Oh, the smells of fresh seafood sizzling, funnel cake fresh from the fryer and corn dogs wafting through the air. The sound of ride cars whipping across the tracks and adolescent screams and shrills off in the distance. And the music! Oh, so much music and nostalgia – was it all just a dream?
Anyone who was near J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill over the weekend knows it was not a dream – it was the 13th annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival. And nearly as quickly as it came, it was over. But not without first entertaining tens of thousands of people in less than three short days.
Before the weekend, festival organizers were expecting crowds of 30,000 or more. And thanks to weather that was nothing short of perfect, two well-known headlining classic rock bands and the ever-growing popularity of the festival, officials are likely to have gotten just what they expected – if not more. On Saturday, the Midway was packed with kids – young and old – anxiously awaiting their turn on their favorite rides, and the pavilion was packed with people hungry for the famed festival namesake. When 38 Special took the stage Saturday night, the energy was high and the crowd was ready to rock.
Pulling off an event of this magnitude is no easy feat and requires more organizing than most would wish on their worst enemy. But the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce and its Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival Committee does it every year without complaint – and does it well. And long before the festival even gets to town, plans for next year’s fete is already well under way.
And we would be remiss to not make note of the countless volunteers who man the event, as well as the tireless efforts of the Richmond Hill Police Department and other law enforcement and emergency medical services, who help those in need and make sure everyone is safe while they have a good time.
So we’d like offer the folks in charge a pat on the back for a job well done, as well as good luck in the year ahead as they plan another successful event weekend that continues to put Richmond Hill on the map in arts, entertainment and fundraising. While they’re gearing up for October 2012, the rest of us can sit back and rest up for what will certainly be another excitement-filled Seafood Festival.