How to do St. Patrick's Day in Savannah, the right way.

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Jenna Wiley

For 2020, the St. Patrick’s Day parade has been delayed.

Savannah’s iconic St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrations are world famous, consistently being listed in the top 10 best St. Patrick’s Day destinations. As someone who has made the pilgrimage onto the cobblestone streets before sun rise for the past 5 years, there are definitely right and wrong ways to conquer St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, Georgia.

Actually going for the parade?

If you are one of the people that are trekking to Savannah purely for the fun of the parade, there are a few things you should know.

Get there early! And I mean early. To scope out a good parade watching spot, I recommended looking at the official parade route map, which can be found on Savannah.com. There are spots along the route that have bleachers set up, and you can rent them from the city, but it’s honestly easier and more comfortable to bring your own chair.

Regarding when to arrive, I have gotten there before sunrise to snag a good spot, hopefully by a public restroom (which is hard to come by in Savannah). The earlier you arrive, the better. At some point, streets start getting blocked off to prepare for the route, so parking becomes more and more limited as the morning goes on. 

If you can stomach it, wake up at the crack of dawn to get a good spot and bring a comfortable chair. You’re going to be sitting down for a while.

Wanna drink a little (or maybe a lot)?

Drinking alcohol and St. Patrick’s day go hand in hand, and Savannah is no exception. Savannah has a unique open container law, allowing patrons to carry open containers of alcohol, as long as they are in plastic, 16-ounce cup (not bottles, mugs or flasks) and must remain in the parameters of the Historic District. The Historic District encompasses the area from River Street to Jones Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to West Broad Street.

On St. Patrick’s Day, this rule is taken well advantage of. During the celebrations, a wristband policy is put into place. Wristbands must be worn by those who wish to carry open beverages and drink outside of establishments, so that they are easily identifiable.

Wristbands must be worn in the control zone, also dubbed “party central.” The control zone spans from East Broad Street to MLK Boulevard and the Savannah River to Broughton Street, west of Drayton Street. To the east of Drayton Street, the control zone is only from Bay Street to the Savannah River.

The wristbands are color-coded for each day, so you must get a new one if you are attending multiple days. Wristbands were $10 a day in 2019 and were sold at multiple access points in the downtown area. You must to be at least 21 to purchase a wristband.

You must be at least 21+ to drink alcoholic beverages. 

Don’t know what to wear?

Obviously, something green! There is no need to try and be that “cool guy who doesn’t wear green.” Participate in the festivities! Stores are selling St. Patrick’s Day themed shirts, pants and hats basically a month before, and if you cant snag one of those, there’s always the option of green beads you can wear. 

Also, be prepared for all types of weather. Lately, it has been rainy in Savannah and a surprisingly windy and cold back end of winter, so it’s a smart idea to dress in something comfortable and something that can help you out if it rains, gets hot and humid or cold.

Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah has become a longstanding tradition for locals and people who come from all over the country. Follow these tips to make sure you can have the luck of the Irish to make the most of out this holiday.