Businesses welcome crowds to downtown San Antonio for St. Patrick’s Day weekend

Tourism was on the rise as COVID-19 cases in the area remain low, looking eerily different from the last two years

SAN ANTONIO – There was a sea of people in downtown San Antonio and on the River Walk for St. Patrick’s Day weekend festivities Saturday. It’s a sight that hasn’t been seen in two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The large crowds were a welcomed sight for area business owners, as COVID-19 cases remain low and spring break and holiday celebrations are in full swing.

“I don’t want to say doubled but I’m hoping to completely blow the last couple of years out of the water,” said Mary Sams, a manager at Maddy McMurphy’s Irish Sports Bar.

Sams said in 2020, many businesses in the area shut down right on or near St. Patrick’s Day due to the pandemic. However in 2021, business was back but lacked luster.

President of the City Sightseeing San Antonio Tours David Strainge shared a similar story, in agreement that business is back and better than before.

“It is buzzy again. Last March it was fine, it was okay. It was kind of normal but this last 10 days, 12 days, buzzy is the word. The atmosphere is great,” Strainge said.

On top of business booming in the area, people are just happy to be out and having a good time.

San Antonio’s tourist hotspot, the River Walk, had a good mixture of locals and visitors. One man said he wasn’t letting gas prices stop him from taking a road trip from Oklahoma City to San Antonio.

“I got the Versace’s on, I got my Hawaiian on. I’m on vacation -- I’m ready to go,” said Ryan Hardy.

Locals were out taking in the scenery and the atmosphere, all while enjoying food and drinks.

“It’s a beautiful day. It’s a beautiful weekend, so we love it. You know it’s the first time we’ve been out in probably two, two and a half years in this kind of setting,” said Jon and Christina Law.

More on KSAT:

San Antonio River dyed green for annual St. Patrick’s Day tradition

About the Authors

John Paul Barajas is a reporter at KSAT 12. Previously, he worked at KRGV 5 in the Rio Grande Valley. He has a degree from the University of Houston. In his free time, he likes to get a workout in, spend time on the water and check out good eats and drinks.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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