It's just a few short days away. and although it's a little early in the year, downtown businesses are getting ready for Mardi Gras madness.
"Yes, we are coming up on Mardi Gras this next weekend," said Eddy Davis, a server at Uncle Ernie's. "We do it every year down here we are very excited about it."
"It's just an opportunity to see a lot of people celebrating life and having a great time together," said owner of 'Hectic Eclectic' Joan Canal. "You know it's the excitement is contagious."
"We are making sure we are over stocked on all supplies. Every employee knows they have to be here," said Wendy Hackett, an employee at Enzo's Pizza. "This is one of our busiest days of the year."
While St. Andrews' businesses can control how they prepare for Mardi Gras the big question mark for the weekend is just how many people to prep for. Davis has worked every Mardi Gras since starting at Uncle Ernie's.
"It's intense," said Davis. "It's a big crowd. A lot of people come down-- a lot of locals-- they all check it out and then a lot of people come into the area to see what the Mardi Gras is about down here."
Davis says it's never easy to judge capacity.
"It's kind of hard to judge because a lot of people will stay and hang out and absorb the energy and then a lot of people just want to come in and out," said Davis. "In and grab something to eat and then out to go and absorb the energy out there. So, it's really hard to know how many."
And now that there will be no Mardi Gras in Panama City, more people might be added to the mix.
"We realized it a couple weeks ago," said Hackett. "And we realized, 'Oh, that's right! No Krewe of Massalina this year!' So, common sense would dictate there's going to be a few more people here."
Hackett says there is always a steady flow of people.
"From all over, mostly locals, but we do have some that come from out of town and they actually plan vacations around Mardi Gras," said Hackett.
And while the prepping and plotting is all within the control on downtown businesses, Joan Canal from 'Hectic Eclectic' says one thing wont be.
"We pray for good weather, because that's the only thing that can really stop the party spirit that's alive down here during Mardi Gras," said Canal.