People looking for something to do this weekend won't have far to go.
Fire Fest America 2001 and the New Horizons art festival will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Organizers of Fire Fest decided to rename it Fire Fest America in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The event, with its decidedly patriotic theme, is to be held at Evans Town Center.
The stage will be lined with 12 sets of red, white and blue panels. Organizers will play Lee Greenwood's rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance during a moment of silence.
''We are dedicating this year's festival to the firefighters, police officers and paramedics throughout the country," said event coordinator Pauline LaPierre.
While the name has changed, Martinez Fire Department Chief Doug Cooper said the focus will be the same. Officers from area fire departments, the sheriff's office and the Georgia Forestry Service will be on hand to teach children fire prevention.
''We're just proud to be able to get out and interact with the children," Cooper said. ''It gives us a chance to teach them fire safety, which could end up saving their life."
Along with safety lessons, the event serves as a fund-raiser. Raffle tickets for a Club Car golf cart are being sold by Rotary Club members and law enforcement officers.
The money raised is used to purchase supplies for firefighters, police and paramedics. Profits from Rotary members' ticket sales are divided among several charities.
Most of that money will go to the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation. The foundation provides care for burn victims and their families.
The Columbia County New Horizons art festival will be held at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion.
The festival will feature a juried art show, a children's workshop and live entertainment.
Serving as this year's judge will be Priscilla Hollingsworth, an art professor at Augusta State University.
Judging works from several categories can be difficult, but Hollingsworth said having an open mind and finding the artists' purpose are important.
''We're looking for someone who has something to say artistically and has the means to do it," Hollingsworth said.
The art festival, unlike Fire Fest America, is not a fund-raiser. The sole purpose is to expose people to art.
''I'm hoping that the public will come with an open mind and are prepared to enjoy it," Hollingsworth said.
While the art show will entertain adults, Green Thumb Nursery will keep children busy with a free art workshop. A puppet show begins at 12:30 p.m.
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