Come Ride the Pirate Express in St. Marys

Come Ride the Pirate Express in St. MarysSt. Marys, GA – In a brand new adventure created for St. Marys Express, pirates from the Fernandina Pirates Club will take part in the May 16 & 23 Pirate Express Rides in St. Marys. Trains depart Theater by the Trax at 10 am, noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm each day, taking passengers on a journey through picturesque woodlands and marshlands with entertainment all along the way.

Kids from 2 to 92 will enjoy the antics of the rascally pirates roaming the train. At the Midway stage, more mayhem ensues as the pirates invade Tortuga and bring a new adventure to life. Cannon shots and a life-sized pirate ship round out the day’s adventure. “The Pirate Club of Fernandina adds a new element of fun to our train rides,” said Barbara Ryan, entertainment director for St. Marys Express. “Passengers will be enchanted by these highly experienced mateys and wenches.”

Ryan went on to say that special appearances by such infamous pirates as Captain Hook and Blackbeard are on the slate as well.

“More and more we are seeing our train riders come in early or stay later with overnight stays at our charming bed and breakfasts and historic inns,” Ryan continued. “What’s more interesting is the fact that we have so many repeat riders since every excursion offers a different theme.”

“The St. Marys Express train rides are giving people who have never come to St. Marys a reason to visit,” St. Marys Tourism Director Angela Wigger said. “This gives us an opportunity to introduce a whole new market to our other destination assets including Cumberland Island, our museums, our waterfront park and the many historic features of our town.” St. Marys is enjoying much recent acclaim with high ratings in the areas of desirable destinations and great places to live, according to Wigger.

The Pirate Express departs from Theater by the Trax, 1000 Osborne Street in St. Marys, at 10 am, noon, 2 pm, and 4 pm on May 16 and 23. Tickets are $20 for adults and $14 for children 12 and under. Children two and under ride free. Tickets can be purchased at www.stmarysrailroad.com or by calling 912-200-5235. Special group discounts are available for groups of ten or more by calling 912-729-1103.

Future St. Marys Express excursions slated for this year include America’s Birthday Express, Railroad Days, Halloween Express, and Santa Express. A complete train schedule can be found at www.stmarysrailroad.com.

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21st St. Mary’s Mardi Gras Festival, Parade and Chili Cook-Off

21st St. Mary's Mardi Gras Festival, Parade and Chili Cook-OffSt. Mary’s, GA – It is time for the 21st Annual Mardi Gras Festival! The 2015 Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2015) event in St. Mary’s, Georgia, will follow a “Love Stories” theme that will enhance the parade floats and costumes which are the highlight of the day. Coastal Georgia is rich in tradition and downtown St. Marys’ annual Mardi Gras Festival is a favorite for locals and tourists. The festival features all family friendly activities from 9am to 5pm and includes the 10am parade and over one hundred vendors offering arts, crafts, food and activities. Some favorite past activities have been the zip line and the mechanical bull. The center stage will be active with entertainment throughout the afternoon and the St. Marys Waterfront Park will host the 11am-2pm Great Camden County Chili Cook-Off benefit and the 1pm costumed pet-parade benefit.

Kelly Davis, a St. Marys Downtown Merchants Association member and long-time festival organizer, stated, “The 2015 Mardi Gras Festival has, again, been selected as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event. It promises to be a great day of food and fun and is a day that positively benefits the economy in St. Marys.”

Mardi Gras would not be complete without a formal ball and the traditional announcement of the new 2015 King and Queen. This Monarch of Merriment and Queen of the Carnival will hold court by representing the St. Marys Mardi Gras Festival at various area events and functions over the coming year. The privilege of being selected as royalty occurs by being the person who finds the trinkets in their dessert. Another honor announced during the evening is the Rosie Kelley Community Service award winner. The accolade recognizes outstanding community service to St. Marys. Ball tickets are $35 per person and include dinner and entertainment with a 6:30pm start time. Attire is a “Love Stories” themed costume or formal wear and tickets can be purchased with cash or check at Once Upon A Bookseller or the St. Marys Welcome Center. The ball location is Chaser’s at J’s British Pub and prizes will be awarded for various costume categories.

