Savannah hotels nearly full for St. Patrick's Day

Published On: Mar 14 2012 11:11:06 AM EDT
Savannah St. Patrick's parade
SAVANNAH, Ga. -

Savannah is getting ready for a busy weekend as thousands of gaudy green tourists are expected to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Georgia's oldest city holds its sprawling St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday, and the weekend celebration has organizers predicting a very profitable event for local businesses.

Erica Backus of Visit Savannah, the city's tourism bureau, says all but a few of Chatham County's 15,000 hotel rooms are booked. Backus says mild weather helped Savannah see its best January ever for tourism this year, and a spring-like weekend could boost the St. Patrick's Day turnout.

Savannah has celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a parade since 1824, thanks to an early influx of Irish settlers in the city. On peak years, the parade has said to draw up to 400,000 revelers.