Thousands traveled to Savannah to watch the parade

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - It was another picture perfect St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah. The sun was out, the crowds were enthusiastic and everyone was having a great time.

Parade grand marshal Father Patrick O'Brien really got the crowds excited as he led the parade down Abercorn Street.

"He's the best," said Julia Cheaves. She is one of Father O'Brien's former students from St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. So why is he the best? "Because he loves everybody," said Cheaves.

And Father O'Brien loves this parade as much as anyone.

"It's awesome. It is so fun!" said Lisa Hobbs. She's in town from Tennessee to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and her 50th birthday. "Everyone is so friendly, the music is great the crowds are so fun, it's just wonderful."

The pipe and drum bands are always a favorite. This was the fifth time a group from New York has been in the Savannah parade. "We are having a great time like everyone else," said Syril Kerr. "Enjoying the day, it's beautiful down here."

And Kerr said nothing, including the bad economy, could keep them away. "No, we are just drinking a little less."

A high school marching band traveled 12 hours from Lapel, Indiana. The band director, Greg Scott, was worried some of the students weren't going to be able to afford the trip.

"There were some students having difficulty but our town, our community, is very very supportive," Scott said. "They kicked in when the student's families couldn't so we are very pleased about that."

For many this parade is an escape, a day to enjoy Savannah's Irish heritage, and spend time with their families. That's what the St. Patrick's Day parade is all about.

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