Special Events Calendar
Earth Day/National Wildlife Week - April 21, 2012; 8am-3pm
Join refuge staff and volunteers as we celebrate the Refuge’s 75th anniversary and explore how the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge protects, conserves and enhances habitat for fish and wildlife in our past, present and future! The day begins with a litter pick-up on the refuge and adjacent Highway 121. Learn about all the fun things you can do at the Refuge by completing a “Big 6” Recreational Opportunities Passport! Explore ways you can help protect the earth, and make a difference everyday in your community. Discover how fire can benefit the Okefenokee Swamp. Create Earth Day themed arts and crafts. Find out which animals call Okefenokee their home, and watch live animal shows. Watch a solar car sprint. Finally, enjoy our birthday celebration!
Banks Lake NWR Youth Fishing Derby – May 5, 2012; 8am-2pm, Pre-registration from 7:30am-8am at Flatlander’s Lake in Lakeland, Georgia
Show off your fishing skills! Have fun in the Fishing Derby for children ages 3 – 15. Learn how national wildlife refuges protect fish and learn about the recreational fishing opportunities in the area. Attend a knot tying demonstration and discover which knots are best for different test lines. Find out how folks “grunt worms” for bait. Bring a plain t-shirt and get free fish art to wear home and enjoy other arts and crafts. Join us for ranger-led activities and interpretative programs. Take home free fishing information and fun gifts. Free refreshments will be available by the Valdosta Bass Masters and Okefenokee Wildlife League.
International Migratory Bird Day – May 12, 2012; 8am-8:30pm
Join the nation in celebrating and learning about migratory birds. Activities include an early morning bird walk, and a talk.
National Public Lands Day Celebration - September 29, 2012; 8am-12pm
Join us for a day set aside for service to our nation’s public lands. Activities include maintenance on the historic Chesser Island Homestead. Free hot dogs and refreshments for participants!
Okefenokee Festival/National Wildlife Refuge Week – October 13, 2012; 11am-4:30pm
Visit the Chesser Island Homestead to discover how people once lived in Southeast Georgia at the time the refuge system was established. Learn how settlers made soap, brooms, butter, quilts, baskets, and other everyday items. Examine how settlers washed clothes, smoked meat, made pickets, and survived in and around the swamp. Sample boiled peanuts, soup, biscuits, and other items cooked on a wood-burning stove. Listen to the sounds of bluegrass music, stories, and four-note singing. Enjoy horses, mules, and other livestock. Join a ranger for interpretative programs throughout the day. Finally, join in the games your grandparents played - musical chairs, wheelbarrow races, and more!
Sugar Cane Grinding and Syrup Boil - November 17, 2012; 10am-4pm
Take part in a traditional sugar cane boil. Cut your own sugar cane from the garden, grind it using a traditional mule operated grinder, and sample the sweet cane juice. Watch as staff and volunteers boil down a vat of sugar cane juice and produce authentic pure cane syrup.
Christmas on Chesser Island - December 8, 2012; 5:30pm-8:30pm
Celebrate the holiday season at the Chesser Island Homestead with a hayride, luminaries, refreshments, caroling, and live music! Discover the region's traditions as you tour a swamp homestead decorated with traditional homemade decorations. Stay warm by the bonfire while enjoying homemade cookies and cider.
Most events take place inside the East Entrance located seven miles southwest of Folkston, GA along GA State Highway 121/23.