SOUTH BEND — Hotels are booked, restaurants are packed, and if you've been driving around town, you've probably noticed the traffic.
It's not a home football game weekend, but it is graduation weekend at Notre Dame and Saint Mary's.
And families coming to town are celebrating beyond campus events.
Moms and dads are ready to dish out some extra dollars to celebrate their children's diplomas.
And that's a major plus for local establishments.
Hotels and restaurants say this weekend ends the slow spring months of business.
"I’m excited and nervous and happy," said Katherine Kohler, soon to be graduate of Saint Mary’s College.
Let the pomp and circumstance begin.
“I’m pumped, I have all my friends with me, it's bittersweet, but I’m excited," said Saint Mary’s College student Mara Sommers.
These soon to be graduates aren't the only ones smiling.
“Everyone’s happy, their kid is graduating, they're coming out spending some money," said Andrew Galloway of LaSalle Grill.
Galloway said they're booked all weekend — 95 percent of their reservations are graduation related.
He said a typical football weekend is busy — but it never tops the graduation celebration.
"It's the busiest weekend of the year for us; every seat is full; it's packed, all three floors," Galloway said.
LaSalle Grill has more customer flow on this weekend. That’s because football season only brings in late-night guests after the games are over.
People have to eat.
But they also have to sleep.
With thousands of people in town — where are they all going to stay?
Most are booking hotels for the weekend.
"South Bend is not really the tourist mecca in the dead of winter, and there are not many reasons to come," said Michael Brenan of Waterford Estates.
But graduation weekend gives families a reason to make the trip.
"It's really the first big weekend for what turns out to be a busy summer season in South Bend," Brenan said.
A win-win for everyone this weekend.
It's a shot in the arm for local owners.
“It’s a terrific boom for business," Brenan said.
For the graduates, it’s remembering the good times.
"It's been an incredible four years," said John Corgan, a Notre Dame graduating senior.
And for parents, it's the joy of seeing their teenager turn into an adult.
"We're very proud of John and all he's done," said parent Michael Corgan.
This will be the second year Notre Dame will hold its commencement in the football stadium.
The St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce said they saw an increase in people in town last year because of this.
Students are not limited as to how many people they can bring to the ceremony, so they're bringing more family and friends to town for the celebrations.