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St. Patrick's Day in Savannah: Throw up in a cab? Shell out green

March 16, 2012|By Richard Fausset
  • When it comes to honoring the Emerald Isle's patron saint, Savannah is second only to New York City in doing things Irish in a big way. River Street revelers mingle and engage in record-breaking beer guzzling.
When it comes to honoring the Emerald Isle's patron saint, Savannah… (Adam Traum / Associated…)

Reporting from Atlanta — In scenic Savannah, Ga., where Irish roots run deep, St. Patrick's Day is a raucous citywide party that is expected to bring a million people into the street on Saturday.

Some will mark the occasion with proud and sober tributes to their ancient Hibernian heritage. Some will no doubt wear dopey little green novelty hats. Some will get all Martha Stewart and stain their beer with droplets of weird green food coloring.

And a few revelers -- snared in Dubliner Brendan Behan's famous conundrum about one drink being too many, and a thousand not enough -- will almost surely end up spewing untold gallons of Kelly green-tinted, already-consumed alcohol in the backseats of Savannah's taxi fleet.

That, at least, is the prediction of the local cab companies, which have a rule: If you throw up in a Savannah taxi on St. Patrick's Day, you'll be charged a cleanup fee of $75 to $150.

That unpleasant but telling detail comes courtesy of Courtney Davison of the Savannah Morning News, who interviewed a few Savannah cabbies, and found that while they look forward to the busiest work day of their year, they don't especially enjoy picking up the drunks who've been lying for hours in the bushes,  suffering through the whisky-fueled backseat bickering of dysfunctional couples, and, yes, dealing with the vomit: One cabbie, Lyle Myers, brings a bucket with him to work.

It won't all be a debauch, of course. Mary Forgione, a Los Angeles Times travel blogger, notes that the city will hold its Sgt. William Jasper Green ceremony at 5 p.m. Friday, so named for an Irishman who died fighting the British in Savannah during the Revolutionary War.

Saturday's celebration kicks off at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, where Mass starts at 8 a.m. If you go, consider lighting a candle for Lyle Myers -- and pray that his bucket remains dry.

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