Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration is traditionally one of the largest in the United States. In 2020, the city canceled festivities due to COVID-19. For 2021, officials are working with the Coastal Health District to determine whether the city will host major events.
The St. Patrick’s Day Festival kicks off events on March 12-13 along River Street and City Market. Festivities take place from 10 a.m. to midnight each day as restaurants, bars, beer, and food vendors offer all kinds of green goodies to gulp down. The music starts early in the day and keeps going all night across multiple stages set up downtown.
Irish Catholics gather at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 14 at Emmet Park for the Celtic Cross Ceremony and Reception. Bagpipes play as members of the Irish community speak.
Tentative plans have the 197th St. Patricks Day Parade set to take place from 10:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. The parade rolls through the historic district, with Celtic societies and Irish families, pipe bands, and Irish dancers.
Be sure to check with organizers before making plans to attend any official events, as things can change due to COVID-19.
Of course, St. Patrick’s Day occurs with or without the traditional celebrations. Fortunately, some time-honored rituals can take place without large crowds. For example, expect to see the city’s fountains flowing with green water. The Greening of the Fountain takes place on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day as the parade’s grand marshal pours green dye into the Forsyth Park fountain.
You’ll want to stop in one of the local pubs for a Guinness or Irish whiskey, of course. O’Connell’s Irish Pub on Drayton Street offers friendly service in an authentic, old-style atmosphere. The Rail Pub on West Congress St. is a dive bar that serves strong drinks in an 1870s historic building. Stafford’s Public House - part dive bar, part dance club – will be lit on St. Patrick’s Day. After all, this is a bar that highlights an Irish saying: “There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the seas, but the best ship is friendship, and may that forever be.”
Fill up on a hearty meal at McDonough’s Restaurant & Lounge, which serves Irish egg rolls made of corned beef, sauerkraut, and Swiss cheese, juicy burgers, and a shepherd’s pie. It may be a celebration of all things Irish, but Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub & Grill gets in on the party, too. Have a Scottish meat pie or Scotch eggs. They offer an extensive whiskey menu, and Guinness on tap, of course.
For proximity to all the St. Patrick’s Day fun, stay in a historic carriage house like the luxurious Southern Elegance with private parking and a heated saltwater pool. 515 Liberty Carriage gives access to all the city’s favorite attractions and allows guests to capture the essence of Savannah’s charm.