Buzzard Blast launches Saturday
• Louisville festival, scheduled
for Saturday June 2, will benefit
downtown facade grant program
By Faye Ellison
The city of Louisville has not
seen a festival since the middle of
the 1980s when the city celebrated
Now with the urging of citizens,
the city has found a new mascot to
lead their festivities.
The Buzzard Blast will be held
in Louisville on June 2, with several
events, rides and vendors for the
citizens to enjoy.
“This is an idea that began with
Mary Reynolds and myself to do a
festival for Louisville,” Louisville
Downtown Development Authority
member Lil Easterlin said.
had addressed the issue of the city
of Louisville needing a festival for
years. As we talked to the city about
it, we decided it would be a fundraiser
for the façade grant program.”
Easterlin explained that the
city of Louisville had received a
Streetscape Grant to Transportation
Enhancement Grant to go along with
the city’s Streetscape program that
would beautify areas of downtown
But the city and the Louisville
Downtown Development Authority
did not want to stop there.
wanted to beautify the storefronts
in downtown Louisville. For that
project, the city and Development
Authority must raise their own money
locally to be able to do the facades of
Though the city and Development
Authority do not expect to make much
their first year, they hope this year will
set the tone for what citizens can anticipate
for the next Buzzard Blast.
“We are not sure what we will
have at the end of this,” Easterlin
explained. “It is expensive to bring
in the shows and bands, but we know
we wanted something fun for the city
Events will be held throughout the
day at Helen Clark Memorial Park
and the adjoining football field at the
park beginning at 9 a.m. and lasting
until 4 p.m.
Easterlin said the arts and crafts
and food vendors will be located in
the park area.
After gaining access to the football
field, which will cost $3, there are activities
for children young and old.
“We will have the Birds of
Prey Raptor Show from the
Mary Q. Ball Raptor Center
out of Statesboro,” Easterlin
said. “We will have a wildlife
exhibition going on for
children and adults to look at.
This is something different and
we’ve never had the show here
Though plenty of wild
things will be on hand for the
festival, Easterlin said no pets
are allowed because they may
scare the trained animals.
She added that the show will
be held once at 11 a.m. and
again at 3 p.m. She said there
will be pony rides, gymnastics
in the afternoon and a live band
playing throughout the day.
Jefferson Energy will have
bucket rides, there will be a
golf cart pulled train inside
the football field, a moonwalk,
face painting and a 21-foot
slide will also be available for
the enjoyment of children and
Easterlin said the $3 wristband
to gain entry to the football
field will allow citizens to
come and go as they please.
Inside the gated area, tickets
will be available to purchase
to participate in the other
activities. The wristband will
also allow citizens to see the
Later that night, there will
be music in the Queensborough
located behind Pansy’s.
Ogeechee River Band will
warm the crowd up at 7 p.m.
just in time for Pieces of Eight
to perform at 8 p.m.
“Pieces of Eight is a large
beach music dance band,”
Easterlin said. “We have some
local people in the band, Bobby
Dollar and his son Bobby
Dollar play in it. We are lucky
that they are able to find time
to play here.”
Easterlin said that Pieces
of Eight will perform until
11 p.m. The gated event will
cost $15 per person. Citizens
can bring in chairs and food,
but cannot bring in their own
“Inside the gated area, we
will have drinks for sale,” she
said. “We will have water, soft
drinks, beer and wine.
National Bank will
grill hamburgers and hot dogs
All day at Helen Clark Memorial
Park, a dunking booth
will be on hand for citizens to
dunk a few local public fi gures.
Sitting in the wet seat will be
Abbott Easterlin at 10 a.m.,
Taylor Barrentine at 10:30
a.m., Commissioner Johnny
Davis at 2:30 p.m., Louisville
First Baptist Church Youth
Minister Shane Padgett at 3
p.m. and Lousiville Middle
School Assistant Principal
Ken Hildebrant at 3:30 p.m.,
Louisville Associate Reformed
Presbyterian Minister Will Anderson
and others including
someone from the Jefferson
County Sheriff’s Department
and some of the local football
“The dunking tank is turning
into a fun event,” Easterlin
said. “We worked pretty hard
to get people that are well
known and well liked. There
may be some surprise visitors
during the day.”
