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People flock to downtown Lexington bars to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day

Posted at 11:36 PM, Mar 17, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — People lined up outside downtown Lexington’s Irish Pubs Wednesday night to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, one year after the holiday was the first to be transformed by the pandemic.

It was this time last year when Kentuckians prepared to stay home as more cases of COVID-19 began to be reported. In 2021, some who were out celebrating said they felt comfortable as case numbers are on the decline and vaccinations continue to ramp up.

"Even though we're having a lot of fun, we're out here together, we need to be safe," said Richard Willoughby. "It's kind of crazy how much has changed. I feel like we've gotten a lot better and we've moved on since last year too," he said.

Bars and restaurants were still required to follow the mask mandate and limit capacity to 60%. The limit resulted in some popular spots having to ask people to wait to get inside. The night out was a chance to have fun for Willoughby and his friend Joey Scribano.

"I know it's a really hard time for everybody out there and I know it can be rough for everybody and I think they should take these opportunities to care about their own mental health," he said.

On Wednesday, a release from Gov. Andy Beshear's office announced Kentucky's positivity rate had dropped to 3.73 percent with 963 new COVID-19 cases reported.

“We are close to the finish line but we can’t let up yet," Gov. Beshear said in the news release. "Keep masking up, keep social distancing and get vaccinated when it’s your turn. Let’s see this through to the end of the fight.”