News Column

Catfish festival set to thrill Labor Day crowds

August 22, 2013


Aug. 22--KINGSLAND -- Organizers of the largest annual festival in Camden County are making final preparations for the 31st Annual Kingsland Labor Day Catfish Festival.

The festival is a four-time award winner of the Southeast Tourism Society's "Top 20 Events" and three-time award winner of the American Bus Association's "Top 100 Events in North America."

This year's festival runs from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 in the city's downtown. U.S. 17 will be closed east of Georgia 40 two blocks, as well as a block of William Street for the festival. Traffic will be rerouted around the closed streets during the festival.

Tonya Rosado, the city's tourism director, says vendors are still returning applications for spaces at the three-day event, but typically about 100 arts and crafts and antiques and collectibles booths will be set up for the festival. An estimated 30 food vendors will also be at the festival, selling such items as cold beverages, hot dogs, hamburgers and Asian food.

The busiest food booth historically has been the one where Navy chief selectees and command staff from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay prepare the festival's namesake catfish dinners. Meals include grits, hush puppies, cole slaw and iced tea.

Brandy Fournet, the festival chair, said organizers expect to sell more than 2,600 pounds of catfish at the festival. In past years, especially when the weather was good, the dinners would sell out the last afternoon of the festival.

Fournet says plans for this year's festival began less than a month after last year's event.

"As soon as we end with one festival, we start with the next," she said. "In January, it really ramps up."

For the first time this year, Fournet says visitors will vote on the best food and arts and crafts booths.

Organizers are still accepting applications for booth spaces. Contact for information.

-- Reporter Gordon Jackson writes about Camden County and other local topics. Contact him at gjackson@thebruns, or at 464-7655.

If you go

The 31st Annual Kingsland Labor Day Catfish Festival will be from Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 in downtown Kingsland:

Aug. 31 -- 7 a.m., 5-kilometer run; noon, festival opens; 4-6 p.m., live entertainment; 6 p.m., festival closes.

Sept. 1 -- Noon, festival begins; 1 p.m., live entertainment begins; 6 p.m., festival closes.

Sept. 2 -- 7 a.m., Lions Club pancake breakfast; 9 a.m., festival begins; 10 a.m., parade begins; 11:15 a.m., awards ceremony; 1 p.m., live entertainment begins; 6 p.m., festival ends.

Directions from Brunswick: Take Interstate 95 south to Exit 3, west on Ga. 40 to Kingsland.


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