May falls into the high season for tourism in Savannah. It’s one of those busy months when we share the treasures of our city with oodles of out-of-towners—everyone from first-time tourists to frequent repeat visitors who have fallen under Savannah’s spell. And, as is our nature, we extend the warm hospitality that Savannah is famous for: rolling out a welcome mat of delightful diversions. Several of the popular picks follow. See VisitSavannah.com to find more.
The May Day Festival has been a time-honored rite of spring since the founding of the Massie School in 1856 and it’s one of our city’s favorite events. Adults who took part in this festival as kids reminisce as hundreds of gleeful school children dressed in cultural outfits gather in Calhoun Square to perform folk dances of their country of choice. The kids also merrily dance in a circle around Maypoles that dot the square, intertwining ribbons to braid the poles in pretty patterns.
Place: Calhoun Square
Cost: Free and open to the public
(Photo from www.myhsf.org)
May is Preservation Month and where better than the annual Savannah Preservation Festival to see outstanding examples of historic sustention efforts. Tour amazing private homes that are past Preservation Award winners as you sample fine wines paired with gourmet appetizers. And see preservation in progress while having a grand old time at a family-friendly Block Party on dynamic Broughton Street. Also on the slate are an Opening Lecture and the 2016 Awards Ceremony.
Place: Various venues in the Historic District
Time: Varies by day (click here for schedule)
Cost: Ticketed events: $45 - $75
Opening Lecture and Block Party: Free
If you haven’t heard, the First Friday concert in May will be the last one hosted by Chris Desa who recently stepped down as Savannah Folk Music Society President, a role he served in for over four years. He’s sure to still be around and about at SFMS though; in fact, he’s performing at the May show. The evening’s other act is acclaimed, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Daniel Nickels. He has traveled the world playing music and the musical genres he sings span the whole spectrum.
Place: First Presbyterian Church
Time: 7:30pm – 10:00pm
Cost: $5.00 minimum suggested donation
(Photo from www.savannahfolk.org)
If you have ever built a sand castle, you will be in awe of what’s molded from the sand on Tybee’s scenic North Beach at the talented hands of SCAD students. By the time it’s said and done, intricate sand relief sculptures of varying themes blanket the beach, fanciful sand sculptures of people, places and animals turn stretches of beach into exhibits, and elaborate sand castles rise in tribute to creativity. These creations are a delight, as is a day at Tybee; just catch them before the tide rolls in.
Place: Tybee Island
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
(Photo from www.scad.edu)
Seafood and Savannah go together like peanut butter and jelly, and they come together in a festive way at Seafood Fest. Locals and tourists look forward to the fresh shrimp, oysters, crab and crawfish featured at food booths, and to the live Jimmy Buffett style music that wafts along the riverfront all weekend long. So get your flip flops and beach wear and get ready for a beach party dance scene.
Place: Rousakis Riverfront Plaza, Historic River Street
Time: 4:00pm – 10:00pm, Friday, 10:00am – 10:00pm Saturday
(Photo from: www.riverstreetsavannah.com)
This month Free Family Day at the Jepson Center is part of a weekend community celebration of the State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now exhibit that runs through September 4. Family Day takes place on that Saturday and it’s an opportunity to enjoy local contemporary art, meet some of the artists, and try your hand at making some art of your own. Friday offers a Mega Art March, an amped-up gallery hop that lets you explore the arts scene from downtown through midtown.
(photo from: http://www.telfair.org/)
Place: Jepson Center and throughout Savannah
Time: 5:00pm – 9:00pm Friday, 1:00pm – 4:00pm Saturday
Cost: Free and open to the public
If you think you hear bagpipes on the first Saturday in May, it’s not your imagination. Rather, it will be coming from the Scottish Games, a celebration of Highland culture that takes place each year on oak-canopied Bynah’s Field at Bethesda Academy. Typically, the day also includes fun activities like Border Collie demonstrations, Highland dance and weight toss contests, sack races and kilted runs.
Place: Bynah’s Field, Bethesda Academy
Time: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Cost: Tickets: $5 - $10, Kids 10 and under FREE
(photo from: http://www.army.mil/)
Get away for a day to Tybee Island and take one of the area’s most popular home tours. This year’s tour includes eight homes and you’ll see a diversity of dwellings that reflects Tybee’s eclectic real estate mélange that includes everything from grand residential retreats to humble, colorful cottages. Enjoy the tour and while you’re there, soak up some sun and sink your toes in the sand.
Time:10:00am – 4:00pm
Cost:Tickets $35 each (lunch included)
(photo from: tybeetourofhomes.com)
A Trivia Note: After a rather heated game back in the 1980s, two Tybee softball teams got into a water balloon fight on Butler Avenue. Others wanted to join the fun and the Beach Bum Parade was soon born. Flash forward to now and the water war continues. Parade floats are filled with water-throwing gear and spectators are ready for battle with water hoses, Super Soakers and such.
Time:6:30pm – 8:30pm
(photo from: tybeeisland.com)
It’s been called “a 5K vacation.” Here’s why. Runners are bathed in a tropical array of colors and enchanting island scents as they negotiate a course with giant inflatable palm trees, colorful balloon arches, and island-style music that makes their strides feel even lighter. After Color Runners complete the race, the good time continues at the finish line with music, dancing, photo opps and massive color throws at a super-cool beach area with super-sized pineapples and beach balls.
Place: Downtown Savannah
Time: Starts at 9:00am
Cost: Varies (click here for registration info)
This run is no ordinary mile. Instead it’s one where people run/walk to raise money for families of first responders who perish in the line-of-duty. Myriads participate, from young ones in strollers to young-at-heart seniors and runners with canine pals to firefighters and military in full gear. The run is done in heats and first responders and military enjoy complimentary entry.
Place: Downtown Savannah
Time: Starts at 8:00am
Cost: $20 through May 26, then $25 through race day
(photo from: running.competitor.com)
May also ushers in Mother’s Day, that marvelous Sunday when we honor mothers and mother figures. So Live Love Savannah would like to extend “Happy Mother’s Day” greetings to all the Moms all month long! And, we hope that everyone enjoys Savannah’s many exciting escapades during May. We’ll see you back here at the Live Love Savannah blog next month. If we can be of assistance in the meantime, click here.