Labor Day weekend is looking to be the third consecutive holiday with a projected decline in the number of travelers.
While gas prices have dropped from record-high numbers in July, gas prices in the southeast are still $1 higher per gallon than this time last year, according to Triple A (AAA) Auto Club of the South. AAA also estimates southeastern travel will be down by 0.6 percent this weekend.
But the decline in travelers doesn’t mean there won’t be traffic on the roads and in the air.
"In Auto Club South territory, nearly 1 million Georgians; 1.9 million Floridians; and 622,000 Tennesseans are projected to travel during the Labor Day weekend," said an AAA press release. "Nationwide, 34.4 million Americans are projected to travel a distance of at least 50 miles from home and that number represents a 1.1 percent decline in the total number of travelers from Labor Day 2007. Travel figures for Memorial Weekend and Independence Day were also down compared to last year."
In Georgia, more than 800,000 residents are expected to travel by car and about 150,000 will fly somewhere for the holiday.
But Bryan County residents don’t have to travel far to enjoy some Labor Day weekend fun.
In Richmond Hill, Fort McAllister is gearing up for its annual Labor Day program, starting Saturday morning at 10 a.m.
"This year’s Labor Day program will be full of 19th century games, demonstrations of labor tasks, cannon firings and musket firings," Park Director Danny Brown said. "There will be fun for the whole family. Bring a lunch and spend the whole day."
Visitors will be able to see what Civil War labor was like and watch soldiers doing their daily chores around the fort. Programs will run until 4 p.m. and includes blacksmithing, wood working and the trades that were necessary to keep the fort in operation, right down to cooking methods of the Civil War era. The event is $4 for adults and $2.50 for children.
On Labor Day Monday, residents are invited to join Fort McAllister for a scenic canoe trip down Redbird Creek.
Participants will see the wildlife around Fort McAllister while cruising down the creek, stopping to explore the sandbars along the way. To reserve a canoe, stop by the visitor center and register ($10 fee) before Monday. Life jackets will be provided and everyone should be at the visitor center at 8:30 a.m. with a departure time of 9 a.m. There is a parking fee of $3.
For more information about the Labor Day program or canoe trip, call 727-2339.
Other local events in the surrounding areas include a variety of different activities.
Starting Friday, the Savannah Shop Local Challenge Weekend will kick off at all locally-owned businesses.
Residents and visitors are challenged to shop locally, aimed at raising awareness and appreciation of the importance of business to the health and vitality of the historic community.
A special program at the Wormsloe historic site in Savannah, "Tools and Skills that Built a Colony," will be Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There will be craft demonstrations such candle making, weaving and more. The cost is $4 and $2 with senior and military discounts. Wormsloe is located at 7601 Skidaway Road in Savannah. For more information, call 353-3023.
Tybee Labor Day Beach Bash is another great way to end the summer.
This premier annual event will be Sunday, where residents are invited to enjoy ocean breezes while listening to live music down at the Tybee Island Pier and Pavilion. The entertainment is free and includes fireworks in the evening. For more information, call 786-5444.
The Fort Morris Labor Day event on Monday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with hourly soldier talks and cannon and musket firings.
Fort Morris State is located off exit 76, I-95. Follow the brown Liberty Trail signs. Site admission is $3 for adults, $2.50 for seniors and $1.75 for children 6-18. For more information, call 884-5999.