Roadblocks can't stop St. Patrick's Day celebrations

By Alyssa Donovan

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 9:46 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill.-- St. Patrick's Day is Sunday but the preparation is already in full swing.

St. Patrick's Day in Peoria is usually a downtown takeover, but this year there seem to be a lot of roadblocks.

Lieutenant Steve Roegge says that due to the work being done on Washington Street, the parade route is being switched back to the 2011 route.

Roegge said, “Which will be Monroe to Main street, Main street to Jefferson. Northbound on Jefferson and back to Hamilton."

And with construction still in progress on the Pere Marquette, Police are asking crowds to stay on the opposite side of Main street outside of the hotel.

Roegge said, “Along the parade route we do have the painted line and we're asking everyone to stay behind that and cooperate with us. It's basic safety for the participants in the parade and also the people that are watching the parade."

While the construction may have re-routed the parade, nothing could re-route the Irish celebration happening at Kelleher's.

Owner Pat Sullivan says the annual party really brings in the business.

Sullivan said, “We expect thousands. We are the largest party, we are told, downstate Illinois and throughout the Midwest."

And Sullivan doesn't think construction will stop anyone from coming out.

Sullivan said, “Walnut street will be open so you can get across, State street is going to be open all through the construction at times so we're not too worried about people getting here."

But if you are joining the party at Kelleher's or anywhere else, Illinois State Trooper Dustin Pierce says you need to make a plan.

Pierce said, “If you're going out to celebrate plan ahead, designated driver or get some place to stay. Do whatever you need to do so you are not getting behind the wheel of a car after you've been consuming alcohol."

Sullivan says those who are the designated drivers will receive Red Cross cups at the door of Kelleher’s and free non-alcoholic beverages throughout the night.

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