GET ON THE BUS
SO YOU'RE thinking: Wouldn't it be awesome not to have to drive into downtown to see the parade?
Yes. Yes it would be so awesome.
That's why Chatham Area Transit (CAT) will provide a $5 round–trip park 'n' ride St. Patrick's Day shuttle March 17, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. from these locations:
• Westside at the Westside Shopping Center on Hwy 80 in Garden City;
• Eastside at the Island Towne Centre on Whitemarsh Island;
• Southside at the Savannah Mall near Dillard's.
Shuttles begin return trips from the parade downtown noon–4 p.m.
After 4 p.m., shuttle patrons can return to cars via CAT routes 3B, 10 East Savannah, and 14 Abercorn.
Anyone taking a shuttle downtown who does not want to return on the afternoon shuttle can use the CAT wristband to ride the regular routes.
Catch a CAT from the Transit Center or from other regularly marked bus stops not affected by the parade reroutes.
The fare-free dot shuttle service will be suspended.
GET ON YOUR BIKE
DON'T forget about the option to just ride your bikes into town! It's so easy that a lot of people forget to think about it.
The main bike paths north into downtown are on Lincoln Street (northbound traffic only) and Habersham Street.
The main bike path south out of downtown after the festivities is on Price Street (southbound traffic only).
Keep in mind Washington Avenue is a well-designed east/west corridor to use to get to the aforementioned north/south routes.
LATE NIGHT TRANSPORTATION
THE following CAT routes will provide FREE service 10 p.m.-4 a.m. on Saturday night March 14, when the heaviest partying is expected:
3B Augusta Ave
10 East Savannah – Will not service Wilminton Island
17 Silk Hope
27 Waters – Will not service stop at Memorial Health main entrance
There's a shuttle to Hutchinson Island on Saturday too. From noon-1 a.m., catch the bus at Indian & Fahm.
HOW 'BOUT HUTCHINSON?
THE Savannah International Trade & Convention Center across the Savannah River on Hutchinson Island offers another option.
Parking at the center will be open noon-10 p.m. Sat. March 14 and 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tue. March 17, all for $20 per vehicle.
The water ferry will run from Savannah International Trade & Convention Center 7 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. The Chatham Area Transit (CAT) Shuttle Service will run from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m.
The CAT shuttle pick-up and drop-off location for passengers downtown will be at Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and Indian Street.
From 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13 until midnight, Tuesday, March 17, ALL ferry service will go from Trade Center Landing to Waving Girl Landing (by the Marriott).
Sat. March 14:
Regular ferry hours 7 a.m.-midnight between Trade Center Landing and Waving Girl Landing ONLY
Free shuttle noon–1 a.m.
Tue., March 17:
Ferry hours 6:30 a.m.-midnight between Trade Center Landing and Waving Girl Landing ONLY
Free shuttle 7 a.m.-1 a.m.
WHAT ABOUT THE ACTUAL PARADE?
OH YEAH, that. Our St. Patrick's Day Parade starts about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. It lasts several hours, so pace yourself.
The "official" viewing area for dignitaries and such is on Abercorn near Lafayette Square. Lafayette Square is itself one of the more popular places to watch the parade, and is one of the places where the bands perform their best in order to show their stuff for the TV cameras.
Just don't think about camping out in any of the squares the night before. You can't set up your party station in parks and squares until 6 a.m. Tuesday.
The only furniture allowed in squares are tables, coolers, lawn chairs and 10-by-10-foot tents.
NO grills, amplified sound, kegs, advertisements, barriers, or personal bartenders. All your stuff has to be out of the square by 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The use of City electricity and water is prohibited.
HEY, THE PARADE IS GOING THE WRONG WAY AROUND THE SQUARES. WHAT IS THIS, SOME KINDA WEIRD EUROPEAN TYPE SOCIALIST FOREIGNER DEAL THAT OBAMA MADE YOU DO?
IN AN interesting twist, this marks the first year that the Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade will go the "wrong" way around all six downtown squares it negotiates on its route.
The stated reason is for crowd control and safety, to make things easier for any emergency vehicles and also so that festivalgoers won't be as tempted to cross the parade route to make their way to the many City-installed Porta-Potties.
No word on why they couldn't just move the Porta-Potties instead. Guess you'll have to ask Obama. cs