(Related video above: Savannah St. Patrick’s Day schedule)
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The city of Savannah is gearing up for its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Friday.
It’s one of the largest in the country.
With that in mind, the city has laid out plans for everything.
From parking changes to rules for squares, here’s what you need to know.
The parade kicks off at the intersection of Gwinnett and Abercorn streets near Forsyth Park.
From there, floats and marching bands travel north, as far as Bay Street, before heading back south to the end at the intersection of Bull and Harris streets.
Squares along the parade route include:
- Former Calhoun Square (currently unnamed)
- Oglethorpe Square
- Lafayette Square
- Johnson Square
- Wright Square
- Madison Square
- Chippewa Square
Keep that in mind if you plan on setting up camp in one of the squares.
Paradegoers can set up items along the route beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 16. They cannot block any driveway, lane or other access road/right of way.
To-go cup zone
For parade day only, the city is extending its to-go cup zone from River Street as far south as Victory Drive. In this area, you can walk around with an alcoholic beverage in a 16 oz plastic cup.
Restaurants and bars are allowed to give out to-go cups, but they cannot be served through windows or doors out to the public.
The zone will be in place from 10 a.m. on Friday to 2 a.m. on Saturday.
For those looking to find the best spot in one of the squares, there are some strict rules to follow.
The night before the parade, security guards and city marshals will block off the squares from 10 p.m. Thursday until 6 a.m. Friday.
Only then will they open the squares back up for the land rush to begin.
Really, it’s a rush.
Paradegoers will run across the squares armed with tape and stakes to seal off their section.
No pushing, grabbing or hitting will be tolerated, officials said.
They also ask that paradegoers leave up the orange fencing in the squares — it’s there to protect the landscaping.
There are a number of rules to follow for those who choose to enjoy the parade from one of Savannah’s squares.
- No underage drinking
- Don’t leave litter (Bring your trash bags)
- Don’t damage the landscaping
- No setup before 6 a.m.
- Remove everything from the square by 6 p.m.
- The use of city electricity and water is prohibited
Paradegoers will be allowed to bring tables, coolers (no styrofoam coolers), lawn chairs and 10-by-10-foot pop-up tents.
Prohibited items include grills, styrofoam, glass, amplified sound, kegs, scaffolding, stages, advertisements, barriers, bartenders, ladders and personal portable toilets.
The city of Savannah has established 15 locations throughout the parade with portable restrooms.
Keep the green
Litter is one of the toughest battles the city faces on St. Patrick’s Day.
To alleviate the mess, they’re offering carts for both trash and recycling along the parade route and in high-traffic squares.
Recycling carts will be black with yellow tops that take plastic beer cups, bottles and cans; paper and cardboard; and plastic plates and utensils. Remember: glass is prohibited at the parade.
Parking is restricted along the parade route and on streets inside the staging area starting at 12:01 a.m. on Friday until the parade clears.
No parking signs will be posted the week prior to the parade.
Vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.
Parking permits are available at $25 for the city’s parking garages, though they can only be purchased through March 10.
The Visitor Center parking lot will also be available for cars and RVs.
Drivers should call the location listed below during the hours listed for the place they’d like to park.
You’ll then be given a citation number to enter online (at this link) and pay. You can only pay online; not in person.
Permits will be available for pick up at each location listed on Monday, March 13, and Tuesday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. To pick yours up, you’ll need a copy of the receipt and a picture ID.
- Bryan St Parking Garage, 100 E. Bryan St, Monday – Friday, 9am to 7pm, at 912-651-6477. (Note: You cannot exit the garage during the parade until the police department opens the street for vehicular traffic)
- Eastern Wharf Parking Garage, 301 Passage Way, Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm, at 912-651-3172
- Liberty St Parking Garage, 301 W. Liberty St, Monday – Friday, 6am to 1pm, at 912-644-5934
- Robinson Parking Garage, 132 Montgomery St, Monday – Friday, 9am to 7pm, at 912-651-6478
- State St Parking Garage, 100 E. State St, Monday – Friday, 9am to 6pm at 912-651-6473 (Note: You cannot exit the garage during the parade until the police department opens the street for vehicular traffic)
- Whitaker St Parking Garage, 7 Whitaker St, Monday – Friday, 9am to 7pm, at 912-525-2820
- Visitor Center Parking Lot, 301 MLK Blvd, Monday – Friday, 9am to 7pm, at 912-651-6477