Sure as it is Sept. 1, there are bound to be Labor Day celebrations held in downtown districts throughout America this holiday weekend. In the town where I live, Blue Ridge, Ga., there will be a barbecue in the city park on Monday — $8 for a plate of chicken or ribs and the trimmings. I’ll be there.
In Kingsland, Ga., so far south of here it’s nearly in Florida, citizens will celebrate with the 25th Annual Labor Day Catfish Festival. During this three-day weekend party, more than 65,000 people will find their way to the four blocks of downtown Kingsland to eat catfish, of course, but also to shop for original handcrafted wares from more than 100 vendors.
There will be foot races and bike rides, concerts and a parade. Sponsored by the Kingsland Community Betterment Program and the Kingsland Convention & Visitors Bureau, the catfish festival is an example of how booster organizations can bring shoppers downtown.
Camden County, where Kingsland is located, was colonized by both the Spanish and English. In fact, the city of Kingsland was once owned by King George II of England. Do you suppose he would have enjoyed Southern fried catfish, hushpuppies, grits, coleslaw and sweet iced tea? That’s what he would have gotten at the Catfish Festival. Heck, being a king and all, he probably would have spent some money downtown, too.