by Amy Connell –
For as long as I can remember, the Fourth of July has always been associated with some of my fondest memories. It’s a day that everyone comes together to show their pride for our great country. Growing up in Statesboro, the Firecracker Fest held at Mill Creek was always a tradition. From watching the fireworks from inside the car with my mom as a child because I was afraid of how loud they were, to laying on blankets surrounded by my friends looking up at the bright-colored explosions in the sky, those memories will stay with me forever.
The past couple of years I have been out of town on the 4th, so I was excited that I would get to attend the Firecracker Fest this year. When I arrived, I was immediately flooded by all of my senses taking me back to the memories of the event in the past. From the smell of hamburgers grilling to the sound of children laughing, I was reminded of what a special event this was. As I managed my way through the crowd, I saw families sitting together, dressed in red, white, and blue to show their patriotism. Children ran around with American flags painted on their cheeks enjoying snow cones, and there was live music from local bands and artists playing in the background. People from all over arrived with their blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the event.
I noticed a line of people out the corner of my eye. As I walked around the corner, I saw that there was a giant red, white, and blue, inflatable water slide. Children and adults were eagerly waiting for their turn to slide down. Children were laughing and smiling as the joy they felt from the rush of sliding took over their bodies. On the other side, a tie-dyed tapestry was hanging up as families put on silly glasses and wore feather boas to take a photo. To me, it was a picture of the American dream as I looked around at all of the smiling faces and happy families.
As the night progressed, different bands played on the stage as people gathered around sitting in the grass. The children were anxiously awaiting for the sky to grow dark enough for the fireworks to begin. When the time finally came, the loud bursts and crackles were followed by a colorful show in the sky. The looks on the children’s faces were unforgettable as they looked up into the night sky smiling. There is something so special about everyone coming together to celebrate such a wonderful holiday. Firecracker Fest 2018, thank you for reminding me how awesome Statesboro is, and Happy Independence Day, America. Until next year.
From the coast to the mountains and everything in between, Georgia’s nine travel regions offer well-known and off-the-beaten path gems in cities both big and small. Statesboro is sitting pretty in the Magnolia Midlands region which is known for a variety of historic, outdoor and culinary attractions so we would love to see a local recipe featured on the official 2018 Magnolia Midlands tourism rack card. The winning recipe will be seen by thousands of travelers hungry for local flavor! Think you’ve got a winning dish with great taste and a colorful story? Share it with us! This contest is open to individuals & restaurants with no limit on the number of submissions.
- Winning recipe chosen by description of dish and descriptive story
- Recipes can include local products but this is not a requirement
- Submission format: Dish name, story/description (no more than 100 words), ingredients, mixing & cooking instructions, photo of dish
- Submissions must be emailed to [email protected] by July 11, 2018
(Submissions may be used to showcase culinary tourism or local products in Statesboro & Bulloch County.)
The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division (GDEcD) today released the 2018 state culinary guide, Georgia Eats. The fourth annual digest-sized guide features the wildly popular “100 Plates Locals Love” list, as well as 10 flavor tours that showcase inspiring dining options, a gallery of the state’s most Instagrammable foods, unique festivals, delectable recipes from a few of Georgia’s celebrated chefs and more.
Georgia Eats was initially published in conjunction with the “Year of Culinary” campaign in 2015. The enthusiastic response from visitors led tourism officials to continue publishing it annually. Georgia Eats has become one of the state’s most popular marketing pieces with a print circulation of 187,000 and 62,000 unique page views via ExploreGeorgia.org.
With diverse and flavorful crops, farm-to-table dining, food festivals, cooking schools, award-winning wineries, agritourism trails, talented local chefs, u-pick farms, and much more, Georgia continues to emerge as a leading culinary destination in the South.
“There is no better way to immerse yourself in Georgia’s history and culture than through our unique food and dining offerings,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Whether you’re looking for local favorites or finding the best food festival for a weekend away, Georgia Eats is the perfect guide to delicious experiences you can’t find anywhere else.”
The cover of Georgia Eats features Chef-farmer Matthew Raiford, owner of The Famer and the Larder in downtown Brunswick, Ga. A 2018 James Beard nominee, Chef Raiford’s restaurant gives a whole new meaning to farm-to-table as many of the ingredients come from Raiford’s nearby family farm, Gilliard Farms, which has been in his family since 1874.
“It’s an honor to be featured in the Georgia Eats culinary guide; with the great bounty of food that Georgia has to offer and the openness we have received from farmers, fisherman, and ranchers all over the state, it has made cooking amazing food easy,” said Chef Raiford. “We are looking forward to many more years of bringing good food and community together!”
Since the inaugural issue of Georgia Eats, Georgia Tourism has designated the “100 Plates Locals Love” as a way to provide visitors with locally sourced suggestions. Nominations from around the state are gathered via ExploreGeorgia.org and evaluated by a panel of judges who curate the list down to the final designees. The list has been likened to recommendations that Georgians would share with family and friends, and it has received rave reviews from visitors as well as restaurant owners. View the full “100 Plates Locals Love” list online at ExploreGeoriga.org.
