Okefenokee Festival going on despite shutdown

Okefenokee Festival going on despite shutdown

Posted: Updated:

FOLKSTON, Ga. (AP) - A south Georgia city isn't letting the government shutdown stop its annual celebration of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Organizers of the Okefenokee Festival in the city of Folkston say it will continue Saturday as planned, though the swamp itself will largely be off-limits to visitors. That's because the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been closed to visitors since Oct. 1.

The Florida Times-Union reports the shutdown forced refuge managers to cancel two events planned during the festival, including a ribbon-cutting to reopen a boardwalk that was destroyed by wildfire in 2011.

Dawn Malin, executive director of the Okefenokee Chamber of Commerce, says the Folkston festival's Saturday parade and pony rides, food booths and free concerts will go on as scheduled.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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