13 Mar Bring on the Green
From now through March 17th, around 1 million people will squeeze into Savannah’s 2.5 square mile historic district to attend the annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities and parade. The parade has been held here for nearly 200 years, and is now, by most counts anyway, the second largest in the country. Bars and restaurants, especially those on River Street, Bay Street, City Market and Congress Street make more money this coming weekend than any other during the year. Hotels citywide are packed to the gills, vacation rentals are long booked out.
We wish all of the businesses down in the trenches great success this year! And now, a few St. Patrick’s Day factoids to impress your friends…
- Maewyn Succat, aka St. Patrick, was born at the end of the 4th Century in Roman-Britain.
- From age 16, Patrick spent six years as a slave in Ireland, escaped, and was captured and enslaved again in France.
- He returned to Ireland as a Christian missionary and is said to have started 300 churches, performed over 100,000 baptisms, and driven the snakes out of Ireland while on a 40-day fast on top of a mountain.
- Legend also has it that he taught the Irish using a shamrock to illustrate the concept of the Holy Trinity.
- Today, St. Patrick is associated with Catholic Ireland as well as Irish national culture and identity.
- St. Patrick’s Feast Day, March 17th, has been celebrated since the early part of the 17th Century, and since the late 18th Century in North America.
- Irish settlers have been in Savannah since James Oglethorpe established the city in 1733.
- The first “public procession” on St. Patrick’s Day was organized by the Hibernian Society of Savannah in 1824.
- Suffolk County, MA and Chatham County, GA are the only places in the U.S.A. where St. Patrick’s Day is a legal holiday.
- Presidents Taft, Truman, and Carter all took part in Savannah St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
- Since 1824, there have only been six years that the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day parade did not happen.
Happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day to all!