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Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 8:00am

Large St. Patrick's Day Crowds Expected

Savannah officials are preparing for larger-than-normal crowds at this weekend's St. Patrick's Day festivities.

The celebration is the city's largest annual tourist draw.

"We're expecting 400,000 plus," Hill says. "This really good weather forecast that we're receiving right now is going to amp up that."

Hill says, this year's festival will be the largest in years because it's on a Saturday and the skies look good.

"We have seen the weather forecast now," Hill says. "That is certainly a relief because if it's going to be too hot or if there's a chance of rain or too cold that certainly affects your crowds, the temper of the crowd, et cetera. And right now we're tracking very, very well."

State and local police are putting more than 100 additional officers on the beat to make sure the party doesn't get out of hand.

Officials say, they'll be cracking down on illegal parking and a more frightening tradition.

Some festival-goers bring large snakes to the parade in honor of Saint Patrick.

That's now illegal.

The festivities are expected reach a height on Saturday. Savannah has the nation's second largest St. Patrick's Day celebration.

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