Florida-Georgia Weekend in Fernandina . . .

Photos and article submitted by

Gerry Clare, Roving Reporter

Piper Cubs lined up at Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport

This weekend will end a long week of activity for many in Fernandina Beach and Jacksonville, associated with the Saturday Florida-Georgia football game.

AT THE AIRPORT, my attention was drawn to the over 80 single engine turbo prop planes lined up in rows for the TBM Owner Pilots Association event at the Ritz Carlton this week. According to Sean McGill of McGill Aviation,they started arriving on Wednesday and the conference is over on Sunday.  Yes, there was some Florida-Georgia traffic, as well, but most of the planes were here for the TBMOPA event.  McGill noted that this is great business for the airport and the island, as they buy fuel and bring business to the area as well.

Sean McGill, McGill Aviation

In fact, our airport is one of only a handful of airports,  uniquely positioned for this event, with the availability of the airport and the resort hotels location so close together.  Three years ago  we  hosted the Malibus and two years ago the Citations events here.
Of course, the airport receives a lot of plane traffic at the annual Concours d’Elegance as well.

AT THE FERNANDINA BEACH GOLF COURSE, the golf carts were lined up for the annual “biggest day for business for the whole year” on Friday, October 26th, due to the Florida-Georgia visitors and snowbirds, according to Kyle Roosen, the PGA Pro for Billy Casper Golf, who manages the facility. Fortunately, the rain held off for most of the day.’’

Roosen noted that the golf course has been very proactive in sponsoring community events this year and in holding more varied events like wine-tastings, dinners, Halloween parties, etc.  Of course, there are always the local organizations that meet there, Christmas parties, Chamber affairs and weddings.

AT THE CITY MARINA, the weather, rather than the Florida-Georgia game, was giving dockmaster, Kevin Little, a hard time.  Due to the tropical storm watch with projected winds of 30 to 40 knots and waves of 15-18 feet, the staff was very busy Friday moving boats from the north end to the south end docks and tying down the boats.  Most of the traffic here was due more to the snowbirds heading south and staying an extra day than the game.  In fact, even some Coast Guard boats relocated for safety.

DOWNTOWN FERNANDINA, was getting ready for a busy weekend with Gators and Dawgs signs posted in the store and restaurant windows.  Also, Twisted Sister and Hamilton Press were opening in their new locations at the old First Union Bank Building and tourists were walking the streets and stopping at coffee shops early in the day.

All in all it looks like an interesting and busy weekend for our community.

October 27, 2012 9: 55 a.m.


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Frances Riotte
Frances Riotte(@fwriottecomcast-net)
11 years ago

Sandy and Other Storms
I lay awake this morning thinking of the events that mark my lifetime. I didn’t realize that Pearl Harbor was going on, but I grew up with an increasing awareness of WWII. I naively watched preparations at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis with no understanding of its possible repercussions–just that my military husband had been issued weapons and put on alert. When John Kennedy was assassinated, my world stopped. I remember the sorrow, the feeling of insecurity, and the venom from people I thought good and sensible who actually make light of the President’s death. I continue to watch the deterioration of civility in many aspects of society and to appreciate those who continue to do good service in and out of government. It ain’t easy.
Vietnam soured our patriotism and brought violence home. Now war seems a way of existence in our world. We have holed up in our cyberworld and ceased to know our neighbors. We tend to look at acts of goodness with jaundiced eye wondering what the do-gooders real motive is. Cynicism lowers our own self-esteem.
Tragedy and good came out powerfully in the loss of our astronauts one January noon. Again we felt horror at the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers and heartfelt gratitude at the response of nation and individual in and since that event.
New York will survive, we will go on. Can we make it a better world–one generous thought, one civil word and one kind action at a time?