Savannah gearing up for profitable St. Patrick’s Day weekend

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Park fountains are gushing with green-dyed water. Beer trucks are making deliveries on a constant loop. And thousands of tourists in gaudy green outfits will soon arrive for Savannah’s biggest celebration of the year.

Georgia’s oldest city will be bursting at the seams Saturday as visitors and locals cram the oak-shaded squares and sidewalks for the South’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s a 195-year-old tradition started by Irish immigrants to Savannah that’s ballooned into one of the region’s most popular street parties after Mardi Gras.

At The Rail Pub, owner Melissa Swanson expects customers to empty 350 cases of Miller Lite and 26 kegs of Guinness this weekend. She’ll open Saturday at 8 a.m. and close at 2:50 a.m. Sunday.

Swanson says: “There is no other weekend that compares.”

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