Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Karen Hodges, right, and Brian Conners laugh at the bar inside McCray's Tavern on the Square in Lawrenceville while bartender Ashly Santana pours drinks for servers during the St. Patrick's Day festivities on Thursday.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- The nearby fountain spewing green water, downtown Lawrenceville turned Irish on Thursday.
The city hosted its first-ever St. Patrick's Day celebration throughout the afternoon and into the evening, with hundreds of residents and visitors filing in and out of the downtown square donning every sort of green clothing and accessory imaginable.
"I'm definitely glad they did it," said resident Michelle Brunson, toddler on her hip. "I wish they would do stuff like this more often.
"It got me to downtown Lawrenceville, and I haven't been since I was a kid."
Food vendors and local restaurants stayed busy all afternoon, and the square offered even more than that. Tents covering everything from sand art and massage therapy to puppies and the Gwinnett Braves saw constant interaction with Lawrenceville residents.
A handful of inflatables took a steady stream of abuse from kids throughout the day. Live music and choral performances graced the square's gazebo.
"They had vendors and everything, it was kind of cool," said resident Lynne Thomas. "I would definitely like to see them do it again (next year)."
In total, 92 vendors took advantage of Thursday's perfect weather and the large crowds outside Lawrenceville's Historic Courthouse.
Whether the holiday was truly a reason for celebration or just an excuse to wear green and get out of the house, Lawrenceville's inaugural foray into a St. Patrick's Day festival had plenty to offer.
"It makes it more of a community, you know?" Brunson said.
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