During the Mardi Gras celebration you can also ride the rails on the “Wild West Steam Express.” This frontier experience will feature an authentic steam locomotive that will pull you into an unforgettable Wild West adventure complete with a shoot-out showdown. The train will depart from the Theatre by the Trax, 1000 Osborne Street at noon, 2pm and 4pm and tickets must be purchased in advance at www.stmarysrailroad.com, or by calling 912-200-5235. The train will also run on February 15, 21 & 22.

For Parade participation or Vendor/Sponsor information contact Once Upon A Bookseller at stmarysdma@gmail.com or 912-882-7350. For any additional information contact the St. Marys Welcome Center at VisitStMarys.com or call 912-882-4000

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What Happened to Customer Service?

What Happened to Customer Service?I am usually not quick to jump to complaining about a business, but I recently had an experience with lousy customer service, and I’m going to publicly ask, “What happened to customer service?”

Those who know me, know I injured my foot a couple of years ago. Now, when I shop for sneakers there are a few features my local podiatrist suggested I look for. Well, of course, as all women know, this makes finding a stylish shoe nearly impossible, so when I found a pair of sneakers at The Shoe Department in St. Mary’s, Georgia, at an affordable price, I was thrilled!

The shoes were located near the front of the store, with a large sale sign that read $39… (something) tucked into the stack of shoe boxes, with a demo model on display above the sign. The shoe matched the shoe boxes under the sign, and these were the shoes I had spent nearly 20 minutes of my life pondering over. I was excited! I had not found a pair of sneakers I liked this much in two years! I was rejoicing, “Momma needs a new pair of shoes!” Well, not so fast, Judie.

The sneakers were “Skechers”. I tried on three different sizes and widths to get the best support and most comfortable fit. A sales representatives walked past me and asked if I was finding things ok? “Yes, thanks.” I replied admiring my soon-to-be new shoes.

A second sales rep repeated the question as I was packing up the rejected pairs. I finished packing up the shoes I had tried on, putting them neatly into their appropriate boxes, and placed them back where I found them and headed to the check-out counter.

With my wallet in hand the female clerk said, “That will be $53.00.” She mentioned some change, too, but I don’t recall the exact amount.

“They were on sale for 39 dollars.” I said politely.

The clerk quickly snatched up the box and walked over to the display where they were clearly market with a promotional price.

“Did I not get the pair shown on the display?” I asked confused.

“Oh sorry,” She quipped with no emotion whatsoever, snatching the sign off of the shoe box. “Someone put that sign there by mistake.”

“…and you are not going to honor the price?” I asked, thinking, it was not my mistake; it was theirs.

Now, I worked in the retail industry for over 20 years, and when something like this happens, you either offer the advertised price, or see if your manager can do something to satisfy the customer.

The clerk’s flippant mannerism made my blood boil. She didn’t even answer me!

Firmly I told my daughter, who was shopping for boots in a different isle than the sneakers were displayed, that we were leaving. “This store won’t honor their sale price, which is clearly marked.” I think I got louder as I spoke. “This is bait and switch, and THAT my dear – is illegal!”

While I’m still wondering what has happened to customer service, I should mention, “I’m still looking for a good pair of sneakers.”

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Love Where You Live in Camden County

Love Where You Live in Camden County

St. Marys, GA – Taste of Camden returns to Camden County on Thursday, November 13, 2014 at the Kings Bay Village Shopping Center for its 9th year focusing on why Camden County should Love Where You Live with a day of fun and cuisine.

This year’s theme is Love Where You Live. Awards will be given for Best Overall Booth, Best Themed Booth, “Tastiest” Entrée, “Tastiest” Appetizer, and “Tastiest” Dessert. Voting will be completed by Mystery Judges.

Vendors at this year’s Taste of Camden will receive an 8-foot by 8-foot space, 6-foot table, two chairs and two tickets for admittance to The Taste of Camden. Vendor’s offering wine tasting at their booth will receive 2 additional tickets.

A new addition to the exhibition this year will be our “Taste of Camden” mobile application. This
application will turn your booth and the event into a personal and interactive experience for attendees.

This year’s booth rates are determined by location and type.

