BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) — Saint Patrick’s Day parade goers should expect limited parking under the Interstate 10 overpass at Perkins Road tomorrow. Lots near that area will be blocked off to make the atmosphere a little safer.
Mike Holloway and Brandon Boggs showed up at the overpass Friday to save their normal spot. For about five years, the friends have set up shop near Ivar’s Sports Bar for the perfect view of the parade route.
“Year after year after year, you come down here and you expect to have it ever year and you expect to have it every year,” says Boggs.
But not this year. When the two friends showed up today, they got a big surprise. “All of a sudden, you come down here and everything’s blocked off,” Boggs says. “It kind of puts a hammer on everybody’s fun, I guess you could say.”
Ivar’s owner, Pat Quigley, says the city approached him with a plan to block off the area around his business.
“In the past, people have been able to park here. They’ve brought their big sound systems here. They’re brought their huge coolers of beer in here. We’ve had some problems underneath the interstate,” Quigley says.
He says keeping cars out of the lot will make the area safer. “We’re going to patrol. We’re going to keep out underage. We’re going to keep coolers out, and we’re going to make it just a family atmosphere, which is really how this parade got started.”
Some people agree. “With the dense amount of people that are going to be down here, I think it makes perfectly good sense to do that,” says Michael O’Neill.
Still, others say this makes Saint Patty’s Day preps a little tougher. “Tomorrow morning, it will be chaos here,” says Mike Holloway.
Not to worry. Holloway and Boggs say they’re feeling lucky.
“We’ll probably find one today,” Holloways says. “Today’s not over yet.”
The bars near the overpass will still be open tomorrow. Pedestrians will be allowed inside the gate. They’ll just have to leave their cars, and coolers, somewhere else.