Today the City of Savannah announced extensive security measures for the St. Patrick's Day visit by Vice President Mike Pence.
The security protocol will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Saturday until about 1 p.m. Saturday.
Here are the key points:
An "Enhanced Security Zone" administered by the Secret Service will be bounded by Bay Street to the north, Oglethorpe Avenue to the south, Whitaker Street to the west, and Drayton Street to the east.
Beginning 12:01 a.m. Saturday (i.e. late Friday night), no vehicles may be parked within this zone, including those of residents.
From 4 a.m.-7 a.m. Saturday, no one will be allowed to enter the zone at all while the Secret Service conducts a full security sweep.
Current residents who are already in the zone may stay, and they may go outside to walk dogs etc but MUST have proof of residence.
No employees allowed in that secure zone until sweep is done about 7 a.m. Saturday morning.
ALL people then entering the Enhance Security Zone will have to pass through security checkpoints at
Saint Julian Street
· Congress Street
· Broughton Street
Magnetometer checkpoints will also be located at the following roads intersecting Drayton Street:
· Bay Lane
· Broughton Street
· President Street
Police say restrictions on what you can bring in are similar to TSA protocol. No coolers, no food or drink other than sealed water bottles.
Wheelchairs are allowed, as are blankets, infant needs, cameras, phones, service dogs, strollers, and a small wallet.
No backpacks, no food or drink from outside, no umbrellas.
No drones, no tools, nothing glass.
No weapons of any type.
Pedestrians have until 10 a.m. to enter that Enhanced Security Zone, and you MUST go through security checkpoints to enter.
After 10 a.m. you cannot enter the Zone.
Due to the number of restrictions in the enhanced security zone, the City is providing bleacher seating.
All parade goers will be able to purchase items from stores that are open inside the enhanced security zone.
You CAN have alcohol within the Zone, you just can't bring it in. Must be purchased within the Zone.
Normal to-go cup usage is allowed within the Zone.
In addition, the City will allow four food trucks into the enhanced security zone; two will be located in Johnson Square, two will be located in Wright Square.
No pedestrians can cross Bull Street (the parade route) from either side while within that Zone.
There will be no tents, no tables, no chairs, and no coolers allowed on Johnson and Wright Squares.
There will be no signs or anything else on sticks or posts allowed in the Enhanced Security Zone.
Flags and blankets will be allowed, just not on sticks/posts.
No signs of any type are allowed in the Enhanced Security Zone.
Again, the checkpoints only apply if you want to be in the Enhanced Security Zone. Police say no special or unusual protocol will be used outside of that zone.