Our premium rates for chamber members are $225 for non-food vendors and $125 for food vendors and $375 for non-members.

Our prime rates for chamber members are $175 for non-food vendors and $75 for food
vendors and $325 for non-members.

Our regular rates for chamber members are $150 for non-food vendors and $50 for food vendors and $275 for non-members.

Make a statement! Generate traffic and attention with a premium booth!

Electricity is provided if requested at the time of registration.

Set-up must be conducted on Wednesday between the hours of 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on the day of the event between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Thank you to our Premiere sponsors, TDS, Tribune & Georgian, and Georgia Power and our Presenting sponsors Southeast Georgia Health Systems and Georgia Pacific.

To see available booth locations, register for your booth and become and event sponsor, visit us
online at www.camdenchamber.com/pages/TasteofCamdenShowcase or contact the Camden County Chamber of Commerce at (912) 729-5840.

We look forward to celebrating with you at this year’s Taste of Camden.

About Taste of Camden: The Taste of Camden is a local event produced by the Camden County Chamber of Commerce. Taking place each November, Taste of Camden features delectable food from area restaurants, features local businesses, children’s activities and more.

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2014 St. Marys Home and Living Show

2014 St. Marys Home and Living Show St. Marys, GA – Whether you are updating your current home, building a new home or just completing your honey-do-list, there is something for everyone at the 5th Annual Camden/Charlton County Board of Realtors Home and Living Show.

This year’s event will be on Saturday, April 12th from 8am – 2pm at the Kings Bay Shopping Center in St. Marys, GA.

Admission is free!

Come out and see what products and services are available to you. Featuring insulation ideas, heating and air, pools and spas, landscaping, patios and decks, home security, and so much more!

The primary benefactor will be college scholarships awarded to Charlton and Camden County high school seniors. The Board of Realtors is passionate about supporting our youth in their post-secondary education efforts and hope you will join in this worthwhile objective. Additional proceeds will benefit local organizations.

To become a vendor at this event or for more information, contact Patricia Gibson at (912)673-7373 or visit www.cccbor.com.

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2013 Taste of Camden Tickets Now On Sales

2013 Taste of Camden Tickets Now On SalesThis year’s Taste of Camden’s theme is Cruise Through Camden!

St. Marys, GA – Many of Camden’s delectable restaurants have already registered to participate in this year’s Taste of Camden Food and Business Showcase. The showcase will be held on Thursday, October 17, 2013 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kings Bay Village Shopping Center.

Guests will be able to satisfy their palates with the fabulous local cuisine, participate in a wine tasting, receive admission to this years haunted house, enjoy talented entertainment on the outside stage, and receive an autograph from licensed Disney artist Cris Woloszak, featured in The Wyland Galleries of Florida, in Walt Disney World Resort’s Polynesian and Boardwalk Resorts and Disney’s famous haunted house. This is the family event of the year, and you won’t want to miss it!

This year, you may purchase boarding passes with or without wine tasting. General admission will be $10 at the event or save $2 with advance purchase. Wine tasting tickets are an additional $5 and include a commemorative wine glass to sample a variety of wines as you stroll among the booths.

Boarding Passes may be purchased at the Kingsland Welcome Center, Tribune-Georgian, The Camden County Chamber of Commerce or online at www.camdenchamber.com.

We would like to offer a special thanks to our Event Sponsors, Tribune & Georgian, TDS, KBay 106.3, The Lighthouse, 89.3, Dalton Signs, Vista Outdoor Advertising, Beachview Event Rentals & Design, Camden Printing, Fast Signs, Money Pages, Southeast Georgia Health Systems, Ameris Bank, City of St. Marys, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Multi-Task Cleaning, Paul Davis Emergency Services, The Wee Pub, Volume Hair Salon, Turner Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning and Jerry Lee’s Music.

For more information visit our website at www.camdenchamber.com or contact the Camden County Chamber of Commerce at (912) 729-5840.

About Taste of Camden
The Taste of Camden is a local event produced by the Camden County Chamber of Commerce. Taking place each October, Taste of Camden features delectable food from area restaurants, features local businesses, children’s activities and more.

