Festival-goers, businesses gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Tourists, businesses gearing up for St. Patrick's Day

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - People are making their way into the Hostess City for the big St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It’s a weekend many businesses have been preparing for, for quite a while.

Businesses tell us this weekend can be one of the busiest weekends of the year for them, but it takes a lot of preparing for it to be a success.

People from near and far are making the trip into town, and with more people here, that means more preparations businesses have to do. Some businesses are still getting supplies in on Friday to hold them over until after the weekend. While some businesses were too busy to talk Friday, Tubby’s on River Street found some time for us, and they say they’re celebrating their 21st St. Patrick’s Day this year. The manager, Jacob Sumner, says they started prepping in January.

“It’s really staffing, and also ordering is very, very important, so having the correct amount of staff and having everything on-hand that we will need for the weekend is very, very important,” Sumner said.

Many businesses we spoke to say they will have extended hours this weekend. The best way to find out about those is to look on their websites or social media pages.

Thousands of tourists are already out and about, taking full advantage of the festivities. Many tell us it’s a tradition for for them to come to Savannah and celebrate every year.

“I started coming to St. Patty’s Day in 1996,” said Deb Sierra, from Greenville, SC.

“Linda puts out the call, we put it on our calendar. The rest of our crew will be here tomorrow. We are going to have a big time,” said June Krise.

For some, it’s their first time experiencing St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.

“This is our children’s first time here, so we are very excited to catch a leprechaun and see the parade tomorrow,” said Jennifer Stapleton.

“We got married here in October of 2017, so it’s always been a special place to us,” said Teresa Gabany, from Florida. “We have always heard how fun it is for St. Patrick’s Day, so we wanted to give it a try.”

For some, they get this experience every year, but this year, it’s different for Gayle Bolton. She has her grandchildren with her this year, experiencing the festivities for the first time.

“It’s very special for Grandmother to have her youngins’ come and enjoy the green, and get to deck them out like leprechauns,” Bolton said.

That’s what most people will be doing. Decking out in their green and enjoying the parade and people.

“I love the people here, but I also love being here and seeing the children on the parade day and seeing the big parade," Bolton said. “Everything is just so wonderful, and the people are so wonderful down here. You meet so many people from all avenues, all countries.”

People plan this trip with their friends and relatives each year, and the friends that can’t come with them, they take a little piece of Savannah back to them.

“I’m going to go down on the river. I always visit the candy shop and a lot of the stores and bring back my souvenirs," Krise said.

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