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Savannah St. Pat's wet; successful
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SAVANNAH - Irish and Irish at heart gathered in Savannah Wednesday as the city marked its 186th annual St. Patrick's Day celebration.

The city's St. Patrick's Day festivities attract hundreds of thousands of people, the biggest tourist event of the year in the city of about 150,000.

Wednesday, Leah Larkin and Linda Lane donned fleece blankets as they sat waiting for the parade to begin at the corner of Abercorn and Jones streets.

A few early morning chills were worth it for the two Savannah residents, who have watched the parade from this same spot for 29 years.

"We come right here at 5:30 a.m. every year to get our spot," Lane said. "Leah's the optimist. She always says (the rain) will stop."

Larkin said, "Just in case, I've got umbrellas."

Showers eventually did make for a soggy day, but it didn't seem to slow down reveling: By 7:30 p.m., Savannah-Chatham police reported at least 43 arrests.

Gena Moore, Savannah-Chatham police spokeswoman, said there were two fights reported one at Abercorn Street and Oglethorpe Avenue and another at Harris and Drayton streets but by the time officers arrived, the tension had been diffused.

More than two dozen of the morning and early afternoon arrests were misdemeanors, while several others were city ordinance violations and felonies.

Officials at the National Weather Service in Charleston predicted about one-tenth of an inch of rain, followed by temperatures hovering around 44 degrees.

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