Jan. 13, 2017 | By Larissa Allen
5 Things You Need to Know Before the Savannah MLK Day Parade
The Savannah MLK Day Parade is one of the best events of the year. Local marching bands showcase their hard work, dance teams entertain the crowds with dazzling moves and flashy costumes, and businesses build colorful floats or find creative ways to decorate cars and trucks. It’s an event you don’t want to miss! Here’s a guide to help you have the best MLK Day Parade experience yet.
Check out the route and get there early
Although the parade begins promptly at 10 a.m., road closures will start as early as 6:30 a.m. Take a look at the road closures before you leave, so you can re-route your travel plans and make it to the parade on time. Get there a little early so you can pick out the perfect spot (sunny or shady; beginning or end; crowded or spacious). Stop by a Visitor’s Information Center to grab a map and navigate with ease. Once the parade starts, there’s no stopping it – you don’t want to miss any of the magical moments.
BYOCW – Bring your own chair and water
There are over 350 different schools and organizations participating in this year’s parade, so you know it’s going to be a rather long event. Be sure you to bring your own chair and water, so you can stay comfortable and hydrated through the duration of the day. Pro-tip: bring a snack to share with your group! Stop by Parker’s Market Urban Gourmet or Brighter Day Natural Foods to grab some fresh, shareable snacks or deli items.
Plan your parking
With the road closures, crowds of people, and chairs and coolers to carry – it’s a good idea to have a parking game plan. If you’re coming from the airport – take a shuttle. If you’re bringing a group of people – carpool as much as possible. The MLK Visitor Information Center has ample parking and is right by the parade’s end. If you get there too late, don’t worry – the Visitor Center sells parking passes. Click here to find out more parking opportunities so you can plan ahead.
Know where public restrooms are located
Nature calls – we’re only human! Have a good idea of where the nearest public restroom is located once you pick a parade viewing spot. Any of the Visitor Information Centers around town have tidy public restrooms. Also, the City of Savannah has a map of public restrooms on their website, so you can avoid the hassle of a frantic, last-minute restroom search. You will impress your friends, and they will thank you for being so well-informed on such important information.
Remember why we celebrate
Through all of the music, food, dancing and fun – it’s important to remember why we celebrate. The day is a national holiday for good reason – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an American hero. Black heritage plays a huge role in Savannah’s culture, and there are many ways to learn about black history while you’re here.
Larissa Allen is Visit Savannah’s digital content coordinator. Larissa is addicted to watermelon juice from the Forsyth Farmers’ Market. Her favorite Savannah spots are mostly in the Starland District.