SAVANNAH, GA (WSAV) – It’s a nearly 200-year-old tradition that draws tens of thousands every year. That’s why city leaders want to get the word out early that Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day festival and parade will be a little different than in years past.
The parade is set for Tuesday, March 17 at 10 a.m. But with St. Patrick’s Day falling on that Tuesday, the city council approved having the annual festival the weekend before.
One change you’ll notice is rules about those all-important wrist bands.
“Those wristbands will be sold for anyone who is drinking outside in the festival zone from Friday at 6 p.m. to Sunday at 6 p.m., so on parade day, wristbands are not required,” Julie Muscleman the Executive Director of Savannah’s Waterfront Association said.
Law enforcement efforts will remain an all hands on deck effort even with a full day between the festival and parade.
“What we do is we’re going to enforce a lot of the same things,” said Savannah Police Major R. Gavin. “Public drunkenness, and underage drinking. They’re always a focus for us.”
The separation will give officers a chance to open traffic after the festival, hopefully making it easier to get around downtown.
“Having the festival separated gives us the ability to breakdown the festival, allow that traffic on River and through the rest of the city to continue to go back to normal,” Gavin said.
The festival will run from 6 p.m. Friday, March 13 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 15th. There will be no official celebration on Monday or the day of the parade, though bars will be open.