News from Georgia’s oldest city.
By Hope S. Philbrick
“There’s always something to do in Savannah!” said Mayor Edna Jackson at a recent luncheon in Atlanta. She was in the state capital to promote her coastal city to travel journalists, as if we need much persuading to go.
Jackson pointed out that Savannah, Georgia, hosts more than 150 festivals every year, built around themes that vary “every month—and probably every week.” From festivals that celebrate Black History Month to St. Patrick’s Day, music to food, global cultures to gay pride, Savannah offers something for everyone.
“All of our festivals are great,” said Jackson. “We are a friendly city; we are the ‘Hostess city of the South.’”
“Savannah is changing daily,” said Joe Marinelli, president of Visit Savannah. “The new Cotton Sail Hotel will be opening soon, a riverfront project that cost $200 million. Other new hotels around the historic district will be breaking ground soon. A new Tanger Outlet Mall will open in May off I-95. There are lots of new restaurants open or opening soon, including Chef Hugh Acheson’s The Florence and Chef Mashama Bailey’s The Grey, which is located in the old segregated Greyhound bus station. And this year a brand new women’s half-marathon 5k will take place.”
Other highlights revealed during the meeting include…
- Verdant Kitchen, a gourmet food brand based in Savannah, brings high-quality gourmet ginger- and turmeric-based products to the market. Ginger was first grown in Savannah in 1736!
- The Savannah Music Festival, which celebrates very diverse musical genres, will host its first opera during this year’s lineup. The festival runs March 19 through April 4, 2015.
- Telfair Museums, the oldest public art museum in the South, will host special exhibits in 2015 to celebrate African American art, female Southern artists, and artists influenced by the Blues of the Deep South, plus special showcases of works by renowned artists Warhol and Monet.
- Leopold’s Ice Cream will begin shipping its product nationwide in 2015. Great news, especially for fans of Tutti Frutti, which was famous Savannah musician Johnny Mercer’s favorite flavor.
- Tybee Island, “Savannah’s Beach,” has completed a beach restoration project that brings “10 years worth of sand” to its wide, sunny shores.
We can’t wait to check out all the updates to Savannah—and we’ll definitely share our discoveries with you when we do. Stay tuned.
– Photo courtesy Visit Savannah
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