Rumors of the demise of Jekyll Island’s Shrimp & Grits Festival have been greatly exaggerated, organizers said Monday.
Despite the looming Hurricane Florence to the west and the ever-present social media rumor mill, the annual festival will continue as planned this Friday through Sunday, said Meggan Hood, a spokeswoman for the Jekyll Island Authority.
“As of today, the festival will continue as planned,” Hood said in a statement. “The storm has shifted to the north, and Jekyll Island is clear of its path. They’re actually forecasting a sunny weekend. But, as you know, things can always change. We will continue to update you as necessary.”
Shrimp & Grits, a signature event for Jekyll Island, was cancelled last year as Hurricane Irma approached the Golden Isles, forcing a mandatory evacuation and closing Glynn County.
Organizers expect as many as 45,000 visitors throughout the three-day event, which is set to feature food, arts and crafts, live music and other displays.
“Guests can expect to enjoy live entertainment on three stages, a kids’ zone with fun for everyone, an expanded Craft Brew Fest in a brand new riverfront location, cooking and lifestyle demos from Southern Living, a curated Artists’ Market with more than 100 hand-selected artisans from around the country, creature features from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, the Georgia’s Best Shrimp & Grits cooking competition, handmade provisions from Georgia Grown, and lots of shrimp and grits,” said Jessica Scott, a spokeswoman for Jekyll Island, in a statement.
The festival will be held from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is free and open to the public, but VIP tickets are available on-site for $80.25 on Friday and Saturday and $160.50 for Sunday. Craft Brew Fest tickets are available for patrons 21 and older for $21.40.
Visit www.jekyllisland.com and click on the “Shrimp & Grits” tab for more information.
High school sports on track to play
In news of other event this weekend, Glynn County Schools will play regularly scheduled athletic games Friday and Saturday.
“Based on the current projected path, we do not expect to postpone or change any games at the current time,” said Steve Waters, the school system’s athletic director, in a statement. “We are monitoring the storm very carefully to make sure the projected path does not change. I have spoken to the athletic directors at the schools we are competing against, and we have a back up plan in place just in case we need to act quickly, but right now we expect to play ball and we expect to have a great crowd at our games this weekend.”
On Friday night, the Brunswick High Pirates football team will face off against the Camden County Wildcats at Glynn County Stadium with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
Glynn Academy Terrors football will be on the road to compete against the Wayne County Yellow Jacket, also at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The Glynn Academy volleyball team will also hit the road, traveling to Jacksonville, Fla., to compete in a tournament Friday and Saturday.
“We will be business as usual unless the storm turn south, and we are monitoring that situation very carefully,” Waters said. “The safety of our students, coaches, and fans will always be our first priority.”