Barbecues, festivals, music and more — these are the hallmarks of summer we all savor but are, bittersweetly, coming to an end.
This weekend, Savannah is ringing in August with a bang, from offering jazzy brunches on the waterfront to equipping kids with school supplies. Marianne Ganem Poppell of Savannah Master Calendar and Claire Sandow of the Tourism Leadership Council have your guide.
- Eat your heart out at the Gourmet Seafood & Spirits Festival presented by the Westin Savannah Golf Resort & Spa. Begin Thursday with a five-course pairing event with elements from land and sea featuring chef and cocktail demonstrations; continue with a Southbound Kegs & Big Green Eggs Caribbean cookout on Friday; sample the region's best food and mixology on Saturday and end with brunch and jazz on the waterfront at the Rise & Reel Strolling Riverside Brunch on Sunday. The times: Thursday 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Friday 6:30 p.m., Saturday 2 to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets range from $50 to $329. Proceeds benefit the Savannah Harbor Foundation.
- Get some shopping done at Vintage Market Days Vintage by the River at the Savannah Convetion Center. Vintage Market Days is an upscale vintage-inspired indoor/outdoor market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home decor, furniture and more. Dates: Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets for early buying on Friday are $10; general admission for Saturday and Sunday are $5. Children 12 and under are free.
- See HAIR at the Bay Street Theatre on its opening weekend. Local talent will perform a rendition of the classic musical about the 1967 era amidst the Vietnam War during which a young group of hippies question authority, fight the establishment and live and love life in New York City. HAIR was groundbreaking when it premiered in the '60s, as it brought the counterculture movement into the theatre and national spotlight. The issues the show brings up — alienation, civil disobedience, youthful defiance — continue to timelessly resonate today. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 general admission and $30 reserved seating. All shows are for 18 and over.
- Immerse yourself in art at the Jepson Center's Curator's Tour of Michael Kolster: Take Me To The River, an award-winning photo exhibit of four American rivers that flow into the Atlantic Ocean — one of which is the Savannah River — as they emerge from centuries of industrial use and neglect. The tour begins 3 p.m. Sunday; it is free for members and non-members with museum admission.
- Welcome August with open arms at First Fridays in Starland from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be a gathering in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Savannah for an evening of art, music, food and community. Admission is free.
- Get your kids back to school with the help of the Back to School Expo at the Civic Center Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be free health screenings, school supplies for all children, vendor booths, after school programs and dance and music programs. Admission is free.
- Do more prep for the school year at Keller's Flea Market's Back 2 School: Backpack Give Back event Saturday from 1 to 2 p.m. On a first-come, first-served basis, Keller's will be giving away backpacks full of school supplies. Backpacks are one per family, so get there early. Admission is free.
- Support this year's Savannah VOICE Festival that begins with the Ready to Launch: Camp VOICE Showcase. After a week of training, the stars of tomorrow will grace the stage with songs and scenes from classic musicals and operas. The festival kicks off with an educational wrap-up of Camp VOICE and an introduction to the season, along with a special brunch taking place in the picturesque Westin Savannah Harbor Pavillion. The event begins noon on Saturday; tickets are $45 general admission and $55 premium seating.
- Cool down with a pool social at First City Network's August Social potluck. The hosts ask that you bring a side dish, beverage, dessert or $5 to attend. The dinner is from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday.