Your 2023 Guide to St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah

Forsyth Park Fountain green for St. Patrick's Day in Savannah.
Forsyth Park Fountain green for St. Patrick's Day in Savannah.(WTOC)
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 12:09 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 15, 2023 at 3:28 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - WTOC wants to make sure you are prepared for the biggest event of the year in the Hostess City.

The Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee will host the 199th annual Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Friday, March 17. Here’s everything you need to know to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade, March 17 - What you need to know:

Parade Route - The parade begins at 10:15 a.m. at the intersection of Abercorn and Gwinnett streets. Here is the map of the full route:

Running of the Squares - Several years ago, the City of Savannah instituted the “Land Rush” for square set-up along the parade route. Calhoun, Oglethorpe, LaFayette, Johnson, Wright, Madison, and Chippewa Squares are along the parade route. At 6 a.m. on the morning of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, City and Security staff will “officially” open the squares to parade-goers.

Keeping the Squares Green - The City of Savannah encourages everyone to do their part to keep the squares clean and litter free. They ask anyone planning to attend the parade to bring their own trash bags. Styrofoam coolers, cups, and glass are all prohibited.

Road closures - There are a number of planned road closures along the parade route. The City says additional closures are possible and some roads may remain closed throughout the weekend depending on congestion and safety needs. You can find a road closure map below.

Planned road closures for Savannah St, Patrick's Day parade.
Planned road closures for Savannah St, Patrick's Day parade.(City of Savannah)

Parking on Parade Day - There are a number of parking garages in Savannah. Spaces are limited. You have until Friday, March 10 to pre-register for a spot in a parking garage for the day. You can find out more about parking on the City’s website and a map for parking can be found below.

Parking in downtown Savannah on St. Patrick's Day.
Parking in downtown Savannah on St. Patrick's Day.(City of Savannah)

Chatham Area Transit - Chatham Area Transit is changing their schedules for the holiday. All routes on CAT buses will be free on Friday and Saturday. They will be starting their routes early on both days from 4:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. There will be fixed routes that will access the International Transit Center with no re-routes. Those routes are:

  • 3W Chatham
  • 3B Augusta
  • 4 Barnard
  • 17 Silk Hope
  • 25 Westlake
  • 29 Gwinnett

There are also some fixed routes that will have access to the International Transit Center with re-routes on Friday and Saturday. Those routes are:

  • 10E Savannah
  • 14 Abercorn
  • 27/28 Waters
  • 31 Skidaway/Sandfly

The DOT will not be running Friday because of congestion. The ferries across the Savannah River will be running from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., but they will not be stopping at the City Hall Landing, just all of the other stops.

They will not be offering any shuttles in the City of Savannah.

Shuttle from Port Wentworth - CAT will offer a shuttle from Port Wentworth. That shuttle will run every hour from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and pick up at both the Publix and Port Wentworth City Hall. It costs $5 and you can buy your ticket ahead of time on the Token Transit App.

Shuttle from Pooler - The City of Pooler will be offering a shuttle service to downtown Savannah all day on St. Patrick’s Day. The shuttles will run from Tanger Outlets to the Clyde Venue on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from 7 a.m. to midnight. You can find out how to register and prices here.

AAA Tow to Go - As a last resort, AAA is once again providing it’s Tow to Go service. They’ll offer it from 6 p.m. on Thursday until 6 a.m. on Monday. The rides are available everywhere in Georgia. This service is not available in South Carolina. To use it, call 855-2-TOW-2-GO.

Parade Grand Marshal - This year’s Grand Marshal is George F. Schwarz III. He will lead the 199th St. Patrick’s Day parade. Schwarz has been a St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee member for 40 years. He graduated from Jenkins High School and Georgia Southern University. Schwarz is a Savannah native and his grandfather and father were part of the committee. Schwarz’s son, Rick, is on the parade committee now as well.

Grand marshal selected for 199th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah
Grand marshal selected for 199th St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah

St. Patrick’s Day “Festival” - What you need to know:

Festival Zone - There is no longer a permitted festival. The Mayor and City Council stuck with the decision they made in 2021 to keep the St. Patrick’s Day parade a family atmosphere. There will be no entertainment, bands, stages, alcohol sales, or vendors on the public rights-of-ways. However, the City says they expect a busy weekend in our social and nightlife districts.

Control Zone - There will be a Control Zone on March 17 and March 18. This area will have special restrictions, including what you’re allowed to have. Not allowed in the Control Zone is:

  • coolers
  • multiple cups per person
  • unruly animals
  • exotic animals
  • fireworks, bangs and snaps
  • smoke bombs
  • skates
  • bicycles
  • dangerous, disruptive behavior

You can find a map of the Control Zone below.

Control Zone
Control Zone(City of Savannah)

Wristbands - The City of Savannah will not be selling wristbands this year. They say there will be no outdoor entertainment and/or food and alcohol sales, so there will be no wristbands sold. But they do encourage you to buy from local businesses.

To-Go Cup Zone - The To-Go Cup Zone will be extended on March 17 only. During this time, you will be able to have an alcoholic beverage in a 16oz plastic to-go cup on the public right-of-way. You can find a map of the extended To-Go Cup Zone below.

Extended To-Go Cup Zone
Extended To-Go Cup Zone(City of Savannah)

Food Trucks - There will be food trucks at several locations. You can find a list of pre-approved locations on the City of Savannah’s website.

Fines - Here are some of the fines for local ordinance violations:

  • One drink on-street limit - $121
  • Size limited 16 ounces - $150
  • Drinking from can, bottle or glass - $150
  • Drinking alcohol in parked motor vehicle - $150
  • Unlawful for minor to drink/possess alcohol - $250
  • Disorderly conduct by: urinating in public - $200
  • Disorderly conduct by: fighting, indecency, etc. - $500

Should you receive a citation for violating a city ordinance, it can be handled just like any other ticket. Chatham County residents may be released with a city ordinance summons. If you receive a summons, you can avoid a court appearance by paying the fine in advance at the Recorders Court window at the Chatham County Courthouse, 133 Montgomery Street. You can also pay traffic citations online at

Bathrooms - There are 15 portable restroom locations along the parade route during the parade. They are marked by a star in the map below.

*(City of Savannah)

Other Celebrations - What You Need to Know:

Greening of the Fountain - The greening of the fountain at Forsyth Park will take place at noon on Friday, March 10.

Celtic Cross Ceremony - The Celtic Cross Mass and ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 12 at the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist followed by the ceremony at the Celtic Cross monument in Emmet Park. That begins at 11:30 a.m.

Jasper Green Ceremony - The Sgt. Jasper Green Ceremony will be at 4 p.m. on March 16 at Madison Square.

St. Patrick’s Day Mass - The day begins with Mass at the Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist at 8 a.m.

Remember, you can watch St. Patrick’s Day events like the Greening of the Fountain, Celtic Cross Ceremony, Jasper Green Ceremony, St. Patrick’s Day Mass, and the 2023 Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade live on, the WTOC News App, WTOC+, the WTOC Facebook and the WTOC YouTube page.

Copyright 2023 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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