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Haunted House Opens in Kingsland

Haunted House Opens in Kingsland

Click to enlarge poster

St. Marys, GA – Camden Counties newest and greatest haunted house attraction will be cracking open its doors at the Kings Bay Village Shopping Center on Friday, October 4th and runs each Friday and Saturday during October, during the Taste of Camden on Thursday, October 17th and for Halloween Night, Thursday, October 31st.

This spooktacular event hosted by The Love of Pets and the Camden County Chamber of Commerce will present a less spooky version on Fridays from 6-7 pm for younger children, with the scarier version running from 7-10pm.

General admission tickets are $5.oo per ‘body’ at the door. Avoid long lines and pre-purchase your ticket at the Cedar Oak Café, Bulldog Liquors or Chamber of Commerce prior to attendance for a $1 discount. Attendees can go through as many times as they like on the night that they use their ticket.

Ticket holders for the Taste of Camden event on October 17th, will be able to enter the haunted house the day of the event from 4-8pm by presenting their bracelets.

With spooky things lurking around every corner, are you brave enough to enter the Haunted House?

All proceeds to benefit The Love of Pets, a local no kill shelter supporting the local community by ensuring the safety of the public and the animals that live here, providing educational programs and advocating for humane and ethical treatment of animals.

For more information, contact the Camden County Chamber of Commerce at (912) 729-5840.

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19th Annual St. Mary’s Mardi Gras Festival

19th Annual St. Mary's Mardi Gras Festival“A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll” is the theme for the 19th annual family-friendly Mardi Gras Festival & Parade in historic St. Marys, Georgia on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

There is a 10:00 AM parade with decorated floats and impressive costumes, including the Fernandina Pirates Club.

The celebration continues throughout the day with a street festival offering arts and craft booths, food booths, a water-walker, new laser challenge, inflatable slide, bungee jumping, climbing wall and trackless train.

The waterfront will be bursting with other activities like the Great Camden County Chili Cook-Off and costumed pet-parade benefiting Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society.

New this year is the First Annual Color the Streets, Color Run at 7:00 AM. Throughout the course for this 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk/Run, runners will be bombarded with powdered paint in the form of a colored cornstarch, which is non-toxic and non-rash inducing. Registration fee is $50.00 on the day of the event and includes a t-shirt, sunglasses, a pack of color, and a race bib. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Juvenile Diabetes and Muscular Dystrophy.

Performers will regale you with their talents at the main stage, in front of the St. Marys Waterfront Pavilion, all day long bringing you lively song, music and dance.

Once evening hits, the adults will continue the celebration with the annual Mardi Gras Ball where a new King and Queen are chosen each year. Prizes will be awarded for costumes that best depict the festival theme. Tickets for the ball are $35.00 and are available by cash or check only.

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Camden Bicycle Center Offers Great Alternative

I realize the economic value and support the “buy local” concept, but I also feel not every single place is a great fit for every person. If buy local means that a monopoly is created, some aspects of a transaction may become less than satisfactory. Having had some less than favorable interactions locally in Fernandina when servicing our bicycles, I recently traveled the 30 minute distance to St. Mary’s GA to have our two bicycles serviced at Camden Bicycle Center. Now let me tell you, it was well worth the trip.

The owners Terry and Darlene Landreth are knowledgable, helpful and just plain super friendly and professional. Their store is easy to find, nice and clean, very affordable, with a well stocked beautiful range of bikes and accessories; all well displayed.

What’s more, they take the time to explain every single step involved in the tune-ups and more. Just feels so comfortable. They had our bikes ready to pick up in less than two days time.

So isn’t it nice to know we have an alternative? I know I am happy, because my bike has never ridden or looked better.

They are located at 1929 Osborne Road (aka Hwy 40), St. Mary’s GA 32558  Phone: 912-576-9696

Taste of Camden is Late Thursday Afternoon

Taste of Camden is Thursday NightThe 8th Annual Taste of Camden will be held on Thursday from 3:00 to 7 p.m. at the Camden Community Recreation Center in Kingsland, Georgia. This year’s theme is “Your All-Star Business Line-Up.”

