Fall is creeping in. While it’s still “fall” à la South Georgia, there is certainly a shift happening around the Isles. The late afternoon light has changed, easing into daily darkness sooner. In the mornings, it pours in through windows much later than in previous months.

For our Northern neighbors, a more pronounced autumn ushers in countless festivals and outdoor gatherings. But that doesn’t mean that the coast can’t have its own. In fact, Brunswick’s Harvest Festival is slated to return next Friday.

The event, which will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 18 at Mary Ross Waterfront Park downtown, will celebrate the bounty and flavors of the season. Hosted by Slow Foods Coastal Georgia, the festival will serve up food producers, farmers and artisans. The event is free to attend, and co-sponsored by the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority.

Kathy Knowlton, co-chair of the Slow Food Coastal Georgia Chapter, said that the goal is to highlight local produce and crafters that create products by hand. To that end, they are bringing in a variety of makers and chefs who will offer cooking demonstrations and tasting tables.

“New for this year, we are very excited to add cooking demonstrations by local restaurant chefs. Demos will begin every hour on the hour,” Knowlton said.

Some of the participating restaurants include Halyard’s Restaurant Group, which will share at 5 p.m., Certified Burgers at 6 p.m., followed by the Jerk Shack at 7 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m. with the Georgia Sea Grill.

“The chefs are donating their time and ingredients to share ideas with attendees on ways to cook healthy and delicious meals that highlight seasonal items and flavors,” Knowlton said.

“This is a core value for Slow Food, an international, nonprofit, volunteer-led movement which began 30 years ago in Italy. Its mission is to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.”

It is an important cause for Knowlton and the rest of the Slow Foods gang. The group champions nutritious, whole foods while fostering sustainability. The local chapter is a part of Slow Food USA and a global food movement that boasts 160 countries.

In addition to the vendors and demonstrations, the Harvest Festival will include a children’s planting activity courtesy of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful. There will also be an exhibition on creating compost bins by Green Scene of Coastal Georgia, as well as general education on home composting.

Glynn County Farm Bureau is also bringing honey bees hives contained in clear plexiglass for viewing.

For Harvest Hale-Johns, program manager for the Brunswick Downtown Development Authority, the event is an opportunity to offer dining options and activities that appeal to a variety of individuals.

“I feel like this is definitely a one-of-a-kind food truck event because it features ‘whole foods’ and not just ‘healthy foods.’ And food trucks, in general, are something that Glynn County has been demanding more of and the DDA is doing its best to make that happen by cooperating with other organizations who share the same goals,” she said.

“And then of course, there are activities like making compost bins and planters from plastic bottles. It’s just a really great event.”

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