With the new year upon us, it’s time to start planning the best festivals to attend in 2023. The Golden Isles is home to annual festivals and joyous celebrations that take place every month in stunning coastal settings. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, traveling solo or with family— these 2023 events are sure to be enjoyed by all. Mark your calendar!
January & February
January 1 - February 28, 2023
Island Treasures is a treasure hunt like no other. Each year, artisans from around the country create stunning glass orbs, reminiscent of the floats fisherman attach to their nets. Each day of this event, “Beach Buddies” hide two to five orbs throughout Jekyll Island for the public to find—and keep for themselves!
Grab a bike from a bike rental company and explore the beauty of Jekyll Island on two wheels in search of Island Treasures. If you're one of the lucky treasure hunters to find a hidden orb, all you have to do is simply take it to the Jekyll Island Guest Information Center to register it and swap it out for an authentic, glass Island Treasure!
St. Simons Land Trust Oyster Roast
January 21, 2023
Each year, the St. Simons Land Trust hosts its annual Oyster Roast that enables the preservation and protection of more than 1,000 acres of land on St. Simons Island. Enjoy local oysters, a bounty of food and drinks, live music and so much more, all beneath the beautiful live oak trees at Gascoigne Bluff.
Watch the sunset over the Marshes of Glynn as you take in sweeping views of the peaceful waterfront. Learn more about the St. Simons Land Trust's initiatives and how you can support their mission to preserve and protect areas on St. Simons Island.
Brunswick Rockin' Stewbilee
January 28, 2023
Cast your vote for People's Choice as you sample dozens of our namesake dish - Brunswick Stew! Teams from across the Golden Isles and even across state lines show up to compete in Historic Downtown Brunswick's annual Brunswick Rockin' Stewbilee each January. Enjoy live music, a classic car show, and dozens of Brunswick Stews to savor all along the way.
Afterward, spend time exploring the Signature Squares of Brunswick, stop into Silver Bluff Brewing Co. to try their locally-brewed beer, and browse art galleries along Newcastle Street.
St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival
February 17-19, 2023
You're sure to be entertained at the St. Simons Island Storytelling Festival! Listen up as four nationally renowned raconteurs spin comical yarns and tall tales. Relive past times and celebrate the best of humanity in the joy-filled space of stories. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will discover how very alive you can feel! This event will take place at Epworth by the Sea.
Southeast Georgia Health System Bridge Run
February 18, 2023
Here's your chance to run across Georgia's tallest cable-stayed bridge, the Sidney Lanier Bridge in Brunswick! Join the Golden Isles community during the annual Bridge Run, a fundraising effort benefitting the Southeast Georgia Health System Foundation.
Walk or run your way to the top of the Sidney Lanier Bridge and delight in magnificent views all along the way. Peer over toward Colonel's Island to catch glimpses of massive cargo ships coming in and out of the Port of Brunswick. Glance over toward St. Simons Island to see the beloved St. Simons Lighthouse in the distance.
Georgia Tribute Festival
March 9-12, 2023
The 2023 Georgia Tribute Festival will be paying tribute to the King, Las Vegas legends, classic and modern country and Captain Fantastic in a weekend full of music for all ages!
Originally known as the “Georgia Elvis Festival,” the Original Georgia Tribute Festival has been held in the quaint seaside community of Brunswick, Georgia since 2013 and has delivered a tribute to the Elvis in Southern Georgia unlike any other event. This year’s festival has been expanded to include even more tributes to even more musical legends! The festival will take place at the Historic Ritz Theatre.
Christ Church Tour of Homes
March 18, 2023
We invite you to tour six special Sea Island homes and their grounds at the annual Christ Church Tour of Homes. In addition, Christ Church will feature historical narratives dating back to 1736 in and around the church and cemetery along with the new labyrinth and refreshments in Parish Hall. An exciting new addition this year will be food trucks at Christ Church with local flavors for heartier fare.
April 29, 2023
Support the Georgia Sea Turtle Center by participating in the annual Turtle Crawl on Jekyll Island. Run the 5k or 10k road race, or take part in the new, one-mile fun run along the beach to help save the turtles and other coastal wildlife! Runners of all ages and experiences can participate in these events.
May 13, 2023
Experience the 82nd Annual Blessing of the Fleet in Downtown Brunswick, featuring fresh seafood, a shrimp boat parade, arts, entertainment and more for the whole family. The Blessing of the Fleet began as a blessing to the shrimp boats and an honoring of the shrimping industry’s influence on the area, and is the country's oldest celebration of its kind!
Held at Mary Ross Waterfront Park, you can be a part of the official blessing at 2 p.m. as well as a myriad of activities before and after this time-honored tradition. There will be live music, a pooch parade, demonstrations and so much more. This family-friendly festival takes place the Saturday of Mother's Day Weekend, making it a perfect day to spend with those you love most.
