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March Madness with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in downtown Indianapolis



Indianapolis, Indiana – Due to a malfunctioning fountain pump near Ohio Street, Indianapolis firefighters were forced to use non-toxic dye to color the water green as the St. Patrick’s Day weekend celebrations got underway on Thursday morning.

At O’Reilly’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Joel Reitz stated that he anticipates a large number of people to descend upon his establishment this weekend for drinks and bangers & mash.

“We have live bagpipers at 7 o’clock at night tomorrow which should be a lot of fun, gonna have them roll through at night,” Reitz said.

When the Big 10 tournament games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse were postponed minutes before tip-off in 2020 owing to the COVID-19 epidemic, Reitz’s bar quickly became deserted.

Fans returned the next year as Indianapolis served as the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament’s main headquarters and as the location of regional play the year before.

Indy won’t host any tournament games this spring.

Yet, March Madness, according to Reitz, creates a bustle in the city center.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” he said. “We can watch games in public again finally, it’ll be a lot of fun.”

The Bottleworks District is welcoming basketball fans on Carrollton Avenue next to the Garage Food Hall, despite the fact that the first day was largely a washout.

“We’ve got our large LED screens set up at either end, we’re gonna have additional TVs inside the Garage Food Hall and in the Coca-Cola VIP Lounge down here as well,” said Ryan Hickey, the director of entertainment and programming at the Bottleworks. “There’s a huge appetite in this area for college basketball and, of course, the first couple days of the NCAA tournament are exciting for everybody so we’ve got a great crowd out here, everybody comes out and eats and drinks and has a great time.”

West Virginia fans Ben Belt and Lauren Upchurch braved the gloomy sky and freezing weather to enjoy cold beers while watching the Mountaineers play on the outside big screen.

“It’s just been on the bucket list for a long time to do since they started and this is just the first year that it worked out,” said Upchurch. “So, here we are.”

“I took the day off work to do this,” said Belt. “My boss is a basketball fan so he knows what I’m doing. He was okay with it.”

Hickey predicted that many more people will take tomorrow off from work to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and watch basketball.

“We know that the Thursday and Friday of the first couple days of the NCAA Tournament a lot of sick days being taken, a lot of empty offices,” he said. “We actually have some corporate groups coming down here to watch the games here so I think that’s a good combination of bring the office down here, we’ve got everything you need.”

Beginning their tournament runs on Friday late afternoon and evening are Indiana University and Purdue.

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