Looking for a sign life is returning to normal? Organizers have set Oct. 15-17 as the date of the 21st Annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, if the show can go on by then.
Richmond Hill Bryan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Kathryn Johnson said the chamber’s board of directors set the date to begin preparations for the GOSF, and will make a final decision on whether to hold the festival will be made in June.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, federal health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci have said the country may begin to return to normalcy as more people are vaccinated.
The Seafood Festival, canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the RHBC Chamber’s single biggest fundraiser and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for local nonprofits.
The festival annually draws an estimated 35,000 or more people to J.F. Gregory Park for the three-day event.
While seafood is a big draw at the GOSF, the carnival-like event has annually featured popular music acts ranging from the late Gregg Allman to Travis Tritt, who performed in 2018, as well as local and regional musical acts, and draws visitors from near and far. Still, the Seafood Fest has had rough seas in recent years apart from the pandemic.
In 2019, Tropical Storm Nestor brought the event to a halt on Saturday, Oct. 20, before the headliner, the Marshall Tucker Band, could perform. That and previous storms prompted GOSF organizers to move the 2020 GOSF to November. It was canceled in July due to the pandemic.
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit Bryan County on Oct. 6-7, two weeks before the event was scheduled to be held. The Festival bounced back in 2017 when tens of thousands of visitors made their way to J.F. Gregory Park. The headliner that year was .38 Special.
Other acts to perform at the GOSF over the years include Eddie Money, the Charlies Daniels Band, Survivor, The Atlanta Rythmn Section, Blues Traveler and more.
The festival began in 1985, started by local civic groups and held down at the Bryan’s Fisherman’s Cooperative.