Posted in Savannah Joy

The Greening, a Feis, a Friend and Bach: A Pre-St. Patty Day Weekend in Savannah

A few reflections on the weekend BEFORE St. Patrick’s Day weekend here in Savannah.


One of Savannah’s coolest St. Patrick’s Day traditions has to be the greening of the fountains.  In a week, we will welcome the city’s most popular holiday.  And at noon Friday the beautiful fountain in Forsyth Park, surrounded by several hundred people, morphed into a bright green explosion of water color.  Soon thereafter the other fountains in Savannah followed suit.

Tangent Ahead:  Okay, I know this is a Happiness Blog and all, but let me vent a second, okay?  Please?  But first, a little background:  While I taught up the road at Georgia Southern, I heard this refrain from time to time:  “GSU?  Oh, what a party school!”  That got on my last nerve.  My very last.  (Similar to the Kardashians’ dilemma over what to do after “reality” TV.)  Why did the comment irk me?  Simple.  GSU (or UGA or Emory or Harvard) is a party school if students choose to party there.  But GSU (etc.) is a great place to get a wonderful education for those students who choose to do so (which, by the way, are the vast majority).

In a similar vein, what do many people associate with our city’s incredibly popular March holiday?  Drinking on River Street, of course.  But that aspect of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration is only one part of the wonderful holiday, albeit a decidedly profitable one, and the one that often gets the most press.  However, so much more, SO MUCH MORE captures the attention and interest of most Savannahians.  Which brings me back to the greening of the fountains.  End of Tangent.


Thinking I would just mosey up to the fountain and watch somebody toss in a bit of green dye, I was shocked at the size of the gathering and the palpable excitement of the event.

Before the greening:


After the greening:




Here’s James A. Ray, the Grand Marshal of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day Parade.



And here’s his sister, Nancy Ray Johnson, who is the second female in Savannah St. Patrick’s Day history to be the Aid to the Grand Marshal.






Ging1 Ging4 Ging5


And then on Saturday at Emmet Park near the river, Tara Feis (feis= festival, pronounced “fesh”) burst on the holiday scene with Irish music, dancers, food and fun.  This annual celebration of Erin Go Bragh–Ireland the Beautiful is completely family friendly and alcohol-free.



Here’s a bit of the Glor Na Daire Irish dance school performance:


And perennially popular local singer/songwriter Harry O’Donoghue‘s closing song, “All the Best”:


Saints & Shamrocks  ****

After enjoying the festival for a couple of hours, I went in search of the official St. Patrick’s Day Parade Magazine, and finally found it at the beautifully delightful Saints & Shamrocks boutique …



… specializing in religious gifts, Irish imports and fair trade gifts.  There I met the welcoming, helpful owner and new friend Hope (I love that name) Ebberwein …


… who gave me a copy of the magazine.


[Should I dye my facial hair green for the parade viewing?  Now be honest.  (Some of you weren’t when I asked if I was too old to wear skinny jeans.  See item#4 in the skinny jeans hyperlink.)]

Bach Music Marathon ****

Still not finished with the day, I walked into the Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church on Calhoun Square, where organist Christopher Jacobson from South Carolina sat at the incredible pipe organ performing a two-day marathon of the COMPLETE organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach (257 individual pieces!).




I get tired just trying to hum through Abba’s three most popular #1 hits.

What a tremendously festive weekend!  A greening.  A feis.  A new friend.  And a concert.  I wonder what the actual Saint Patrick’s Day Twenty-Thirteen will hold.  I’ll let you know.  I’m hosting a little parade viewing party, since my place lies directly on the parade route.


2 thoughts on “The Greening, a Feis, a Friend and Bach: A Pre-St. Patty Day Weekend in Savannah

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