"I spent 90 percent of my money on women, drink, and fast cars. The rest I wasted."
-- Irish-born soccer icon George Best
Ah, St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah — when we celebrate our great local Irish heritage, the schools are closed, unrelated business stops, and our population at least doubles with the influx of visitors to the nation’s second–largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration (second only to New York City).
Because the issue of Connect Savannah right after this one hits stands almost simultaneously with the parade itself, the issue you hold in your hands will serve as our annual St. Patrick’s Day special issue.
The issue that hits stands in the middle of next week will contain a portion of St. Patrick’s Day info for the convenience of visitors to town. But the bulk of the green coverage is in this week’s edition.
This year we’re very happy to feature cover photography by local photographer Geoff L. Johnson, with the lovely Amy Doll as our St. Patrick’s cover girl. Many thanks to the locally–owned and operated Saints and Shamrocks store at 309 Bull St. for the use of the Irish flag.
Ordinarily with St. Patrick’s issues I like to get right into the pertinent holiday stuff, but the March 2 visit by President Obama demands a more newsworthy placement - read Patrick Rodgers’ insiders account of the president’s stop, with a perspective that I guarantee you won’t read or hear in any other local media outlet.
A lot of people come to town for St. Patrick’s Day expecting all things Irish, but ironically, there’s precious little Celtic music played here during the celebration. However, Kevin Barry’s Pub on River Street, the city’s oldest Irish pub, features real Irish traditional music by a selection of the east coast’s premier Irish musicians, including a barnburner of a concert Tuesday night. Read more about it in Bill DeYoung’s interview. Read more about other Irish-themed entertainment options in his roundup story.
For those who haven’t got the timing down yet, here’s how it will work this year: The City’s annual family–friendly celebration Tara Feis (pronounced tara fesh) will be this Saturday, March 13. Read more about the history of Tara Feis in Augusta Statz’s article, as well as Bill’s interview with headliner Cathie Ryan.
The official River Street St. Patrick’s Day celebration begins Tuesday, March 16 and continues until the wee hours Wednesday, March 17.
The famous parade itself begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 17.
For a great in–depth look at old Savannah folklore, check out Robin Wright Gunn’s piece about the tradition of St. Patrick’s Day breakfasts.
As for the infamous post–parade celebration on River Street, there will be no gated entrance as in years past; however, those 21 and over must purchase a $5 wristband to drink alcoholic beverages both inside and out.
For more detailed information about the do’s and don’ts of St. Patrick’s Day, see our slightly tongue in cheek Frequently Asked Questions.
We hope you enjoy this special issue, and we hope you enjoy yourselves — responsibly! — during this, the most cherished time of year in Savannah.