It’s the city’s biggest party of the year, but also it’s messiest.
City of Savannah officials say they are gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day with efforts focused on keeping streets clean and people out of trouble.
“While we are again talking about Chippewa (Square), I want to get the message out to the community that we are looking at the entire city, throughout the entire festival zone for behaviors we just can’t accept,” said Susan Broker, the Director of Special Events.
Officials say underage drinking, public urination and littering could mean a day in court sooner than you think. But a pop-up recorder’s court in Chippewa Square will be your first stop.
“Our code enforcement marshals and our SPD (Savannah Police Department) folks can bring those folks over here so they can be transported to recorder’s court from this location,” said Broker.
For small offenses, officials suggest just biting the bullet and paying the fine on the spot.
“It will be a lower fine that day than it will be the following week when you go to pay it online,” said Broker.
Those charged with more serious offenses will go straight to court.
“Some offenses that occur that day that we feel we can get before a judge we can go ahead and take them over, especially if they are from away from the city,” said Court Administrator Buddy clay. “We allow them to have due process and I can tell you that the judge is not going to take guilty pleas from intoxicated people.”
Residents who live downtown are excited about the festivities but want people to remember one thing.
“This is a neighborhood where people live with their families and we have a thriving business community and help us, have fun, but help us out and please get your trash into the trash cans or take with you,” said Melinda Allen, President of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
On Monday, officials will kick off St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival Week with a press conference in Ellis Square. There, they plan to discuss transportation and mobility during the festivities.