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Oatland Island hosting cane grinding and harvest festival
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Oatland Island Wildlife Center’s “Cane Grinding and Harvest Festival” will be held Nov. 10 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visitors will enjoy this festive fall celebration amidst the aromas of cane syrup, hearth baked corn bread, apple butter and other fall harvest foods.

The festival celebrates Georgia’s diverse agricultural history and economy, and is sponsored by Georgia Power and AT&T The Real Yellow Pages. This year visitors will also have the opportunity to watch a hand-hewn log structure being crafted. Oatland is reconstructing the kitchen building that once was a part of the original Delk Cabin.  

Enter your favorite pecan dish in the “Anything Pecan Bake-Off,” a baking competition for adults, teens 12-18 years old, and parent/child (6-12 years old) team categories. A fourth category will be for those dishes that also contain cane syrup. Prizes will be given for the winners in each category.

“Bake-Off” entry forms must be submitted to Oatland by Nov. 9.  There will also be other cane syrup and harvest season food demonstrations and sampling.  

During the festival the Second Harvest Food Bank will be conducting a food drive to stock up for the needy during the upcoming holiday season, so bring non-perishable food items to donate and receive a free general admission pass for a future trip to Oatland.

The sounds of music by the Savannah Folk Music Society will fill the forest while visitors watch how sugar cane is juiced and turned into cane syrup as it was done 150 years ago.

Children can enjoy Oatland’s “Native Animal Nature Trail,” pony rides, hay rides, crafts and games. Food and refreshment concessions will be available. Admission is $5 for 18 and older, $3 for military, seniors and children 4-17 and free for the “Anything Pecan Bake-Off” contestants. Children under 4 are admitted free.

For more information call 898-3980 or visit Oatland’s Web site at  

The Center is a unit of the Savannah-Chatham County School System and serves as a field study site for students throughout the region. It features the 2-mile “Native Animal Nature Trail” that winds through maritime forest, freshwater wetlands and salt marsh habitats and links many native animal exhibits such as wolves, black bear and cougar.

Oatland is also open to the public for self guided tours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and most Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.