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Celebrate St. Paddy’s Safely At Savannah’s New Boat Parade | Guest Post



BY DAVID MOSES| Over the last few months, we’ve developed a safe alternative to Savannah’s traditional St. Patrick’s Day parade. For those wanting to celebrate, this 196-year tradition, the inaugural Shamrock Ships Flotilla sets sail March 17, 2021. 

What’s a flotilla you ask?

In the simplest terms it’s a St. Paddy’s boat parade with a limited-capacity and family friendly festival zone at the Savannah Convention Center with remote viewing on

However, there is so much more to it.  Organizers are raising money for area charities through the People’s Choice Voting system and by selling tickets to the Shamrock Soiree at the Convention Center. There will even be a jewelry auction presented by International Diamond Center supporting Anthony Lanier’s Undefeated Warrior Foundation.

When the city of Savannah placed a moratorium on public event permits that use city property, Rising Tide Experiences and the Savannah Irish Festival partnered up to manifest a celebration that embraces all recommendations in social distancing, health precautions and safety.

“This is a great alterative to the street parade and we are proud to partner with this event.” Said Tara Reese, President of the Savannah Irish Festival. “Not only is the Shamrock Ships Flotilla socially distanced, it’s a responsible way to continue the tradition while honoring the history of the Savannah Irish.”  Reese referring to Savannah’s original Irish community who came to Savannah on famine ships from County Wexford. 

For boaters and charters, the flotilla route will guide them through Lowcountry waterways culminating in a pass of the Shamrock Ships Soiree at the Savannah Convention Center.  This land-based festival zone offers 60,000 square feet of outdoor space to spread out on while featuring live Irish music 7 entertainment, food trucks, specialty cocktail bars and reserved seating to watch the parade. 

Safety and health have been top-of-mind throughout the planning process so organizers are thankful to have US Coast Guard Auxiliary providing support vessels and a plethora of COVID-conscious protocols for those joining at the riverfront watch party.

In planning the Shamrock Ships Flotilla, organizers noticed the Hilton Head Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade was also canceled and reached out to their leadership. By sharing knowledge on how to produce an aquatic alternative, the resulting Hilton Head Ireland St. Pat’s Boat Parade set sail on March 14th with an incredible turnout. Over 100 vessels floated through Broad Creek to dazzle onlookers along the route.

Above all, the Shamrock Ships Flotilla and associated events are designed to bring live events back to life safely. 

More details are available at, vessel registration is open and tickets are available now.  Slainte and see you there!

What: Dozens of decorated boats floating Lowcountry waterways celebrating the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day.

How To Watch or Participate: Register your own vessel, charter one from the fleet, attend the limited capacity event at the Convention Center, or watch on!

Timing: Shamrock Soiree open from 11am – 5pm, Flotilla will pass the Convention Center 1pm -3pm.

Parking: Convention Center parking is available for a small $5 fee.

Who: Rising Tide Experiences, Savannah Irish Festival, DBC Radio,

More Details:



Mandy Matney

Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an award-winning journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your story ideas, comments, suggestions and tips to [email protected].

David Moses is a marketing consultant, founder of Bernays Inc. and mastermind behind a number of “Rising Tide Experiences” that deliver value for sponsors, attendees and communities. David is also dating the incredibly gorgeous and astoundingly talented News Editor of FITSNews who agreed to publish this article due to their AMAZING Open Mic policy. Luna, pictured above, also helped provide inspiration for this story.



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