Labor Day weekend falls right in the middle crack between the hot, dead summer and the culturally vibrant fall. It’s the holiday equivalent of passing Go and collecting $200. School is open again, and everyone’s settling in for the long haul until the jolly holidays at the end of the year.
As we begin the autumnal trek around the board, there’s always quite a bit going on over the last three–day weekend before cooler weather begins to approach (granted, in Savannah that might be another two or three months).
Here’s a rundown of the special Savannah–area events planned for this particular Labor Day.
• Starting Friday, the 4th annual Savannah Craft Brew Fest is a three–day exploration and celebration of craft beer, with professional and home brewers from all over the place converging on the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center. Lectures, symposiums, presentations, special dinners and other events make up the rest of the weekend (several other venues are involved). The Grand Tasting is on Saturday, the International Grand Tasting on Sunday.
Tickets, details, schedules et al are available at savannahcraftbrewfest.com. And be sure to check out the special BrewFest guide within this issue.
• It’s the River Street Labor Day Celebration. Fireworks at 9:30 Friday night! Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, look for live music, an arts and crafts fair, refreshments and family stuff along the Savannah River and Rousakis Plaza. This, of course, is timed to coincide with the Savannah Craft Brew Fest, which is going on across the river at the convention center.
• Although the annual Tybee Festival of the Arts is still more than a month away (it’s Oct. 15 and 16, at Jaycee Park), the Tybee Arts Association has its monthly show and sale on this Labor Day weekend. Local artisans have done up stuff to the theme of “Endless Summer,” and they’ll be all set up and ready for visitors Friday through Sunday (Sept. 2–4) in the Arts Center, 7 Cedarwood Ave. in the old Fort Screven firehouse building. Hours are 6–9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
• Elsewhere in this issue, you can read about the Savannah Bicycle Campaign’s “Midnight Garden Ride,” starting at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Forsyth Park Bandshell. When the ride ends around 9, back at the park, that’s when cellist Ben Sollee and his group will perform for free, with a set from the wonderful Cheyenne Marie Mize (there’s an interview with Sollee in this issue, as well). Savannah's General Oglethorpe & the Panhandlers are on the bill, too.
• Families might want to head to Richmond Hill’s J.F. Gregory Park Sunday for the Labor Day Family Picnic, put on by the Savannah Regional Central Labor Council. The free noon–to–4 p.m. event includes stuff like a candy hunt (“Candy in the Haystack”), a water slide and a watermelon seed–spitting contest. First prize in the dessert bakeoff is $75. Bakers, start your telephones: Call (912) 507–8037 to enter.
• Barring any last–minute hurricane weather, the Tybee Island Pier & Pavilion will be cool (in both senses of the word) on Sunday the 4th – the annual Labor Day Beach Bash. The Swingin’ Medallions, who had a Top 20 hit in 1966 with “Double Shot (Of My Baby’s Love),” will perform, and Tybee’s patented pyrotechnics (fireworks, that is) will light up the Atlantic sky after dark. Admission is free, but for the first time you can reserve a seat. There are 50 of them, at round tables with 10 chairs each. To reserve seats (at $10 per) see tybeefest.com.