Boost for Bars on Saint Patrick's Day

March 17, 2013 Updated Mar 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

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March 17, 2013 Updated Mar 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - The streets of downtown Buffalo were jam-packed today, as tens of thousands of people made their way to the heart of the Queen City to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day.

Earlier on Sunday, about 70-thousand people lined the streets, all watching the Saint Patrick's Day parade.

The huge crowd brought business to local bars.

Saint Patrick's Day is one of the biggest party days in Buffalo.

Matty Pagnao tells Eyewitness News "In Buffalo it's like spring time's finally rolling around, the snow is starting to melt and that's why everyone's coming out today."

Thousands of people packed into local bars.

Frank, a hot dog vendor, said "As you can see, Buffalonians like to party, especially on St. Patrick's Day -- everybody's Irish."

Much of the bar business is brought in by the tens of thousands who crowd the streets for the parade.

Pagnao says "it's fantastic for businesses, fantastic for the restaurants, it's a great fun environment."

Generations of families line the streets, in what has become an annual tradition for many Western New Yorkers.

"I look forward to this day, it's fun," Shannon Wloskowicz says. "I'm trying to pass down this tradition to my son. It's just a good time!"

The parade showcases just why Saint Patrick's Day is so celebrated here in Buffalo.

Irish flags, four leaf clovers and a sea of green fill the crowd.

Along the parade route -- bagpipers, Irish dancers and tributes to the immigrants who helped Western New York become what it is today.

James Yeomans says the parade "shows the Irish pride and it shows the Irish culture! So strong!"

"It's nice to see where everything's come from -- all the history involved," adds Cameron Jordan.