Statesboro’s bars prepare for St. Patty’s festivities

William Price

Not much has changed in 400 years of celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day, and students will continue the traditions this year with a weekend of dancing, food and alcohol.

St. Patrick’s Day in Statesboro is a hectic time for students and locals as people are shifting in and out for spring break. Local restaurants, bars and businesses are preparing for the weekend in different ways.

“St. Patty’s Day is a huge holiday in college towns because of its association with drinking and having a good time,” Justin Driskell, owner of Tom’s Beverage and Tobacco, said.

Tom’s is bringing in a few unique Irish beers especially for St. Patrick’s Day, Driskell said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, every year from February to March beer imports to the U.S. increase by nearly $100 million. The vast majority of the increase comes from Ireland.

“I think the staples of St. Paddy’s day beer are Guinness and Killian’s. One of my personal favorites we carry is a brew called McSorley’s,” Driskell said.

Gnat’s will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day all weekend long with SPD specials and deals lined up Saturday and Sunday, Ben Worthy, general manager at Gnat’s Landing, said.

Gnat’s will be offering a lot of drink specials as well as serving Irish Car Bombs, green beer and hosting the band Next Level Ensemble, Worthy said.

“It’ll be ridiculously packed all weekend long. We’re decorating the place in all green and are excited to have some fun. It’s going to be a great time for sure,” Worthy said.

The GSU Department of Public Safety asked to have fun but stay safe over the weekend.

It’s not different safety-wise than other weekends, just on a larger scale with St. Patrick’s Day and spring break together, Mike Russell, Chief of the GSU police force, said.

Russell said, “Be a good neighbor and look out for one another. This rule applies to this weekend in particular. Stay in groups, assign designated drivers, lock up your valuables.”