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St. Patrick's Day fills bars with revelers across South Central Pa.

The popular holiday is one of the biggest days of the year for many bars.

LANCASTER, Pa. — St. Patrick’s Day got an early start at Tellus360 in Lancaster, where the bar opened at 7 a.m. and live music started at noon. The lineup of musicians runs through 1:30 a.m. and then the bar reopens six and a half hours later for another long day of celebrations.

“I'm not expecting to get much sleep this weekend at all,” said music and events manager Bill Speakman.

Several workers and the owners of Tellus360 are from Ireland, so the venue embraces St. Patrick’s Day with a full lineup of live music featuring Irish bands.

“When you come to Tellus360, it's more like going to Ireland than going to an Irish pub,” Speakman said.

The day is important for bars like Tellus360 in another way, too; it’s one of the biggest days for drink sales.

“It's just nice that we can have that to count on, so that whatever ups and downs we have throughout the year, we have these tentpole events that we know will be great,” Speakman said.

Tellus360 measures the economic success of the weekend in the number of pints of Guinness beer poured. Speakman estimated they would pour thousands of pints by Sunday.

Many at the bar around lunchtime on Friday said they took the day off work to celebrate.

“They're in it for the fun of the day. Everybody wants to be Irish on St. Patrick's Day,” said Kelly Shumaker of Lancaster, who was sitting at a table with several new friends she said she had just met.

One of her new friends, Mike Dibbs of Lancaster, explained, “It's about tradition and about comradery and you find new friends every time you go out.”

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