Thousands of people come out year after year for Topeka’s Irish Fest celebration.
Event organizer Sarah Hutley said they’re expecting this year to be just as busy.
“A family oriented event where people can come and kids have games to play with, there’s live entertainment. We’ve just grown to be one of the biggest events here in Topeka,” Hutley said.
With activities starting as early as 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, event organizers are busy preparing this week.
Downtown businesses are ready for a busy weekend as well. As a new destination, the Cyrus Hotel is hoping to bring people in with Chicago hotdogs, cinnamon rolls and chili.
Cyrus Hotel’s Director of food and beverage Raymond Alexander said they’re inviting everyone to come out and try their menu.
“We’re the best, we’re new. We’ve got some exciting things on our menu to come and try as well as we’ve got some great cocktails we’re serving,” Alexander said. “We’re here, we’re open.”
Topeka Police are also planning for the weekend. Lt. Andrew Beightel said they’ll be bringing out extra officers to help with the parade.
“This parade, the Christmas parade, and the fiesta parade are all the same. Again we do plan on these things and we try to make everything go as seamless and safe as possible for all involved,” Beightel said.
With a parade, bed race, and live entertainment, organizers say tomorrow there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
“St. Patrick’s Day always falls around about when the weather is starting to change so people want to be outside. It’s a bright sunny day so definitely everyone wants to be out, get out. and everyone is Irish that day,” Hutley said.
Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday some streets are closed off to parking. Officials said not to park on Kansas Avenue from 1st to 10th Street or on 10th street from Kansas Avenue to Jackson. Jackson street will also be closed for the parade from 10th to 4th Streets and 4th street from Jackson to Kansas.
To make up for the lack of parking, there is free parking available in city garages and public lots. There’s also a shuttle from the 8th and Madison lot. You can find handicapped parking on the west side of the Judicial Center parking lot.