SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - City Market is undoubtedly one of the busiest areas of Savannah on the 4th of July. The city of Savannah and Savannah Police Department held a news conference Tuesday about staying safe for the holiday.
Eddie Grant from the city of Savannah Special Events, Film, and Tourism office said they are expecting thousands in downtown Savannah next week.
"It usually takes an hour or an hour and a half after the fireworks are over for that initial burst of cars to get out of the downtown area," Grant said.
Workers in City Market are also prepping for the big day with extra shipments of inventory coming in every hour. Some like Kyle Scholl, manager at Savannah Candy Kitchen, told WTOC it's hard not to think about what happened last year when three people were killed in a crash and shooting.
"I mean fortunately it was right after we closed, but some of our people did hear it as it happened live," Scholl said. "You just don't wish it upon anybody and hopefully that will not be the case this year."
WTOC asked Savannah Police if security would change in light of last year, SPD said they'll be regularly patrolling downtown, but would not say anything more about their plans.
"We will have enforcement in the City Market area, River Street area, Hutchinson Island and all of the city of Savannah. Officers will be around monitoring all safety precautions," said Sgt. Dana Purvis.
As police prep this year, businesses are prepping, too. Savannah Candy Kitchen says they are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe this year.
"Nobody leaves on their own. We have the buddy system type of thing," Scholl said. "If you go out to the trash, you don't go out by yourself. You just have to be alert as much as you can."
The city of Savannah and Savannah Police Department sent out several tips for those looking to go downtown for the July 4th celebrations. They said have a parking plan and try to get there early. All city garages will cost ten dollars to park in from 5 a.m. on July 4 to 5 a.m. July 5.
Officials also reminding drivers there is free parking at all meters on July 4. SPD encouraging people to know how you are getting home before going downtown next week. They said to take advantage of using Uber, Lyft or taxis, but do not drink and drive.
The city of Savannah said to stay away from parking or driving on River Street. It will close at 6:45 p.m. on the July 4. Like other busy weekends, they said always throw your trash away and use crosswalks. Police are discouraging people from bringing pets to River Street and kids missing their curfew.
"We encourage right after the fireworks to have all children leave the area. They must be accompanied by an adult if they are there after 11 p.m.," Sgt. Purvis said. "If you are 16 years or younger, you will be cited and your parents will be called to come pick you up."