Savannah tourism benefitting local businesses ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 6:05 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We are just four days away from St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, which means the visitors are on their way.

Tens of thousands of visitors will be arriving soon in the Hostess City and spending millions and millions of dollars.

Visit Savannah says all businesses will benefit from the crowds this week and into the weekend.

Not only hotels and restaurants, but everything from gas stations to drug stores to dry cleaners will see an increase in spending with all of the out of towners here to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Joe Marinelli, the president of Visit Savannah, says it also an ideal time for the holiday to fall on a Friday because people will extend their stay in Savannah.

“They are actually starting to trickle in already but we will start to see it pick up at the hotels really on Tuesday or Wednesday and then folks will turn it into a long weekend, generally a three, four, five day weekend,” he said.

However, even with big crowds expected, he says they are never entirely sold out and there will still be rooms available. You just might have to search around.

Be prepared for increased traffic and more people around as we approach the big day.

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

The City of Savannah says they are expecting record breaking crowds this St. Patrick’s Day. However, with some changes they made last year, they feel they are prepared for the big crowds.

River Street will be closed each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. You also will not be able to buy drinks along the street like you have been able to in previous years.

They made the change last year and say they plan to stick with it this year after an overwhelmingly positive response from businesses and community members.

“You’ll recall for several years we had beer sales and entertainment on the street, we are not doing that again this year and that is to allow our residents and visitors to patronize our local businesses and put Savannah first and take care of those businesses and they can benefit from all of those visitors in town,” said Susan Broker with the City of Savannah.

The festival ordinance zone is the same as last year, with boundaries stretching north from River Street down to Victory Drive on the south. It goes as far west as MLK Boulevard and as far east as the Truman Parkway.

In this zone is where to-go cups are allowed on Friday only. That means you can have an alcoholic beverage in a 16-ounce cup only in this area. Local bars and restaurants will be allowed to give to-go cups in this zone but cannot serve them through windows or doors out to the public.

There will be city marshals and police around the festival zone throughout Friday to make sure that everyone is following the rules.