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Food and fun on Tybee Island
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Residents and visitors to Savannah and the Coastal Empire will have a chance later this month to take part in a growing festival that ties together food and music for an end-of-the-summer beach bash not to be missed.

The second annual Tybee Island Music and Seafood Festival is scheduled for Aug. 27-28 and its organizers are excited about both the music and food vendor line-ups. ”This year, we’ll have more music, a video wall and a lot more seafood,” says co-organizer Jack Boyleston.

According to Boyleston, Jekyll Island had a beach music festival around this particular weekend in August for a dozen years and when Jekyll Island gave it up, Boyleston and his partner Bob Hearn jumped at the chance to take that weekend. After last year’s successful first event, Boyleston and Hearn have experience to draw on for this yeae.

”We weren’t sure what to expect the first year,” Boyleston says. ”But we drew a huge crowd and the venue worked perfectly. The entire city was pleased with every aspect of the event.

”We expect even more visitors this year so we will be enhancing our parking and shuttle setup to accommodate the numbers,” he says. ”This year, we’re going to step it up some.”

Hearn, Boyleston’s partner, who took the above photos of last year’s festival, is manager of Sounds of the South Productions and has exclusive agreements with some of the entertainers. Boyleston has been a mover and shaker for events on Tybee for quite some time. ”We felt we’d be a good team to put this together,” he says.

With 10,000 people through the gates for the event last year, Boyleston wants to offer more dining variety this year, a challenge that has been met with panache. ”We are really proud of the line-up of vendors we’re going to have this year,” he says.

That list includes: the North Beach Grille; Cissy’s Shrimp, a local shrimper; Belle’s Landing on the River; Fannie’s on the Beach; Tybee Market IGA; Papa John’s Pizza and the Cobblestone Conch House, which is owned by the people behind Tubby’s and Spanky’s.

Hearn said the Cobblestone Conch House is making its first appearance, as they aren’t even open for business yet. He praises the line-up, which will provide everything from lobster to pizza. ”We are going to have a funnel cake vendor out there and we’re probably going to have boiled peanuts, too,” Boyleston says.

Beverages come courtesy of Coca-Cola and Budweiser, while North Beach Grille will provide alcoholic beverages of choice from its bar.

The music line-up also is diverse, with Liquid Ginger, Blue Country, Kinchafoonee, The Tams, A1A, Clarence Carter and closers The Swingin’ Medallions. Comcast will have a video wall to broadcast footage from a camera on stage and one out front.

”It looks like it’s going to be a success,” Boyleston says. ”We’re just tickled with the way things are coming together. The food’s going to be fabulous and it’s going to be a great variety.”

Tickets for the festival can be purchased by calling the Savannah Civic Center’s box office at (800) 351-7469. A two-day ticket for the event costs $26. Advance tickets for Friday night are $10, all day Saturday is $18 and Saturday night only is $12. Tickets will also be available at the gate and cost $12 for Friday night, $22 for all day Saturday and $15 for Saturday night.