TUCSON (KVOA) - This time last year, businesses were forced to shut their doors as the pandemic began sweeping the nation.
Bars and restaurants that were getting ready for St. Patrick's Day had to change their plans as they waited for what was to come.
This year St. Patrick's Day celebrations will come with some changes to keep people safe with social distancing in place and dividers set up where necessary.
But for local establishments,
"The biggest difference this year is that we'll be open, last year we weren't even able to be open for St. Patrick's Day," said Richard French, General Manager of Cobra Arcade Tucson.
As the coronavirus forced their doors to be closed on the Irish holiday, this year establishments are thankful that we've come far enough to allow a celebration during a time in Arizona that is peak season for restaurants and bars.
"We vividly remember last year, it was the last day we were open. But we think we can celebrate, in fact, we think we should celebrate to see this one year past us," said David Slutes, Director of Entertainment for Hotel Congress.
As COVID-19 restrictions head in a positive direction with cases going down and vaccines being distributed, those in the service industry remember the uncertainty that surrounded them last year.
"We didn't know when our next paychecks would be coming in. A lot of these people depend on this to provide for their families," said French,
"This year we're excited to have the opportunity to once again be able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and enjoy a good night with our customers."
One year ago Hotel Congress says they weren't even sure they would exist this much longer.
But heading into the green holiday this year, they say the sun is shining.
"We're not 100 percent back by any means, but there's hope now. It's a completely different feeling heading into St. Patrick's Day than it was last year at this time," said Slutes.