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Posted: March 17, 2016 10:25 a.m.

Savannah parade on St. Patrick's Day a tradition since 1824

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Thousands of revelers are gathering in Savannah for St. Patrick's Day, the coastal city's largest celebration of the year.

The annual St. Patrick's Day parade is scheduled to kick off Thursday morning in Savannah's downtown historic district. The forecast calls for spring-like weather under partly cloudy skies, with high temperatures around 81 degrees.

Though the 2016 parade falls squarely during the workweek, Savannah tourism officials say many visitors plan to stay in town through the weekend, extending the green-themed party through Saturday night.

Savannah traces its St. Patrick's Day tradition to 1824, when the first parade was a small procession organized by Irish immigrants. Nearly two centuries later, the holiday has become Savannah's biggest single tourist attraction and one of the South's largest street parties after Mardi Gras.

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