For information about the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, visit www.goseafoodfestival.com.
The Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival has grown quite a bit from its beginning as a small community fair.
As Tim Proffitt, the co-chairman for this year’s festival, told Richmond Hill City Council members Tuesday night, “This is no longer a backyard barbecue.”
Sporting their bright-red shirts, Proffitt and fellow committee members thanked the city for supporting the festival through the years. The 17th annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival is set for Oct. 16-18 at J.F. Gregory Park.
The Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce puts on the festival each year on the third weekend in October. It has evolved into a regional festival that attracted 35,000 people last year, according to organizers.
“This is an event that everybody should be proud of,” Proffitt said. “In fact, it’s one of the premier events on the East Coast.”
Another big crowd is expected this year. The festival will include live entertainment, carnival rides, arts-and-crafts booths and, naturally, plenty of seafood.
Country-music singer Joe Nichols will headline this year’s festival. Nichols is scheduled to perform from 9-11 p.m. Oct. 17.
Nichols has released eight studio albums. Five of his songs have hit No. 1 on the country-music chart — “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” “Gimmie That Girl,” “Sunny and 75” and “Yeah.”
For the complete list of performers and any other information about the festival, visit www.goseafoodfestival.com.
The cost for the festival is $5 on Friday and Sunday for ages 16 and older, and $10 on Saturday. Admission is $5 for children ages 6-15 and free for children ages 5 and younger.
While the festivities attract the crowds, Proffitt attributed the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival’s success to something else — its hardworking volunteers. He estimated that “well over 150” volunteers log countless hours to make the festival happen.
“Nothing but a bunch of people that are proud of this city that spend an entire year working tirelessly to make this event the premier event in Bryan County and Richmond Hill,” Proffitt said.
Proffitt made a request of the council members, and anyone who attends the festival — whenever they see a red-shirted volunteer, take a moment to thank them.
“There’s not another town in this country that you can put on a festival like this with 100 percent volunteers,” he said.
GOSF: An app for that
All the information about next weekend’s Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival can be right in the hands of anyone with a smartphone or tablet.
The Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau’s updated festival mobile app includes the schedule and information about entertainment, entry costs, carnival pricing and event sponsors. In addition, the app has maps of the parking areas in Richmond Hill and a detailed map of J.F. Gregory Park.
The app is free and available to anyone with smartphones and/or tablets on either an Apple or Android operating system. To find the app, search for it in Apple or Google Play stores or by going to www.goseafoodfestival.com on a mobile device.
“The app was popular last year with festivalgoers, so we wanted to update it to provide a convenient and fun way to have up-to-date information at your fingertips,” said Christy Sherman, executive director of the Richmond Hill CVB. “Push notifications will keep guests informed of any news or updates.”