tavern, where everyone is excited to get back to it and businesses are ready.

“It’s just nonstop having a good time and enjoying people you haven’t seen in a while two or three years maybe in some cases. Who doesn’t want that?” said Thomas Feeley of Springfield.

The annual St Patrick’s parade and the road race in Holyoke are back once again! Local businesses are looking forward to the economic boost, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. 22News traveled down the parade route in Holyoke to find out how businesses are gearing up.

“It takes months to prepare for its just so much work it’s crazy. But I think we’re armed and ready to go, it’s become a Holyoke tradition it’s great for us and we look forward to it every year,” said David Johnson, owner of Francie’s Tavern

Businesses taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensure all bases are covered, but the community is also excited.

“Everybody missed coming out and singing and dancing and maybe having a pint or two in moderation and uh it’s just a get-together in Holyoke especially it’s great to be back,” said Thomas Feeley of Springfield.

People will come together once again, represent the city of Holyoke and show their Irish pride through music, dance, and celebration! The spirits at Francies Tavern were high tonight as we head into a fun-packed weekend of community fun.