With the greening of the fountain about a week behind us, the St. Patrick's Day celebrations are officially in full swing in our fair city. As downtown Savannah prepares to open its doors, Tybee Island is setting up shop for a celebration of their own.

Now in its 12th year, the Tybee Island Heritage Parade is set to march down Butler Avenue once again at 3 p.m. March 15. Organizers of the event look at the island's parade not as competition to Savannah's historic celebration, but as a way for island residents to celebrate their own Irish heritage. The resulting quaint parade is a family friendly option for those looking to extend their St. Patrick's Day weekend or those looking for a smaller parade to let the kids have a bit more breathing room.

Leaving from Tybee Memorial Park, the green-tinted parade is led by the incomparable Beach Chair Brigade. This sassy group of ladies is quintessential Tybee and certainly something you won't find in any other parade. Following weeks of rehearsals, the ladies will don their matching teeny bikini T-shirts and take their place at the head of the parade.

Their entertaining mix of synchronized beach-chair dancing, flag twirling and general feather boa-draped exuberance helps set the Tybee parade apart. The opportunity to catch the show and snag a snapshot with the ladies is worth the trip. The ladies of the beach chair brigade will be followed by a colorful, mostly green, parade of Irish families, floats, bands and bagpipes.

The Tybee Irish Heritage Parade is not too big and not too small, but just the right size.

It is a great addition to the holiday weekend in preparation for Monday's big event - and the perfect excuse to wear that green wig twice.

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