Catch a replay of Savannah's St. Patrick's Day paradeYou can't see me
The weather wasn't going to keep Dan and Lisa Clancey away from their first ever Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The Jesup couple Monday morning donned camouflage rain gear and found a spot just south of Liberty Street along Abercorn tucked among a blooming azalea bush to view the 190th annual parade.
It might even have taken a couple glances before the Clancey's could be spotted in their head-to-toe hunting attire.
"We told that cop that he couldn't see me," Lisa said with a big smile. "Apparently he can, though. He said he could see me pretty easily."
"It's that special truing," Dan chimed in.
Despite the wet weather, the couple said they were thrilled to see the world famous procession for the first time.
"It's really something else," Dan said. "We're having a lot of fun. Really glad we made it on up."
The McDonough Irish Elves
The wore oversized elf ears, green elvish caps and oversized sunglasses in the shape of four-leaf clovers, yes the McDonough girls made it to Savannah.
Each year the three sisters from Scranton, Pa., scope out a different site across the nation on the 17th of March to witness a St. Patrick's Day Parade.
2014, said Rosie McDonough - seated along the east end of Oglethrope Square with her sisters Mary and Kathy - was Savannah's turn.
"This is our No. 1 parade," Rosie said, flashing a smile with her bring green-lined lips. "This is better than Boston, it's definitely better than Chicago, and it's way, way better than New York."
Parades across the country, Rosie said, are on their bucket lists and Savannah's may be the one, besides their hometown Scranton, to which they return.
"It's a great day for a parade," Kathy said. "We just love, love, love this city; we're coming back, oh yes."
'Everyone has to get kissed on St. Patrick's Day'
The bright green umbrella may not among her typically St. Patrick's Day accessories, but Brandy Carpenter wasn't about to let a few rain drops spoil her annual tradition.
"You can't miss a St. Pat's Parade, not as a Savannahian," she said, as she rushed back from planting a kiss on the check of a Benedictine cadet.
She quickly pointed out another cadet to her friend and first time parade attendant, Charis Jones.
"You've gotta pick the ones who don't have kisses yet," said Brandy, a St. Vincent's graduate who returns to her hometown each year for the March 17 extravaganza. "No one can feel left out.
"It's St. Patrick's Day; everyone has to get kissed on St. Patrick's Day."
Charis, from Asheville, after kissing a 3rd Infantry Division soldier a little bit later, couldn't help but smile.
"This is like the greatest tradition every, anywhere," she said. "I'm just having a great time."
'The women should get a kiss, too'
One of the men standing along the parade route, cheering as some 400 soldiers from the Army's 3rd Infantry Division felt bad for some of the female soldiers who had noticeably fewer lip marks on their cheeks than their male counterparts.
"Why can't no one kiss the female soldiers?" the parade watcher yelled. "The women should get a kiss too."
That was no problem, said Jolene Teague, as she threw her arms around one of the female soldiers from Hunter Army Airfield and planted a red-lipped kiss on her left cheek.
"Of course I don't mind," Teague said. "It's all about fun; you can't help but look and appreciate what they all do."
Dip, duck and dive
Throngs of red-lipsticked women ran into the formation as some 400 of the 3rd Infantry Division's Dog face Soldiers marched down Abercorn Street.
The soldiers on the outside managed the most kisses, as some of those marching on the inside seemingly tried to avoid the obvious marks.
"Can't let your wife see that," one soldier said as a pair of women tried to kiss the man next to him. "You've gotta dip, duck, dive, whatever to keep from getting in trouble."
Joining the band
The Savannah State band just wasn't loud enough for Kayleigh Smith.
As the college band marched down Abercorn, the 6-year-old joined right in with her vuvuzela, painted to match the flag of Ireland.
"She's even louder than that band is," someone noted as they walked by.
The child just kept on playing, even following the band for a few steps.
"Maybe she'll be out there with them one day," one of her family members remarked.
Entertainment from the crowd
Seated in a folding chair, 4-year-old Connor Clifton couldn't get enough of the red vuvuzela he brought with him to the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
The child provided as much entertainment to those marching in the parade as the did to the throngs of onlookers as he blasted tunes from his spot behind a police barrier in front of the Savannah Fire station at Oglethorpe Avenue and Abercorn Street.
As the parade drew to a temporary halt, about a dozen airmen with the Fort Stewart-based 115th Air Support Operations Squadron, turned to Connor as he continued to play the crude instrument.
"That's awesome," a lieutenant with the unit riding on an Air Force golf cart said, laughing. "He's having more fun than anyone else."
"That kid's killing it," a master sergeant added as the unit started to march again.