SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It’s been two years since Savannah hosted its beloved St. Patrick’s Day parade. Here’s what to know if you’re heading downtown for the long-awaited celebration.

The city will start preparing for visitors late Wednesday night. City squares, always a popular gathering spot, are to be cleared of any personal property by 10 p.m.

The squares will open back up at 6 a.m. Thursday for the “land rush” tradition, meanwhile, streets along the parade route will close down. City officials have said any vehicles still parked along the route at 6 a.m. will be towed.

For those planning to drive downtown Thursday, your best bet is to follow the signs.

“If you park on-street, get out of your car; look around at the signage. If you see anything about the parade route, that is not a place you want to park,” said parking director Sean Brandon during the city’s final press briefing Wednesday ahead of parade day.

Arrive early and have a plan, Brandon advised.

“Meters will not be enforced, however, other violations will be,” he continued. “Parking at crosswalks, parking on the sidewalks, double parking will be enforced.”

If your vehicle is towed: “Go straight to police headquarters with your driver’s license, and your proof of insurance,” said Sgt. Jason Pagliaro with the Savannah Police Department (SPD).

“They’ll give you your tow form, tell you where to pick up your car, and you can go pay for your car, pick up your car and retrieve it that day,” Pagliaro explained, warning that with it being a holiday, towing prices could be pricier than normal.

City leaders said the best way to keep track of street closures in real time is to download the WAZE app onto your smart phone.

The parade kicks off at 10:15 a.m. Thursday and is expected to last anywhere from 2:15 to 3 p.m. Savannah’s director of special events, Susan Broker, said there will be a rolling reopening of streets after the parade.

“Once the parade moves through an area, our sanitation groups will come right behind the parade, followed by our SPD folks who will then open the roads,” Broker added.

Although sanitation crews will be out in full force, the city warned that littering carries a minimum $50 fine.

“If you pack it in pack it out, or throw it away,” said City Manager Jay Melder.

SPD said several other area police agencies will be on hand during the parade.

The department also offered some advice for parade attendees, advising them to stay hydrated, stay in groups, prepare for heat and bring snacks.

Be mindful on the road, SPD advised. Pedestrians should use crosswalks. DUIs will not be tolerated.

Pagliaro also recommended parents take pictures of their children before the parade in the event they go missing.

If you need the help of a police officer, he said they’ll be wearing bright safety vests to make it easier to spot them.