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Savannah Festivals Guide

Savannah Festivals Guide

Savannah, Georgia hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, offering a unique blend of culture and entertainment. As you delve into the Savannah Festivals Guide, you’ll discover an array of events that celebrate everything from music and food to art and literature. From the vivacious St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Savannah Music Festival, which showcases internationally renowned musicians, to the Savannah Food & Wine Festival, tempting foodies with its culinary delights — there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a history buff, or a gourmet enthusiast, Savannah’s lively festival scene invites you to immerse yourself in its unique southern spirit.

  • Dining Dining
  • Entertainment Entertainment

Savannah Spring Festivals

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a unique spectacle of Irish pride, has been a city tradition since 1813, originally started by the Hibernian Society. The parade is an amalgamation of marching bands, military units, charitable organizations, and youth groups, all encapsulating the essence of Irish culture and heritage. As a nod to the holiday, participants and spectators alike don green attire and shamrocks, signifying their participation in the worldwide celebration of Irish culture. The festivities launch with the Greening of the Fountain at Forsyth Park, a spectacle where the fountain water is dyed green, creating a festive atmosphere that echoes throughout the Historic District. With activities unfolding over several days, Savannah’s parade has grown into the South’s largest St. Patrick’s Day celebration, attracting an impressive crowd of 400,000 visitors globally. So, make sure to grab an early spot for the best view and immerse yourself in this cultural extravaganza.

Savannah Music Festival

Savannah Music FestivalThe Savannah Music Festival (SMF) stands as the premier musical arts event in Georgia, captivating audiences with over 100 productions spanning 17 days each spring. Originating in 1990 as the Savannah OnStage International Arts Festival, its inception aimed to enrich the cultural landscape of Savannah by showcasing diverse music, film, and dance from around the globe while enticing visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Over the years, SMF has evolved into a year-round endeavor, offering an array of programs, including youth concerts, educational lectures, in-school touring initiatives, and an annual high school jazz band competition. During the festival’s two-week extravaganza, attendees are treated to a myriad of musical genres, from jazz to Americana, pop to soul, and everything in between, creating a global symphony of harmonious brilliance. The festival’s venues, steeped in historic charm, provide the perfect backdrop for musical enchantment, with iconic locales such as the Lucas Theatre, the Trustees Theater, and Trinity United Methodist Church resonating with the melodies of renowned artists, making each performance a transcendent experience.

Sidewalk Arts Festival

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) students converge every spring in Forsyth Park, transforming it into an outdoor art gallery. This event, born in the early days of SCAD in 1979, is an April highlight, attracting locals and visitors alike with over 800 participating artists. Attendees get to witness students turn gray sidewalk spaces into a spectrum of stories and expressions with their chalk art. The festival also includes “tableaux vivants” — living pictures — alongside local food, music, and an accompanying food truck festival. Held as part of the SCAD weekend, the festival offers a dynamic blend of art, culture, and community spirit.

River Street Seafood Festival

Savannah River Street Seafood FestivalHeld the first weekend of May, the River Street Seafood Festival highlights the freshest catches like shrimp, crawfish, oysters, and crab. Local chefs showcase their culinary flair, tantalizing the taste buds of seafood enthusiasts. The festival’s lively ambiance is further enhanced with live music performances across various genres. Artisanal crafts and unique souvenirs add a cultural dimension to the charming marketplace. To ensure a comprehensive experience for everyone, the festival is packed with family-friendly activities and games, making it an exceptional blend of food, fun, and a sense of community.

Savannah Summer Festivals

Tybee Beach Bum Parade

Since way back in 1987, the Tybee Beach Bum Parade has been a big deal on the island, drawing folks from all over to join in the South’s wildest water fight. It all started when the Tybee Beach Bums softball team wanted to throw a fun parade for their homecoming. Starting at the North Beach parking lot, the parade rolls down Highway 80, hits Butler Avenue, and ends on Tybrisa Street. Along the way, it’s an all-out water war as paradegoers and floats duke it out with water guns. Locals and visitors love this event, and it’s become a must-do tradition on Tybee Island. Now in its 33rd year, the Tybee Beach Bum Parade is bigger and better than ever. So grab your water guns, but remember, let’s keep it safe and fun — only water is allowed, no water balloons or pressure washers. Spring’s here, and there’s no better way to celebrate than with the Tybee Beach Bum Parade!

“Savannah Salutes” Memorial Day Weekend

The four-day “Savannah Salutes” Memorial Day Weekend Celebration at Plant Riverside District marks the start of summer in a salute to the armed forces. Known as Savannah’s Entertainment District, it buzzes with free live music and offers nightly fountain shows. The district’s iconic markers are lit with patriotic red, white, and blue lights after sunset. Culinary delights abound, with food and drink specials daily at Riverside Burgers, District Smokehouse, and District Seafood. Enjoy classic Angus burgers, imported and craft beers, succulent brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, and summer cocktails like the Bohemian Beach. Additional treats like hot dogs, gelato, and popcorn are available along the riverfront.

