Savannah on St Pat's Day

Savannah & Charleston are only about 90 min from Fripp Island Property owners & rental guests.  Many of the 'great' functions and history of these two places are explored constantly by Fripp Island owners & friends. This is a big yearly Savannah day.

Savannah for St. Pat's parade - 1000s attend     R Bynum AP    Post & Courier Newspaper    3-18-12

SAV, Ga-- If buying beer at breakfast time means waiting in line for 30 min, it must be St. Patrick's Day in Sav. 1000s of revelers decked out in gaudy green hats & beads, blazers & dresses crammed the cobblestone streets & oak-shaded squares Sat for the St. Patrick's Day parade in GA's oldest city, which has been celebrating Irish heritage with a Southern accent for 188 years. Officials said it was possibly Sav's largest St. Pat's crowd ever, though the # was in dispute.    The celebration was marred, however, by the collapse of a marching band member during the parade Sat aft.    The Sav AM News reported that Parade Comm Chair Michael Foran said a drummer in the Second Time Arounders Marching Band died of an apparent heart attack near the end of the parade route.    The St. Petersburg, Fla. area band, whose members range from 18-85, bills itself as the 1st band of its type & possibly the largest permanent adult marching band in the world.   

Veteran parade watchers started staking out spots b4 dawn for their folding chairs, which were piled up 3-deep on the sidewalks by the time the parade kicked off at 10:15AM Lines of thirsty patrons were already spilling out the door of downtown bars b4 the pre-parade Mass wrapped up at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.   Started in 1824 by settlers who immigrated to the GA coast, St. Pat's Day has grown from a local procession w/ religious roots to a sprawling street party that's Sav's biggest tourist draw of the yr.    Tourism officials and local merchants were expecting the 2012 celebration to be 1 of the city's busiest, thanks to the 3/17 holiday falling on Sat & the postcard perfect weather- a sunny 76º in the AM that was forecast to rise into the 80s.     Every hotel in the city & surrounding Chatham Co was booked solid. & parade organizers estim’d more than 15,000 people were marching in the procession of bands and bagpipers, police officers & Army soldiers as well as shamrock-decorated convertibles chauffeuring local dignitaries.

Sav police & the local tourism bureau don't estimate crowd sizes on St. Patrick's Day. Foran, chairman of the Sav parade committee, told reporters he believed Sat drew record-busting crowds of "well over a Mil" people. However, the city has only 140,000 residents & 15,000 hotel rooms. … people staked out spots w/chairs on the sidewalks Fri night. "We asked this 1 guy if he was staying out here all night & he said, 'Oh, yeah!'"

Sav's Irish families remain rooted in the holiday's religious traditions. The parade always kicks off w/a AM Mass at the cathedral. & the procession paused briefly SatAM as the parade's grand marshal, Tim Ansley, received the traditional blessing from the Rev. Gregory J. Hartmayer, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sav.  Still, libations are a part of the tradition as well in Sav, where sipping cocktails outdoors is perfectly legal as long as they're poured into plastic cups.  

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