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Did you know the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are some of the biggest in the entire world? The Irish heritage and history in this Southern US city run deep; there were floods of Irish immigrants arriving here over the centuries, particularly around some of the worst years of the Potato Famine in 1848-1953.
Nowadays, Savannah celebrates the many Irish people who have contributed to the city over the years — and the people who love to celebrate just for the craic!
St. Paddy’s Day is a chance to don your green attire, join in the festivities, and celebrate all things Irish with folks all around the world.
Our guide starts with the key St. Patrick’s Day events you can’t miss in Savannah, GA, before sharing other fun and festive events that happen in March in the weeks around the holiday.
Finally, we’ll share some things you can do year-round to enjoy learning about and celebrating the rich Irish heritage of Savannah.
You might also like our guide to free things to do in Savannah for more fun in the city during your visit.
And don’t skip our guide to Savannah’s best places to eat!
Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Activities
Let’s start with all the can’t-miss St. Patrick’s Day events in Savannah.
From the iconic parade to the other key events around the holiday, you’ll want to plan your celebrations around these activities.
Watch the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade
The Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the biggest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the state of Georgia and the second largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the entire US.
The event attracts thousands of visitors every year and is the core event of the massive St. Patrick’s Day festival in Savannah.
The parade lasts for hours and features floats and submissions from hundreds of local businesses and organizations.
As the premier event on St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, GA, the parade simply can’t be missed!
Be sure to hit the parade route early to get a good spot as the streets fill up fast.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Greening of the Fountains
The Greening of the Fountains (2 W Gaston St) is the unofficial kick-off to the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations in Savannah, GA!
The main event happens at Forsyth Park, where the historic fountain is dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Savannah-style.
During this celebration, city officials add green dye to every fountain and pond in the city, turning all of the water a bright shade of shamrock green for the week surrounding the holiday.
The Greening of the Fountains is a fun event that is sometimes accompanied by live music and celebrations, at least around the larger fountains in the city.
Plan to be in the city on the Friday before St. Paddy’s Day to join all the fun.
Go to the St. Patrick’s Day Service at the Historic Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
The Cathedral Basilica of St John the Baptist (222 E Harris St) hosts an annual service on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day to kick off the festivities of the day.
You’ll have to show up early if you want to take in the holiday service and the beauty of the cathedral as this is the highest-attended day for the church and seats fill up fast.
The service is a traditional Catholic mass, but visitors of all denominations are welcome to celebrate the Irish history of the church and the city of Savannah.
Attend the Celtic Cross Ceremony in Emmet Park
The Celtic Cross Ceremony (4089 E Bay St) is another annual tradition in Savannah during St. Patrick’s Day.
Folks gather at Emmet Park to the sound of bagpipes, before various speakers discuss the Irish community in Savannah from the past and into the present.
The location at Emmet Park is significant: it’s in this green space that a hand-carved Celtic Cross Monument was placed back in 1983 after being transported from County Roscommon in Ireland.
The Celtic Cross serves as a symbol to celebrate the city’s Irish heritage.
Irish families from all around gather to hear the story of the cross and honor the Irish lineage that has existed in Savannah for decades.
Honor Those Who Served at the Jasper Green Ceremony
The Jasper Green Ceremony in Madison Square is a celebration designed to honor those who served in the military who are of Irish descent.
The Jasper Green Monument hosts the ceremony and pays homage to Jasper Green, an Irish immigrant who served in the American Revolutionary War.
The ceremony occurs the day before St. Patrick’s Day and honors Irish Americans who have served and who are currently serving in the military.
You can live music as well.
Catch the St. Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament
The Savannah Shamrock’s Rugby Club hosts a St. Patrick’s Day tournament every year at Daffin Park.
The tournament features 80 teams from across all of North America playing to raise money for local charities.
Teams love to compete in this tournament to celebrate rugby and the Irish influence on the sport amidst the fantastic St. Paddy’s Day events in Savannah.
The games take place all weekend and offer a fun event for those who enjoy watching sports you may not see as regularly on TV.
Even if you are not a rugby fan, Daffin Park is a beautiful park filled with fountains, athletic fields, and walking trails that make for a delightful afternoon.
Compete in the Irish Road Bowling Tournament
The Irish Road Bowling Tournament (International Racetrack Hutchinson Island) hosted by the Ancient Order of Hibernians is a tradition with locals and visitors alike.
Teams of three compete in this traditional Irish game for the grand prize.
The activity entails just what it sounds like: you’ll be bowling on a road!
It’s a day-long tournament held on Hutchinson Island that’s accompanied by food and fun for the whole family.
Events Before or After St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah
These St. Patrick’s Day events in Savannah take place in the weeks surrounding the big day.
If you’re local, these are ideal to participate in for extra festive fun!
