Ogeechee Seafood Festival: Coastal Compassion


Submitted by: Lindsey Knopf

The Great Ogeechee Seafood festival started at J.F. Gregory Park in Richmond Hill, GA in 1998. The event features live music, seafood vendors, and now includes a carnival, 50+ arts and crafts booths and other booths of non-profit organizations and business from around the area (including Reaching Milestones!). The event is run by about 300 volunteer staff, as well as safety staff. It draws in about 35,000 attendees coming to taste the best coastal seafood cooked in a variety of ways. Bands such as Collective Soul, Blues Brothers, Eddie Money, Greg Allman and friends and Blues Traveler have played in at the festival in the past years.

This year’s 17th Annual Seafood Festival opens Friday October 16th from 5-11pm, Saturday October 17th from 10am-11pm and Sunday October 18th from 11am-5pm. Country singer, Joe Noels will be taking the stage Saturday night and there will be various bands and performers throughout the weekend.

There is more to this festival than great seafood and entertainment. On Friday the 16th, before the festival opens, special needs kiddos get a sneak peak of the festival. Over 100 children from local schools and agencies, along with their family members are allowed to ride the rides for free and are fed lunch at JF Gregory Park from 11am-1pm. This event caters to children with special needs by slowing down the rides and eliminating extra noise and crowds.

This allows special needs children to experience something that they would otherwise not be able to. It is also great for the families of the children to be able to see their children having fun. Individual therapists of the children are also able to attend and help those children that may need extra care. Most families with children with special needs would otherwise not be unable to attend the festival due the loud noise level and crowds. This event takes these children’s sensory issues or difficulty waiting in line and parent’s concern for their children getting lost in a crowd into consideration. This makes the Ogeechee Seafood Festival not just a great event, but a very compassionate event for everyone to enjoy.

For more information: http://www.goseafoodfestival.com/