Crowds gather at Forsyth Park in March 2024

CITY NOTES: Savannah officials expecting 'biggest St. Patrick’s Day crowd we've ever seen'

Updates ahead of Saturday’s 200th Parade, Rear Admiral visits for Navy Week, Alderman Purtee elected to national board

The City of Savannah is gearing up for the 200th St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16 in downtown Savannah. Although most of the news this week is centered around the parade and plans for preparing for it, there is other news to pass along as well.

Take a look at this week’s city notebook from Connect Savannah.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Week Updates
On the city’s official website page dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day Parade festivities, one of the issues addressed is visitors and residents following city ordinances.

“Avoid getting in hot water with law enforcement by using common sense, knowing the rules, and above all else, being respectful of yourself, others, and our beautiful city,” says one section. “Urinating in public, public indecency, fighting, underage drinking, and disobeying the alcohol consumption or Control Zone rules are all common, but completely and easily avoidable offenses.
click to enlarge CITY NOTES: Savannah officials expecting 'biggest St. Patrick’s Day crowd we've ever seen' (4)
Savannah Police Department officers at Forsyth Park fountain
Here are the notable fines for ordinance violations:
One drink on-street limit – $121
Size limited 16 ounces – $150
Drinking from can, bottle or glass – $150
Drinking alcohol in parked motor vehicle – $150
Unlawful for minor to drink/possess alcohol – $250
Disorderly conduct by: urinating in public – $200
Disorderly conduct by: fighting, indecency, etc. – $500

The parade begins at 10:15am and squares will open at 6am on Saturday morning. The City will have security guards and city marshals in the squares beginning at 10pm on Friday night. They will ask everyone to leave the squares at that time before re-opening the squares at 6am.
Squares along the parade route include: Taylor, Oglethorpe, Lafayette, Johnson, Wright, Madison and Chippewa. Items prohibited in the squares include: Grills, styrofoam, glass, amplified sound, kegs, scaffolding, stages, advertisements, barriers, bartenders, ladders, and personal portable toilets.

It is expected to be a historic parade for the city, as City Manager Jay Melder said in a recent press conference covering parade protocol.

click to enlarge CITY NOTES: Savannah officials expecting 'biggest St. Patrick’s Day crowd we've ever seen' (3)
Jay Melder
“We know from our hospitality partners that they’re expecting upwards of 90 percent occupancy for all of our hotel rooms across the city,” he said. “We’re expecting historic crowds from visitors and residents alike for the 200th running of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade."

"We expect Saturday to be the biggest St. Patrick’s Day crowd we’ve ever seen.”

City Welcomes Rear Admiral Buzetti for Navy Week
The City of Savannah will welcome Rear Admiral David M. Buzetti and Savannah native Ensign Lamar Badger in Council Chambers on Thursday, March 14, to receive a proclamation officially recognizing Navy Week in Savannah. The City Council meeting on Thursday begins at 2pm and can be streamed on the city’s Facebook page.

“We are honored to have our great servicemen and servicewomen from the United States Navy in Savannah this week,” said Savannah’s Mayor Van Johnson in a press release issued this week. “We look forward to sharing in the various events planned and the special recognition with Admiral Buzetti. Savannah is a seaport, so we share an intrinsic connection with the maritime armed forces that serve so diligently to preserve our freedoms.”

Navy Week will be marked by several events throughout the city, including visits to local schools, a Navy STEM Day at the Civic Center, a free performance by the U.S. Navy Band in the Forsyth Park Bandshell and more. More than 15,000 active and reserve force sailors from Georgia currently serve in the U.S. Navy and over 15,000 Navy retirees call the state home.

A pair of Navy vessels carrying the names USS Savannah and USS Georgia further the connection between the City of Savannah and the United States Navy.

Purtee Appointed to Serve on National League of Cities Committee
Kurtis Purtee, Savannah’s District 6 Alderman was appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2024 Public Safety and Crime Prevention (PSCP) Federal Advocacy Committee.

Purtee was elected to a one-year term and will provide strategic direction and guidance for NLC’s federal advocacy agenda and policy priorities on public safety. This will be Alderman Purtee’s third appointment. It was announced by NLC President Mayor David Sander of Rancho Cordova, California.

click to enlarge CITY NOTES: Savannah officials expecting 'biggest St. Patrick’s Day crowd we've ever seen' (2)
Kurtis Purtee
“Working on this committee will guide how we address public safety and crime prevention not just in Savannah, but for each participating municipality statewide,” Purtee said in a press release.

“This work will guide policy that will help municipalities such as Savannah receive resources and funds from the federal government.”

As a member of NLC’s PSCP Committee, Alderman Purtee will play a key role in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocate on behalf of America’s cities, towns, and villages before Congress, with the administration and at home.

“NLC’s federal advocacy committees play an important role in helping policymakers in Washington understand the issues and challenges facing America’s cities, towns and villages at the local level,” Mayor Sander said. “I’m thrilled to have Alderman Kurtis Purtee serve on NLC’s Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee this year and look forward to working with him to strengthen the federal-local partnership and grow our common knowledge of the issues and opportunities facing our communities.”

For more information, visit

Travis Jaudon

Travis Jaudon is a reporter for Connect Savannah. He is a Savannah native and has been writing in Savannah since 2016. Reach him with feedback or story tips at 912-721-4358
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