Fall Arts Preview: Festivals 

With the easing of summer comes Savannah’s fall festival season. While not as expansive as its springtime equivalent, which includes those monster events St. Patrick’s Day and the Savannah Music Festival, it’s still a delightful — and delightfully busy — time.

Most of the festivals in this calendar happen outdoors – and when the weather’s good, there’ll be nothing nicer than one of these. Welcome to fall festivals, Savannah–style.

Savannah Pride Festival

10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sept. 11 in Forsyth Park. Blue–Eyed Jane, Juan Cezar and the Sex Kittens and others entertain at Savannah Pride’s 10th annual public festival.

Gray’s Reef Ocean Film Festival

Sept. 17–19 at the Trustees Theater, 216 W. Broughton St. A panel of judges chose 33 environmentally–themed films for your viewing pleasure, including SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories, an up–to–date look at the BP disaster. Ten student movies will also be screened. See graysreef.noaa.gov.

Savannah Jazz Festival

Sept. 19–26. The big free concert – Sept. 25 in Forsyth Park – features Spyro Gyra, Joe Gransden, Marcus Printup, the Coastal Jazz Hall of Fame All–Stars, Bob Masteller, Jody Espina and others. Local jazz royalty plays around town on the other days. See savannahjazzfestival.org.


Oct. 1–3 on River Street. Gotta have a little oompah, right? The River Street Savannah organization brings the bands, the German food, the Weiner Dog Race, fireworks and the “Wachovia KinderVillage.” 9 a.m. to midnight Fri. and Sat., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun.

Picnic in the Park

At 7 p.m. Oct. 3 in Forsyth Park. Eddie Wilson, one of our area’s most prized pianist/bandleaders, leads his Strings of the South band through a collection of Broadway, classic “pops” and contemporary music. Bring a picnic, and enter your spread in the annual picnic contest. A nice night under the stars.

Tybee Island Pirate Fest

Oct. 8–10 in the South Beach parking lot. Eddie Money and Drivin ‘n Cryin perform for your rock ‘n’ roll pleasure at this annual salute to buccaneering – there’s a kids’ area, a pirate parade, magicians and jugglers, a “Thieves’ Market” and tons ‘o pirate grub. Local bands including the Train Wrecks, the Looters and Wormsloew will play as well. Family fun galore.

Savannah Folk Music Festival

Oct. 8–10. Singer/songwriter Karla Bonoff (“Someone to Lay Down Beside Me,” “Tell Me Why,” “Isn’t it Always Love”) headlines the Savannah Folk Music Society’s annual celebration with a 2 p.m. performance Oct. 10 at Grayson Stadium, with singer Otis Taylor and Florida guitar wiz Sam Pacetti. Things get started with a collection of local folkies Oct. 8 in Ellis Square (7–10 p.m.), followed by three events on the 9th: A sacred harp sing, the Youth Songwriting Competition finals, and an old–time country dance. See savannahfolk.org.

Savannah Greek Festival

Oct. 14–18 at the Hellenic Community Center, 14 W. Anderson St. St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the 57th year of its celebration of all things Greek – food, dancing, music, food, arts and culture, food and more food. See stpaulsgreekorthodox.org.

Festival of the Arts Juried Show

Oct. 17 and 18, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday. It’s “rain or shine” as the Tybee Arts Association’s annual fine arts show and sale takes over the South Beach parking lot. With food and live tuneage. See www.tybeearts.org.

Savannah Film Festival

Oct. 30–Nov. 6. The schedule for SCAD’s cinema–tastic event should be announced soon. It’s a week of daily (and hourly) screenings of new, independent, foreign and soon–to–be–famous movies, at the Trustees Theater and elsewhere downtown. Last year’s red–carpet attendees included Jeremy Renner, Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson. See filmfest.scad.edu.

Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival

Oct. 31 in Forsyth Park. One of the tastiest (and best–attended) events on Forsyth’s yearly calendar, with people waiting in lengthy lines to sample delightful Jewish cuisine, from the sweet to the deep–fried. There’s live entertainment, too, at the Temple Mickve Israel–sponsored eat–a–thon. See mickveisrael.org.


Nov. 4–6 at the Coastal Georgia Center. It’s a design and technology conference with speakers from all aspects of the computer and Internet worlds. This year’s keynote speaker is Twitpic creator Noah Everett. See geekend2010.com.

Telfair Art Fair

Nov. 12–14. There’s a ticketed preview party on Friday night, but it’s free to browse and buy Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a great gathering of local and regional artists in beautifully shaded Telfair Square.

Savannah Children’s Book Festival

10 a.m.–4 p.m. Nov. 13 in Forsyth Park. Local and regional authors and illustrators, food, live entertainment, arts and crafts et ceters. This Live Oak Public Libraries–sponsored event also includes a workshop at the Southwest Chatham Library on Nov. 12.

Christmas on the River

Dec. 4 and 5 on River Street. Santa arrives, right on schedule, during the Lighted Parade at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4. There’s a children’s play area, live entertainment, and – of course – lots of retail opportunities for your shopping pleasure. Sponsored by the River Street Savannah organization.


Speaking of Savannah, festivals

About The Author

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was Connect's Arts & Entertainment Editor from May 2009 to August 2014.

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