1st - Emancipation Day and Proclamation Celebration sponsored by the Emancipation Association of Savannah, Georgia and Vicinity calls people together to reflect on the historic importance of the proclamation. This service is marked by music, prayer, and encouraging messages. It is intended to foster a renewed commitment to the principles of liberty and justice.
3rd Monday – Martin Luther King Jr. Parade sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Observance Committee is one of the series of events in January and February commemorating the life of this champion of human rights. The parade, which starts at around 9a.m., runs from East Broad and Liberty Streets., along E. Broad to Broughton Street, across Broughton to Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd, down to Gwinnett Street.
First three weeks. The Black Heritage Festival showcases the rich history of African Americans in Savannah, and features a broad array of events including lectures, documentaries, concerts and theatre at different venues along with The Grand Festival at the Savannah Civic Center. All events are free to the public. The Black Heritage Festival is sponsored by the City of Savannah and Savannah State University.
March –Early April
The Savannah Music Festival is a major annual celebration of music of all genres (jazz, blues, gospel, folk, and classical) lasting close to 3 weeks, and featuring more than 100 performances. It draws people from across the country and beyond.
The Gathering, a day-long event held in mid-April at Geechee Kunda in Riceboro, features syrup cooking, crafts, demonstrations, storytelling, music and more.
19th - The Juneteenth Celebrations, traditionally held on a Saturday close to June 19th, commemorate the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas finally received word of their freedom. There are events sponsored by several organizations at different locations around Savannah recognizing that historic occasion.
Fourth Saturday - Daufuskie Day is organized by the Daufuskie Island Foundation and is an occasion for people to take a boat ride and spend the day at beautiful Daufuskie Island, S.C. This island is home to the rich Gullah culture, and the mission of the Foundation is to keep this culture alive.
Last week - The Coastal Jazz Association sponsors the free Savannah Jazz Festival that features local student and professional musicians and nationally known artists playing blues, gospel, and of course, jazz at Forsyth Park and other venues throughout the city. Late-night jam sessions after the concerts are arranged those who would like to continue enjoying the music.
Savannah State University's Homecoming Parade and Celebration welcomes alumni and visitors as well to a week-long series of events, including concerts, lectures, and a golf tournament, a parade and a football game take place. And, of course, the tail-gating parties at the football game are legend.
25th - The Coastal Jazz Association's Christmas Jazz Jam Session, an annual reunion for local and visiting jazz musicians home for the holidays, lights up the scene in a joyous Christmas evening celebration. Choreographed by the inimitable trombonist Teddy Adams, educator, composer and musician extraordinaire, come hear jazz classics, holiday tunes and, always, a tribute to the late Ben Tucker, the adopted son of Savannah and composer of "Comin' Home Baby".
26th -January 1- Kwanzaa has been observed in Savannah since 1987 under the guidance of Mrs. Dorothy Cohen. In 2018, Kwanzaa of Savannah moved its location to the Moses Jackson Center, 1410 Richards St. at 6pm each evening for remembrance, reflection and discussion of the seven principles (values) intended to reinforce the Black family and community for the coming year. On that last day, there is a potluck Karamu (feast) and celebration. The Kwanzaa Observance Association, an organization formed in 2018, holds its observation at the Thompkins Center at 2333 Ogeechee Rd.
26th - Kwanzaa (Umoja) at Geechee Kunda
31st - Watch Night services are held at many churches in Savannah, but for a truly unique experience, take a short trip to Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Eulonia (directions), to participate in the ring shout with some of the members of the MacIntosh County Shouters right after midnight.