Mardi Gras festival coming to Kingsland

Gordon Jackson, The Brunswick News, Ga.
·2 min read

Feb. 16—The 27th annual Mardi Gras festival has been moved from St. Marys to Kingsland but organizers believe the festival will still have the atmosphere that has made it a must-see event each year.

The day-long festival will open Saturday in the same location as the annual Catfish Festival in downtown Kingsland on U.S. 17 and William Street.

More than 100 booths selling arts and crafts, food, antiques and other items will be sanitized professionally before the festival opens at 9 a.m., said Jolene Andersen, a festival organizer.

At 10 a.m., the Mardi Gras parade will begin from the Kingsland fairgrounds property off Royal Parkway. The parade, with dozens of floats and lots of beads tossed to the crowd, will wind its way south on U.S. 17, ending in Lions Park.

One of the most noticeable differences is there is a lot more parking close to the festival in downtown Kingsland, Andersen said. But the festival will still have the same hometown feel it established in St. Marys.

The headline act, country star Aaron Tippin, will perform at 4:30 p.m.

The location was changed after festival organizers were unable to get a permit to hold the event in downtown St. Marys. City officials cited the governor's restrictions on public events because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kingsland city official interpreted the governor's restrictions differently and granted a permit for the festival.

"Everything that is being done for this festival would have been done in St. Marys," she said. "The only thing missing is the St. Marys River."

The St. Marys Railroad will run a passenger train from downtown St. Marys to the festival site in downtown Kingsland throughout the day. Roundtrip tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3 to 11, and free for children under 3 years old.

There will be hand sanitizing stations throughout the festival site. Masks and social distancing are encouraged.