St. Patty's keeps Savannah bars, police busy
by Russ Bynum
Associated Press Writer
March 20, 2011 12:00 AM | 647 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dale Greene of Alpharetta takes a drink off a small beer keg in his back pack during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade Thursday in Savannah.
Dale Greene of Alpharetta takes a drink off a small beer keg in his back pack during the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade Thursday in Savannah.
SAVANNAH - Two days after the St. Patrick's Day parade concluded, Savannah's celebration of the Irish holiday spilled over into the weekend Saturday as gaudy green revelers continued to keep bartenders and police busy.

Throngs of visitors began returning to the bars, restaurants and T-shirt shops along the city's cobblestone riverfront Saturday.

Kenny Hill, director of the Savannah Waterfront Association, said outdoor beer vendors on the riverfront had emptied 144 kegs since the St. Pat's parade on Thursday and were restocked for a hectic final day of celebrating Saturday.

"We've gone through more kegs than we did last year, that's for sure," Hill said. "I've heard a couple of business say they had record days."

Celebrated in Savannah for 187 years, St. Patrick's Day is one of the most profitable events for Georgia's oldest city and typically kicks off the peak spring tourist season.

Tens of thousands of people clogged the oak-shaded squares and sidewalks of the downtown historic district for the parade two days ago. Most downtown hotels were booked through the weekend, signaling that many visitors planned a long weekend here.

The holiday is also a busy time for Savannah-Chatham County police.

Police spokeswoman Gena Moore said Saturday that officers had arrested 119 people on charges related to the St. Patrick's party since Wednesday night. Most were for minor charges such as disorderly conduct, seatbelt violations and public urination.

Moore said police had seen just a few outrageous incidents. One man was arrested after he started punching and kicking a police car, she said, and another was charged with battery after he bit a bar employee and then hit an officer trying to break up their argument.

"Besides a few minor, weird things, everything has gone pretty smooth," Moore said.

Savannah wasn't the only Georgia city looking to profit from a sunny weekend at the start of spring.

Macon's annual Cherry Blossom Festival kicked off Friday and will continue for 10 days. Events tied to the festival on Saturday included a golf tournament and a strongman competition.

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