Friends and families will gather together to celebrate community, heritage and faith with a bagpipe and marching procession down East Broad and Bay streets to Emmet Park, where the Celtic Cross Ceremony will commence.
“It’s really a special event within the Irish Catholic community and families,” said Kevin Halligan, the General Chairman of the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. “Honestly, to most Irish Savannhians or people involved in Irish communities, it’s their favorite event. It’s one they identify with their faith and with being Irish, more so than the actual St. Patrick’s Day.”
Every year, about a week before the Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Irish Catholic community comes together for the Celtic Cross Ceremony. Families will go to the Celtic Cross Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist at 11:30 a.m. and then head over to Emmet Park with a procession of Irish societies for the ceremony that begins at 1 p.m.
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee leads the procession from the church to the park, followed by Savannah’s Irish societies in order by the year they were founded. Once they’ve arrived at the park, each Irish society places their flag around the Celtic cross monument that honors the past, present and future generations of Irish Americans.
After the ceremony, there will be a reception from 2:30 until 5:30 p.m. at Savannah Station on 601 Cohen Street. Tickets are available at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee office for about $25 each, or the day of the event at the Savannah Station for about $30 each. For more information, contact the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org or (912) 233-4804.
Photos by Paul Camp, courtesy of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.