Coastfest has been entertaining and enlightening children and adults for more than two decades. The Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division event has since 1994 provided an opportunity for people to get a hands-on lesson about all things coastal.

The event has traditionally been held at the Coastal Resources Division headquarters at the foot of the Brunswick side of the Sidney Lanier Bridge. That is changing this year.

The DNR announced this week that the festival is moving to Mary Ross Waterfront Park in downtown Brunswick and we couldn’t be happier with the move. Don’t get us wrong, there is nothing wrong with DNR headquarters. In fact, it provides wonderful marsh views and makes for a nice time. Parking there, however can be difficult to organize and there is really nothing else in the immediate vicinity around the headquarters in the way of dining or shopping to make a full day of it.

That is why Mary Ross is a great move. The park is still on the waterfront, but has a few things to offer the CRD headquarters cannot.

The first is Mary Ross Park’s proximity to Newcastle Street in downtown Brunswick and all of the shops and restaurants there. After visiting the festival, families will have ample opportunity to grab lunch and maybe stop by a boutique or art gallery, all the while providing a nice shot in the arm to the businesses there.

The second is the accessible parking around Mary Ross. Bay Street, the lots across Bay Street from the park and the county lot next to the Harold Pate Building are all easy to get to and a short walk from the festival.

Mary Ross is also a more open venue, which might make navigating the festival a little easier for some people.

Regardless of where Coastfest is held, we are just happy to know it is still one of the most popular events in the Golden Isles. Every October we get to experience the touch tanks with local wildlife like snakes and alligators, try our hand at kayaking or archery, watch cannon firings and learn about everything from oyster habitat restoration to fishery management.

Some details are still being ironed out about the move, but we hope everyone takes advantage of the unique opportunity and checks out Coastfest with their families.

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