Sixty Camden County businesses will have themed displays to showcase their products and services, including fourteen restaurants and caterers that will be serving samples of their dishes. Participants can browse and shop at the business exhibits, where there will be plenty of free giveaway items. While supplies last, those who attend will receive a reusable shopping bag to hold any materials they collect at the event. There also will be plenty for children to enjoy including a “Touch A Truck” tour of local public safety and military vehicles and the Lowe’s Build and Grow workshop, where children can work on a project that they can take home with them.

All those who purchase a ticket will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win prizes and gift baskets, including a 32″ LCD TV donated by TDS Telecom and a Char-Griller Grillin Pro 3001 3-Burner Gas Grill donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. Attendees will receive a ballot to vote for Best Overall Booth, Best Themed Booth, Tastiest Entree, Tastiest Appetizer and Tastiest Dessert.

Tickets are $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door. Advance tickets may be purchased at the Camden County Chamber of Commerce,Kings Bay Village Shopping Center; the Tribune and Georgian, downtown Saint Marys; or the Kingsland Welcome Center at Highway 40 and I-95, Exit 3.

For more information, call the Camden Chamber at (912) 729-5840.

Sponsors
Platinum: Dalton Signs, Jerry Lee’s Music and Artisans Emporium, WXBX Radio K-BAY 106.3FM, TDS Telecom, Tribune and Georgian and Vista Outdoor Advertising.
Gold: Southeast Georgia Health System, Camden Campus.
Silver: Ameris Bank, Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse and Money Pages.

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Tybee Island Pirate Festival to Feature Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe

Tybee Island Pirate Festival to Feature Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe Vince Neil, lead singer of Mötley Crüe, will be the headliner for the Tybee Island Pirate Festival. He will perform at a live concert on Saturday, October 6 at 7 p.m.

Neil will perform a variety of Mötley Crüe hits at his Tybee Island Pirate Festival performance including songs from legendary albums like Shout at the Devil and Girls, Girls, Girls. Since the band’s founding in 1981, Mötley Crüe has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide.

The 8th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Festival kicks off on October 4, 2012, with the Buccaneer’s Ball at the Crab Shack. This event that occurs each Columbus Day weekend transforms Tybee Island into a pirate village. Organized by the Tybee Island Tourism Council beginning in 2005, the Pirate Festival showcases the best of Tybee Island.

Lindsay Fruchtl, director of marketing for the Tybee Island Tourism Council said, “We invite everyone to get in touch with their inner pirate at this popular annual event. The Tybee Island Pirate Festival offers world-class entertainment with Vince Neil and family-friendly activities throughout the weekend at one of the liveliest celebrations along the coast.”

Other entertainment during the weekend will include live music by A1A, a Jimmy Buffett tribute band, pirate performers, street performers, magicians, puppeteers, and weaponry demonstrations. Additional highlights include The Pirate Victory Parade, Scallywags Costume Contest, Little Matey’s Cove, Thieves Market and the new Pirate Pub with live music. All of the events will be held at the South Beach parking lot located at Tybrisa Street on Tybee Island, Georgia. Please visit www.tybeepiratefest.com for a complete schedule of events and to purchase tickets.

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2012 Writers Conference on St. Simon’s Island

2012 Writers Conference on St. Simon's IslandSea Palms Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia, will host a 2012 Writers Conference September 27 – 29, 2012.

Press release – Scribblers’ Retreat Writers Conference hosts ten multiple bestselling authors and professional experts at this educational two day symposium. Hilarity and fun is sure to be on tap as attendees laugh and learn about the funny side of life while at this year’s fall conference. Come and listen to the incredible line-up of contemporary authors: novelists, humorists, journalists, outrageously comedic mystery writers, along with deeply insightful authors who write award-winning books.

Among the ten featured speakers, internationally recognized “Poe” scholar, Dr. Scott Peeples will teach you things you never knew about the dark and great poet Edgar Allan Poe. Also, new sensation and Winner of 2012 National Literary Fiction Award, Michel Stone, who was named “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, will talk about “Fearless Fiction”.

Dickie Anderson, Amelia Island columnist and author will share writing tips along with a children’s book publisher, another columnist, a writer of “White House Gardener Mysteries”, and others.

