Irish Festival a prelude to St. Patrick's Day in Savannah

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A celebration in Savannah this weekend signals that the city's most popular holiday is drawing near.

The Savannah Irish Festival is celebrating its 28th year in Georgia's oldest city this weekend. The festival arrives a month before the city's popular St. Patrick's Day parade.

Organizers of the Irish Festival have long aimed for more of a family friendly crowd. Musicians will perform traditional Irish folk tunes onstage at the Savannah civic center, which will also host special activities for children. Food vendors selling smoked brisket, Irish soda bread and fish and chips were also on the itinerary.

The festival serves as an early prelude to Savannah's 196-year-old St. Patrick's Day parade. Thousands jam the city's oak-shaded squares and cobblestone streets for the Irish holiday each year in what's become one of the largest St. Patrick's celebrations in the U.S.

The 2020 parade will be held on March 17, a Tuesday.