Richmonders prepare for two simultaneous St. Patrick's festivals - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Richmonders prepare for two simultaneous St. Patrick's festivals

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Richmond Police should have a busy weekend as thousands are expected for two separate St. Patrick's Day events in the city.

Both the festivals at the 17th Street Farmer's Market and on the Boulevard are touted as family-friendly with live music, food and drinks.

It has the same name, but in many ways Shamrock the Block 2014 will be a new event. The festival will shut down Boulevard basically from the movie theater almost to Broad Street.

"You have a clear shot, wide street, a nice median, we take the cars off the streets so there's plenty of space," said Brooks Stone with the Scott's Addition Business Association.

There'll be 79 vendors, two music stages, a kids' zone and beer and food trucks.

"People will be able to come out and see all kinds of cool stuff tomorrow," Stone told us.

Organizers say you'll be safe there. Fifty Richmond Police officers and about fifty RMC events security guards will be on hand, according to Stone.

But RPD has even more to juggle this year. While Shamrock the Block moved after a brawl was caught on camera last year, Shockoe Fest will be taking its place in The Bottom.

Some have questioned if the department has enough resources.

Richmond Police officials sent NBC12 a statement, which reads: "After review of last year's events and with two separate locations this year, the department has made adjustments to its operation plan, including staffing levels."

Now the question becomes whether or not the two events will be competing.

Shockoe Fest will take up the 17th Street Farmers Market and some of the surrounding area. It will also have vendors, a children's section, food and drinks, along with live music.

"We have hundreds of thousands of people in this town and the surrounding counties," Stone added. "There's no reason we can't have more than one event."

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