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The original item was published from 3/12/2020 1:39:00 PM to 6/4/2021 12:00:01 AM.

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City of Savannah Marketing and Communications

Posted on: March 11, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Mayor Johnson remarks regarding St. Patrick’s Day celebration

Mayor Johnson St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations Update –
March 11, 2020
Talking points for: Mayor Van R. Johnson, II

·       Good evening and thank you for joining us as we update you with the latest information about St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.


·I am honored to have here with me:

o  Alderwoman Kesha Gibson-Carter, At Large, Post 1

o  Alderwoman Alicia Miller-Blakely, At Large, Post 2

o  Alderman Detric Leggett, District 2

o  Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, District 3

o  Alderman Nick Palumbo, District 4

o  Alderman Kurtis Purtee, District 6

o  Alderwoman Estella Shabazz and Alderwoman Bernetta Lanier are in route back to Savannah from Washington, DC and will be back this evening.


  • This has been, and continues to be, a unique and interesting time in our City’s history as we are watching the now termed pandemic known as coronavirus or COVID-19.

  •  Admittedly, these have been some of the hardest days of my life as I wrestled with a decision that I have been vested to make. A decision that would make people unhappy and upset no matter what the decision was. We were between the proverbial rock and a real rock.

  • But we are blessed as a community to have partners that we can bring around the table, discuss pressing issues and make some hard decisions.

  • So I did not have a decision to make – We made a decision.

  • In collaboration with our partners and out of an abundance of caution for public health, safety and welfare, Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day festival and parade will not go on as planned to prevent transmissions from large events like those we have in Savannah.

  •  The situation across the country is changing quickly. While risk in Savannah remains low, we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep those living in our city safe and healthy.  Savannah is OK right now, and we want to keep her that way.

  • This is a beautiful time of year in Savannah, and we want to make it clear our city is still open for business. People will still be visiting this weekend, and businesses have upped their game, impressively so, to provide the safest experience possible.

  •  Our top priority is preventing – to the best of our ability – any local cases and transmission, and we are paying close attention to guidance from public health officials. The Coastal Health District and our hospitals have assured us they’re ready as always to care for all Savannahians.

  •  While it is an extremely difficult decision, we must put the health, welfare and safety of our citizens first.

  • We encourage our residents and visitors to follow preventative measures to avoid illness, like washing hands, avoiding close contact with those who are sick and staying home if you’re sick yourself.

  • Thank you to all of our partners involved in this decision: Savannah’s Waterfront, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, the Coastal Health District, the Tourism Leadership Council, the Savannah Area Chamber of Commerce, City Market, the Downtown Business Association, St. Joseph’s/Candler, Memorial Health, and Visit Savannah.

  •  I personally want to thank City Manager Pat Monahan, City Attorney Bates Lovett, City Clerk Mark Massey, Deputy Assistant to the Mayor Marty Johnston, and City chiefs, department heads and our awesome employees who give their best every single day.

  • Again, if you are out enjoying yourself, please follow the common-sense recommendations from the Coastal Health District, which you can also find on our website at

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