Hundreds celebrate St. Paddy's Day in downtown Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- St. Patrick's Day celebrations are in full swing with thousands of partiers out on the town -- and with a weekend centered around drinking, police are out in full force hoping to keep trouble to a minimum.

With the actual holiday still two days away, many people started drinking the morning of Saturday, March 15th. Downtown, police officers have been doing walking patrols around town, stopping people with alcohol outside, and making sure no one is drinking and driving.

"You get the occasional fight that starts up, but what you'll see here, most people are just enjoying themselves -- the majority," said Deputy Inspector Stephen Basting with the Milwaukee Police Department.

The party on Water St. continues until bar close and police say they will be out well into the morning, as well as Sunday and Monday.

Authorities remind those taking part in drinking celebrations to have a designated driver or safe ride home.