The conference, named by Writer’s Digest in 2010 as one of the best organized conferences in the country, will host the event at the island’s celebrated Sea Palms Resort including two flanking parties, on the lawn and poolside, featuring the band Honey Blue, a local favorite.

Scribblers’ Retreat Writers’ Conference is a non-profit literacy and literary arts organization committed to promoting literacy by producing a unique series of annual conferences designed to stimulate the “writing” side of literacy. The organization also promotes the literary arts by providing a forum whereby authors can interact with publishers, editors and their peers in a professional atmosphere. Generous scholarship programs encourage students to hone their craft in a classroom setting designed to allow easy interaction between established authors and professors of writing with these budding young authors.

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Camden Bridal Expo is April 29, 2012

Camden Bridal Expo is April 29, 2012On April 29, 2012, Kings Bay Village Shopping Center will be home to the Camden Bridal Expo from 1:00 to 6:00 PM.

There is no admission fee and all of your wedding needs can be found under one roof. Door prizes will be given away throughout the event.

Featured vendors include Di’s Catering Cakes and More, Belks, Buzz N Music, Camden Party Rentals, Mitchell’s Limo, Mary Kay and many more.

For more information call Di’s Catering Cakes and More in St. Marys, Georgia at (912) 882-2253.

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Monkeys, Tassels and Tiaras

Monkeys, Tassels and TiarasApril 21, 2012 brings an evening of Monkeys, Tassels and Tiaras to South Georgia’s Theatre by the Trax, located at the gateway to Downtown Historic St. Marys, just 10 blocks from the waterfront at 1000 Osborne Road.

Monkeys, Tassels and Tiaras is a delightful show that includes Belly Dancing, Humor and other ridiculous things presented by Island Tribe Belly Dance. The live show is rated PG13 for vaudevillian bawdiness at its best! Tickets are just $10.00 in advance and only $15.00 at the door. The show begins at 8:00 PM.

Formerly operated as a locomotive workstation by St. Marys Railroad, the building is filled with history and echoes of yesteryear and now hosts productions by St. Marys Little Theatre and other noted groups. With a 90′ x 40′ stage and seating for 140, Theatre by the Trax is an excellent venue for productions of all sizes including concerts, plays, awards ceremonies, and other special events.

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Rodeo Excitement in Kingsland Georgia

Searchamelia announces First Annual Equine Rescue rodeo in Kingsland Georgia

This looks like fun!!!!!!!!

Last week we were introduced to the first Cattle Baron’s Ball and in a couple of weeks we’ll be witnessing the First Annual Equine Rescue Rodeo of South Georgia in Camden County. On April 13 and 14, this All American Event will be held in Kingsland Georgia on Highway 40 across from the K-Mart and the Publix Shopping Center.

We already introduced you to the fine people behind this event in a previous story on how they became a sanctioned horse rescue farm. One thing is for sure, they didn’t stop there. With this exciting event being sanctioned by the Professional Cowboy Association (PCA) and co-sanctioned by the Professional Armed Forces Rodeo Association (PAFRA) bringing some of the top contestant in rodeo to the field, the organizers are resurrecting an old American tradition for Camden County.

Rodeo is a window into a past much less complicated than today and the organizers, who retained stock contractor T Bar- T Rodeo out of Waycross, famously owned by Justin Thigpen, to provide the “talent”, expect some 2,000 spectators both nights. Proceeds from ticket sales are benefitting the non profit Equine Rescue of South Georgia and proceeds from food ticket sales will benefit Kingsland’s Caring Hearts Organization.

Some of the fun includes Bull Riding, Bareback Riding, Steer Wrestling, Calf Roping, Saddle Bronc Riding, Cowgirl’s Break Away Roping (Hmmm), Women’s Barrel Racing (double Hmmmm?) and Team Roping.

Mark your calendar for this fun event, while helping those who need funds to care for humans and animals that others have forsaken, abused and mistreated.
Today I heard a story of a puppy duct taped to a pole in Jacksonville, saved by a friend who provides intermediate home and care and looking for adoption.
I swear that if I ever catch some lowlife sub-human mistreating an animal in such a horrible way, Raiford may have a place for me on death row.

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