RICHMOND (WRIC) - Promoters of Shamrock the Block, the annual St. Patrick's Day festival, announced Monday it will be moving to the Boulevard.
Shockoe Bottom business owners are not happy this announcement was made when the festival is less than a month away.
Restaurant owners say bands are booked, and plans are already made for Shockoe Bottom to be filled with people come March 15. Now, that is all in jeopardy.
"Very disappointing we found out so late in the game," says David Napier of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association. "We would have liked to have some more planning time."
Napier says he has an obligation to these businesses to fill these restaurants and says they still plan to party on March 15 whether it's called Shamrock The Block or not.
"We're going to move forward down here with whatever we can do on our own," he says.
Organizers of the event say they have simply outgrown their previous location and an altercation between police and a festival goer was not the reason the decision to move was made, but do say that safety was a concern.
"Unfortunately that video just brought a lot of things to the forefront that have always been on people's minds and with this day and age you have to be careful," says Mike Murphy with Three One One Productions.
Business along the Boulevard say changes will be obvious.
"I think you will see it is a little more family friendly up here," says Brooks Stone of Scotts Addition Business Association. "That it's more of a street festival versus streets woven together."
Organizers also say there should be more parking at the new location.
On the other hand, Shockoe Bottom business say they plan to ask the city how big they can make their festival, saying they expect many people to still party in the Bottom.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond