OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Year after year Government Street in Ocean Springs has transformed into Shamrock City for St. Patrick's Day. Over 10,000 people turn the street into a sea of green with folks dressed in green from head to toe. On Friday city leaders voted in favor of closing a portion of Government Street to vehicle traffic.
"I like to make a motion that we, that we close the street from Government Street from Washington to Russell from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day," said Ward 2 Alderman Rickey Authement.
Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson believes the decision will help improve safety.
"The last thing we want is an accident to happen. Like I said with everyone being out and about having a good time, visiting all our nightlife, it's just a safety concern," said Mayor Dobson.
March 17, dozens of businesses and bars will be offering green drinks, green food, and discounts on green merchandise. One bar owner said St. Paddy's Day is one of his busiest days.
"Safety oriented so people can party down the middle of the street, it's great. With our open container law now, it makes it nice for everybody. You don't have to stay in one place. You can have fun everywhere, and it's good," said Chris Kwitzky, who is the owner Kwitzy's Dugout.
Mayor Dobson said the bollards along the intersections on Government Street will help block off the roads and fewer barricades will be needed.
"Bollards on allot of the streets along Government Street and Washington, and so what that does is allow our police to be much more effective during festivals. So, they don't have to babysit barricades. They can do more to actually police the event," the Mayor added.
Again, the street will close from 6 p.m. until midnight on St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17. ?