Each autumn, the Arts Emanuel Festival celebrates the visual and performing arts in southeast Georgia through a weekend long celebration. Visitors view art exhibits, enjoy live performances, participate in hands-on art, and experience a unique shopping opportunity. The Arts Emanuel Festival is an introduction to visitors from around the state of the emerging arts scene in Swainsboro and Emanuel County. The festival takes place in the heart of downtown at the “Boneyard Pavilion” and Patriots Square with theatrical performances taking place at the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Auditorium. Family fun is the highlight of the day in a comfortable hometown atmosphere. For more information on the live entertainment, Artist’s market and children’s activities, contact the Emanuel Arts Council, Inc. at (478) 237-2592.
Pine Tree Festival & Timber Exposition
The Pine Tree Festival and Southeast Timber Expo is Emanuel County’s oldest and most well known festival. Each May, thousands of people from across the southeast flock to Swainsboro to attend the four days of activities. Highlights of the event include pageants, auto races, a golf tournament, arts & crafts vendors, wildlife exhibits, forestry exhibits, musical entertainment, antique car displays, living history demonstrations, and more. Recent performers at the Pine Tree Festival include Brantley Gilbert, Bucky Covington, Jimmy Wayne, and the Swinging Medallions. Each festival also features various shows for the entertainment of the crowd, including such programs as the Fred Scheer Lumberjack Show, the Great Little Bear Show, and the Fearless Flores Thrill Show. Also featured in the downtown area is the Pine Tree Festival Parade, WXRS Battle of the Bands, a grill-off, aerobatic plane fly-overs, children’s activities, and more. Organized in 1946 by the Swainsboro Kiwanis Club, the Pine Tree Festival is a week-long event paying tribute to this area’s vast forestry resources. For more information on the Pine Tree Festival and Timber Expo call 478-237-6426 or CLICK HERE.
A quarterly Art Stroll is hosted by the Emanuel Arts Council, the Downtown Development Authority, and the Main Street Market at the Boneyard. The event features exhibitions at the Kalmanson Gallery at the Emanuel Arts Center, the Main Street Market at the Boneyard, and various other venues in the downtown area. In coordination with the event, many downtown businesses offer extended shopping hours and special sales. The Art Stroll culminates with a concert at the Boneyard Pavilion.
Ultimate Yard Sale
The Downtown Development Authority and the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce join forces each June and November to host the Ultimate Yard Sale – a community-wide sale featuring more than 100 vendors filling the Boneyard, Roger Shaw Street, and Patriot Park. The Ultimate Yard Sale is one of the largest downtown events held each year. The event is traditionally held on the first Saturday in June and the second Saturday in November each year. The Ultimate Yard Sale is free for all participants; however, vending spaces must be reserved through the DDA in advance. For more information, call (478) 237-7025.
Weekly Yard Sale
Every Saturday, vendors set up on the “Boneyard Pavilion” in downtown Swainsboro to sell their yard sale items. The event begins at 7am and is FREE and open to the public.
The Emanu’Ole Opry
The Emanu’Ole Opry is annual celebration of the music and culture of Emanuel County. The event began in 1999 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Emanuel Arts Council. Originally created and presented by Tim Palmer and Julia Rountree, the Emanu’Ole Opry showcases local talent playing traditional, county, rock-n-roll, and gospel music. Since 1999, a diverse selection of performers including Glenn Watkins, Phil Wilson, Lige Moore, Billy Cooler, Trey Cowart, Donald Jenkins, Betsy Johnson, Whitney Bush, Alan Brasher, Rhett Blount, and many others have performed on the Emanuel Arts Council stage. This original showcase of music typically takes place each spring. For more information on The Emanu’Ole Opry please contact the Emanuel Arts Council, Inc. at (478) 237-2592.
The Swainsboro Christmas Parade is an annual celebration that takes place on the first Thursday of each December. The Downtown Development Authority kicks off the Christmas season with a nighttime Parade down Main Street that traditionally features over 80 Floats and a special appearance by Santa Claus. The event also features live entertainment on the Square as part of the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce’s Carols on the Square, a Relay For Life Chili Cook-Off, the lighting of the Pilot Club of Emanuel County’s Community Christmas Tree, visits with Santa, an artists’ market, and the DDA Santa Drop. For more information on Swainsboro’s Christmas Parade, please contact the Downtown Development Authority at (478) 237-7025.
