'The earlier, the better': BR Locals prepare for St. Patrick's Day parade

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POSTED: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 4:38pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 4:49pm

Baton Rouge's big Saint Patrick's Day parade is just a couple of days away. People are ready to go green, but this year, things will be a little different than in years past.

Parking is going to be tough this year. People are mainly looking at street parking which means they're going to want to start looking pretty early.

The two-thousand block of Perkins Road is fairly quiet right now, but come Saturday, it will be packed.

Stephanie Phares owns Zeeland Street, a restaurant on the parade route. She has been at this spot for 20 years. She's already preparing for what the St. Patrick's Day parade will bring.

"The streets are full," Phares said. "We'll be doing the food court. So we really won't have any parking, but if you get here early, there's plenty of parking throughout the neighborhood."

Parking is very limited with the shopping center that just opened up on the parade route. If you're not careful, your car could get towed.

Baton Rouge Police officers are gearing up for all the cars and all the people.

"There will be no parking underneath the overpass by George's and Ivar's. They will tow the night before," said Don Coppola, Public Information Officer of BRPD. "We've had plenty of practice with all the football games and all the other parades prior to this. So we're going to have a large presence. Hopefully, everything will go smooth."

Here's some advice:

"The earlier the better. If you park in any of the business lots, you want to make sure you have permission from the business owner," Coppola said.

"Just double up. Have a friend, come with a friend, or have someone drop you off, even better," Phares said.

So parking might be a headache, but Phares said, for a parade like this, it's worth it.

"Just come out, turn out, and have fun," Phares said. "This is one of the best St. Patty's Day parade in the country. I do believe."

Streets will be blocked off by 9:00 A.M. The parade kicks off at 10:00 A.M.

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