It happens like clockwork. Every March 17th, bass drums boom, floats glide, bars prop open their doors from morning to night, and shops serve food, drinks, and souvenirs. The fountains flow green, bagpipes skirl, and the luck of the Irish can be felt from River Street to Rochester.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, and this year over 300,000 people will make the pilgrimage to this celebration that’s been happening since 1824. Here’s a guide to mastering the madness.
March 17 at 10:15 a.m.
If the Savannah River isn’t big enough for you, may we suggest a sea of green? A crowd as big as 10 percent of the population of Ireland will make the trip to Georgia to join in the fun, making Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade the second largest in the country. The parade features dancers, floats, music, and the march of the Hibernians, Savannah’s oldest Irish society. Don’t forget to wear green, or there may be consequences.
March 13-14 from 10:00 a.m. to midnight
Of all the festivals and events on River Street and in City Market, none is bigger, better, or greener than the St. Patrick’s Day Festival. Vendors line the street with gifts and goodies, and bands perform live music on stages all over downtown. These two hot spots are where the real St. Paddy’s Day party is. Guests can hit up City Market for a good time with great jams, or grab a drink and enjoy the fun down on River Street.
March 7 from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
For those looking to turn the days imbibing into a marathon, St. Practice Day is the perfect way to make sure you don’t end up asleep on the couch by the afternoon. This Irish pub crawl starts at McDonough’s, and winds its way through downtown Savannah, where you can check off your scorecard, enjoy drink specials, and grab some green and gold swag.
March 6 at 6:00 p.m.
Ellis Square is where this annual 5K run gets started. Around 2,000 runners and walkers show off their wackiest green gear as they make their way to Forsyth Park and back. Dogs, strollers, and leprechaun puns are encouraged. Stick around afterwards for food trucks, music, and giveaways! All proceeds benefit the mission of March of Dimes to improve the health of babies and mothers.
March 14 at 3:00 p.m.
From downtown Savannah, it’s a just a 30-minute drive to Tybee Island, where you can witness the island’s quirky Irish Heritage Celebration. Come decked in green for this family-friendly parade of floats, marchers, and music. The fun starts at Tybee City Hall and makes its way all the way down to Tybrisa Street.
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