What makes St. Patrick’s Day special in Savannah?

Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 12:17 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is truly like no place else.

The festivities begin bright and early before the sun even comes up, right here on the squares.

“We have these beautiful squares families have set up in the same spots forever. So, adults say when I was a kid, we set up here and I don’t want to lose that spot,” St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee Chairman John Fogarty said.

The Running of the Squares - a long standing tradition - is the moment when many people begin their official celebrations on St. Patrick’s Day. From tailgate tents to full breakfasts, everyone comes together on March 17.

“I often describe it as the biggest family reunion you can attend with people who aren’t your family.”

Next up, the true reason for the season, mass celebrating the feast of St. Patrick.

“We can’t forget what that day is about and who we are going to celebrate for. He was a catholic bishop to celebrate that day starting with the mass, it’s the key. It’s really the most important part of the day,” Fogarty said. “I invite everybody to come to mass at 8 a.m. if you want to start your day right, sure there will be some fun and revelry.”

Last but certainly not least, the main event. After two years of cancellations, the parade is back.

“Our job as parade committee is to put on a celebration that’s fitting to honor St. Patrick well that culminates with the big parade we have,” Fogarty said. “You’ll have families of Irish descent and different Irish societies and past grand marshals and people who put this together. Then you have bands everyone loves a big band, local, high schools, college bands. And we’ll have military.”

With tens of thousands of people expected to enjoy the parade, Chairman Fogarty says he hopes everyone realizes this is a celebration for ALL.

“The Irish catholic community that puts this parade on in we’re a part of a larger community whether its people of Asian descent or African Americans, whoever it is, we’re a community together,” Fogarty said. “That’s kind of who we are here, we’re very happy to have this celebration and have everybody be a part of it.”

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