Countdown on to St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The countdown to St. Patrick's Day is on in Savannah.

We have 27 days before the big parade that's going to take place on a Friday.

Businesses have been getting ready, so has the St. Patrick's Day Parade committee, which started planning the day after last year's parade. They say they do have some special visitors marching in this year's parade.

"We're kind of looking at law enforcement this year, been in it for 31 years. We have the Mt. Joy Prison guards coming in, the National Police of Ireland, we're going to have the border patrol fife and drums that just played at the Trump inauguration," said Parade Committee Grand Chairman Brian Counihan.

Many restaurants, bars and hotels are getting ready for the big influx in crowds. After Hurricane Matthew, many of the businesses are looking forward to it.

"Coming off of Hurricane Matthew, there are many, many small businesses, not only in Savannah but on Tybee Island, that are still catching up and still trying to get their legs under them. I think as a community, if we can get out and support these small local businesses, on Tybee, it will mean a great deal to those folks," said Joe Marinelli, of Visit Savannah.

The Civic Center will be host to the Irish Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Then next Sunday, we elect the new Grand Marshal for this year's parade.

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