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St. Patrick's Day FAQs
Do's & Don't's & a wee bit 'o snark
Hey, is that Tom Kohler? - photo by Cedric Brown

YEAH, LOVE ME some St. Patty's Day in Savannah, don't you? Woo-hoo.

Sure, but Patty is a girl's name. If you absolutely insist on abbreviating it, at least go with "St. Paddy's Day." Though "Paddy" is often a derogatory term for the Irish, not to mention pretty disrespectful to a saint.

Cool story, bro. So you can just walk around and drink in Savannah? Crazy.

To-go cups are one of the most enlightened things about our fair city, an admirable legacy of the days when Americans were trusted to be capable, competent citizens responsible for their own decisions. Anyone over 21 can enjoy an alcoholic drink in public areas throughout most of downtown north of Jones Street. Cups must be paper, plastic or styrofoam, and 16 ounces or less. No other alcoholic containers are allowed.

What's up with this "Festival Area" thing?

Here's the deal: 5 p.m. Friday into the wee hours Monday—except during the actual parade Monday 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m.—to-go cup rules change. To use to-go cups between East Broad Street and MLK Boulevard, and north of Broughton Street west of Drayton Street and north of East Bay Lane east of Drayton (whew), you must buy a wristband at $5 a day. Yup, that's right, Savannah changed the rules for this weekend to increase regulation on to-go cups and make more money off of them.

Is inside my car part of the Festival Area?

No. That's more like the "DUI Area."

Cute. Will Savannah bars be open the Sunday before St. Patrick's Day?

Funny you should ask. The Georgia legislature just approved a bill to open Savannah bars this Sunday. (Current and hopefully soon-to-be-past law says you can only sell drinks on Sunday if you make a majority of revenue from food sales.) As of this writing Gov. Nathan Deal is expected to sign it and City Council is expected to approve.

So that's a yes?

Pretty much, yep.

Who should I follow on Twitter?

Our handle is @connectsavannah, and the City of Savannah tweets breaking St. Patrick's Day and safety news from @savstpat

YES! Scored a parking spot right on the parade route, bro. I'll just take this yellow bag thingie off the parking meter. No one will know, right?

No one except the police and the tow truck driver. Owners of towed cars must get a release form from police HQ at Habersham and Oglethorpe. Good luck!

Do I still have to pay to park on the street?

Friday, March 14, will be regular enforcement, including parking meters. Friday after 5p.m., there will be enforcement of safety violations (yellow lines, fire hydrants, etc.). 

Saturday, March 15 and Sunday, March 16 there will be enforcement of safety violations only (yellow lines, fire hydrants, etc.).

On the big day, Monday, March 17, there will be enforcement of safety violations only.

What about parking garages?

There are five City garages: Bryan Street Garage, Liberty Street Garage, the Robbie Robinson Garage, State Street Garage, and the Whitaker Street Garage underneath Ellis Square. They’re open 24 hours a day from Friday-Monday, for $20 a day.

Garages open to the public 6 a.m. Monday. Monthly parkers are guaranteed a space until 8 a.m. Visitor passes and residential decals NOT valid during the festival. Vehicles can NOT exit until after the parade. 

The Civic Center Parking Lot will be closed to the public Monday, March 17, due to staging for the parade.

My rescue pit bull with the green bandana is gonna love the parade. Don’t worry, pit bulls are actually totally safe. Especially around very small children.

That’s not actually a question. But no, dogs aren’t allowed anywhere in the Festival Area. The only exceptions are service dogs and residents walking dogs (you might be asked to show your license to prove residence.)

How ’bout the six-foot python around my neck? Real conversation starter with the ladies, if you know what I mean.

Actually the City prohibits reptiles from the Festival Area, so leave Lucifer at home. And no, it’s not a “seeing eye snake.”

Oops! Lost my kid again. Now what?

Lost or discarded children will be brought to police HQ at Habersham and Oglethorpe Streets and sold to the highest bidder. Just kidding about that last part.

Pretty funny. Hey, I gotta pee. Any porta–potties in this town?

Hundreds. They’re clustered along the parade route, either along the route itself or nearby adjacent squares. River Street will have many as well.

No worries, I’ll just whip it out right here.

No! Please refrain from relieving yourself al fresco—public urination is the single most "popular" reason to get arrested on St. Patrick's Day here. cs