After living in Savannah, GA for 4 years it was a little bit of a culture shock (maybe too intense of a phrase for this) to not celebrate. Sure, I wore green and took a photo that I sent to someone at my office to be included in a culture video. I painted my nails green and drank some green beers but I didn't celebrate like I had in years past. And surely part of that is due to the ginormous celebration that Savannah puts on. If you don't know, it's the 2nd largest in the US. My schools spring break was centered around this holiday because the city shuts down to celebrate. Well, except for the bars and shops.
I spent most of the last years St. Patrick's day sitting at my desk, drinking my green beer, doing my work while stalking my friends Instagram and Facebook profiles to live vicariously through their photos filled with more green than one has ever seen in their life. So when I took one of my trips to Savannah last year and a friend threw out the idea and gave me a place to stay I didn't hesitate. They said: It's on a Thursday. It makes sense! And for some reason, it did. That reason was probably FOMO but my ticket is booked and I have my green clothes packed. But if you are celebrating St. Patrick's day in Savannah or any other location with a giant celebration you should read on for how to survive this day of drinking. And the day after.
1. Do not drive downtown. Uber. Walk. Taxi. Yes, Uber will probably go through surge pricing so think this through beforehand. But if you plan to drink at all: DO NOT DRIVE. This is a drinking holiday and the cops will be prepared to pull you over and give you a DUI. Plus, it can cost you up to $20 to park downtown during the festivities and that can buy you 2-4 drinks at any given bar. Parking will be horrendous anyway and is not worth your time.
2. Make sure everyone in your group is on the same page. One year I decided to take a nap after the parade (at about 1 or 2 pm.) I then got ready and called my friends on my way downtown to find out they were all going home at 8 PM because they were tired and drunk.
3. Speaking of calling your friends... Don't rely on your phone. There will be so many people in the downtown area on St. Patricks (and that entire weekend) and you may not always have service. Have a plan. And if history serves us at all, drunk friends are not always 100% reliable for answering the phone when you call.
4. Take advantage of Savannah's open cup policy and explore the city while you sip on your beverage. There's a lot to see outside of the bar walls. So while it's daylight out get to seeing. You might be stuck in bed the next day and won't be able to explore. Some bars even have great views ↓
5. Turning down a water does not make you the hero of St. Patrick's day. Again, if you plan on making this an all day booze fest take a water. Stop for lunch. Say no to a few things that are handed your way. This is a marathon, not a sprint. And you don't want to be the one to get your friends kicked out of a bar or force any of your friends to babysit.
6. Do not go to Savannah with a want or need to fight. A little-known fact to tourists is that Savannah is home to one of 3 Army Ranger bases. They are built up to kick ass and usually have a lot of anger to get out. Don't get in the way of one of their fists. Play nice or you will be sporting a new blue and black accessory that clashes with your lovely green outfit.
Have fun. Be safe. And enjoy a green drink or two. I will have a few green cocktails perfect to kick start your celebration this week. But for now, check out the three cocktails I made to celebrate last yer. The New Orleans inspired cocktail is also a fun cocktail, in a green mason jar, you can celebrate with!
If you want any recommendations on where to go, what to see, drink or eat while in Savannah leave it in the comments!