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City Notebook
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Savannah State University’s Dance Ensemble and other SSU students will perform at the Ameriquest Mortgage Super Bowl XXXIX Halftime Show in Jacksonville on Sunday, Feb. 6.

The students invited to perform include Melody Burks, Kendrick Love, Ebony Childers-Love, Hermise Pierre, Altonia Johnson, Katrina Reid, Terry Walton, Vernecia Person, Erica Couben, Kemit-Amon Lewis, Arequlia Robinson, Tunisia North, Brittany White, Ansley Jones, Treasure Brown and Dana Hunter.

The students were scheduled to practice at Alltel Stadium this past Sunday, as well as during the week. They will leave Savannah on Saturday, Feb. 5, to attend the performance.


Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Center for Regional Analysis last week announced the results of a recent study analyzing current trends in tourism activity in the Savannah area.

The study explored several factors shaping local tourism, including the demographics of visitors: ages, incomes, education levels, spending patterns while vacationing, primary destination for travel, reasons for visiting, and others.

It also looked at the Internet as a factor that motivates visits to Savannah and reported on how tourist activity is changing as a result of Internet use.

The survey of 2,000 respondents reported on the characteristics of those requesting information from the Convention and Visitors Bureau and how these have changed since 2000.

Most significantly, 57,000 individuals contacted the Bureau for information, up from 35,000 in 2000, a 25 percent increase per year. Of those who contacted the bureau, during the most recent study, 60 percent became tourists in Savannah.

Another significant finding involves the increase of Internet use among tourists. Eighty percent of contacts requested information from the Bureau via the Internet, up from 40 percent before 2000.

Findings show total expenditures of $882 per travel party. This figure is up $15 million from the survey completed in 2000.

Spending per person per day is $86 , up from $67 in 2000. This is a 10 percent increase per year after adjusting for inflation.

The current study shows that since 2000 tourism contacts are somewhat younger, wealthier, and increasingly have at least some college-level education. Tourists having only a high school education are a falling proportion of these contacts.


The theme of this year’s Taste of Savannah event, held Jan. 21 at the Trade Center, was “Gourmet Galaxy.”

Awards were presented in four categories as follows:

• Appetizers: first place went to the Lobster & Golden Tomato Shooter Scented with Lemongrass, by Hyatt Regency Savannah; second place went to the Boiled Peanuts by the Savannah SandGnats; third place went to the She Crab Soup by Aqua Star.

• Entrees: first place went to the Mango Barbecue Glazed Shrimp Sticks by Aqua Star; second place went to the Salmon & Wild Mushroom Strudel by The Mulberry Inn; third place went to the stuffed scallops by Olde Pink House.

• Desserts: first place went to the Port Pears Stuffed with Marscapone Cheese Mousse by The Kehoe House & Mansion on Forsyth Park; second place went to the Chocolate Caramel Crème Brulee by Southern Comfort Catering; third place went to the Constellation of Desserts by Hilton Savannah DeSoto.

• Booth Decoration: first place went to the Queeny’s To Go-Go for a Jetsons theme; second place went to the Mulberry Inn for a Jetsons theme; third place went to River Street Sweets, with costumed servers and outer space decorations.

Almost 1000 guests attended, and chose the Fried Shrimp from Queeny’s To Go Go for the Guests’ Choice Award for the fifth year.


Prize-winning playwright Margaret Edson will lead a community discussion of her play, Wit, the story of a renowned English professor who has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.

The public is invited to join health professionals from Memorial Health University Medical Center and honors students from Armstrong Atlantic State University for a discussion, Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. at Memorial’s Medical Education Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Edson was inspired to write Wit after her experiences as a clerk in a cancer and AIDS ward at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. She wrote the play in 1991 and premiered it in 1995 at the South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, the only theater to accept the play.

Wit won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. In 2001, Mike Nichols and Emma Thompson adapted the play for an HBO production with Thompson playing the starring role.