Savannah sees massive trash mess after St. Patrick's Day celebrations, sparking anger

The city that hosts the largest St. Patrick's Day parade in the South was left with the largest cleanup in the South on Saturday after revelers littered a downtown square with cups, food wrappers and other garbage.

Organizers of the festivities in Savannah, Ga., posted images of the rubbish in Wright Square with a chipper caption noting that "thanks to City staff and civic-minded volunteers the clean-up is well underway!" The image had been shared 1,320 times as of Sunday afternoon and drawn 330 comments.

"This is appalling," one user commented. "Who would be surprised to find that the jerks responsible for this mess don't come from Savannah?"

"Until they start arresting and/or fining people, they will continue to do so," wrote another. "Savannah needs to develop a spine!!!"

An estimated 300,000 people were expected to attend the annual parade, which was first held in 1824 and has ballooned into a sprawling street party.

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The Associated Press reported that bars opened in the city at 7 a.m. Saturday. The parade and related festivities were held a day early to avoid conflicting with religious services. New York City and Chicago also held their St. Patrick's Day parades on Saturday.

"Savannah's like a bad drug," said Bruce Souers, a Savannah native who's been attending parades for five decades, as he sipped Jameson Irish whiskey from a plastic cup. "Once it's in your blood, you can't get rid of it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.