Mad dash to get the best view

By Melanie Ruberti - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The stake out began early at Lafayette Square. For Rick Parrish, it started at 4 o'clock, Monday Morning. " How do you keep your energy going?" I asked him," You guys have been here for two days now."

"You we're supposed to bring coffee. That would have helped a lot," he told me with a smile.

This year, Rick recruited his son, Jess, in this turf war. And Jess was ready. "I have rolls of tape, hammers, stakes," he said proudly,"A couple of people will just run out over the barricades when they let us know, put a stake in the middle and tie it off, then tie them to the barricades. We're done. It was only thirty seconds last year. We're hoping to beat that time this year!"

The Parrish's have governed a corner of Lafayette Square for decades, and plan on having 250 of their family and closest friends join them this year. This family takes no prisoners, and neither does the Farr family. Diane Farr had been sitting outside the barricades since 2:30 Tuesday Morning.

"What if people get in your way?" I asked Diane.  "That might not be so pretty," she warned," You get out here at 2:30 in the morning, nobody better get in your way."

At 6am on the dot, with the sound of a whistle, they were off. " Go, go go go!!" people yelled to each other.

Chairs, coolers, and people, went over and under the barricades to stake their claim. In a matter of seconds, the lines, well, the tape, was drawn. The square was now a sea of tents. All the mayhem for an unobstructed view and smiles on everyone's faces as the parade passed them by. " I like the bands!" exclaimed Erin Ondriezek.

Sleepless nights forgotten, but it's something both families say they would do again, to get the best seats in the house, front row to Savannah's famous St. Patrick's Day Parade. "It was worth every minute that we sat here," said Diane.

Rick agreed. "Everybody's having a great time."

©2009 WTOC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.