The Georgia Eats culinary guide is available at the state’s 12 Visitor Information Centers across the state and on the state’s consumer tourism website ExploreGeorgia.org. To learn more about Georgia’s rich culinary experiences through videos, tours and more, visit ExploreGeorgia.org/dining. Share your favorite food finds using #GeorgiaEats.
Sr. Communications Specialist
Georgia Department of Economic Development
Vacation right here in Statesboro! Come join us for some summer fun downtown! On Friday, June 1, Downtown Statesboro Development Authority will host their First Friday “Staycation” from 5:30-8 pm on the courthouse lawn. Come and see all the exciting things Statesboro has to offer you!
Staycation is the perfect place to jumpstart your summer and is fun for all ages. There will be a variety of vendors from all your favorite downtown shops and live entertainment! We have it all from tasty treats, art, music, activities for children, and a bounce house provided by Party Harbor. This is the perfect opportunity to see all the adventures that await you.
Some of our participants include Tormenta FC, The Jumping Place Skydiving Center, Southeastern Balloon Services LLC, Jumpshot Indoor Trampoline & Paintball, Bulloch Marina, Southern Dive Center, The Clubhouse, Performance Painting, and Georgia Southern Shooting Sports Education Center. There’s no need to travel when everything is right here!
The DSDA has created a Downtown Discount card, featuring 18 different businesses in the downtown Statesboro area. These cards will be available for purchase at the DSDA office on Siebald St. or at F1RST Friday events. The cards will be sold for $10 and can be reused until April 2019.
Statesboro is your vacation destination! Everything you could want in your perfect vacation is just down the street. Outdoor activities, sports, activities for children, restaurants, water fun and more!
For more information, please contact the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority
by calling 912.764.7227 or emailing [email protected].
Expect the unexpected as The Performing Arts Center at Georgia Southern University welcomes canine comedy show “Mutts Gone Nuts” on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets for this show are on sale now and going fast!
Since 1985, comedy duo Scott and Joan Houghton have brought their unique blend of physical comedy and circus arts to audiences from Las Vegas to Tokyo. In 2005, they turned their attention to a creating a comedy dog act. Their nine amazing canine partners are all adopted from animal shelters and rescues, and have been trained with positive, reward-based training methods.
This top-notch presentation includes incredibly high-flying Frisbee dogs, tightwire dogs, dancing dogs, magic dogs, and of course, the one and only Sammie the Talking Dog! Mutts Gone Nuts is sure to unleash havoc and hilarity as the Houghtons attempt to match wits with their mischievous mutts in a family-friendly performance that has been leaving audiences across the country howling for more.
Says Performing Arts Center Director Stacie McDaniel, “I could not imagine a more fun way to end our season here at the PAC. Our whole staff has been waiting all year for this event. The show itself is going to be incredibly funny, but I also love that it’s bringing some much-needed attention to the dogs themselves, who have all been adopted from rescues – look how far they’ve come! Such a super-talented group of animals.”
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for youth 17 and under, and are on sale now at the Performing Arts Center at Georgia Southern Box Office. Discounts are available for Georgia Southern students and faculty/staff. Group rates for groups of 10 or more are also available. Visit the Box Office in person Monday-Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, or purchase tickets over the phone at 912-478-7999 or online at www.georgiasouthern.edu/pac.
by Chatise R. Smith –
In a world where morality is being mandated, Shakespeare explores the hypocrisy of sexual politics. Angelo, a strict, moralistic politician, has been appointed by the Duke to govern in his absence. Angelo uses his new authority to clean up the city. Until he meets Isabella, a young nun whose brother is facing death as a result of Angelo’s laws. He makes her a bargain, if she sleeps with him, her brother goes free.
The age old tale of injustice depicts what happens when an immoral ruler imposes moral laws in a society devoid of forgiveness. This production’s contemporary setting emphasizes the universal nature of Shakespeare’s work as it comments on the sexual and moral politics of modern America. In this time of #metoo the play is even more prevalent to a modern audience. A New York Times review of the Polonsky Shakespeare Centers production claimed: “Measure for Measure includes some of the finest moral argumentation in the canon: thrilling back-and-forths between well-matched antagonists with a great deal on the line.”
Measure for Measure opens Wednesday, Apr. 4 and runs through Wednesday, Apr. 11. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on Sunday, Apr. 8 at 2:00 p.m. in the Georgia Southern Center for Art & Theatre Black Box. There will be no show on Monday, Apr. 9.
Student and youth tickets are $6. Faculty, staff and community tickets are $12. All seating is general admission. Group prices are available, contact the box office for information. The house opens at 7 p.m., and we encourage audience members to arrive no later than 7:15 p.m. to ensure good seats. The balcony will serve as overflow seating. Call the Box Office at 912-478-5379 to make reservations.
