Wearin' and spendin' O' the Green

Posted at 6:08 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 00:30:28-04

According to statistics. St. Patrick's Day is the number four drinking day of the year, behind New Year's, Christmas and the 4th of July.


In fact, there will be 13 million points of Guinness consumed today around the world and that's just one brand.  


Here in Dunedin which gets its name from the Scottish Gaelic -- close enough to Ireland for this celebration, folks flock in for one of the biggest street parties in the Bay area.  It features live entertainment, dancers, musicians and lots and lots of beer. 


Although it seems all the world is Irish on this 17th day of March, statistics provided by the folks at show that 51.2% of Americans celebrate in some form or fashion.  


That's good enough for the folks at The Lucky Dill Deli in Palm Harbor, who've been busy cooking and serving up some ten thousand pounds -- yup, five tons  of corned beef this week


"This is the fourth of eight days," said Garry Namm. "This continues Friday, Saturday, and all the way through Sunday night."


Now into its 25th year of Irish-inspired revelry, this US-19 mainstay stays focused on Mid-March by luring the locals and snowbirds for a last blast before they head north and they keep 'em coming back.


"Well I'm not gonna say how many year's, but I've been back enough," joked Carol Onder, who'll be headed back to Buffalo, NY next month.


"You wouldn't miss St. Patty's day here?" I asked.


"Absolutely not," she countered quickly.  "It's my first choice." 


And with each St. Patty's patron spending nearly $35, those who help fill all those green clad bellies know this week can be as profitable as a month during other times of the year.


"How much do you staff up for this week?" I asked Gary Namm.

"We are at full staff for the season," he said, "and we add about another 20 percent this week."


But this year, an even bigger reason to celebrate as the first day big day of the NCAA Basketball tournament just happens to coincide with St. Patrick's Day.


"Irish heritage and love of College Basketball," explained Rob MIller.


On a normal first day of action, employers report a decided dip in productivity, but this year, it's clear even more guys have even more reason to work a bit differently.  


"So'd you have to call of for this holiday or what?" I asked.

"Nah," he said.  "I just kinda worked the schedule around a little bit."

And while the festivities are scheduled to go on through the weekend at the Lucky Dill, the street fest in Dunedin is only through midnight on the 17.  

Happy St. Patrick's Day!