Archive for August, 2011

Annual Catfish Festival in Kingsland, GA

August 25th, 2011 by Mckenzie

Who doesn't like pie?

The Labor Day weekend Catfish Festival is held every year in Kingsland, Georgia. This year it will be held September 3rd through the 5th. This popular festival is one of the biggest events in southeast Georgia. With more than 65,000 people attending over the holiday weekend, there is always plenty of catfish to go around. It is said that there is over 10,000 pounds of farm-raised catfish cooked up and served for this fun event. The delicious catfish dinners are available beginning at 12:00 noon on Saturday and Sunday and 11:00am on Monday Labor Day.

Food vendors along with arts & crafts, antiques & collectibles and vendors selling art and other unique items line the streets of downtown Kingsland. There is plenty of entertainment too at this three day outdoor festival. In addition to the catfish, remember there are plenty of food options including deep-fried onion blossoms, oriental fare, barbecue, homemade ice cream, etc.

Several events occur during the weekend including the 5K run, car and truck show, parade and also entertainment from many different local and regional bands. For a full list of the events and times, go to The festival does a nice job offering things to do for the children as well as for the adults too. The Catfish Festival closes down every day at 6pm. 

On Monday morning the festival is not winding down by any stretch of the imagination, there is a big pancake breakfast sponsored by The Lions Club followed by the awesome parade which starts at 10am and heads down Highway 17 into Kingsland – the parade features our award winning high school band and our state championship high school football team – just what a hometown parade should have!

Overall, this is a great festival for family and friends to enjoy. Between the big parade on Monday and the secret recipe for the catfish, you just can’t go wrong attending this festival for a day or for all weekend. With this event being only 15 minutes from downtown St. Marys, you could enjoy a day at the festival and also visit Cumberland Island and tour the historic district of St. Marys too – what a fun holiday weekend!

Cumberland Island Guided Van Tours

August 7th, 2011 by Mckenzie

First African Baptist Church

 The National Park Service has announced they will be starting the guided van tours on Cumberland Island National Seashore. Starting August 11th, they will take visitors on a 16-1/2 mile long tour of the island, stopping at places like the First African Baptist Church, where John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette were married, and Plum Orchard, a mansion with 106 rooms built in the 1800’s. This tour lets you see all the island sites in a single day without walking, but it is a very physically demanding trip as the main road is a dirt road with washboard surfaces in many areas.

Visitors who are taking the “Land and Legacy” tour will spend about 45 minutes or longer at Plum Orchard depending on other stops. Plum Orchard was built by the Carnegie family in the late 1800’s and the  mansion was donated by the family to the National Park Service in 1971.  The mansion still remains in good condition in part due to the volunteers helping to maintain it.  The visitors will be given a tour of the mansion from the spacious bathrooms with unique fixtures, the beautiful Tiffany glass pieces, the lovely wallpaper to other antiques spread throughout the home. The indoor swimming pool and elevator are especially interesting to see because they are original and ahead of their time.
The First African Baptist Church became popular with the outside world when JFK Jr. and Carolyn got married there in September 1996. With the Kennedy wedding  being only 20 minutes of the church’s history though, it is interesting to see what else has happened there. During the 1890’s the Settlement was established for African American workers.  The little church sits on the northern end of the island about 17 miles from the Sea Camp dock which is where the tour begins.
The Park Service recommends that visitors should bring their own food and drinks in a small bag or backpack as you will be gone for 6 hours. Restrooms stops will be made but will be limited. The tours will be $15 for adults and $12 for Seniors and Children – these costs are in addition to the ferry ride and the park entrance fee.  The Cumberland Island van tours will leave Sea Camp at 9:45am, just after the first ferry docks, and be given rain or shine. To make your reservations for the Cumberland Island ferry or the van tours, please call 912-882-4335, Monday- Friday 10am to 4pm. This truly is a great way to see Cumberland Island National Seashore. Come prepared for a wonderful adventure! 
For more information on the ” Lands and Legacies Tour” go to