The 2019 GEICO Bassmaster Classic is drawing in crowds of people from all over the country. To top that off, it’s also St. Patrick’s Day weekend – which will also attract large crowds for events. So you can imagine, that’s bringing a lot of business to downtown Knoxville.
“I think there’s going to be a lot of people down here. If there’s this many today and more coming in tomorrow for the parade, it’s going to be a lot,” said Ashlan Cosner, who lives in Knoxville.
Business owners are already feeling the impact of big crowds in, and coming, to Knoxville.
“St. Patrick’s Day is crazy enough and then you bring in Bassmaster Classic with over 100,000 people and it just adds to it. It’s been great, I mean as a business owner we can’t complain,” said Josh Turbyville, the owner of Clancy’s.
The crew at Clancy’s has been preparing for weeks now, by pre-ordering food, beer and liquor.
“Our kitchen has been cooking corned beef and cabbage now for a week, and preparing the shepherds pie,” Turbyville said. “It’s kind of all hands on deck – bartenders, servers, door, bar back. We are all pitching in and doing everything that needs to be done.”
Same goes down the street – at Cruze Farm ice cream shop.
“This morning we were fortunate enough to have some extra girls, they were able to help prep for tonight. Whether that was making ice cream that we’re going to be serving, stocking a little extra,” said Sheridan Gannon, a Cruze Farm employee.
They, too, are all hands on deck, with more people working, to take care of those visiting for the Bassmaster Classic or heading downtown for St. Patrick’s Day fun.
“It’s going to be busy tonight and then tomorrow I think all throughout the day, especially if the weather stays like this, it will be busy from when we open at noon to when we close again at midnight,” Gannon said.
As for those that call Knoxville home, their wish for the weekend is pretty simple.
“I just hope everybody has a good time and comes back,” Cosner said.
This has already been an incredible 1st day of @bassmaster Classic! Take-offs rocked, the expo at @KnoxConvCenter is buzzing, and weigh-ins begin soon at @TBArena, we’ll see y’all there! #knoxrocks pic.twitter.com/ftuaiWpJpv— Visit Knoxville Sports Commission (@visitknoxsports) March 15, 2019