Savannah mayor: City to allow large-scale events with no capacity limits starting July 1

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Starting July 1, the city of Savannah will allow large-scale events with no limits on capacity, Mayor Van Johnson announced Tuesday during his weekly press conference.

This means block parties, festivals and even events like the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon can take place without the city dictating how many people attend them.

“It’s the green light we’ve been waiting for,” said Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah.

This weekend, hotels are expected to be at full occupancy and with the annual Fourth of July fireworks show on the river, Marinelli is welcoming the revenue.

“In the case of hotel-motel tax revenues, we are still trailing where we were in 2019, but I expect by later this summer we’ll make up that ground,” said Marinelli. “We still have some work to do.”

Johnson says while there will be no vaccinate mandate for events, he highly encourages getting the shot if you plan to attend any large gathering.

“As we continue to watch the development of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, we ask those that are not vaccinated or those that are immunocompromised to wear a mask for your own protection,” said Johnson.

The mayor also announced an extension of the city’s parklet program through July 5 to give businesses the ability to take advantage of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“They asked, we hear you, and we understand,” said Johnson, who last week said the program would be phased out by the end of June.

Johnson said he was thrilled the parklet program was such a hit, but noted the city will have to work on a more standard and permanent program.

“It must balance the extended dining and retail opportunities throughout the city with the need for parking,” said the mayor.

Savannah’s annual Fourth of July fireworks are back on this year after the pandemic canceled the show in 2020. Johnson says the show starts at 9:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 4, and $5 parking will be offered in city garages.

The city is advising anyone who is not vaccinated and plans to attend the festivities to please wear a mask.

Johnson also gave an update on the city manager search and says they plan to announce a final candidate within the next two weeks.

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