HARTFORD, Conn. — For another year in a row, the Greater Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade is set to draw tens of thousands of people to the city. Local businesses, including pubs, restaurants and shops, are preparing to welcome the rush.
"Anytime you can get anywhere between 25,000 to 40,000 people downtown, that's a good day," said Julio Concepcion, executive director of the Hartford Chamber of Commerce.
Four Dads Pub on the corner of Trumbull and Asylum Streets is prepping the pours.
"Especially with our place being here under a year, it's nice to have people from not just the Hartford community, which has accepted us with open arms, but the parade's going to draw from many other communities, and that exposure is fantastic," said Four Dads Pub co-owner Dante Boffi.
The excitement is also brewing on Pratt Street at Bloom Bake Shop, another business that opened recently.
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“This will be our first year with our doors open, welcoming the community on the St. Patrick's Day Parade. We're really excited," said Bloom Bake Shop co-owner Alex Pilon.
Pilon previewed the treats parade-goers will get to enjoy.
"Scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls, all of our coffee drinks and we're also excited to be featuring some new holiday-themed shortbread cookies in the shape of shamrocks, different items with green sprinkles," said Pilon.
The variety is on full display in the stores and storefronts across Downtown Hartford.
"We've got so many great small businesses, so many great restaurants and bars and a lot of places opening up in spaces that were vacant or became vacant during the pandemic," said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
Business owners said the sense of community has them feeling lucky every day.
"We've been really welcomed by the Hartford community, specifically the businesses owners on Pratt Street and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce," said Pilon.
"I think there are some gentlemen and some ladies who are putting a lot of time, energy and money into the downtown area, into Pratt Street, into local businesses," said Boffi.
Angelo Bavaro is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
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