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Camden ready to celebrate Independence Day

Looking for some free Fourth of July fun? Check out the 48th annual Independence Day Festival in downtown St. Marys. There will be runs, a parade, music, entertainment, vendor displays, food and fireworks.

Sponsored by the St. Marys Kiwanis Club and the City of St. Marys, this festival’s theme is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

While the event is pet-friendly, festival organizers suggest that residents leave dogs at home to protect them from the hot pavement and high temperatures.

Arts and crafts vendors will be set up in downtown St. Marys from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


5K, 10K runs

Kiwanis and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes kick off the Independence Day festival two days early with a 1-mile fun run for kids 14 and younger at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 2, at St. Marys Elementary School. Registration will be from 8 to 8:45 a.m. at the school. The entry fee for kids is $15 and includes a festival T-shirt for those who pre-register. For adults, the entry fee is $20 with a T-shirt and free without a T-shirt. Parents are welcome to join their kids. The school with the most participants will receive a trophy to display at the school

The top boy and girl overall and the first three boys and girls in the 6-and-younger, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12 and 13-14 age groups will receive awards.

The rest of the festival events are held on Monday. The 5K and 10K races start at 7 a.m. Monday, July 4, in downtown St. Marys at the waterfront. Both races start along Ready Street and end at the waterfront on Osborne Street.

The registration fee is $25 and includes a festival T-shirt. Participants can sign up and pick up their packets from 6:15 to 6:45 a.m. Sunday. Packets can also be picked up from 8 to 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Marys Elementary School. 

The top male and female runners overall and the first three male and female finishers in seven categories will receive awards. 

All proceeds support Kiwanis programs and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. For more information, contact Brad Tippins at (912) 882-7202 or btippins@fca.org, or visit www.smkiwanis.com.



The parade starts at 10 a.m. and will travel down Osborne Street. The theme is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Applications are online at www.smkiwanis.com. Awards will be given for the top three entries.

Participants will begin lining up at 8 a.m. at the corner of Osborne and Meeting streets.



There will be a variety of music and performances from 11 a.m. to 9:15 p.m. on the main stage at the intersection of St. Marys and Osborne streets.

• 11 a.m. Lisa Allen's Dance Works

• 11:30 a.m. Grimsley Martial Arts

• 12:30 p.m. Friese Studio of Music

• 1:30 p.m. Harbor band

• 2:30 p.m. Artistic Minds dance crew

• 3 p.m. Miss Rocky Boogie Time with Gracie Rassi

• 3:30 p.m. Gary Young

• 4 p.m. Sisters in Step Dance Fitness

• 5 p.m. The Heirs

• 6 p.m. Alex Ruthledge

• 7 p.m. Friese Studio of Music

• 8 p.m. New Decree

There will also be music in Howard Gilman Memorial Park from noon to 7:30 p.m. 

• noon Ignite music

• 3 p.m. Ignite music

• 5 p.m. Bill and Mike Acoustics

• 7:30 p.m. Ignite music.


Train rides

America's Birthday Express train rides will run Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4, during the festival at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. A 10 a.m. train ride will run July 2 only in addition to the other times.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $11 for children younger than 12 years old plus a $3 processing fee. Children 2 and younger ride free.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.stmarysrailroad.com or by calling (912) 200-5235. Groups of 10 or more may call (912) 729-1103 for a group discount code. The train departs from Theatre by the Trax in downtown St. Marys.



The celebration culminates with a fireworks display at about 9:30 p.m.

A river cruise is available for those who want to watch from the river. The boat leaves at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the St. Marys and Kingsland welcome centers.


Tribune & Georgian

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 6960
St. Marys, GA 31558

Phone: 912-882-4927
Fax: 912-882-6519