Every year the city of Savannah, Georgia hosts one of the largest, if not the largest, St. Patrick’s Day festivals in the country and 2016 was no exception. And as with every year, one of the first tasks of any visitor to Savannah during this time is finding parking. Luckily the City of Savannah has built several new large parking garages throughout the historic district most of which offered all-day parking for $20.
The next task is deciding where along the parade route to view the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The parade begins on Abercorn Street near its intersection with Gaston Street thus this is as good a spot as any. Once settled in spectators were entertained by an almost non-ending stream of visual and sonic assaults on the senses.
Typical parade participants included the usual high school and military marching bands as well as the always highly anticipated bagpipe squadrons who serenaded the crowd with the delightful sounds of the “Olde Countrye.” Police and fireman flashed their lights and blared their sirens while floats from McDonald’s (featuring Ronald, of course) and Budweiser (featuring the Clydesdales) brought delight to young and old alike.
The 2016 parade ended with a bang with the arrival of the Crab Shack float. This float was preceded by dancers dressed in regalia that was a cross of Mardi Gras Indians and Brazilian Carnival while onboard the float a variety of drummers and brass players created the music to which they danced. This was, by far, the most exciting entrant in the entire parade and future participants would be wise to take a few lessons.
After the parade, a visit to world-famous River Street is the logical next choice. While still early in the day, it was relatively tame and safe to bring little ones. A stop for lunch is called for and one could do no better than One-Eyed Lizzy’s. Cajun Gator Bites make for a delicious appetizer and an Oyster Po’ Boy is a satisfying lunch. For dessert just take a stroll down River Street and partake of the free praline samples from both of the candy stores where the treat is made fresh right in front of your eyes. You can also stop into the Savannah Bee Company to sample their varieties of honey and definitely don’t miss the honeycomb-apple slice-and-cheese sample.
As River Street got more and more crowded, it was the perfect time to take a leisurely stroll through the rest of the city. All the water in the fountains in the squares had been dyed green for the festivities and made for great photo opportunities.
Overall the 2016 St. Patrick’s Day festivities were a success.