Pearl River bars, restaurants and other businesses that opened their doors Sunday reaped the benefits of the large crowds drawn by the 51st Annual Rockland County St. Patrick's Day Parade.
"It's a big day. We do well," said Bridget Killen, owner of The Saloon on Central Ave. "I wouldn't wish it every day. It's a little crazy. But it helps."
"St. Patrick's Day is a bonus day for us," said Ron Fatigate, owner of Raffaele's Pizzeria on Central Ave. "We're on the parade route and it works out great for us."
The St. Patrick's Day holiday and the parade both provide a boost for local businesses. Put them on the same day and the traffic becomes that much heavier, though in many cases Saturday was slower.
"On the business side, people do Saturday and Sunday and then back to work Monday," said Larry Vergine, owner of T.F. Noonan's on Central Ave. "We're not getting any younger, so it's difficult to handle two days in a row like that. But any day like this doesn't hurt."
The Yogurt Sensations on Central Ave. in Pearl River opened for the first time Sunday. Owner Larry Cohen said he initially planned to open Feb. 1, but there was no way he would miss the day of the parade.
"Today was the day we had to be open no matter what," Cohen said.
Sunday's cold temperatures generated even more businesses, with people there for the parade seeking warmth indoors. Most places had temporary signs up stating that there are no public restrooms or that they are for patrons only.
"Everybody wants to come inside," said Sean Farrell, an employee at the Saloon.
Vergine said the parade has an impact for local businesses that goes well beyond one big day.
"It's a great day. Great for Pearl River," Vergine said. "It's great advertising. It brings a good name to the town for us. People come from all over to share the day with us and we try to have everybody leave with a good taste in their mouth about Pearl River."