Savannah, Georgia is known for its St. Patrick’s Day celebration which draws in thousands of people each year.
Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, Savannah celebrates its Irish heritage by hosting a parade featuring bagpipes and floats covered in Irish decorations. This day in Savannah is a colorful celebration that everyone can enjoy! St. Patrick’s day also has added significance in Savannah, as it marks the beginning of spring and warmer weather after the winter months.
With a deep-rooted history and rich culture, Irish immigrants played a pivotal role in the development of Savannah. As early as 1734 settlers from Ireland arrived to join the New Colony that was developing in this area – prompted by generous land grants offered from colonial authorities; these individuals shaped much of what we now recognize about life and culture in the Hostess City.
Many area residents of Irish descent trace their roots to County Wexford.
This area provided a shipping line to Savannah. The Potato Famine of 1845 hit rural areas in southern Ireland the hardest. This led to the starvation of millions of Ireland’s population. Countless exiles subsequently emigrated to North America in the mid-19th century, seeking work.
The Irish settled in Savannah and, further north, in Charleston. Immigrants tipped the ethnic balance of the cities in the 1840s. Irishmen held the majority for the first time. Charleston was a “more aristocratic” city than Savannah, by some standards. Savannah was more fluid and tolerant of foreigners. The Irish population was wildly accepted in the Hostess City.
In his book The Irish Diaspora in America, Lawrence J. McCaffrey observes that “American cities were rough, tough, corrupt, dirty, violent and unhealthy places to live. But these extroverted people found such urban areas congenial. They enjoyed living close to ethnic friends and neighbors.”
St. Patrick’s Day has been celebrated in Savannah since 1813 when a group of Irish immigrants arrived and held their first parade.
Members of the Hibernian Society marched in procession. A military group, The Fencibles, marched together as part of their own parade, held five years later in 1818. These processions officially kicked off this beloved citywide celebration we enjoy today. Ever since then, March 17th has been a cherished tradition in the city
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade has grown to become a major tourist attraction, with people from all over the US and beyond flocking to Savannah for St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is an experience not to be missed. There are also lots of themed events such as the Greening of the Fountain, Celtic Cross Ceremony, pub crawls and concerts down by the Savannah River. So whether you are Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is always an exciting event and an excellent way to kick off the spring season. St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah is an event not to be missed!