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Thousands flock to city for Seafood Festival
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A young carnival fan holds on tight during his ride down the Banana Slide on Saturday while the Fireball spins in terrifying loops in the background at the 13th annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival in J.F. Gregory Park. (Katie McGurl)

The 13th annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival (GOSF) attracted tens of thousands of people to Richmond Hill’s J.F. Gregory Park over the weekend for a myriad of seafood, carnival rides, games and activities for children and adults, vendor booths and live entertainment by recording artists Orleans, We The Kings and 38 Special.
“The turnout was beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brianne Yontz. “It was a sea of humanity. Even the festival veterans said they’ve never seen anything like this.”
GOSF Committee Secretary Bonnie Proctor agreed the turnout was more than organizers had hoped for.
“We don’t have a count yet, but for the weekend last year, we estimated 30,000-35,000 people, and I can tell you we definitely exceeded those numbers,” she said. “We are just absolutely delighted with the turnout.”
According to Proctor, this year’s festival saw more food vendors and business, nonprofit and arts and crafts booths than ever before, with huge waiting lists for each type.
“It’s been fun and I think that’s thanks to the great food, weather and the bands,” added Yontz. “Everyone’s having a good time.”
Warm, sunny weather afforded festival-goers a chance to explore all the event had to offer.
“A Gamecock just ate a gator,” exclaimed Stinson Rogers, visiting from Moore, S.C.
Rogers said it was his first time eating alligator, and he found it to be delicious.
Marco Arbelaez of Richmond Hill worked his way through a heap of Lowcountry boil on Saturday evening.
“I love the Seafood Festival. I come here every year,” he said.
Read more in the Oct. 19 edition of the News.

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