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Swamps Cultural Heritage at Historic Chesser Island Homestead

Event Dates and Times

Historic Chesser Island Homestead
Come rediscover Georgia’s cultural heritage of yesteryear as the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge celebrates the annual Okefenokee Festival and National Wildlife Refuge Week on October 8, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This special event will take place at the historic Chesser Island Homestead, located in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.

Take a walk into history and relive the ways of the old “swampers”. Watch how settlers washed clothes, smoked meat, collected pine resin for turpentine, and survived in and around the Okefenokee. Listen to the soothing sounds of 4-Note Singing performances by the Roddenberry Sisters at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., bluegrass music with the Johnny Griffin Band and stories on the front porch all day. Learn how settlers made soap, fans, butter, quilts, baskets, and other everyday items from various swamp and forest resources. Sample boiled peanuts, soup, biscuits, and other items cooked on the homestead’s wood-burning stove, and enjoy traditional games starting at 2 p.m. including musical chairs, wheelbarrow races and more! Join a ranger on a short guided walk at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. or 3:15 p.m. through the hardwood hammock which attracted a long history of settlers to the island.

Don’t forget to checkout Main Street in Folkston as well. Organized by the Folkston Chamber of Commerce, there will be many booths along the street set up by members of the community as well as a parade starting at 10 a.m. showcasing the rich heritage of Okefenokee and Folkston.

In the evening, Okefenokee Adventures is offering a special sunset boat tour into the beautiful and mysterious Okefenokee Swamp, available for an additional charge. Visitors will have the chance to view alligators, wading birds, and other wildlife. Call Okefenokee Adventures at 912-496-7156 for more information about these boat tours.

The refuge entrance fee is $5 per vehicle. Duck stamps and/or annual passes are also accepted. Free shuttle buses will leave from the refuge Visitor Center every fifteen minutes, traveling to and from the Chesser Homestead.
This event takes place inside the East entrance to the refuge, located 11 miles southwest of Folkston, Georgia off Hwy. 121/23. For information on events and activities at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, visitors may contact the refuge Visitor Center at 912-496-7836, visit the website at http://www.fws.gov/okefenokee, or write to the Refuge Manager, Okefenokee NWR, 2700 Suwannee Canal Rd., Folkston, Georgia, 31537.

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