Families prepare for Running of the Squares tradition the night before St. Patrick’s Day

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:24 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - You might see some people out early Friday morning surrounding the squares in Savannah.

You’ll see chairs, barricades, plenty of people but not many tents in Lafayette Square.

That’s because by 10:00 p.m. Thursday, they all had to be gone.

Families will clear out and have to come back at 6:00 a.m. Friday morning. Many of them are going to camp out overnight because it’s a tradition - running of the squares. Many have done it for decades but for some it’s their first time.

“I have no idea what’s going to be going on.”

Robert Ralston is new to Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day and new to his family’s tradition of securing a spot in Lafayette Square.

“I get it and I started putting it up and he goes ‘stop, stop, stop - don’t put it up because we’re going to have to drag everything off the street at 10:00.′″

There are others who aren’t so new to this. In fact, the Bunger’s love story started at the parade.

“We started dating on St. Patrick’s Day 50 years ago Friday - well that’s St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, that is St. Patrick’s Day,” said Archie and Janie Bunger.

They’ve been with each other every St. Patrick’s and every day since...

“He was marching. he grabbed me and the rest was history.”

Now their family joins them too.

“The Cathedral in the morning. Our family camps out at Lafayette to get the square.”

Many of these families haven’t given up their spot on a square in decades.

“You can only do your best...it’s luck of the draw and being persistent.”

And while Harper and Hayes might not be camping out, they already know what will be their favorite part of the big day.

“Probably they’re throwing out the beads and the candy so I can eat the candy and put on the beads,” said Harper.

“Getting the candy and all the bracelets,” said Hayes.

While they wait, they also want to wish everyone...

“Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”