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Savannah's St Patrick's day parade is one of the more unlikely heroes
of this festival in the United States, with a city that has a population
not too far over 100,000 hosting a parade that attracts spectators many
times that number. The parade in New York may be able to beat Savannah's
version for sheer size, but in terms of scale when compared to the local
population then this one is the biggest in the country, and very possibly
worldwide, by a decent margin.
The event's scale and popularity can be traced back to the large number of Irish settlers in the area right back in it's very earliest days, and although an exact start date is difficult to pin down it is known that a version of the St Patrick's day parade has been taking place in Savannah since way back in the very early 19th century, making the tradition in the region of an almost incredible 200 years old. From humble beginnings it is now estimated by organisers that the annual parade attracts in the region of 1 million spectators.
The parade is actually only one part of a larger St Patrick's festival that takes place across Savannah that also includes the Greening of the Fountain in Forsyth Park, an Irish Heritage dance at the Alee Temple, the Miss St Patrick's Day pageant, the Jasper Green military parade from Johnson Square to Madison Square the day before the parade and of course St Patrick's Day mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist immediately preceding the parade.
The Savannah parade gets underway at 10.15am, and takes place on St Patrick's day itself, the 17th March, unlike many cities who move their parade to the nearest weekend.
You can view an online map of the complete official parade route here:
Getting down to the parade route early to secure a decent viewing point is absolutely essential, although if you want to guarantee your view, or indeed just prefer to watch in a little more comfort, then bleacher seating is available at key points along the parade route, on Bay Street, at the Colonial Cemetery and the Cathedral.
Bleacher seats are suject to a fee of $25 dollars and must be booked in advance - you can reserve your places here:
In previous years the Savannah St Patrick's Day parade has been streamed live online by the local TV channel WSAV. We hope to see the same again for the 2016 parade, we'll update you here if anything changes, but if all goes ahead as planned you'll be able to watch the live stream here:
Another option for checking out the day's events that people often overlook is to check our the views from some of the local webcams. Savannah has a number of excellent live cam feeds in key positions around the town that can give you some excellent views on parade day:
If you're heading to Savannah for the St Patrick's day celebrations then be aware that the local hotels and guest houses do get busy, so booking well in advance is highly recommended.
You'll find a full range of accommodation to choose from, search and check availability for local hotels here.
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