If you’re looking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the right way, you way want to consider taking a trip to one of these major cities all over the country, where officials are preparing for one of the year’s biggest celebrations.
Savannah, Georgia holds the oldest St. Patrick’s Day celebration in the country, and that’s why officials are expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors and a major economic boost.
“Our expectations are, we are going to have a very busy weekend. Not only in Savannah, throughout the area,” said Joe Marinelli, president/CEO of Visit Savannah. “Whenever we talk about it, we are not talking about just the Historic District, because hotels and restaurants all throughout the Southside, Midtown, and so forth will be busy, and I know that many of the vacation rentals on Tybee Island are expected to be full as well.”
The city is preparing for the population spike by keeping more hotel rooms available. As of spring 2014, nearly 21 million U.S. households owned a spa, pool, or hot tub, but during this time of year, they can visit Savannah and still be virtually guaranteed to find a hotel with a pool.
“It will be fun to be in the city, we’ll have a lot of visitors, a lot of friends and family coming in. And I know everyone is going to have a good time,” said Marinelli.
Motorcoaches account for 751 million passenger trips annually, moving more people in some years than commercial airlines do — that’s why they might be a great way to get from Savannah to Staten Island, where there are countless St. Patrick’s Day festivities to attend. Several residents in New Brighton and West Brighton are notorious for throwing annual pre-parade parties. Jim and Judy Logan from West Brighton are just one couple that’s known for their St. Patrick’s Day parties.
The Logans’ home on Myrtle Avenue is just one block away from the parade site, so partiers won’t have to worry about the risks of drinking and driving. Drunk driving accidents cost more than $37 billion annually, and in 2012, over 10,000 people were killed in these accidents. After the parade on Forest Avenue, many partiers will return to the Logans’ for some after-parade fun. After that, for the Logans, it’s all about family.
“Every year all the grandkids come up. We have corned beef and cabbage,” Jim Logan said. “It’s for the kids to learn St. Patrick’s Day traditions.”
Speaking of St. Patrick’s Day traditions, the average time people wait for another dental appointment is three years, but you may need to make an emergency visit if you decide to attend New Orleans’ vegetable-throwing celebration. That’s right — New Orleans’ St. Patrick’s Day traditions include several floats known for launching a variety of produce at parade-watchers.
“A few calls about broken teeth are as inevitably a part of mid-March as strands of Italian-flag beads and kiss-me-I’m-Irish buttons,” said Ian McNulty, food writer and New Orleans parade attender.
Ultimately, wherever your heart takes you for St. Patrick’s day, remember to stay safe.