Flannery O’Connor turns 92, celebrated in birthday parade

Kayla Gamble, Staff Writer

A procession in the Flannery O’Connor parade walks around Lafayette Square Sunday, March 26. (Kayla Gamble)

Flannery O’Connor: the famed Savannah-born au- thor famous for works like “Wise Blood,” “A Good Man is Hard to Find” and “Good Country People” was the fo- cus of a downtown celebra- tion of what would have been her 92nd birthday.

On Sunday, Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home Foundation board hosted a parade and birthday celebra- tion in Savannah’s Lafayette Square where the childhood home is located.

Participants enjoyed a birthday cake, free tours of the Flannery O’Connor home, cheerful vendors and local authors (such as Armstrong’s own Dr. Morris) selling their books.

This marks the fifth an- nual parade and celebration.

The parade began with live music by The Sweet Thunder Strolling Band who would also lead the parade.

“It’s lovely. It’s home- grown and it’s about people in the neighborhood. I give

it a 10,” Ryan Madson, land- scape architect and SCAD professor, said.

While most of the crowd were Savannah residents, some attendees like Simone Martin-Newberry, a graphic designer from Chicago and Jessica Robin, a chemistry professor from South Caroli- na, saw the event advertised in a newspaper and made the decision to attend.

“It’s great and so charm- ing. I’m overwhelmed by how adorable this is,” Mar- tin-Newberry said.

“It’s delightful and every- one is dressed so dapper and with the crowns… It’s great,” Robin said.

The Foundation led free tours of O’Connor’s child- hood home, which is deco- rated with several photos of Mary Flannery and her fam- ily, as well as personal items. The tour guide entertained guests with stories of the late author’s past and tenacious personality.

One favorite celebra- tion event exists in the form of “Chicken Bingo,” where

players earn money for the O’Connor Foundation by purchasing bingo cards and guessing which of three num- bers a Chicken named Oreo would select by defecating.

“Flannery brings together so many interesting people. You never know what kind of person is going to be a Flannery fan. She speaks to people from across all of the barriers, so this parade brings authors of all different stripes together, brings together all different kinds of folks and that is my favorite thing about it,” Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home Foundation manager, Cody Shelley, said.

The Flannery O’Connor parade and celebration takes place every March on the Sunday nearest her birthday. For more information about future events, check out the Flannery O’Connor Child- hood Home website at Flan- neryOconnorHome.org