The Saint Patrick's Day festival on River Street is back on again. The word came late this afternoon. Last night, the Savannah Waterfront Association decided to cancel the event after battling with city council over where the proceeds from the festival go.
Savannah City Council and the Waterfront Association late this afternoon to try to straighten things out. It didn't start off as a good meeting. The Waterfront Association board members got up and tried to walk out after the meeting started because they say they weren't prepared for the media as well as the full council to be there.
After a brief recess, they decided they would talk with city council, so one by one, members addressed the Waterfront Association's board, talking about their concerns and the changes they would like to see. Throughout the entire meeting, Mayor Johnson insisted the festival would go on.
He actually ended the meeting with that conviction. That's when Waterfront Association members stepped back up to the plate and told city council they would pay for the portable toilets, like council had asked. They also said they would hold the festival as planned.
Mayor Johnson said in a prepared statement that the festival is on and invited everyone to Savannah for Saint Patrick's Day. "I want to confirm today that all Saint Patrick's Day activities in Savannah, as well as the festival on River Street will continue as scheduled," he said. "We have had some management issues regarding the the festival on River Street, but the festival will proceed as planed."
"I think the most important thing is that everyone had an open discussion and we all decided that the most important thing is having a festival," said the Waterfront Association's Susan Broker. "It's the most important thing for Savannahians and its visitors."