Savannah, Georgia: CIRT’s Home City
In such areas as healthcare, education, the docks, the railways, heavy industry, commerce, and religious life, the Irish have contributed hugely to the success of Savannah, the “Hostess City,” whose federally designated Historic District is the most extensive — and whose container port is one of the largest (and fastest growing) — in the US. According to the US census of 1860, one in every four non-slave residents of Savannah (or 14% of the city’s overall population) was Irish-born. As acknowledged in Aloysius J. Handiboe’s song, “It’s St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah” (1952), the Irish mainly settled in three of the city’s working-class districts: “From old Frogtown to the Old Fort \ And don’t forget old Yamacraw, \ They have always sung the praises \ Of Erin Go Bragh!”
A City of Irish Traditions
Savannah’s joyous St. Patrick’s Day parade has grown into the second largest in North America, drawing almost a million spectators each year to Savannah. four-week “St. Patrick’s Season”: a packed calendar of events that culminates with the parade on March 17.
The Celtic Heritage Festival Savannah (formerly Tara Feis), held on the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day, has become a special focus for CIRT. The unit is proud of the festival’s reputation as a high-quality, family-friendly celebration that showcases both tradition and innovation in Irish and Scots-Irish culture and arts.
Members of the United States Air Force march in the 2019 Sergeant William Jasper ceremony, one of the events constituting Savannah’s “St. Patrick’s Season.” Held on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day — and named after a Revolutionary War hero — the ceremony honors America’s military and first-responders, especially those of Irish birth and descent. Georgia Southern University’s Wexford Campus in southeastern Ireland is in the birth-county of Commodore John Barry, father of the US Navy. GS consistently ranks as a “Military Friendly Gold” and a “Best for Vets” college.
Last updated: 10/17/2023