200 Years of St. Patty’s Day History in Savannah

March 12, 2015 by

The St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah is the largest celebration of the holiday in Georgia and one of the largest in the nation. One of the contributing factors to its success is its 200-year history. Since the early 1800’s, Savannah has been perfecting the ultimate St. Patrick’s celebration that we now know and love. Here are a few events that have made Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day what it is now:

  • 1812 – The originators of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, The Savannah Hiberian Society, was formed by 13 Irish protestants to help needy Irish immigrants. They are the oldest Irish society in Savannah.
  • 1926 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee formed in Savannah to institutionalize the world renowned parade.
  • 1956 – Over its 200-year history, some parades were cancelled due to the Civil War. In 1956, Savannah celebrated their 100th Patrick’s Day parade – although it wasn’t technically the 100th parade.
  • 1961 – The greening of the fountain in Savannah’s Forsyth Park is a local tradition that began in the middle of the 20th Officials tried to start a similar tradition in 1961 by dyeing the Savannah River green, but with less success. Instead, they dyed a green stripe down the center of the river – later discovering that the river flows too quickly to establish any lasting change in color. Despite its unfortunate beginning, The greening of the fountain has now been one of the most popular traditions surrounding St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah.
  • 2012 – As the years pass, the St. Patrick’s Day parade grows exponentially. In 2012, the city celebrated its 200th anniversary, where parade organizers reported more than a million attendees at their parade.

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Savannah St. Patrick's Day Pipes & Drums