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Savannah locals and visitors celebrate St. Patrick's Day

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Savannah locals and visitors from all over the world celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Thousands of people camped out in the chilly weather to claim their spot early Friday morning. (Credit: Josie Gregory)

Savannah locals and visitors from all over the world celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Thousands of people camped out in the chilly weather to claim their spot early Friday morning.

Sisters, Lindey Lamb and Keny Brown, staked out their spots at 5:30 a.m.

This is Marie Gastley's 24th St. Patrick's Day Parade in Savannah.

"I plan it right at Christmas. That is one of my Christmas presents to myself," she said.

She did not let the 50 degree temperatures stop her.

"I have been here when it is pouring down rain, and I'll just, let it rip. It does not matter to me," Gastley said.

Luckily, this year, it was all sunshine.

"We have the luck of the Irish, and the sun is shining down on us," Gaye Williams said, standing with her two best friends, Margie Hackney and Janis Todd.

Savannah draws plenty of people from the north.

"I heard this is the place to be for St. Patrick's Day, so I had to come see it for myself," New Jersey native, Bernard Fowler, said.

One Connecticut couple said it is a way to escape the snow.

"This is summer. Yeah, we have two feet of snow at home, and it's like 20 degrees so we're happy," Jim and Sharie McHale said.

The couple met at a St. Patrick's Day Parade in Connecticut 28 years ago, and said this visit serves as an anniversary.

However, for locals, it's just tradition.

"Since we were five years old, we've been coming," Lamb said.

Brown is active duty military, now stationed in Florida.

"I come home every single year. I've been in Alaska, North Carolina, now Florida, and every year I try and come back," Brown said.

For one out-of-town family, the parade is a reunion after finding a long-lost relative through an Ancestry DNA test last year.

"We all come four different states. We flew in for spring break, so that we could reconnect one year later," Joan McGhee said.

Savannah's St. Patrick's Day Parade has been bringing people together for 192 years.

This year, more than 270 entries, from around the world, participated in the parade.


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