Apparently, everyone in Savannah wants to celebrate the summer solstice with some fun!
I’ll be honest: It’s going to be very tough for you to choose which great events to carve out time for on Saturday. I’m torn between several myself, but will try to break it down for you to aid in your decision-making. (And beyond what I’m highlighting here, the June 21 list goes on and on; see them all in our Big Calendar.)
But let’s start with some warm-up events happening Thursday and Friday. We told you last week about Savannah Stage Company’s production of “Oedipus the King,” and this week, Unplugged columnist Bill Dawers gives the play a review. There are still two more chances to catch it on Thursday and Saturday at Ampersand. Find out what Bill had to say about the show here.
The Lucas Theatre continues its popular On Stage series Thursday with a classic cabaret. Look for those speakeasy-style events most Thursdays through Aug. 21; find the full schedule here. And don’t miss the next installment in the theater’s salute to Mel Brooks with Friday’s screening of “Blazing Saddles,” which Film Scene columnist Jim Reed describes as “one of the sharpest and most bittersweet takedowns of the United States’ pathetically flawed history of race relations ever put on film.”
Now on to Saturday: I can’t imagine a better way to usher in the official beginning of summer than a day on Tybee. Pair that with the inaugural Mermaid’s Parade (which could become a fun new island tradition), and you’ve got a great day for all ages.
Besides an excuse to dress up and spend time with friends and family, this parade also has a larger goal: Raising awareness of the beauty of the ocean and the importance of protecting it. Meet us in front of Fannie’s on the Beach at 1 p.m., and be sure to wear your sparkliest sea creature get-up!
Bored with your usual running routine? Break out of the mold and get down and dirty with a few unique races happening Saturday.
The “Dirty Up” Flight Line 5K/10K Run at Hunter Army Airfield has athletes running down the roughly 2-mile airstrip. Now that’s a view the average Savannahian isn’t going to get every day!
Also Saturday is another installment of JCB’s popular Mud Run, but they’ve also added another fun aspect that runners will want to stick around for: Dig the Ride, an all-terrain off-road bike race. “We are always looking for bigger, better, more fun and interesting ways to get involved with and engage our surrounding communities,” said Meg Albertson, dealer marketing manager for JCB North America.
Savannah skateboarders won’t want to miss the birthday bash celebrating 10 years at Woody’s Skate Park. The event from 4-10 p.m. Saturday also celebrates National Go Skateboarding Day. There will be a cookout, trick competitions and giveaways. Admission is free, but donations toward upkeep of the park will be accepted. “We are lucky to have very friendly and talented skateboarders here. Other parks have cliques, but we are such a small community, we are welcoming to everybody,” Fabio Silva said of the park he’s owned since 2009.
This year marks the 179th celebration of Juneteenth, which marks African Americans’ being freed from slavery. The Daughters of Mary Magdalene will offer a free festival in 38th Street Park featuring food, music, dancing and community awards. Atlanta attorney Albert Mitchell, a Savannah native, will also be in attendance. “He’s a success story,” said Marilyn Jackson, founder and president of the Daughters of Mary Magdalene. “When he talks to the young people here, they can see they can become just like him. He didn’t pull himself up from the bootstraps because he didn’t even have any boots.”
CinemaSavannah continues to bring high-quality indie and foreign films to the region. This week, the group will screen the French film “Young & Beautiful,” which our Film Scene columnist describes as “a nuanced and tense — but oddly non-judgmental — view of the ‘working girl’ life.” With that storyline, it goes without saying this film is recommended for mature audiences only.
Music fans have a plethora of options this weekend in Savannah, as usual. I’m going to highlight two completely opposite but awesome events, both taking place, of course, on Saturday.
Who doesn’t love The Beatles? With this year marking the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s arrival in the United States, which sparked “Beatlemania” worldwide, the iconic band has seen even more attention. While today’s fans can’t see a live show, they can get the next best thing: 1964 The Tribute. They’ll bring a recreated Beatles concert to the Lucas at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. I had the good fortune to see this band more than a decade ago, so I can say with all honesty that if you’re a Beatles fan, do not miss this show. Seriously, they’re that good.
On the other end of the musical spectrum, local music collective Savannah Metal-Punx will celebrate the group’s fourth birthday with barbecue and lots of bands. Headliner EYEHATEGOD joins nine other touring and local bands for the party at Dollhouse Productions.
Judging from last year’s sold-out Savannah Craft Brew Fest, there are a lot of beer lovers around here. Coach’s Corner offers a chance to sample seasonal offerings at its Summer Suds Craft Brew Festival on Saturday. You’ll get to try beers from 46 breweries, along with live music and food, all for just $37. And to make the deal even sweeter, proceeds benefit Along Came Bill, the Bill Lester Memorial Fund, which supports local organizations helping differently abled adults.
After all the running around you’ll be doing on Saturday, take some time to unwind with a musical celebration of a local man’s life on Sunday.
Sheldon Kanis worked at Portman’s Music Superstore for 31 years, mainly as the repair technician manager. After he passed away in March at age 61, family and friends sought a way to honor his memory. A concert and jam session is planned Sunday at Armstrong State University featuring the Peter Ponzol Quartet and more local musicians. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to go to the Sheldon Kanis Music Scholarship.
I hope this is enough to fill your weekend to the brim, Savannah. Just be careful rushing around trying to be a part of it all!