Fourth of July Celebrations

4th of July CelebrationsIn Savannah, the Fourth of July weekend is a grandiose spectacle of patriotic celebrations. The city’s waterfront hosts an annual Independence Day event, marked by a stunning fireworks show that lasts approximately 20 minutes. Launched from a barge positioned in the Savannah River, in front of the Savannah Convention Center, the display illuminates the summer sky in a burst of colors. The celebration extends beyond the night sky, offering free family-friendly entertainment that features live music across two riverfront stages and special fountain shows. Attendees can also indulge in food and drink specials, making the event a festive blend of gastronomy, entertainment, and patriotism.

Savannah VOICE Festival

The Savannah VOICE Festival, founded in 2013 by renowned opera singers Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves, is a celebration of classical music, opera, and art songs. As part of the VOICExperience Foundation, it carries the mission of fostering talent and encouraging appreciation for these music genres. The festival brings the city of Savannah to life in August each year, hosting a variety of concerts, recitals, master classes, and staged operas in diverse venues. Over 100 resident Festival Artists grace the event with their performances, captivating an audience of over 5,000 individuals. Alongside these experiences, the festival contributes to community enrichment through more than 45 events and educational programs, making it a beacon of cultural vibrancy and artistic excellence.

Savannah Fall Festivals

Savannah Food & Wine Festival

The Savannah Food & Wine Festival celebrates the culinary prowess of local and regional cuisines, bringing together renowned chefs, winemakers, and beverage experts. It’s an event that truly embodies Southern tradition and charm, earning rave reviews from local and national media alike. Attendees can experience cooking classes by professional chefs, wine pairing sessions supervised by sommeliers, craft beer tastings, and regional mixologist-led cocktail competitions. Evening receptions at local restaurants and guided tours through Savannah’s historic neighborhoods provide immersive experiences, making this festival a must-attend fall event for foodies and culture enthusiasts alike.

Savannah Jazz Festival

The Savannah Jazz Festival, an annual tradition since its inaugural event at Grayson Stadium on October 1, 1983, brightens up the city for eight days each September. Embracing various venues, the festival culminates in a three-day musical extravaganza at historic Forsyth Park. The festival commences with performances by local school bands and Georgia Southern University’s jazz ensemble. Among the attractions, you’ll find Serena’s delectable hot fried catfish, Leopold’s old-fashioned ice cream, and the must-try spaghetti grilled cheese from The Big Cheese food truck, complementing the rich tapestry of jazz with culinary delights. This free admission event is a must-attend for jazz lovers and foodies alike.

Savannah Craft Brew Fest

Savannah Craft Brew FestThe annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest (SCBF), a signature event held at One International Drive, Savannah, Georgia, turns Labor Day Weekend into a craft beer haven. With over 150 craft beers available for tastings, the festival offers a lively atmosphere amplified by live music and a spirited cornhole tournament. The SCBF boasts an array of features, including indoor and outdoor Beer Gardens, an Import Garden, a Cider Garden, and a Mixology Garden serving unique beer cocktails. The Sam Adams Brew University offers educational sessions for enthusiasts, while the Mead Garden caters to honey-wine lovers. The fun gets a modern twist with a Silent Disco, making this event a must-visit for beer aficionados.


Oktoberfest at Plant Riverside District in Savannah is a spirited celebration, marrying German traditions with a modern southern twist. This free family-oriented event features bratwurst eating contests, stein-holding competitions, and an entertaining keg toss. Attendees can soak up the atmosphere of live polka music and diverse riverfront performances while enjoying the beer garden’s wide variety of brews and authentic German cuisine. The highlight of the event is the Wiener Dog Races, a crowd favorite. The festival also showcases regional arts and crafts and live entertainment throughout the weekend. Don’t miss out on the traditional Oktoberfest lebkuchen cookies from our friends at Cookie Queen, bringing a sweet touch to the revelry.

Savannah Pride Festival

The Savannah Pride Festival, a jubilant showcase of queer culture hosted by The First City Pride Center, unfolds a series of exciting pop-up events throughout the week, leading up to a spectacular weekend celebration. The festival, kick-starting at Ellis Square, attracts approximately 30,000 attendees and offers an array of entertainment options, such as captivating performances by drag artists and musicians, thrilling carnival games, the House of Gunt’s Costume Contest, and activities dedicated to youth engagement. Open to the public, the event also offers VIP tickets that grant access to a tent with stage view seating, an open bar, snacks, and exclusive meet-greets, providing an enhanced experience of this exultant display of queer southern pride.

