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.
Rhythm & Pines Music Festival
Held the Friday night before the Pine Tree Festival’s “big day,” the Rhythm & Pines Music Festival features a diverse lineup of performers spread throughout downtown Swainsboro. Regular performers include The Swingin’ Medalions, Rhett Blount & Friends, Sam’s Drive-In Band, and a variety of local Gospel performers. Enjoy numerous arts, crafts, and food vendors while taking in the music. For a full list of bands and schedule, visit the Pine Tree Festival website or follow the festival on Facebook.
Pine Tree Festival & Southeast Timber Expo
he Pine Tree Festival and Southeast Timber Expo is Emanuel County’s oldest and most well-known festival. Held on the first full weekend in May, the event draws thousands of people from across the southeast to Swainsboro to take part in the numerous activities associated with the festival. Highlights of the event include the Grand Parade, unique entertainment, pageants, sporting events, arts & crafts vendors, a BBQ cook-off, forestry exhibits, a car show, and more. Organized in 1946 by the Swainsboro Kiwanis Club, the Pine Tree Festival is the longest continually running festival in Georgia.. For more information on the Pine Tree Festival and Timber Expo call 478-237-6426 or check out the Pine Tree Festival website or follow the festival on Facebook.
Each summer, the Downtown Development Authority hosts a Summer Concert Series at The Boneyard Pavilion in Downtown Swainsboro. The free concerts feature a variety of musical styles. Citizens and visitors fill The Boneyard with their lawn chairs and blankets as they dance the warm summer evenings away. Enjoy dinner from a downtown restaurant or a food vendor that has set up for the event.
Each year on July 4th, the Swainsboro Jaycees host an Independence Day Celebration which includes a free fireworks display, beginning at dark. Front row seats for the family-friendly event are available at the Swainsboro-Emanuel County Recreation Department on McLeod Bridge Road.
Southeast Georgia Jaycees Fair
The Southeast Georgia Jaycees Fair takes place each October at the Jaycees Fairground. The week-long event also includes rides and games, pageants, 4-H exhibits and agricultural events. Generations of citizens have created at the fair, which has been celebrated for more than 90 years in Emanuel County. For more information, follow the Swainsboro Jaycees on Facebook.
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, RadioJones, and other local businesses and organizations in the creation of a new, larger, Fall Festival. Since its inception, the Fall Festival has continued to grow. Featuring old-fashioned carnival games, a costume contest, 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.
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 Chili Cook-Off, the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree, visits with Santa, and more. For more information on Swainsboro’s Christmas Parade, please contact the Downtown Development Authority at (478) 237-7025.