St. Patrick’s Day celebrations start early at Milwaukee’s Irish Intersection

MILWAUKEE -- For most people, St. Patrick's Day is about celebrating with friends and family over food and a few drinks. For others -- it is a day about putting on the party.

"St. Patrick's Day for us actually starts the day after the St. Patrick's Day the previous year," said Director of operations Matt Schmidt.

Downtown Milwaukee, early Saturday morning, March 17, hundreds of people are hard at work at what's being called the "Milwaukee Irish Intersection," surrounding two bars called the Trinity and the Harp.

"We opened at 6 a.m. this morning so we're expecting it to be a really long day," said bartender Audrey McGuire.

It's a side not often seen of the holiday: the prep, time and the labor that goes into it.

"We'll do over 1,100 pounds of corned beef today, dozens and dozens of Guinness barrels, dozens and dozens of green beer," Schmidt said.

Matt Schmidt

As the doors opened, people spilled in just as quickly as bartenders could pour them beer.

"I bet I'll walk seven miles today, that's my guess. Right here, back and fourth," McGuire said.

"All of our staff works a very long day today, and fortunately we have some places throughout our company that we draw from," Schmidt said.

While the hours are long, and the work is tough, the payoff is immense. For a decade now, the party continues to grow and the employees say it's the only place they'd want to be on St. Patrick's Day.

A big white tent combines the two bars, the Harp and the Trinity, into one space for the event. Roughly 15,000 square feet total of St. Patrick's Day fun.