A week after this Shamrock the Block video went viral, the Richmond Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association met to discuss the event’s future, particularly what changes need to be made to reduce the risk of fights.
“This video makes people think this is a place where you go just to act badly,” David Napier, President of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association, said.
Napier led the meeting of city hall officials, police officers, and concerned citizens.
Some bar owners want to make sure the event stays in Shockoe, telling CBS 6 inside the Old City Bar that the festival is their number one money making event of the year.
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“One of the things is to have more officers and bring more of them in later in the day rather than all at the beginning,” Napier said.
But some shops and restaurants would like a complete overall. Upscale restaurants say the event costs them business, even barber shops are forced to close.
“It is easier for me just to get out of here before it starts,” Calvin Allen, a barber, said.
One thing is clear, according to Napier, the viral video will create some change for the St. Patricks Day event, beginning with how the event is run.
“They had a big liquor bar, nobody knew that was coming,” Napier said.
The current promoters of the event, 311 productions released the following statement regarding the event.
“It’s unfortunate that the spotlight is put on a particular incident rather than the overall event and positives, such as a proven track-record of safety, the tens of thousands of dollars raised for the involved charities, the hundreds of folks that volunteer their time and energy to support a cause, the massive revenue the festival brings to the merchants of Shockoe Bottom on that day or the fact the festival remains free to attend from the support of the sponsors.”