One thing we all recognize about living in Savannah is that once February rolls around, most of our cold days are over (and by cold, we mean any day that dares to dip below an enjoyable 75°). True Savannah natives know that February also brings the countdown to one of the most exciting, memorable, and green times of year - St. Patrick's Day.
Here in Savannah, we celebrate St. Patrick's Day a full month early. Remnants of our Irish heritage and strong Irish community are found all around the city, from monuments to restaurants, local pubs to numerous organizations. This time of year is their time to shine, and everyone seems to find some trace of Irish lineage to get in the spirit.
Events kicked off last weekend at the 25th Anniversary of the Savannah Irish Festival held at the Savannah Civic Center. The annual festival showcases Irish art, heritage, and culture continuously throughout the entire weekend on three different stages. Irish musicians, comedians, dancers, food, and more allowed guests to get in the Irish spirit, preparing them for the city's most famous holiday.
The Irish Dancers of Savannah, one of Savannah's two Irish dance schools, were in full force. "This is definitely our busiest time of year," director Maggie Sikes told us. "In a place like Savannah, you can't help but get in touch with your Irish side. There's such a strong Irish community here, with so many different Irish organizations that you become fully immersed in the culture. It's definitely the most fun for us." She told us that although they practice and perform year round, they have performances every week leading up to "the big day." The Irish Dancers of Savannah were founded to "promote and preserve Irish culture and tradition in Savannah through dance," and after watching them last weekend, there is no doubt in our mind that they achieve that with every dance.
It's not even March yet, but traces of St. Patrick's Day are always around. Take a walk down Liberty Street by the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee office, and you'll see their 'Countdown to St. Patrick's Day' sign. Walk in to local shops, and see clothing, home decor, and more in that familiar shade of green adorned with shamrocks.
This weekend, the St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee will select this year's Grand Marshal, and with that, the events will be in full swing.
We can already hear the chorus singing, "It's St. Patrick's Day in Savannah..."
Erin Go Bragh, Ya'll!