Grovetown has quite a history.
It was a small railroad and agricultural town. Then the railroad brought Augustans seeking refuge from hot muggy summers by the river.
The influx of summer visitors added large summer homes, a girls school, a horse stable and racetrack to Grovetown.
"It also became a summer haven for the people from Augusta, just like they would go to Summerville to get out of the city, they would also come to Grovetown because the train was here," said Mary Ann Navarro, a member of the Grovetown Museum Board.
Members of the museum board and the city council wanted to pay tribute to that era and all others in Grovetown's history since the charter was signed in the 1860s.
So the first annual Grovetown Heritage Festival was planning. As the May 10 festival came together, Navarro was surprised with each step.
The committee got the plan approved by city council and prepared to pull the festival together. The committee recruited more than 40 vendors to sell food, crafts and specialty items on festival grounds centered around City Hall, the museum and a gazebo at Robinson Avenue and Old Wrightsboro Road.
"It is amazing to me," Navarro said.
In only a few months, the committee booked live musical entertainment for the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. duration of the festival.
"That was another amazing thing for me."
Then, donations from sponsoring organizations began coming in.
"That was another wonderful thing."
State Sen. Joey Brush, R-Appling, will recognize the city's "very senior citizens" at an 11:30 a.m. ceremony.
"They remember what Grovetown was like probably in World War II," Navarro said. "Grovetown changed a lot in World War II when Fort Gordon was built."
Though the city was founded in September, the committee wanted to throw a spring festival complete with lots of children's activities including face-painting and balloon tricks by Miss Jolly the clown.
A run/walk will kick off the festival at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $12. For more information, call Rosa Lee Owens at 863-1967.
For the more history-minded, the museum will be open for tours. Also, the CSRA Road Angels will display their classic vehicles in addition to anyone else who would like to enter the show. The registration fee is $14 before May 1 and $20 after or the day of the festival. For more information, or to register, call Gerry Hall at 860-8089.
Though only in the first year, the committee hopes to learn from this festival to make next year's bigger and better.
"This kind of thing will take time to build up," Navarro said. "We may grow to use the city parks or something."
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