SAVANNAH - The fountains in Savannah's oak-shaded squares are gushing green - a telltale sign the city's St. Patrick's Day parade is just around the corner.
Walter Crawford, the grand marshal of the 2011 parade, tipped green dye into the fountain at Forsyth Park on Friday surrounded by onlookers who watched the spewing water change colors.
Thousands will line the streets of Savannah's downtown historic district on Thursday when Crawford leads the sprawling St. Patrick's procession. It's a 187-year-old tradition in the coastal city that has become one of its most lucrative tourism draws.
Though the Irish holiday falls during the week, Savannah hotel managers say they expect a profitable celebration because plenty of visitors are booking reservations from St. Pat's through next weekend.