SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Craig Harney did a little bit of everything when it came to WTOC’s coverage of St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah. He was our ace, the true 5-tool player.
“He loved Savannah,” Bubba Edgerly, the current parade committee chairman, said. “He loved his Irish community, and he loved the St. Patrick’s Day parade.”
Edgerly, and others who held his position before him, worked hand in hand with Craig. It was Craig who helped launch the live-stream of the mass and parade 25 years ago.
“Twenty-five years of starting the live viewing of the mass on St. Patrick’s Day morning is a big deal," Edgerly said. "Now, it streams all over the world now. That was a big part of Craig Harney doing that for us.”
The mass and parade live-stream turned into much more coverage and streaming for Craig; he was the go-to man for the parade committee on any coverage related to St. Patrick’s Day.
“That is a big hole right there. We’ll never replace him,” Edgerly said. “I always looked forward to [The Salute to the Grand Marshal] and seeing Craig.”
For most people at WTOC, Craig was who we went to when we needed help with St. Patrick’s Day coverage. If you needed a number, he had it; if you needed a pronunciation, he had it; if you needed historical context, Craig had it. He took pride in his own Irish heritage.
“The Irish in Savannah parade for Saint Patrick and for the fore bearers who came to America,” Craig said earlier this year. “These people trust you with their story. You cannot let them down.”
Recently, the committee announced the Craig Harney Award. It’s a small token of appreciation for the immense impact Craig had in publicizing the parade and everything around it.
“From here on out, a band or family member or commercial entry will receive an award in honor of Craig Harney,” Edgerly said.
Make no mistake, Craig Harney will never be replaced. He leaves a massive hole in countless places, but perhaps none are bigger than the hole left here – with his unmatched contribution to St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.
“It’s going to be a hole that we’re going to miss,” Edgerly said. “It’s really, really sad for the community of Savannah, Chatham County, and the St. Patrick’s Day parade committee.”