SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Downtown Savannah looked different this St. Patrick’s Day from years past.
People still wore their green but crowds were nowhere near what they are normally like.
No parade to watch and places like Ellis Square virtually empty. Even River Street doesn’t look quite like St. Patrick’s Day from years past.
“Today it’s like, there’s no one here," said Savannah resident Myra Myrick. "You wouldn’t even think it was St. Patrick’s Day. We usually have a half a million people come and visit our city.”
Still, residents are celebrating one of Savannah’s biggest holidays in their own way.
“It’s kind of sad," said Savannah residents Selina Pritchard and Patrick. "It’s like, there’s not very many people, and so, he (dog named Patrick) would not leave me alone at the house, so we decided to get out and go ahead and do the little walk.”
Downtown businesses are feeling the impact.
“The parade is probably the worst part of it, because obviously there’d be a thousand more people, 100,000 more people out here, but just with the city council canceling all the main events and the stages, we’re still overstocked, overstaffed, sending people home, because you know, it’s just been really, really slow," said Cory Rundle, General Manager of Molly Macpherson’s.
Businesses say they’re taking extra precautions to clean and trying to make the best of their current situation.
“We were able to still have our live music outside, which really helped out the community,” said Jeff Cuttle, General Manager at Wild Wing Cafe in City Market.
And despite the cancellation of the parade, some came to visit anyway. Like Pat Jackson from Fort Worth, Texas. While her destination stayed the same, her plans on how to get here changed due to coronavirus.
“Was going to fly, canceled the reservations after we heard at the airport in Atlanta they were going to screen us for medical issues, and if we didn’t pass, they would quarantine us, so we said ‘we’ll drive,’” she said.
For better or worse, St. Patrick’s Day 2020 is sure to be one people in Savannah won’t forget anytime soon.
Business owners told me they’re not just worried about loss of business, but with so much uncertainty, they’re trying to prepare for what could happen moving forward.