Saint Patrick`s Day is right around the corner. There is no better place in the States to celebrate it than in Savannah, GA. We take it seriously here and start a week in advance—with Saint “Practice” Day. You can join the third annual charity pub crawl or just wonder around downtown, getting drunk at the local bars. The city dresses up in green and you can tell, something big is about to happen. This past Friday, March 9th, the holiday festivities begun with the Greening of the Fountain at Forsyth Park.
The hottest destinations for both, the practice and the original holiday, are Congress street, City Market and of course, River street. Located in a perfect distance from each other, the streets greet you with some delightful drinks, food, and music. If you come unprepared and aren`t wearing anything green—don`t worry, you can buy anything you need from local shops.
Congress Street Social Club is a great place to start your evening. It`s also a great place to come back to late at night, for their special Patio Grill menu. Social has a very spacious outside area, a bar inside where you can listen to performers, and a downstairs area. There is something to do for every kind of a person. Downstairs, you can play darts, pool, table soccer, and some other games. They also throw events such as Trivia night, or Monday night football, and attract with their drink specials.
I talked to Jenae Lacy, a server at Social Club, to find out about her St. Patrick`s day experiences. She shared some of her favorite spots downtown as well.
Next on Congress street, there is Boomys. Whether you get hungry after a few beers at Social, or just hear “Let`s Hear It For The Boy” by Deniece Williams while passing it by, it`s a must-stop place. They serve delicious Thai food until 2 am (I especially recommend Tom Ka soup, veggie dumplings and Pad Thai) and have a nice choice of beers. You can also play pool there and the atmosphere is always fun.
Outside, I talked to Jordan Weeks, a server at Belford`s, and found out what she thinks about Saint Patricks day and how she gets ready for it while enjoying Saint “Practice” day.
Jordan Johnson and Derek Passmore, students living in Savannah, said they really only started celebrating St. Patrick`s Day because of the holiday`s culture here. Their favorite spots downtown are Social club, Boomys, The Rail, and city market.
After Boomys, you might want to switch your scenery a little bit and move to the City market. There is usually live music, and definitely some bars worth visiting. Try Irish mule or Lucky charm cocktails and lose your friend at Connect 4 at Pour Larry`s.
Or remember the first times getting drunk and stop by Wet Willies. Get a pedicab home if you are scared of ubers.
If you aren`t ready to go home yet, check out the Jinx for good performances and get a drink at Fifty One Degrees next door. Sweet Melissa`s will give you a nice slice of pizza to help with keeping the energy level up.
If you want to dance more, head to Seed or El-Rocko. Get back to the 90s at the Totally Awesome Bar and play some pool there in-between.
The actual St. Patrick`s Day celebrations will start on Friday, March 16th, and continue throughout the weekend, with the main events on Saturday, March 17th. You can join the celebration and all the activities, the majority of which are going to be on River street and City Market. The event spreads from River street to Broughton street and from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to East Broad street.
According to savannah.com, the entertainment list includes: dance party, food court, giveaways, Bud Light Lime-A-Rita Cabana, social media video boars, campaign activities, live music, a variety of vendors. Although St. Patrick`s Day festival traverses through downtown, don`t forget to purchase a $10 wristband in order to partake in celebrations (you must be over 21 and have a valid I.D. with you). According to savannah.com, there are going to be various colors of St. Patrick’s Day wristbands for each day. If you are found not wearing a wristband in the designated areas, or wearing a wrong one, you can face a fine of more than $50. Wristbands are useful, make sure to get yourself one for each day.
194th Saint Patrick`s Day parade, one of the largest ones in the world, will take place on Saturday, March 17th, from 10:15 a.m. until 2 p.m. The parade will start east of Forsyth park on Gwinnett street and will continue to Broughton street through Abercorn street, where it will turn to East Broad street. It will then follow to Bay street until it gets to Madison Square on Harris street.
This year the parade will show more than 350 marching units and up to 15000 people. When the tradition first started, the event was more of a military spectacle, with soldiers from different regimens marching. Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade showcases pipe bands and Irish dancers from all over the East Coast – Florida to New York.
If you want to get more traditional, don`t miss Savannah Irish festival. It goes from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., both on 17th and 18th of March. The festival celebrates Irish culture through authentic music and dancing, throwing performances on four stages. The event is family friendly.
Savannah`s celebrations have a very long history. It took 190 of years of the famous St. Patrick`s Day parade to get the town a number one destination name. The parade ranks the third largest Saint Patrick`s Day parade in the world.
Saint Patrick`s Day weekend in Savannah is a lot of fun and you will definitely have a great time. Remember to drink responsibly, be nice, and as Jordan Weeks noted, tip your servers and bartenders.