The annual Deer Fest, renamed Outdoor Fest this year, had a stellar lineup of events, entertainment, Gator Queen Liz from the “Swamp People” TV show, and much more planned for March 3. But the day was cut tragically short when Lanier County was hit by a tornado that afternoon, cutting the festivities short and canceling the event.
But Lanier County doesn’t accept defeat. No sir. Community organizers and event organizers got together and replanned the entire event. They even have the Gator Queen coming back and the Outdoor Fest will go on as planned Saturday, March 24.
The Outdoor Fest is held in the Threatte Arts and Civic Center, a feat unto itself. A Lanier County committee raised the funds necessary to save the former historic high school auditorium and move it in four massive pieces in 2006 to its new location on Highway 221.
The festival was founded to help pay for the Big Move and the ongoing cost of maintaining the newly renovated community gem, as well as other county non-profit organizations.
The Outdoor Fest includes a day of entertainment, demonstrations, and a visit from the Gator Queen, followed by a wild-game supper and a silent and live auction, featuring a variety of items.
Any community that will go to such lengths to preserve a local landmark and redo a festival that was almost literally blown away has to be commended. If you are interested in the outdoors, in enjoying a day of food and fun, then make your plans to attend the re-do of the Outdoor Fest Saturday.
The property beside Pipkin Motors on North Valdosta Road was purchased recently by Crosspointe Church. The church is currently located in the former Winn Dixie building on Northside Drive, but has grown tremendously over the last few years. Construction is expected to begin soon on their new home.
For Zaxby’s lovers, following the opening of the new restaurant in Lake Park a couple of weeks ago, the new one on St. Augustine is officially opening on Monday. The location on Inner Perimeter has always been busy, but when the one on Baytree burned down last year, it got crazy. Many times throughout a typical day, the parking lot was overflowing and the drive-through line wrapped around the entire building. Hopefully, the new one by the mall will help alleviate some of the traffic and I understand the Baytree location will also be rebuilt this year.
It looks like Target on Norman Drive is preparing to undergo a massive renovation project. At a cost just under $1 million, the remodeling will be extensive. Maybe a Super Target is in our future?
Construction on the parking deck at SGMC had one lane of traffic closed for a while this week, so be careful driving by there on Patterson Street. There is also a second crane on the campus to work on the patient tower construction, making it one of the largest concurrent construction projects the community’s ever had.
Work began in earnest this week on Gander Mountain on Norman Drive, which is expected to be open by the holiday season this year.
And word on the street is that there may be a Golden Corral and a TGI Fridays in our not so distant future.
Now that they have the alcohol license, look for Rascal’s toward Lake Park to reopen in the next week or two. It’s the same owners as the Vegas nightclub on Highway 84.
I still don’t have a date yet for Factor X Fitness’ opening on Norman Drive, but it should be fairly soon. The renovations look about done, and the facility will be where several other fitness centers have been in the past, beside Harveys.
That’s it for this week, but if there’s anything I missed, please let me know!