Sat., October 12, 2013 11:00am (EDT)

Shutdown Won’t Stop Okefenokee Festival
By Associated Press
Updated: 10 months ago

FOLKSTON, Ga.  —  
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been closed to visitors since October 1. (Photo courtesy:  guy_incognito via flickr)
The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been closed to visitors since October 1. (Photo courtesy: guy_incognito via flickr)
A south Georgia city isn't letting the government shutdown stop its annual celebration of the Okefenokee Swamp.

Organizers of the Okefenokee Festival in Folkston say it will continue Saturday as planned, though the swamp itself will largely be off-limits to visitors.

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has been closed to visitors since October 1.

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.