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Celebrate St. Patrick's Day on River Street


March 08, 2016

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    Since 1813, Savannah has been celebrating its Irish heritage on St. Patrick's Day. Now the second-largest celebration in the United States, the city's St. Patty's Day parade attracts over 300,000 visitors each year.
    This year's parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, and the St. Patrick's Day Celebration on the River festival along historic River Street will keep the party going all weekend long.
    This year, if you plan to drink alcohol on the streets during St. Patrick's Day weekend, you'll need a wristband. For your how-to guide to enjoying the party with pint in hand, keep reading.
 
    Q:What do I get with the wristband?
    A: With the wristband, you get to listen to live entertainment and enjoy your adult drinks to-go while you walk around the biggest party of the year. If you only plan to drink in a bar, you don’t need a wristband, but if you plan to join the rest of the revelers in the street, it’s required. 
 
    Q: Where do I get one?
    A: You can get your wristband at one of the 23 booth locations downtown. (See the handy little map below.) Signs will help direct you to one of the white sales tents. Credit cards will be accepted at select booth locations. Someone will check your ID — so don’t leave that behind! Make sure to hold on to your ID because bars and restaurants are still required to check them, even if you have a wristband on. 

    Q: How much do they cost?
    A: You can buy yours for $5 each day. However, you only need a wristband if you plan to drink in the control zone, otherwise known as party central. The control zone is the 36-block area of historic downtown Savannah set aside for the biggest part of the year (again, check out our fancy little map). Also, wristbands will not be required during Thursday's parade, but they will be needed starting 6 p.m. after the parade is over.
 
    Q: Do I have to purchase a wristband each day?
    A: Alas, yes. There will be differently colored wristbands for each day of the festival. Select wristband locations will be open as early as 10 a.m. on Thursday, March 17. Visit riverstreetsavannah.com for a full list of locations and sales times. Wristband enforcement hours are: Thursday, post-parade until midnight; Friday, 10 a.m.–midnight; and Saturday, 10 a.m.–midnight.
What happens if I forget to get a wristband for the biggest party of the year? You could face a fine and court costs totaling up to $67. Not worth it! You'll be as sad as the little leprechaun in our Connect Crime this week.

    Q: What else do I need to know before I get my drink on?
    A: To drink on the streets, you need to have your beverage in what Savannahians call a “traveler” — that’s a plastic cup that holds 16 ounces or less. Bottles and cans of alcohol are not permitted on the street. Many restaurants will provide you with to-go cups if you wish to take your alcohol with you.

    Q: Where is the money going from the wristband sales?
    A: Throwing the biggest party in Savannah, paying the bands, cleaning up after you’re long gone — that takes a pretty penny.

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