The box office is open from 1:45 to 3:45 p.m. Monday and Wednesday, as well as 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for ticket purchases, and reopens at 6:00 p.m. on performance days. Tickets can also be purchased through Marketplace on the GSU web site at http://class.georgiasouthern.edu/cat/season.
Measure for Measure: Written by William Shakespeare and directed by Professor Lisa L. Abbott. Press release by Chatise R. Smith.
Is there anything better than a day at the movies? How about 3 days? On February 22-24, Statesboro celebrated the tradition of movie-going with the 2nd Annual Ogeechee International History Film Festival. The festival showed 29 films from countries around the world including Russia, Israel, Denmark, and Italy. Filmmakers traveled here from all over the country to attend the festival. Film topics included World War II, African American poets, moonshine, ancient Indian ruins, exotic spies, and so much more. Over 250 people attended the 3-day festival. Highlights included Juan Francisco Urristi’s In Exile: a Family Film and Lance Warren and Hannah Brown Ayers’ An Outrage.
Best Feature Film- Operation Wedding
Best Short Film- Holt Collier
Best College Student Film- Pensacola Punks
Best High School Narrative Film- Solitude
Best High School Historical Film- Operation Kama
This Event was sponsored by Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau, Georgia Southern University History Department, Georgia Southern University Political Science and International Studies Department, Georgia Southern University Communication Arts Department, Georgia Southern University Foreign Language Department, Georgia Southern University Film Club, Georgia Southern University History Club, Georgia Southern University CLEC, Shane’s Rib Shack, The Clubhouse, FilmFreeway, and Georgia Council for the Arts.
Time to dust off your boots and shine your spurs, rodeo season is coming to the Boro! Kiwanis International and their sponsors are proud to present the Annual Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo April 20th and 21st at the Kiwanis Fair Grounds.
Cowboying is a longstanding American tradition, with a deep-rooted history spanning from sea to shining sea. The hard work of cowboys from over a century ago guided our nation’s expansion into the west, and also helped usher in a successful agriculture industry. With little time away from the very tools and animals the riders used on their long days of work, their only means of recreation spurred from their very means of labor. And so, from the modest trade of breaking, herding, tending, roping and riding beasts of burden, the American Rodeo was born.
Viewers are guaranteed a treat with plenty of saddle and bareback riding, bull riding, cattle roping, barrel racing and lots more! The Statesboro Kiwanis Rodeo offers traditional American family fun as well as a great historical experience. Fans also get a chance to meet the cowboys and cowgirls from the show, including Miss Rodeo USA. The excitement starts when the gates open at 5pm with the rodeo starting at 7:30. All events are at the Kiwanis Fair Grounds, easily located off of Highway 67 in Statesboro. Entrance is just $7.00 for kids and $12.00 for adults when purchased in advance at Anderson’s General Store. Ticket prices at the gate are $11 for ages 6-13 and $16 for adults.
For more information please visit: https://www.statesborokiwanisrodeo.com
By: Peyton Fuller, Guest Blogger for Visit Statesboro
The Brooklet Peanut Festival occurs every year on the third Saturday in August, falling on the 19th this year. The Brooklet Community Development Association organizes the annual festival which takes place in downtown Brooklet on Parker Avenue. This is a day-long event with a wide variety of activities for the entire family. The festival kicks-off early with a 7 a.m. start of the 5K Peanut Run. The cost of the race is $20 if paid by August 5th, $25 after August 5th, and $30 the day of the race. Runners can save time by signing up online at active.com, eventbrite.com, or raceroster.com.
After the race, the Peanut Festival Parade begins at 10:00 a.m., making its way through beautiful downtown Brooklet. The parade will be broadcast live on Savannah’s WTOC Cable Channel 11 for anyone who cannot attend but still wants to watch the fun and enjoy the lively commentary! The parade also marks the opening of the full festival. Boiled peanuts, roasted peanuts, and food of all kinds including funnel cakes, blooming onions, hot dogs and hamburgers are available all day so bring your appetite! Be sure to browse the unique collection of arts & crafts and delight in entertainment for all ages. Immediately following the parade, live music will begin and continue all day. The musical acts will change every 30 minutes, ensuring something for everyone! Also wildly popular are the tractor races. Beginning at noon, there are two must-see races: the Kiddie Pedal Tractor Race and the Slow Tractor Race.
The festival is capped off by a street dance beginning at 7:00 p.m. This year’s dance will feature the bands Lyn Avenue and Tell Scarlet. Lyn Avenue is an alternative country band out of Savannah that has been nominated 3 consecutive years for Best County Band by both the Georgia Music Awards and the Georgia Country Music Awards. Tell Scarlet is also out of Savannah and their music is alternative pop-rock and country. This band has gained popularity as an award-winning wedding and event band. The street dance will conclude at 10:30 p.m. bringing the 2017 Brooklet Peanut Festival to a close. Don’t miss this highly anticipated Bulloch County event when you Visit Statesboro!