PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) – Crowds come out in large numbers to celebrate the Fourth of July in Panama City Beach, and local business gets a huge boom in revenue during this special weekend.

Patches Pub and Grill is a popular local hangout in Panama City Beach, but during tourist season, the vacation rentals surrounding the eatery fill up, and so do the chairs in the restaurant, too.

“Didn’t know what to expect with the gas prices and all but the turnout has been wonderful,” Patches owner Vince Greiner said. “People are here and people are spending some money at our local establishments and we just love it and love to see the people in from all over the place.”

Patches started in 1994, but Greiner took over just about 10 years ago.

He said the Fourth of July is the largest revenue generator of the year.

“Fourth of July. It is the number one weekend for us right behind Memorial Day weekend,” Greiner said. “Of course, everyone wants to get out Memorial Day weekend but 4th of July, we all look forward to it and we prepare for it. We’re ready for it and this year we have a great staff and the numbers are just incredible.”

Greiner said the last couple of years have been tougher because of the pandemic, but said the restaurant is fully prepared for the crowds this time around.

“We’re ready for the first time in a couple of years. We’ve got the staff to take care of the crowds that are here and just take care of things,” Greiner said. “All hands on deck. No time off whatsoever and we just love the 4th of July Holiday.”

Greiner said he expects another large turnout Sunday, with the Grand Lagoon Coalition launching fireworks from the lagoon Sunday evening, which are visible from the Patches patio.