ALBANY, N.Y. - Officials in the City of Albany have rerouted the course for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade this year, and some say it is because the city hopes that bypassing the bars will reduce the chaos surrounding the parade.
This decision is not sitting lightly with bar owners who say the St. Patrick's Day parade - which falls on the holiday this year: Saturday, March 17 - is a major source of revenue for them.
In past years, the parade has traveled along North Pearl Street. This year, the parade will be cut short avoiding the area, stopping on State Street.
Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings's spokesperson says the changes were made to provide more opportunity to expose what downtown Albany has to offer.
However, many bar owners think the city's decision has to do with last year's Kegs and Eggs riots which occurred in the Pine Hills neighborhood on the day of the parade.
Tess Collins, owner of McGeary's in downtown Albany, had concerns when she learned of the route change this year. "We're hoping it doesn't change anything," she said. "I know it will affect my business, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day for the whole week which helps us. But, we don't know what this is going to do."
"We didn't have any problems downtown [last year] at all," Collins says. "We didn't have one problem at McGeary's."
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