Happy New Year! I encourage you to take out your calendar and set a few goals for the year to experience Savannah to the fullest. Here are some ideas that will help you navigate through all of the fun we’re going to have in 2013:
10. Get back to nature. When was the last time you visited Oatland Island Wildlife Center? The serene trails are a great place to kickstart your 2013 fitness routine with a brisk walk, and you can enjoy learning about reptiles, wolves and armadillos while you’re there! It’s a fantastic place for the entire family to experience. oatlandisland.org, 912-395-1212
9. Embrace the Savannah College of Art and Design’s community events. SCAD offers the opportunity for you to experience photography shows, lectures, concerts and festivals throughout the entire year. One of my favorites, the annual Silver & Ink Photography show, usually takes place in late April/early May. Silver & Ink is SCAD’s premier juried photography exhibition, showcasing the best student work. Other noteworthy events: Sidewalk Chalk Arts Festival, Tybee Island Sand Arts Festival and Movies in Forsyth Park! Most of their events are free and open to the public. www.scad.edu/experience/events
8. Support live music in Savannah! There is no lack of talented acts coming to Savannah or already based here. With Savannah Stopover, the Savannah Music Festival, the Savannah Jazz Festival and the Folk Music Festival, there’s enough variety to suit any taste. Like to keep it local? Check out the Savannah Songwriters Series or the live music each week at B. Matthew’s Eatery. And keep an eye out for concert announcements from the Civic Center and Savannah box offices, too — you never know who will pop into town!
7. Get to know the neighbors. Make plans to check out one of the home or garden tours taking place in Savannah. The Annual Tour of Homes & Gardens, N.O.G.S Tour, Tybee Island Tour of Homes, St. Vincent’s Tour of Homes and Tea, Ardsley Park Tour of Homes and DNA Holiday Tour of Homes offer exclusive peeks inside of real Savannah history.
6. Bike Savannah! You truly never forget how to ride a bike. Together with the city of Savannah and Healthy Savannah, the Savannah Bicycle Campaign will host four Ciclovia-style Play Streets events as a result of a recently awarded grant from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Savannah Bicycle Campaign hosts several “Wheelies” throughout the year that are open to all ages and levels — Wheelies are non-competitive group bicycle rides in different parts of Savannah. Watch for more details on Ciclovia and Wheelie events at bicyclecampaign.org.
5. Learn something new. You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate Savannah’s heritage. The Massie School takes you back in time in the Heritage Classroom, where you become an architect, investigate Native American artifacts and explore Oglethorpe’s city plan. Georgia Historical Society and Historic Savannah Foundation offer plenty of programs, lectures and workshops throughout the year, and museum houses such as The Davenport House Museum offer indepth special tours on topics such as Savannah’s Madeira tradition. Architectural Tours of Savannah with Jonathan Stalcup takes you through 300 years of Savannah’s fascinating architectural history.
4. Enjoy a picnic in the park. Throw together your friends and family, grab your chairs, blankets, some sandwiches and a cooler and enjoy Savannah’s beautiful weather! Skidaway Island State Park is a great place to spend an afternoon with shaded picnic shelters, scenic marsh view trails and plenty of play space for the kiddos.
3. Run a race! It seems like there’s a 5k or 10k or something-k almost every weekend in Savannah or on Tybee Island. Whether you’re a walker or a marathon-miler, there’s a race for you. Coming up is the Critz Tybee Run Fest, Seacrest Race for Preservation, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Shamrock Run, Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Marathon and ½ Marathon, Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run, Rape Crisis Center’s Reindeer Run — and so many more! Not sure how to start? Hook up with the folks at Fleet Feet Savannah They have training groups for all skill levels! (And if you’re hardcore, Savannah’s first ULTRA Marathon is taking place at Fort Pulaski and McQueen’s Island Rails to Trails on Jan. 12.) fleetfeetsavannah.com
2. Don your green and take part in the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. If you somehow haven’t noticed, Savannah is known for hosting the second largest parade in the world. The religious and cultural celebration begins a couple of weeks prior to the parade. Some of these traditional events include the Investiture of the Grand Marshal, Greening of the Fountain in Forsyth Park, Tara Feis, Celtic Cross Mass and Ceremony and Sergeant William Jasper Green Ceremony. On the morning of the parade, Mass is held at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. savannahnow.com/stpatricksday
1. Be a tourist in your own town. Book a night at one of our inns or B&Bs. Visit the Mercer House, eat lunch at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, indulge in a praline at River Street Sweets, have your photo taken in front of the Forsyth Park fountain, drink a “Call a Cab” at Wet Willies, go see The Lady Chablis and take a tour of Bonaventure Cemetery. We live in a place where thousands of people come to vacation each year. Devote 24 hours to rediscovering our beautiful and historic city.
OH SO JANUARY
Here’s a list of events that are on my radar for this month:
‘ALL ABOUT EVE’
Starring Bette Davis — an ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 12
Where: Trustees Theater, 32 Abercorn St.
Info: savannahboxoffice.com, 912-525-5050
‘CINDERELLA’ BY THE RUSSIA BALLET
Enjoy this fairy tale classic beautifully retold by the Russia Ballet.
When: 3 p.m. Jan 13
Where: Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.
Cost: $28 and up
SAVANNAH TIRE HOCKEY CLASSIC
The Savannah Tire Hockey Classic celebrates 15 years of collegiate hockey in Savannah. The event will feature University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, University of Florida, South Carolina and The Citadel.
When: Jan. 17-19
Where: Civic Center
Cost: $10 and up
Info: savannahtirehockeyclassic.com, 912-651-6556
MOUNTAINFILM ON TOUR SAVANNAH
Mountainfilm on Tour Savannah will host its 4th annual film festival in mid-January. The tour will showcase leading independent films from around the world — the very best films of this year’s Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. These visually stunning films celebrate indomitable spirit via themes of adventure, perseverance and remarkable personalities in support of the mission to “educate and inspire audiences about issues that matter, cultures worth exploring, environments worth preserving, and conversations worth sustaining.”
When: 7 p.m. Jan. 18; 2 and 7 p.m. Jan. 19
Where: Trustees Theater
Cost: $10 adults; $8 student, military and seniors; $5 matinee
The Savannah Philharmonic’s third chamber music concert for the season features Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor. The Trio is one of Mendelssohn’s most popular chamber works. Join us for an afternoon of lush, romantic and lyrical music.
When: 5 p.m. Jan. 19
Where: Telfair Academy, 121 Barnard St.
Info: savannahphilharmonic.org, 912-232-6002
A WALK WITH PATSY CLINE
The life story of one of country music’s all-time legends, Patsy Cline. It’s a tribute to her spirit and a celebration of the music of her life, including 20 of her most famous hit songs. Patsy’s enduring musical legacy is verified by the fact that she is still the number one jukebox play around the world.
When: Jan. 25-Feb. 3
Where: Savannah Theatre, 222 Bull St.
Cost: $35 adult, $16 child
Info: savannahtheatre.com, 912-233-7764