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City Center looks for use during festival

POSTED: June 15, 2011 3:55 p.m.

Officials are hoping to find better ways to utilize the Richmond Hill City Center during the area’s largest and most popular event of the year – the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, but it’s not likely to happen in time for this year’s event.

During the Richmond Hill City Council meeting last week in City Hall, City Manager Mike Melton said the center’s management company, the Wilderman Group, is concerned about losing revenue during the seafood festival weekend, held in October in J.F. Gregory Park – essentially in the front yard of the City Center.

Melton said that because of the 35,000 to 40,000 people who attend the festival, the City Center cannot host events, like weddings or conventions, during the same weekend.

“I think it’s a legitimate concern, but I don’t think there’s anything we can do for this year,” Melton said. “In the future, we should perhaps come up with different ideas.”

Mayor Harold Fowler said the festival is extremely important to the community.

“I feel that the seafood festival is a showcase of the city, and it’s been happening for many years,” Fowler said. “It’s the first priority.”

Melton said he believed the time of year the festival is held is “particularly popular for weddings,” which adds to the concern for the center and the Wilderman Group.

Read more in the June 15 edition of the News.

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