SAVANNAH, Ga. – With less than a week until hundreds of thousands are expected to flood the streets of Savannah, local businesses are bracing for a busy weekend.
For the first time since 2006 Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, which the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department says means bigger crowds than usual.
“But that being said, we have plenty of preparations and things they can take into consideration so they can still have a great time this weekend,” SCMPD Public Information Officer Hillary Nielsen said.
According to Visit Savannah Senior Vice President Jeff Hewitt, the Hostess City is expecting 500,000 people to celebrate Saint Pats in Savannah.
With half a million expected, local hotels are quickly filling up.
“Well the hotels are busy but we always like to think we can find more room,” Hewitt said.
But most hotels are already sold out in the Historic District, or have a few rooms left at higher than average prices or a two night minimum.
WSAV reached out to several hotels and found rooms booked from Hardeville, to Midtown, to Pooler, to Rincon to Richmond Hill all booked for Friday and Saturday nights.
If you haven’t booked your reservation yet, Hewitt suggests to not wait until the last minute.
“I recommend people make advanced reservation purchases for their hotel rooms so that they know they have reservations when they come,” Hewitt said.
If you still need a room, Airbnb still, as of Monday, has availability in the Historic District for less than $100 for Friday night.
Hewitt said that if staying in a traditional hotel to check to see if they offer shuttle services on Saint Patrick’s Day to and from the downtown Savannah area.
With major crowds expected, Neilsen offers a word of advice for staying safe among the sea of green.
“Simple things like having your ride planned out before you go downtown, taking a picture of your family or your children before the parade starts just in case you get separated,” she said.