Downtown Swainsboro was filled with laughter, smiles, and excitement this past weekend as locals and non-locals gathered in celebration of the 75th Annual Pine Tree Festival and Southeast Timber Expo event.
Activities kicked off Friday night with the Rhythm & Pines Music Festival. Although predicted rain and winds cancelled the planned performances of The Swinging Medallions and the Gospel Stage, Friday night festival-goers still enjoyed performances by Rhett Blount & Friends and the Perpetual Motion Band. This year’s event also featured the second annual Ultimate Bullfighters Party In The Pines presented by Daniels Chevrolet. After enjoying a fun-filled evening of entertainment, the crowds returned Saturday morning for an exciting lineup of festival activities.
The morning began with the Knotty Pine 5K race at 8 a.m., which brought in runners from across the region. At approximately 10 a.m., open ceremonies were held honoring Lynn Brinson, general manager at RadioJones, LLC., as this year’s Pine Tree Festival Grand Marshal and Green Jacket recipient. Brinson is the second female recipient to receive “green jacket” status in its history. The first recipient being Daisy Reeves, wife of the Honorable Judge Robert S. Reeves. Brinson has served on the Pine Tree Festival Committee for more than 10 years and has played a vital role in the festival’s success each year.
The grand parade commenced at 10:30 a.m. with Brinson in lead and featured floats, marching groups and other entries representing a variety of schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals. The following organizations received awards for their parade entries:
Category – Profit: Interfor, first place; Jocelyn Williams, second place; and Exhale Salon, third place.
Category – Non-profit: David Emanuel Academy, first place; Community Service Board of Middle GA, second place; and Twin City Elementary, third place.
The festivities continued after the parade and included scheduled events such as stunt dog, basketball dunk, motorcycle stunt and reptile and raptor shows. In between the scheduled events, festival attendees enjoyed all-day featured entertainment including a car and tractor show, chainsaw carving, kids zone, a wild life exhibit, party harbor, In the Pines Art Exhibit Allman Motorcycle, Operation Splash and arts, crafts and food vendors.
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