Easterlin said there still are
some spots left for vendors. If
anyone would like to have set
up shop at the Buzzard Blast,
they should contact Maiben
Beard at the Jefferson County
Chamber of Commerce.
“We have a lot of great corporate
sponsors on the local
level,” Easterlin said.
Those local sponsors, which
she said have helped in the
success of planning the event,
include the city of Louisville,
Queensborough National Bank
and Trust, Jefferson County
Rotary Club, First State Bank,
Thermo King, Jefferson Hospital
and The News and Farmer/
The Jefferson Reporter.
Easterlin also mentioned
the Broad Street Business
Partners, which are downtown
who have come together in
supporting the Buzzard Blast
to receive help in earning façade
money to do the fronts of
downtown buildings. Easterlin
said the money will be used to
paint and replace awnings,
windows and doors.
The Jefferson County
Board of Education and the
Recreation Department have
lent the Buzzard Blast use of
the football fi eld and helped
in other areas.
has donated supplies used
to build some of the items that
will be seen Saturday.
Easterlin said that the Buzzard
Blast steering committee
has been working on making
the Buzzard Blast a success.
“The Steering Committee
spearheaded this whole
thing,” she said.
thing started in January and
they have done this pretty
Of the members, she said
Don Rhodes, Reynold, Beard
and Reggie Morgan helped
with the Helen Clark Memorial
Park side of the festival;
Robert Yonchak and Julie Evans
have worked to make sure
the football field and its events
are ready; Mark Cooper, Pat
Durden and Edie Pundt have
worked to ready the concert;
and Becky Irwin has led the
“This festival is interesting
and there has not been one
like it in the immediate area,”
“This is the year
of setting a standard of what
the festival will look like and
We have put together a
committee of people who are
creative and organized and
will not do stuff that has been
done before. We want people
to come out and have a great
• County must have plan in
place to eligible for future
By Faye Ellison
Legislation was passed several years ago requiring
All counties to have a predisaster mitigation plan that
addresses how various agencies will react should a disaster occur. Because
of this law, FEMA is no longer mandated to give post-disaster funding to
any county without an approved plan in place.
In order to comply with this legislation and to be eligible for grant money to
assist in any clean up or rebuilding efforts should a disaster occur, Jefferson County officials have
asked the CSRA Regional Development Center to help create the plan.
“Public safety officials along with Board of Education, health department and hospital personnel as well as elected officials have been diligently working collecting data on previous natural disasters within the county,” said Linda Grijalva, a planning and development specialist with
CSRA RDC who is writing the plan.
“This data will assist the planning committee in creating goals and objectives to minimize the effects of future natural disasters.
We are asking long term residents of the community to send information regarding any disaster such as floods, tornados, snow and ice storms to our office.
It is vital to the plan to have accurate data.
We rely on the contributions of all citizens,” she said.
“I cannot stress how important this information is.
All information, especially of events occurring before 1970, is important,” she said.
“We would also like to see photographs of any of these weather events.
We are interested in gathering as much specific information as possible in order to best serve the citizens of Jefferson County.
The most complete picture that we can provide to FEMA will allow the agency to better address our funding needs.”
Jefferson County Administrator Paul Bryan said part of the plan will include communications
interoperability, pointing to the devastating results the breakdown of communications had in
the aftermath of Katrina.
Anyone with information that could assist in this project should
contact Grijalva by calling 706-210-2000, extension 119, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org,
or mailing CSRA RDC, 3023 River Watch Parkway, Suite A, Augusta, Ga. 30907.
Celebrating Memorial Day
Grateful for service
Cadet Chief Petty Officer Michael Thomson (above), a junior at Jefferson County High School, secures the flag during the flag raising ceremony portion of the Memorial Day Celebration Sunday, May 27, at the courthouse.
Rev. Larry Montgomery (at right), pastor of the First Baptist Church in Louisville addresses about 35 citizens who attended the event.
About those who serve in the military, Montgomery said, “We’re grateful to them and we honor them.”
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The flags displayed at the front of the courthouse were purchased by family and friends and donated for the event.
They will be used in future Memorial Day events.