Bars on Windsor's west end have planned a New Orleans style street party for St. Patrick's Day.
The event, licensed to serve 3,600 partiers, is being billed as "Windsor's Largest pub crawl in history."
Sandwich Street will be closed between Detroit and Brock streets and patrons from the handful of bars in the area will be able to walk bar to bar with drink in hand.
"You can actually go into any establishment, purchase an alcoholic beverage and walk freely through the streets and walk in or out of any establishments with your beverage," said Chris Mickle, who owns the Dominion House Tavern.
The party runs from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m.
A private security company has been hired to patrol the streets and bars during this St. Paddy's Pub Crawl. There will also be a strong police throughout the day.
Customers will get their ID checked at every bar they enter along Sandwich Street. They will also be required to have a wrist band. Six bars are involved in the event.
Even with all the security measures in place, there are some that are worried this party could get out of hand.
'It could be a recipe for some trouble.' — Coun. Al Maghnieh
Coun. Al Maghnieh is worried that alcohol flowing freely in the streets will attract trouble. He fears a riot that followed St. Paddy's Day celebrations in London last year.
"I voted against this," Maghnieh said. "When you put a large amount of alcohol with a lot of people it could be a recipe for some trouble. There's always concern."
Riots in London
Last year, Fanshawe College in London suspended eight students following a St. Patrick's Day riot that caused an estimated $100,000 damage.
In Windsor, police and councillors went door to door on St. Paddy's Day to monitor parties and potential problems in the student housing district, which is just a few blocks east of where this year's pub crawl is to happen.
West-end community activist and blogger Fabio Costante said "parties will inevitably occur."
So concentrating them within two blocks on Sandwich Street, with proper security and police presence, is a better way to keep watch over and regulate them, he feels.
Bar patrons aren't convinced the event is a potential problem.
"That's been the theory as to why we've had to sit in fenced in pens to drink anytime there's a festival or whatever. I don't think there will be any mass outbreak of hysteria," said Steven Bezaire at Rock Bottom.
'I don't think there will be any mass outbreak of hysteria.' — Steven Bezaire
"There's many other jurisdictions I enjoy visiting sometimes because it is the kind of environment that is a little more free spirited and enjoyable," Peter Curran added.
Tim Lafontaine, who manages Westside Foods on Sandwich Street, isn't worried by the party or street closure - especially not if it helps bring business in for the other establishments.
There was a similar street closure during last fall's Olde Sandwich Town Festival, the road blocks prevented customers from making their way into Lafontaine's grocery store.
"I would say it was probably about half of the business we normally would have done being open on a Saturday and a Sunday. Both days the streets were closed," he said.