Emerald Isle prepares for St. Patrick’s Day Festival

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EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) — St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest celebration of the year for Emerald Isle.

Saturday is Emerald Isle’s twenty- seventh annual Saint Patrick’s Day Festival.

Alesia Sanderson has planned the festival since the beginning.

“The festival has grown tremendously in 27 years,” said Sanderson. “We’ve expanded a lot of things, along with the rides that you see here with us.”

The carnival rides, bounce houses, beer tent, live music, and food help to draw people of all ages to the festival.

The town expects up to thirty thousand people to flood the festival Saturday, and business owners say they appreciate the exposure.

Lavel O’Neal owns a store called The Irish Pirate in the shopping center where the festival is held.

“The week before,” said O’Neal, “everybody just like crams to get new merchandise in and it’s like do you get this, do you get that? Trying to figure out what is going to bring the crowd in this year.”

She said the winter months are slow for local businesses… and the festival helps them to kick start their busy season.

Mayor Eddie Barber said that’s a big deal for the town.

“It helps a lot of businesses a lot,” said Barber. “It brings people in, they stay for the weekend. So it’s a great weekend for the town of Emerald Isle. We’re really excited about it.”

The festival will go from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Emerald Plantation Shopping Center in Emerald Isle.

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