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The swamp is coming to Effingham
Theresa, Junior, Willie Edwards of popular Swamp People show headline MES event
0305 Swamp People - Willie  Junior
Junior Edwards, left, and Willie Edwards, right, of History Channels Swamp People will be part of a fundraiser for Marlow Elementary School to be held Saturday at Effingham County High School. - photo by Photo provided

Marlow Elementary PTO President Robert Grant laughs about the “ridiculous idea (he) had about a year ago” to boost attendance for the school’s annual festival.

After all, he was able to pull it off.

Theresa Edwards, Willie Edwards and Junior Edwards from the History Channel’s popular show “Swamp People” will be the special guests for Marlow’s festival this Saturday. They will sign autographs and take pictures with festival goers.

The “Swamp People Festival” will be from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. Though it is hosted by the Marlow Elementary School PTO, the festival will take place at Effingham County High School on the track by the football stadium.

 “At the request of the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, we moved it to a venue that could handle the huge crowd expected,” Grant said.

Grant said he came up with the idea right after Marlow’s festival ended last year. That same weekend, the “Swamp People” had appeared at the Pine Tree Festival in Swainsboro.

“I kept hearing people talk about these ‘Swamp People,’” he said. “People were coming out of the woodwork to see these people. These guys have attracted humongous crowds.”

Admission to the festival is $10 for adults, $5 for kids under 18 and free for children under two. All proceeds will go to the Marlow Elementary PTO to fund school needs, particularly for classroom technology, Grant said.

Along with the “Swamp People,” trapper Jack Douglas will be on hand with a live alligator, the Effingham FFA will have a petting zoo and Georgia Southern University’s Center for Wildlife Education will bring an exhibit featuring “tons of critters,” Grant said.

A variety of food will be available, including fried gator tail at The Shell House’s booth. Also, several non-profit groups will have food for sale, including funnel cakes and fried Oreos to raise money for Effingham County’s upcoming Relay for Life.

The activities and entertainment also will include live music from the band Double Run, local craft vendors, inflatables for kids to play on and displays by the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, EMS and firefighters.

“It should be a good family event,” Grant said. “Everybody seems really excited about it.”