Georgia Sea Islands Festival
June 2023 - Official Date To Be Announced
Celebrate African American tradition and culture of the coastal barrier islands at the annual Georgia Sea Islands Festival. Typically held the first Saturday in June, at this special event you can listen to musicians perform songs passed down from ancestors, taste traditional foods and view demonstrations of handmade crafts all on St. Simons Island.
The festival benefits the St. Simons African American Heritage Coalition, a local organization dedicated to preserving the cultural traditions and historic sites that are special to the Golden Isles.
St. Simons Island Sunshine Festival
July 4, 2023
This celebratory island tradition features numerous vendors, arts & crafts, live music, a golf cart parade, 5k and many more lively activities. The event takes place at the St. Simons Pier Village, and after dark, a dazzling fireworks show is showcased at Neptune Park.
Brunswick's Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration
July 4, 2023
Brunswick’s annual 4th of July festivities include fun and games for the whole family at Mary Ross Waterfront Park. Participate in classic activities such as tug-of-war, hula-hoop contests and horseshoes. A fireworks show over the East River will close out the night.
Jekyll Island Independence Day
July 4, 2023
Celebrate the 4th of July on Jekyll Island with a patriotic parade, bounce houses, children’s activities, live music, food and other sidewalk vendors. Stake a spot on the beach as you witness the display of fireworks at the end of the day. Best places to watch the fireworks show? Great Dunes Park or the Jekyll Island Beach Village.
Sea Island 4th of July Celebration
July 4, 2023
Hotel guests and members of Sea Island can enjoy a fun-filled Independence Day featuring a traditional Hawaiian luau, parade, pool party, family games, 5k and more. The celebrations will end with the Fireworks Spectacular taking place along the beach.
Firebox: BBQ on the Bluff
October 7, 2023
The annual Firebox event is the perfect opportunity to enjoy live music and, of course, barbeque! This BBQ on the Bluff invitational features pitmasters, chefs, farmers, brewers, distillers and so much more. Whether you prefer sweet, spicy, smoky or tangy, this annual festival has plenty of delicious barbeque for you to choose from. Make plans to attend this St. Simons Island food festival this fall and experience some of the South's most popular barbeque.
October 2023 - Official Date To Be Announced
This family-friendly event celebrates Georgia’s unique coastal environment with more than 70 interactive exhibits and fun “make-it-take-it’ craft projects. The event is typically hosted at Mary Ross Waterfront Park in Historic Downtown Brunswick the first weekend in October and covers everything from native plants and sea turtles to water conservation, geology, recycling and more. Stay tuned for a full schedule of events!
Silver Bluff's Oktoberfest
October 2023 - Official Date To Be Announced
Silver Bluff’s third annual Oktoberfest will feature live German music, authentic German food, and lots of lederhosen. Sections of Newcastle Street will be closed off. Bring your friends and family and get ready for a lively and fun cultural celebration.
There’s nothing like being in the Golden Isles during the annual Georgia vs. Florida football game. Cheer on the Bulldogs from one of the restaurants or bars around the area that offers game-day deals. And don’t forget to join us for the annual Georgia-Florida Golf Classic—held on Jekyll Island’s beautiful 18-hole golf course—before the game. Pack your red and black!
November 12, 2023
Every year, Brunswick's Old Town Historic District hosts PorchFest, a free neighborhood music festival where the front porches of Brunswick become stages for an afternoon. Enjoy a festival filled with live music and performances, food trucks and fun for all ages.
November 2023 - Official Date To Be Announced
This frigid fundraising event kicks off Holly Jolly Jekyll and the holiday season with a plunge into the cold water and benefits the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on behalf of the Jekyll Island Foundation. Take the plunge, raise some funds and receive a commemorative T-shirt for your good deed in helping to save sea turtles.
November 13-19, 2023
The annual RSM Classic is an official PGA TOUR event at the Sea Island Golf Club and raises funds for the Davis Love Foundation. Attendees can watch PGA TOUR Pros on the green and participate in fundraising activities such as the Charity Putting Challenge. You might even get a chance to meet the pros.
Follow your favorite golf pros as they play Seaside and Plantation courses at Sea Island. Meander along cart paths that wind through the marshes, stop in one of the hospitality tents to relax and enjoy a drink, and cheer on our hometown golfers as they make their way down the greens.
Brunswick Christmas Parade
December 2, 2023
More than a hundred floats and various marching groups will participate in the Brunswick Christmas Parade—typically held the first weekend in December. Walk in the parade or just enjoy the festivities as they pass through Historic Brunswick. Stay until the end to catch a glimpse of Santa. Afterward, head to a restaurant to enjoy a delicious dinner or stop into Silver Bluff Brewery or Richland Rum to keep the spirits bright!
Holly Jolly Jekyll
November - December 2023
This event is fun for the whole family and features story time with Santa, a holiday market, live music, ice skating and of course, the annual tree lighting. Throughout December, Jekyll Island will host a variety of seasonal celebrations including tram ride tours through the decorated historic district.
Please note that due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines recommended by the CDC, some of the events above may be slightly different in 2023. Please check our annual events page for more details regarding potential updates.