The Voice of the Gem City

October 17, 2019

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

Putnam County officials say they want more input from residents as they look at a strategic plan for the county’s future. To get that input they’ve come up with three community visioning workshops. You can share your ideas at meetings Nov. 5 at the Crescent City Woman’s Club, Nov. 16 at Ravine Gardens State Park in Palatka and Nov. 21 at Interlachen Community Center. County commissioners won’t be at the meetings, which will include facilitators from the University of Central Florida leading discussion groups.

Palatka officials, meanwhile, have their own approach to getting citizens’ input. They’re asking people for ideas about how to make downtown “vibrant, attractive and welcoming” at the Palatka Craft Beer Festival in Palatka Saturday. The city will have a space set up in the parking lot of the Putnam County Courthouse at 410 St. Johns Avenue. The Beer Fest is from 1 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot. Craft beer brewers, food trucks and music are featured at the second annual festival sponsored by Palatka Young Professionals, Revitalize Historic Palatka Inc., the Arts Council of Greater Palatka and the Putnam County Tourist Development Council.

In Flagler County today Sheriff Rick Staly and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office hosts a Domestic Violence Summit at the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell. It’s part of an on-going effort to find develop initiatives to fight domestic violence in the community.

Tobacco use spurred the formation of Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). Now Florida’s youth-led movement has come up with Not A Lab Rat Day and is focusing in on the long-term health effects of vaping. E-cigarettes and their effect on health are a growing concern and SWAT thinks education is one way to make people aware of the potential dangers. While Wednesday was the official Not A Lab Rat Day activities are going on in area schools all this week.

At the St. Johns County Fairgrounds in Elkton preparations are under way for the 60th annual Cracker Day Celebration this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Part of the ceremonies at the celebration will be the re-introduction of the Agricultural Hall of Fame. IFAS St. Johns has recently refurbished the exhibit and one of the original honorees – Nettie Ruth Brown – will be on hand. For many, Miss Brown is still the face of 4-H.

Florahome in Putnam County will hold their third annual Fall Heritage Festival Saturday in Palmetto Park on State Road 100. Live music, 60 vendors, antique cars, free children’s carnival and barbecue chicken, ribs and pork will be part of the events from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Florahome is celebrating its 120th anniversary.

On Saturday in Crescent City you can get in the Halloween spirit at the 2019 Scarecrow Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Eva Lyon Park. Lots of scarecrows, pumpkins to purchase and decorate, food and doggie costume contest are planned. Halloween costume giveaways will be available.

 

 

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