Tybee Island Pirate Festival

The Tybee Island Pirate Festival, inaugurated in 2005 to stimulate off-season visitation, transforms Tybee Island, a short 20-minute drive from Savannah’s Historic District, into a treasure trove for pirates. The festival sprawls over the South Beach parking lot, from Tybrisa Street to 18th Street, near the iconic Tybee Pier. Reminiscent of Tybee’s history as a pirate hideaway, the annual fest is filled with pirate-themed parties, parades, and pub crawls. Attendees, young and old, dress up in pirate attire adding vibrancy to the festivities. This four-day extravaganza promises a jolly good time for all, keeping the island’s buccaneering spirit alive.

Savannah Winter Festivals

Savannah Book Festival

Savannah Book FestivalThe Savannah Book Festival, a celebrated literary event in Savannah, Georgia, brings together a community of readers, writers, and book lovers annually. Attracting over 9,000 attendees, it provides a platform for engaging discussions and civil conversation around the written word. The festival features more than 40 authors presenting at various unique venues sprinkled around the three historic squares in downtown Savannah. Notable past participants include bestselling authors Stephen King, James Patterson, and David Baldacci, Pulitzer Prize laureates like Garry Wills, Geraldine Brooks, and Isabel Wilkerson, National Book Award winner Ben Fountain, and Nobel Prize laureate Al Gore. This event, free and open to the public, truly embodies the mission of promoting reading, writing, and thoughtful dialogue.

Savannah Black Heritage Festival

During February, the Savannah Black Heritage Festival unfolds as a vibrant commemoration of African cultural traditions and legacy. The festival is an auditory and visual feast with lively music performances and dynamic dance showcases that capture the soul of Africa. Attendees are treated to an immersive experience, with traditional African drumming sessions creating an infectious rhythm. The event boasts an inspiring lineup of enlightening lectures, literary readings, and art exhibitions that spotlight the creativity and unique perspectives of African artists. This vivacious festival offers a rich exploration of the invaluable contributions of African Americans to art and culture.

Up the Cup New Year’s Eve Celebration

The “Up the Cup” New Year’s Eve Celebration, a unique Savannah tradition, attracts throngs of revelers to River Street. Cosponsored by Wet Willie’s, a local bar famed for its frozen cocktails, and the Savannah Waterfront Association, the event ditches the standard ball drop for a colossal six-foot “to-go” cup elevation. This steel and plastic marvel echoes Savannah’s customary “to-go” bar cups, and its ascent marks the commencement of the new year. The revelry encompasses onstage giveaways, a DJ MXM-hosted dance party, and a digital photo booth, culminating in a spectacular riverside fireworks display, ensuring an unforgettable start to the year.

Pin Point Seafood Festival

The Pin Point Seafood Festival, an esteemed annual event, draws hundreds to the historically rich community of Pin Point, set scenically on the Moon River’s banks. Founded by freed slaves post-1896 hurricanes, Pin Point remains a testament to its founders’ resilience, with most waterfront properties still owned by their descendants — a unique boast in Georgia. The festival, amid towering oaks, pays homage to Pin Point’s culinary heritage, offering a gastronomic spread of soul food and seafood, prepared in an assortment of tantalizing ways. From grilled to sautéed, and even barbecued delights, the festival’s fare is simply irresistible. Coupled with live music and family-friendly activities, this festival offers an enriching mix of history, culture, and culinary exploration.


Where is the Savannah Book Festival?

The Savannah Book Festival takes place annually in downtown Savannah, Georgia. Specifically, author presentations are held at various unique venues scattered around three historic squares: Telfair, Wright, and Chippewa. This central location in the heart of Savannah allows attendees to enjoy the charming cityscape while engaging in a celebration of literature.

When was the Savannah Music Festival started?

The Savannah Music Festival was initially started in the year 1989, marking its inception as a notable event in the city’s cultural calendar. It has since grown to become one of the most diverse and highly anticipated music festivals in the world, spanning numerous venues throughout Savannah and offering a broad spectrum of musical genres.

Are there any family-friendly festivals in Savannah?

Yes, Savannah hosts several family-friendly festivals. These include the Savannah Book Festival, promoting the love for reading; the Savannah Black Heritage Festival, celebrating African culture; the Pin Point Seafood Festival, offering a mix of history, culture, and culinary exploration; and the “Up the Cup” New Year’s Eve Celebration, featuring a riverside fireworks display.

What are the most popular festivals held in Savannah?

The most popular festivals in Savannah include the Savannah Book Festival, the Savannah Black Heritage Festival, the Pin Point Seafood Festival, and the “Up the Cup” New Year’s Eve Celebration. Each offers a unique blend of culture, history, literature, music, and cuisine, making them must-visits.

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