SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We’re almost a month away until Savannah’s biggest party of the year.
But, the city of Savannah is doing a little things different this year for St. Patrick’s Day. The festival and parade will not be held on the same day.
This year city leaders are really looking at the St. Patrick’s Day celebration as two separate entities, the festival the weekend before the holiday and the parade on St. Patrick’s Day.
The festival is when the city anticipates seeing the most out of town visitors, while they are thinking the parade will draw in more local families.
Part of Tuesday’s new conference focused on public safety. Savannah Police will closely coordinate with other agencies in the festival zone, enforcing underage drinking laws and addressing any trouble that might come up.
To make it easier to get through the crowds on the parade day, there will be public safety corridors through each square along the route that will allow not only public safety officers like police, fire and EMS to get through, but also public works and sanitation.
One point the city wanted to drive home with regard to the actual parade route, is you can start setting up chairs and other things to snag your spot the night before beginning at 6 p.m., but there are conditions.
“If you have your chairs tied to a parking station, or a sign, do not be surprised if those have been unattached and removed," said Susan Broker, Director, Office of Special Events, Film and Tourism. "For safety reasons, we have to keep our public rights of way open and clear, not just for safety but for ADA accessibility. It’s just really important people are able to traverse those areas.”
One thing different this year is there won’t be a “pop-up” court handling citations written over the course of the parade and festival, adding it’s an idea they may bring back next year.