If you’re visiting Savannah, you might want to extend your stay a little so you don’t miss out.
Enjoy the Craic at the Savannah Irish Festival
Held in February, the Irish Festival in Savannah is the start of “green season” and the celebration of all things Ireland!
The one-day festival features live music and traditional Irish dancing.
Keep an eye out for the festival organizer’s sneaky Half-Way to St. Patrick’s Day event in September, too!
Participate in the Shamrock Run
The Shamrock Run is a 5k fun run that raises money for the March of the Dimes charity.
The run takes place at the beginning of March, so this is ideal for locals who want to stretch out the St Paddy’s Day fun!
You can expect an easy and enjoyable course around Ellis Square, with a separate kids’ fun run available, too.
Participants are encouraged to come dressed in all the green and shamrocks they can find in order to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in style!
The race is suitable for those who like to run but is also perfect if you just want to walk the course and enjoy the fun festive atmosphere.
Get into Some Shenanigans at the Shamrocks and Shenanigans Celebration
The Shamrocks and Shenanigans Celebration is an annual 5-day event hosted by Savannah’s Waterfront District.
The event features live music on multiple stages, kids’ activities, and a special lighting ceremony to celebrate the holiday.
Local businesses offer special deals and food vendors offer seasonal treats for this event.
Partake in the St. “Practice” Day Bar Crawl
The St. Practice Day bar crawl takes place the weekend before St. Patrick’s day in Downtown Savannah.
Your ticket includes entry and reduced prices on drinks at 12 different bars in the downtown area.
Crawlers are encouraged to visit all 12 establishments to try their signature drinks and get special rewards.
Participants are meant to wear green and practice partying for the upcoming holiday.
Practice makes perfect!
Celebrate Irish Heritage at the Tybee Island Irish Heritage Parade
The Irish Heritage Parade on Tybee Island takes place a week before St. Patrick’s Day and celebrates everything about Irish American culture and Irish heritage.
This family-friendly event features all of the local Irish clans and families presenting their colors throughout the parade route.
Bagpipes and other traditional Irish music are aplenty throughout the parade route making this one of the best places to celebrate Irish heritage in all of Savannah.
Tybee Island is a beautiful place to visit even without the parade!
Take in the live Music at the Savannah Music Festival
The Savannah Music Festival starts just after St. Patrick’s Day and is the perfect way to extend your stay with an exciting week of live music.
The festival is well-known for the wide variety of genres represented.
Enjoy two full weeks of live music — ranging from country to chamber music — performed in 15 venues across the city of Savannah.
The Savannah Music Festival also raises money for music education in Savannah, so it’s a great way to support local and world-class musicians while you’re here!
Celebrate Irish Heritage and History in Savannah
The rest of our guide helps you to uncover Irish history and heritage in Savannah.
Whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day or not — celebrate all things Irish at these spots in the city!
Learn the Irish History of Savannah at The Hibernian Society of Savannah
The Hibernian Society of Savannah is the oldest Irish society in the area and is the founder of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
The society puts on events all year long that celebrate Irish history and heritage.
See if the Hibernian Society is hosting any special events to honor the long history of Irish immigrants in Savannah while you’re there.
The Society also raises money to help support charitable causes around Savannah and visiting one of their events can be a great way to contribute to the preservation of Irish history and culture in Savannah.
Go Play with the Savannah Gaelic Athletic Association
The Savannah GAA is a local group that hosts Irish sports including hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football.
The club puts on exhibition matches around St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah, as well as informational meetings for those interested in learning more about traditional Irish sports.
Visit a practice or a match while you’re in town to see these traditional Irish sports in action.
Visit a Genuine Irish Pub
The Rail Pub (405 W Congress St) is a traditional Irish pub in Savannah that comes alive during St. Patrick’s Day.
Have a pint of Guinness, try traditional pub food, and enjoy the live music.
Come early on St. Patrick’s Day for the Kegs and Eggs Party where you get free breakfast with the purchase of a drink!
O’Connell’s (42 Drayton St.) is another Irish pub in Savannah that is highly regarded as the most authentic in the area.
Although O’Connell’s is on the smaller side, their collection of Irish soccer jerseys and Irish memorabilia make the pub a must-visit location on St. Patrick’s Day.
Hear Live Irish Music Around Town
St. Patrick’s Day is a huge celebration in the city of Savannah and Irish musicians and bagpipers can be found all around the city performing traditional Irish music.
Whether you go downtown or to one of the many squares in Savannah, you will likely find Irish music being played loud and proud on St. Patrick’s Day.
Moving around the city to find all the live music can be a fun and exciting way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day in Savannah.
Did this help you plan your Savannah St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? We hope so!
Share your favorite festive things to do in the comments below.
Check out our guides to St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, in NYC, and in Washington DC to start planning for fun annual trips to the best places to celebrate!
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