Connect Savannah I July 2024

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Chantel Britton, Brittany Herren, Beth Logan, Kareem McMichael, Frank Ricci







Well hello, summer 2024 … and welcome, readers, to our July magazine. Even in Savannah, where summer temperatures are known to make their appearance well before the solstice, there’s an irresistible quality about the season that defies us to welcome its official arrival unstirred.

For this month’s theme, Savannah Summertime Vibes, I reflected on my childhood summers in Virginia. From days of bike riding with other neighborhood kids, to camps full of outdoor adventures, arts, and crafts, to the public library’s summer reading contests, the first rule of the season was to show up ready to have fun and learn.

Best of all, summer always managed to sparkle in its fading, leaving behind rewards for my presence and play: that cool new jump-rope skill or song I could play, a new favorite author or book or friend. Summer’s second rule? Become okay with becoming new.

Here’s a perfect juncture, before getting into an overview of the July issue, to connect a few dots about the paths that led me to Connect Savannah, currently at its own juncture of becoming new. You may recall from the article announcing me as the new Executive Editor that integrity and listening will be my two guideposts in this news-centric digital refocusing.

The reality is these principles do more than explain why and how I began in journalism two decades ago; they are foundational to understanding why and how education and arts spaces have been so instructive for me over the same time span. The throughlines abound. All three are fields where success requires closely observing and continually investigating multiple sets of facts for the truth they hold. Journalism, education, and the arts each uniquely challenge one to value the learning zone as much as the comfort zone. Each realm relies on its practitioners to craft stories of truth and consequence, then communicate them to a wide audience in a time- and contextsensitive manner.

More on that later. For now, let me offer that what motivates me as

an editor are values that transcend myself, and I am grateful that you, readers, will be here to nourish this new phase of Connect Savannah with me. On that front, let’s start with where my reverie of summers long-past led, my wondering, “What are ways to enjoy an active, adventure-filled summer here in Savannah that will leave one healthier and renewed?”

July’s issue will provide many fantastic ways to tap into summer fun and play, all with a focus on health and wellness. Safety first, so Brittany Herren brings current reporting on hurricane season preparedness in Savannah. You’ll also want to keep the guide produced in collaboration with WSAV that provides specific instructions to follow throughout all phases of a hurricane.

Chantel Britton keeps us afloat with a feature on Tybee Island Water Sports, the newest spot making a splash in the area’s jet-ski and boat rental scene. The owners are veterans in the aquatic industry, and the company also offers cruises and private charters.

July’s cover story, “Health, Wellness, and Fitness in Summertime Savannah,” by Kareem McMichael is not to be missed. In it, you’ll discover the myriad ways you can start your health journey right now. Learn about some local people and places you can join with, no matter your age or fitness level, to achieve your activity goals. In her article, “Adventure Awaits!” Herren makes it just as easy to plan memorable summer activities for your little ones.

Finally, since wellness is a holistic endeavor, Britton, Beth Logan, and Frank Ricci round out the issue with highlights of the top picks in music (have you heard the Intracoastal Playboys?), art, Independence Day festivities, and more. I am always inspired by the top athletes on the global stage who give their all in the Olympics, Euros, and the like. In the spirit of this sporting season, I challenge us to consider what a fresh, healthy take on summertime in Savannah would look like–and then go create it. Remember the rules: show up for fun and learning and try something new. See ya out there!


Connect Savannah is an arts, entertainment and news magazine, focused on Savannah and the Coastal Empire life and experience.

We strive to feature stories that impact our community and the people who live here— to educate, entertain, inform and foster conversation.

We appreciate and encourage readers to share news and information with us, and to share any feedback and questions.

We want to be your comprehensive source for what happens in our community and beyond. We are here to serve you.

Find us on the following social media platforms or reach out to us at or 912-721-4378.






“Lingua Flora” explores the use of flowers in fine and decorative arts from the late 18th through the early 20th centuries. Flowers and other botanical subjects are associated with multiple visual languages during this period. Natural historians’ precise depictions of individual plants became popular motifs in a variety of media. Expanding global trade spread the transfer of subjects and design types across cultures, creating a lingua franca, or a linking language, in imagery. Exhibition will be at the Jepson Center.



JULY 1 - 12

“Feral & Functional” is a ceramic exhibit

of functional and sculptural artwork made from clay that has been sourced directly from nature instead of store-bought. The intent of the exhibition is to celebrate the indigenous ceramic mediums that contribute to the identity of clay compositions and to recognize the artists who have returned to a creative process that has been extant for 30,000. Exhibition at the Ology Gallery.


JULY 1 - 26

These high-quality and uniquely themed summer programs are designed to enhance and encourage curiosity and enthusiasm for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Programs will run weekly from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, from June 3 to July 26, and parents/guardians will be invited to a student showcase on the final day.


JULY 8 -12

The Lowcountry Down Syndrome Society (LDSS) will be hosting its 15th annual Camp Buddy summer camp for for Chatham County from July 8 through July 12 at St. Andrew’s School. Camp Buddy is for children of all ages with Down syndrome and is designed to help students prepare for the upcoming school year with a specially designed curriculum. Activities that take place during Camp Buddy include, but are not limited to, cooking, art, crafts, life skill lessons, physical and occupational therapy, money and time management-related activities. These activities are created and designed to grow the student’s knowledge base and hands-on experience with real-life





JULY 8 -12

Art class at Scribble Art Studio with Armando includes all materials and a week of art instruction from a SCAD alumni. Armando delivers high-quality instruction that builds the skills and interest of students to create from what they love! Register to stay cool this summer and walk out a little cooler!