Open Mic Night
Open Mic Night is featured on the first and third Mondays of each month at the Main Street Market at the Boneyard. Emerging artists of Emanuel County’s music scene display their talents for all to see. Open mic performances include singing, instrumentals, dancing, poetry, and more. For more information, contact the Emanuel Arts Council at (478) 237-2592 or the Main Street Market at the Boneyard at (478) 237-0936.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
The MLK Parade is an annual celebration of the life and work of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Civil Rights Activist, and Georgia native Martin Luther King, Jr. Since 1984, Swainsboro has hosted a parade that includes numerous marching bands, churches, and civic groups in attendance. Each January, the MLK Parade Committee chooses a Grand Marshall who has shown “great leadership and service to Emanuel County.” Former Grand Marshalls include Donald Jenkins, Fannie Hughes, Grady Yancey, Wayne Rountree and Bill Kelly. For more information on this event please contact Al Huston at (478) 237- 7768 or Delmus Mosley at (478) 237-8587.
Jaycee’s County Fair
Emanuel County’s Annual Fair takes place each October at the Jaycee’s Fairground. The Fair includes numerous rides and games. The week long event also includes pageants, 4-H exhibits and a Swine and Cattle Show. The Jaycee’s County Fair celebrated more than 90 years in Emanuel County. The Fair is not only a celebration of Emanuel County; it has become part a tradition! For more information on the Jaycees’ Annual Fair please contact the Southeast Georgia Jaycee’s Fairground at (478) 237-3986.
Each year, the Southeast Georgia Jaycees Club hosts a July 4th Celebration. The July 4th celebration takes place at the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Airport and includes a FREE Fireworks display. The celebration also includes family friendly events hosted by Swainsboro’s local radio station. The 40 minute display of Fireworks is a tradition in Emanuel County and front row seats are available at the Recreation Department off of McLeod Bridge Road.
For many, visiting the Boneyard on Halloween night for the Swainsboro Kiwanis Club’s Octoberfest was a tradition. However, in 2010, the Kiwanis Club joined forces with the Emanuel Arts Council, the Downtown Development Authority, and other local businesses and organizations in the creation of a new, larger, Fall Festival. Since its inception, the Fall Festival, held the Thursday before each Halloween, has continued to grow. Featuring old-fashioned carnival games, a costume contest, a stroll-in movie, and a variety of giveaways, the event was created to provide a family-friendly celebration of the season void of many of the “spooks” that tend to abound that time of year. A true community event, each game or activity is organized by a different local business or civic group and all activities are free to the public.
Georgia Cities Week
The Downtown Development Authority and The City of Swainsboro host Swainsboro’s Georgia Cities Week Celebration each April. Georgia Cities Week is geared toward celebrating the unique role that each city department plays in providing services to its citizens. Festivities are traditionally held at Patriot Park and have included Downtown tours, art exhibitions, a sidewalk sale, and an event titled “Best of Open Mic Night” featuring area performers singing and reading poetry. For more information on this year’s GA Cities Week Celebration contact City Hall at (478) 237-7025.
The East Georgia College Vision Series is a privately-funded initiative that brings programs of cultural and intellectual enrichment to East Georgia College and its broader constituency, the presentations are free and open to the public. The EGC Vision Series has featured: Internationally known writer and poet Dr. Maya Angelou; President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter; Nano-technology Specialist Dr. James Meindl; UGA History Professor and writer Dr. James Cobb; Augusta Symphony Orchestra, Chairman and CEO Emeritus of Georgia Pacific Corporation Pete Correll; Manhattan Piano Trio; Author and Commentator Bruce Feiler; Television and Movie Set Designer and EGC Alumnus Tim Earls; Author, Terry Kay; Lindsay Thomas; Ambassador Andrew Young; Jonathan Schwabe; Dr. Lee Berger; Atlanta Pops Orchestra; Off-Broadway Plays and Musicals; Cornelia Walker Bailey; Rich Karlgaard; Clyde Edgerton; Ted Spivey; the late Joseph D. Greene; Cokie Roberts; James McBride; and the Reinhardt College Choir to mention a few. All free and open to our service area. For more info call (478) 289-2108 or CLICK HERE and explore campus events
Hispanic Festival of Emanuel County
Emanuel County began a new tradition in the fall of 2011 with the first ever Hispanic Festival of Emanuel County. The event, led by the Emanuel Arts Council, was the first in a series of event to celebrate the different cultures that comprise Emanuel County. Featuring a variety of Latin musical and dance performances, authentic Hispanic foods, educational exhibits, and traditional arts and crafts projects, the event’s overwhelming first year success has ensured future Hispanic Festivals will follow.