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J.F. Gregory upgrades continue; open house for new park
JF Gregory 004
A new concrete pad in J.F. Gregory Park will be the location of the stage during the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival. The stage will face the pavilion, seen in the background, allowing for more room for concert-goers. - photo by Ted O'Neil

Work is nearing completion on J.F. Gregory Park in preparation for the 2016 Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, while an open house is planned for Oct. 3 regarding the Sterling Creek Park.

A 60- by 100-foot cement pad has been poured in J.F. Gregory and the hill it sits on smoothed out as a new location for the stage at the GOSF. Festival organizers say putting the stage there facing the pavilion will greatly increase capacity for the concerts during the event.

GOSF organizers have announced that nationally known acts Jordan Fisher (7 p.m.), Adam Wakefield (8 p.m.) and Jerrod Niemann (9:30 p.m.) will perform Saturday evening. The festival runs Oct. 14-16. You can find a complete list of musical entertainment, vendors, prices and other information at

The work in J.F. Gregory, which included removing the amphitheater, was paid for with $75,000 in SPLOST money. The Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, however, agreed to give the city $75,000 by prepaying five years’ worth ($15,000 per year) of park rental for the festival.

City council also approved another $50,000 in SPLOST money for work on the first phase of what is currently being called Sterling Creek Park, a 187-acre piece of land behind the Sterling Creek Plantation subdivision.

Residents can learn more about the park at an open house scheduled for 5-7 p.m. Monday at city hall. Plans for the park include walking, running and biking trails and fishing on a six-acre lake. Future plans for the park could include a picnic shelter and primitive campground. City Councilman Russ Carpenter said the name of the park could change by the time it is officially opened.

The city purchased the land five years ago from a bank for $700,000 with the intent of creating a park there rather than allowing it to be developed. 

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