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Good food, music no match for rain
Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival
trophy cookers
The Offshore Outlaws won the festival's 2009 best overall seafood trophy. - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
Despite cool weather and a slight drizzle at times, thousands of area seafood aficionados trooped to Richmond Hill’s J.F. Gregory Park last weekend to get their hands on some coastal soul food.
The annual Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival, staged Friday, Saturday and Sunday, drew a large crowd, proving inclement weather is no match for the right combination of delectable regional cuisine and musical acts.
Bands played all day Saturday as festival-goers filled up on shrimp, fish, Lowcountry boil, stews and desserts prepared by vendors and local eateries, such as Molly MacPhersons, Love’s Seafood, The Shell House and dozens of others.
The headline acts, The Lou Gramm Band and John Waite, rocked the park Saturday night as audience members huddled under umbrellas and sang along to some of the bands’ popular ’80s tunes.
A few lucky attendees met the singers and band members.
Stephanie Dunn, who came out for the concerts, said she was especially excited to meet Gramm, Foreigner’s former lead singer, during a brief meet-and-greet before Gramm took the stage. “We’ve had a blast,” Dunn said, smiling. “I grew up with them.”
Gramm and his band played some of Foreigner’s biggest hits, including “Feels Like the First Time” and “Jukebox Hero,” as well as his solo material.
Waite, who kept the crowd on its toes with an energetic stage show, said he enjoys performing at live outdoor venues like the seafood festival. The singer said that given the ever-changing nature of the music industry, he’s grateful for fans who just want to have a good time.
“The enjoyment is in the live performance,” Waite said. “Van Morrison said the only thing he trusts anymore about music is the live performances, and I think that’s right.” He said working in sound studios where music is often manipulated can be tricky and sometimes stressful. “They took the humanity out of it and the imperfections are what make it beautiful.”
Not everyone attended the festival just to hear the bands. When asked about his favorite part, Lyle Miller didn’t hesitate.
“The food!” he said.
Wendy Buck-Weimer and her two daughters perused the offerings at the food booths before making their selections near the end of the night.
“Although it’s messy, we’re having a good time,” she said.
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