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LibertyFest has new home in Hinesville

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POSTED: July 14, 2010 10:10 a.m.
The Liberty County Chamber of Commerce’s banner festival, LibertyFest, will be held at a new venue this year — Bryant Commons on Oglethorpe Highway across from the Liberty County Development Authority. The festival is tagged as a celebration of the county’s history, patriotism and coastal culture.
“Last year we were unable to secure a permanent location for LibertyFest,” Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kenny Smiley said.
This is the fourth LibertyFest to be held. The event was canceled last year because the festival had outgrown its previous venue and a suitable location could not be procured, according to Smiley.
“LibertyFest was held in 2006, 2007 and 2008,” Smiley said. “We had the festival’s Friday night activities in downtown Hinesville and Saturday’s activities on the coast (at Sunbury Crab Company),” Smiley explained.
He said event organizers approached the Bryant Commons Joint Management Board and the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority in April about holding the festival at Bryant Commons this year.
“This is a re-building year for us,” LibertyFest co-chair Susan McCorkle said.
“2011 will be even bigger,” Smiley added. Along with McCorkle, Leah Poole is co-chairing the event.
LibertyFest will be held from 6-11 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday at Bryant Commons. Parking will be off-site at Liberty Independent Troop Park and James Brown Park. Shuttle service to the event site will be provided. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Adult admission will increase to $10 per person after 5 p.m. Saturday.
Smiley said in 2008 between 3,500 and 4,500 people attended the two-day event and they expect a similar crowd this weekend.
“We are using every type of marketing tool we have,” he said. “We still have vendors knocking on our door to get into this show.”
McCorkle and Smiley said they have more than 40 vendors signed up for the event so far.
“We have 15 food vendors alone,” Smiley said. Food will range from barbecue, funnel cakes, snow cones and boiled peanuts to broiled shrimp, Jamaican and Caribbean fare and even Greek cuisine, he said.
Other vendors will display arts and crafts, jewelry, fashion accessories, gifts, leather goods and toys.
LibertyFest visitors also can expect a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, children’s inflatable activities, a kids’ fishing derby throughout the day, live entertainment and fireworks,
The Disc Connected K9s World Famous Frisbee Dogs will perform Saturday and Acoustic Rhythms featuring Dafani Eller will play Friday night and open for the Jesup-based 11-piece band Second Chance on Saturday night, she said.
"Fireworks will go off at 9:30 p.m. Saturday," Mcorkle said.
The Telephony Museum at Bryant Commons will be open for tours during the event as well, Smiley added. The International Telephone Pioneer Association is headquartered there, he said.
For more information call 912-368-4445 or visit www.libertycounty.org.

 

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