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People line up for early entry into local bars this Saint Patrick's Day

McCarthy's Saint Patrick's Day.JPG
Posted at 2:19 PM, Mar 17, 2023

Friday is Saint Patrick’s Day and some people started celebrating early on the Central Coast.

Employees at McCarthy’s, a local Irish pub in Downtown San Luis Obispo, got into work at 5 a.m. to start prepping for the 6 a.m. opening.

When doors opened, there were already people ready to party. San Luis Obispo police say at times, more than 100 people were already in line waiting for bars to open.

“You already know it’s Saint Patrick’s Day. We’re having fun. You wake up at 5 a.m. and that’s what you need to have yourself your first beer, ‘cause you wake up and it's 5 p.m. everywhere,” said Cal Poly student Vinny Smith.

Another student, Simran Kurse, said, “It’s a holiday - an international holiday - and we’re here to celebrate and it’s a San Luis Obispo tradition to wake up and go hard.”

The San Luis Obispo Police Department is prepped and ready for the tradition. Officers say they are ready to respond to any incidents that may occur.

The agency is activating its Safety Enhancement Zone protocol, which doubles fines for unruly gatherings, open container, public urination, and noise violations. Fines range from $700 to $1,000.

Police say bars during the morning rush handled crowds well and no major incidents were reported.

San Luis Obispo bartenders say that the early and busy turnout was no surprise and they expect to see people celebrating well into this evening.

In Lompoc, the Wicked Shamrock also had a line of people waiting for the 6 a.m. opening. Bartenders say they sold around 200 breakfast shots Friday morning.