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Without COVID restrictions, weekend of traditions back in downtown Denver

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade returns this weekend, along with Denver Restaurant week, as businesses welcome customers without any COVID-19 restrictions.

DENVER — Downtown Denver will not look like a city living through a pandemic this weekend.

Big events like the St. Patrick's Day parade and Denver Restaurant Week are back and COVID-19 restrictions are gone. Businesses say they’re ready to welcome customers back for something close to "normal."

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“The rules today are – nothing,” said Jennifer Jasinski, owner of several restaurants including Bistro Vendrome on Larimer Square. “Just get in here, hopefully have a glass of wine! Relax, let us take care of you.”

Bistro Vendrome is participating in Denver Restaurant Week, and Jasinski said this phase of the pandemic feels much safer and simpler.

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Credit: KUSA

“Customers want to get out, have some fun, feel safe – I think the community is feeling safe now,” she said. “It’s refreshing. It’s been a roller coaster ride of different regulations, and supply chain [issues] and employees [labor shortages] and we’re just trying to ride that roller coaster and not fall off.”

A few blocks away downtown, Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub was gearing up for St. Patrick's Day parties starting this weekend.

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“We’ve been missing the parade for the last couple years,” said Seamus Murray, the general manager. “The pandemic has put our life on hold, so to speak. We missed the parade, happy to have that back. We’re rolling into it with no mandates, no capacity restrictions – we’re ready to have the party we’re used to having!”

The bar is planning for several days of live music, Irish celebrations, and plenty of Guinness to serve customers. After two years of COVID restrictions, they said they are also ready to enjoy a more “normal” holiday weekend.

“It’s great. A fresh breath of air, honestly,” Murray said. “To have that feeling that we don’t have to turn people away on St. Patrick’s because of capacity restrictions. Yeah, were really looking forward to it.”

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