Tourists still visit Savannah to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day amid pandemic

Tourists still visit Savannah to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day amid pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Tourists still made the trip to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day.

Most of them were first-time visitors who haven’t experienced Savannah on a full-blown St. Patrick’s Day. But they liked what they saw.

Some said they’d booked their trip to Savannah months ago, when some people might have thought the pandemic would have lifted. But some said they booked it suspecting the celebration would be much more low key.

They said they liked this version of Savannah instead of crowded streets, crowded sidewalks, and crowded businesses.

“I actually prefer it to be slower. That way we can walk around and experience it. I liked it,” said tourist Crystal Pinkston.

The downtown streets are certainly more lively than last year as the pandemic had just begun.

City market was busy with people walking around and visiting local businesses. It was not overcrowded but filled with people wanting to mark and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day.

Many people are taking the mask mandate in the City of Savannah seriously. We saw probably 50 percent of the people in City Market wearing masks and following COVID safety guidelines.

“We’re washing our hands a lot. When we go inside we’re wearing our mask. We’re out here just breathing in the nice fresh air,” said Tyson Campbell.

“Everybody’s wearing their mask. I’m not wearing it now because I’m talking to people, wear their masks, and you can’t be silly about it, you’ve got to protect yourself. I have not been vaccinated, my son has not been that vaccinated yet but you know why it’s less crowded so we’re having a lot more fun of course,” said visitor Edana Broich.

If you are planning on making your way downtown, city leaders want to remind you to wear your mask and watch your distance.

Some of the tourists we spoke with said they are curious to see the traditional celebration and might plan to come back when the pandemic ends.

Businesses say even though it’s not considered the normal crowd here, they say they still had a lot of business and are happy to see people still coming out and enjoying themselves.

“Last year it died out really quick, people were starting to get scared, so we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the week and how it flows into this weekend,” said Molly McPherson’s General Manager Cory Rundle.

“The normal St. Patrick’s we’ll have people all throughout the building. It’ll be people scattered inside, outside, on top of each other,” said Tubby’s Seafood bartender and server Christopher Scott.

Scott says they still made Good money from the many who chose Savannah as their place to celebrate.

“We’re still making pretty good profit because I see that Savannah is like the mecca right now.”

Both businesses say they’re still following all of the guidelines including capacity limits and even closing earlier to be cautious. All the while, people were in the spirit and the atmosphere was electric.

“It’s been really festive. We had some bagpipers play, we’ve had music. Just kind of doing food and drinks and enjoying St. Pats like we’re supposed to,” said Rundle.

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