Cemetery Tourism and Special Events

Section 10.01  Approved Activities  Any special activity or event on cemetery property must be approved in advance by the Director of Cemeteries. Permissible activities include, but are not limited to, holiday/memorial services, weddings, monument unveiling ceremonies, educational, historical, or cultural awareness tours, public recognition ceremonies, religious events, family or church gatherings, photography or nature appreciation, conservation, beautification, or cemetery improvement activities.

Section 10.02  Restricted Activities 

The municipal cemeteries are not for sensational or entertainment purposes. Any tours or events marketed as haunted, paranormal, or involving ghosts, spiritualists, or mediums are strictly prohibited from any of the municipal cemeteries.

Athletic events, treasure hunting, scavenger hunting, loud gatherings, and other activities or events determined to be offensive, sacrilegious, disrespectful, or disruptive to the dignity and character of the cemetery will not be permitted.

Section 10.03  Types of Cemetery Tours 

Cemetery tours may be conducted by walking, bicycles, tour service vehicles, or other means approved by the Director of Cemeteries.

Tours may be conducted between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, seven days a week.

Section 10.04  Acceptable Tour Vehicles 

Tour service vehicles may include standard automobile, limousine, bus, van, or trolley-type vehicles that are compatible with and not damaging to the infrastructure and ambience of the cemeteries.

All tour vehicles must be appropriately labeled in accordance with City of Savannah ordinances.

Any tour vehicles marked as haunted or involving ghosts are strictly prohibited from any of the municipal cemeteries.

All tour vehicles are subject to cemetery vehicle and traffic regulations (See Article III. Vehicle and Traffic Regulations).

Section 10.05  Registration 

All cemetery tours and events conducted during normal business hours must register with the Department of Cemeteries at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to entering a City cemetery.

Normal business hours are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM., Monday through Friday, excluding city holidays.

All tours for hire, organized groups, special events or activities, and groups with ten (10) or more people must register with the Department of Cemeteries prior to entering the cemetery.

The registration of activities shall include the entire period the activity will take place, including any setup/gathering and clean up.

Section 10.06  After-Hour Events/Activities 

Permission for after hour activities may be requested for the hours of 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

No after-hour activities shall be permitted between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM.

Permission for after-hour activities must be requested at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance.

After-hour activities in Colonial Park Cemetery are not permitted.

Any tour or event in progress when a cemetery closes will be charged an after-hour access fee.

Additional security may be required by the Director of Cemeteries.

Section 10.07  Cemetery Tour and Special Event Fees 

All commercial tours, organized groups, and special events in the municipal cemeteries, including those during normal business hours, will be required to pay a fee established by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah.

Section 10.08  Tour and Activity Conflicts 

Interment services shall have priority over tours, special activities, and events in all cemeteries. Tours may be prohibited from areas with open graves or funeral services, and groups may be asked to move or leave an area where interment services are scheduled.

The Director of Cemeteries, or his or her designated representative, has the discretion to exclude tours or groups from any portion of any cemetery.

The tour guide must prevent guests from intruding upon any private service. Any tours or tour vehicles in close proximity to a funeral service should leave at once.

Tour vehicles should not operate within sight of a funeral service.

Section 10.09  Cemetery Tour Guides 

All cemetery tours must have a tour guide who is responsible for the tour party.

Tour guides for hire must be appropriately registered in accordance with City of Savannah ordinances.

Tour guides must be familiar with and agree to abide by the rules and regulations for City of Savannah Cemeteries and any other applicable laws, ordinances, or rules.

Section 10.10  Cemetery Tour Guide Responsibilities 

Tour guides are responsible for ensuring all employees and patrons abide by any applicable laws or ordinances and the cemetery rules and regulations as set forth herein.

Tour guides are responsible for tour service vehicles and must follow the speed limit and traffic rules (See Article III. Vehicle and Traffic Regulations).

Tour guides must stay on the public rights-of-way within the cemetery and not enter or allow their guests to trespass upon cemetery lots.

Section 10.11  Children 

Groups with children under sixteen years of age must have at least one responsible adult chaperone per every five (5) children.

Section 10.12  Alcohol 

Alcohol of any type is strictly prohibited from cemetery grounds. Person(s) caught with alcohol and/or intoxicated persons will be asked to leave the cemetery. Guides, organizers, or agency representatives condoning such behavior on cemetery property may be subject to a suspension of services on cemetery grounds.

Section 10.13  Waste Disposal 

Each tour or activity must provide its own means of waste disposal. No garbage is to be left on cemetery property. Cigarette butts are undesirable waste and are not to be littered or left on cemetery property.

Section 10.14  Parking 

Tour service vehicles over twenty-five (25) feet in length shall park in designated bus parking areas only.

Engines of tour vehicles must not be left idling while vehicles are parked.

Section 10.15  Rest Room Facilities 

There are not adequate rest room facilities for tours or groups within the cemeteries. Tour guides and group organizers should encourage guests to use rest room facilities prior to entering a municipal cemetery.

Section 10.16  Damage Reporting 

The tour guide or group organizer shall immediately report any damage to trees, shrubbery, turf, coping, lot markers, roadways, or structures caused by a vehicle or guests of the tour/activity to the Department of Cemeteries.

The tour company or group organizer will be responsible for compensating the City for any damages caused to City property.

Section 10.17  Violations 

Any individual or organization that habitually violates the Rules and Regulations of Municipal Cemeteries will be prohibited from holding future tours or events in the cemetery.