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Quick user's guide to St. Patrick's Day
There'll be shamrocks aplenty in Savannah come Wednesday. Are you ready?
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There’s a big celebration going on in Savannah March 17. Perhaps you’ve heard something about it?

While the run–up to St. Patrick’s Day was filled with one slam–bang event after another, the day itself is the zenith – it’ll seem as if every inch of downtown Savannah real estate will have a reveler on it, reveling.

Oh, yes, and there’s a parade, too.

From our “Things You Need to Know” department, here are some essentials for keeping it bright and green on Wednesday.

To–go cups. Yep, the old’ grab ‘n’ guzzles are allowed for anyone 21 and over and must be plastic or Styrofoam, and not larger than 16 ounces. Just keep ‘em north of Jones Street.

Get on the bus. If you’ve never experienced St. Paddy’s Day in Savannah before, be prepared: There will lots and lots (and lots) of people downtown. To make things easier for everybody, Chatham Area Transit will run continuous shuttles (from noon until 3 p.m.) from the Savannah Mall (at the carousel in the rear), Island Town Center on Whitemarsh Island, and from Westside Shopping Center in Garden City. For a $3 fee, these buses will deliver you downtown, then pick you up when you’ve had enough and return you from whence you came.

Keep in mind that unlike years past, there is no shuttle leaving from the Oglethorpe Mall this year.

Park ‘er, Stevenson. For those who dare to brave the traffic – not to mention the massive parade route and its attendant tie–ups – here are the locations of the downtown parking garages.
Remember that many downtown streets will be closed to traffic beginning on Tuesday night, and parking spaces along the parade route are forbidden).

Bryan Street Garage: At Abercorn and Bryan Streets.

State Street Garage: At Abercorn and State Streets.

Robinson Garage: At York and Montgomery Streets.

Liberty Street Garage: At Liberty and Montgomery Streets.

Whitaker Street Garage: Whitaker Street, between Bay and Bryan. This is a tricky one – it’s underground. The entrance is on St. Julian and Whitaker Streets. Look for the brand–new Ellis Square; the garage entrance is on the east side.

Potty all the time. If you’ve got the urge, please use one of the over 350 taxpayer–provided portable toilets all along the parade route and on River Street. Our local police are extraordinarily sensitive to public urination and arrest dozens of people every St. Patrick’s Day for that odious offense.

Music and merrymaking

The celebration continues on River Street, where the Savannah Waterfront Association’s “St. Pat’s on the River” event is pretty music always the logical extension of all that parading fun and frivolity.

• From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., DJs will be spinning and scratching. And then starts the live music, which will last until the wee hours: 2 p.m., High Velocity; 4 p.m., Irish Air Corps Pipe Band; 6 p.m., Hazzard County; 7:45 p.m., Irish Air Corps Pipe Band; 8:15 p.m., Thomas Wynn & the Believers; 10 p.m., Liquid Ginger (the band is celebrating its 10th anniversary).

• River Street will be closed to vehicular traffic, and you are required to purchase a $5 wristband to consume alcohol both outside on the waterfront and inside River Street businesses.

• On the two City Market stages, it’s a band–o–rama, with Electric Cheese, Mighty McFly, Soulfish and others performing for your strolling, dancing and boozing pleasure.

• The River Street clubs are doing their bit to help you get your Irish on. At Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub, it’s a triple bill, with pub–singing regulars Carroll Brown and Frank Emerson sharing the wooden stage with the Celtic–fun duo Seldom Sober (Colleen Settle and Michael Corbett).

• The Train Wrecks play the Live Wire Music Hall, with the Dave Turner Band; the Jinx has the Tennessee Ramblers; Free Lunch Trio is at Loco’s Grill & Pub; even Fuddrucker’s has added live music for the big Irish holiday – Listen 2 Three is performing at the gourmet hamburger palace.