TAMPA (WFLA) – At bars and restaurants across the Tampa Bay region St. Patrick’s Day is normally a huge moneymaker.
The coronavirus is changing that this year as events are being canceled that normally bring in huge crowds and cash.
“St. Paddy’s is the biggest event that we have all year. We have lots of people that come out and enjoy the music. We have three bands every day,” said Adi Martinez with Cricketers in Dunedin.
They have tents, chairs, and tables set up in the parking lot in front of their business but they have canceled their plans for their big party.
“It just didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel right knowing that everything around town, Tampa Parade was canceled, Savannah parade was canceled, all these major things were canceled and how could we go on,” said Martinez.
Many events are also being canceled in Ybor City with cancellations already having an impact on bartenders, servers, and staff.
“Everybody has felt the ripple down, everybody’s been dead,” said Jamie Doshier who works at the Red Star Rock bar.
For Doshier, the financial impact could not come at a worse time.
“I fractured my foot last month and I was off work for a month and I went through my reserves and now this hit. So for me personally this is massively impacting my life,” said Doshier.
She and others hope the big parties are just postponed and can be held at another time when people are safe and ready to come out and celebrate.
“We’ve canceled all of our mass gatherings this week for sure. But we’re still looking at things day by day,” said Doshier.