The Davenport House Museum, will host a new monthly Yoga in the Garden Series, offering one-hour classes. Hosted by museum docent and experienced yoga instructor Michael Plasha, these classes will offer the opportunity to breathe, stretch, and find Zen in one of Savannah’s most historic gardens. In the event of inclement weather, yoga classes will be held indoors at the Murray C. Perlman & Wayne C. Spear Preservation Center, which is located directly behind the Davenport House Museum.





Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at the UGA Aquarium? You are in luck! We are offering behind-the-scenes tours on select Thursdays this summer from 2 to 3 p.m.Spend the afternoon exploring our exhibits before learning what it is like to care for our ambassador animals during tours led by aquarium staff. Participants will be able to access areas that are not typically open to the public. Animal feeding might also be part of the tour!



This Bridgerton-inspired flower workshop will be an unforgettable afternoon of tea, flowers, and scones. You will learn how to make a gorgeous flower arrangement inside an antique tea pot. Dress in your Bridgertoninspired attire for a chance to win bestdressed! Shop our exclusive pop-up shop with

Charmed Jewelry! The class is approximately two hours long. Flowers, vases, and tools are provided, and you will leave with your beautiful creation.The workshop is held at Syd Nichole in Eastern Wharf.



Time to hit the beach after a busy July weekend and get any litter left behind. We’ll be set up at 1509 Strand Avenue, all equipment provided. Just come sign in, grab your gear, and hit the beach. Easy as pie! Bring friends! Bring the kids!



Anyone else??? Head to the taproom for Spa Water slushies, cocktails, and relaxing *af* movies on the small screen. twotidesbrewing. com



Shindigs and Tipsy Turtle Tiki Tours present Savannah’s first Boots Cruise! You won’t want to miss all the fun on this voyag. Line dancing and a booze cruise on the water – Yeehaw!! The meetup point is at Safe Harbor Bahia Bleu at 6:30 P.M. Space is very limited No walk-ups due to boat capacity limit. shindigssavannah@



Inviting all Savannah and Southeast Georgia beer lovers to Enmarket Arena’s First Annual beer festival, Sips on Stiles! Sips on Stiles will feature 25+ local craft breweries, your favorite eats, live music and entertainment, games & activities, vendors and more! Food will be available for purchase on the arena floor prepared by OVG Hospitality as well as at PS Tavern at their stand in the East Lobby!



Next Stop Comedy showcases the best professional comedians from the East Coast and beyond! Each show features a novel lineup with acts seen on TV and heard on your

To have your event considered for inclusion, please visit and enter your event in our online calendar. There, you can manage your entries, change and add dates, times, etc. Visit to find our 24/7, comprehensive list of all the things to do in Savannah this month. From theater performances to live music shows, art exhibitions to food festivals, Connect Savannah has got you covered. So, check out the website now and start planning your perfect month in the Hostess City today!

favorite podcasts. Join us at Coastal Empire Beer Co., located at 79 Ross Road, Savannah, Georgia 31405. For more info: Follow us on Instagram @next.stop.comedy or check out our website,


JULY 22-26

Camp will be held from July 22 through July 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Community House at 160 West Appleby Road in Port Wentworth. Children ages five to 12 are welcome to participate in summer camp. If you are registered to be part of our cheerleading program in the fall, we will waive your camp registration fee. For questions, concerns, or getting registered please call 912-966-7428.



Bingo Loco is not your grandma’s bingo … it’s a bingo rave complete with comedian MCs, throwback anthems, lip sync battles, danceoffs, dancers, confetti showers, CO2 cannons, rave rounds, conga lines, and—of course— bingo! Previous bingo prizes have included a cruise package, a giant inflatable flamingo, a fridge, a piano, a microwave, a lawnmower, and a trip to Vegas! Bingo Loco takes place at Victory North in Savannah



In honor of National Friendship Day, join us for S2S Facts’ Third Annual 5K Friendship Fun Run on Saturday, July 27! Energize your morning with our Tiny Tots Fun Run, followed immediately followed by our USATF certified 5K course around the Tanger Outlets. Honor your International Friendship Day with a morning filled with Friends, Family, Fun & Fitness! With EVEN MORE categories this year, bring your friends and bring your best; there’ll be tons of prizes waiting for you at the finish! For more information, contact s2sbtg@



While Savannah is no stranger to hurricanes, many residents have become somewhat apathetic to the topic. Many have experienced evacuations that, to them, didn’t feel necessary because local impacts were in stark contrast to the advisement of local leaders. However, those of the “I will never evacuate again” camp are being urged by experts this year to change their tune.

“The experts are saying that it is anticipated to be an extremely active hurricane season,” warned Chelsea Sawyer, Emergency Preparedness Manager for the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA). “One of my biggest concerns is people not taking evacuations seriously.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center predict above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year. The 2024 hurricane season, which spans from June to November predicts an 85 percent chance of an above-normal season. In 2023, NOAA predicted

that there was only a 30 percent chance that the season would be above normal.

According to Sawyer, residents should not find comfort in comparing warnings to previous hurricane seasons.

“These storms aren’t the same storms that came 10, 15, and 50 years ago,” she explained. “Every storm is going to do something different. I don’t want anyone to risk their lives.”

While the predictions this year may yield more disastrous results, it doesn’t really change what CEMA does to prepare. As Sawyer notes, emergency management 101 is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. CEMA has five highlytrained duty officers on rotation at all times who work to track every storm that comes through and stay abreast with the National Hurricane Center’s tropical weather outlook.

“Every single storm that pops up, we’re going to watch it,” said Sawyer. “It’s monitored 24/7 and there is a lot of coordination and communication with partners.”

One of those partners is Macon-Bibb County, which has become the new evacuation destination for Chatham County under the updated statewide plan that matches every county with hurricane-impact potential with an inland partner county; the previous government-assisted

evacuation destination was Augusta-Richmond County. CEMA has also partnered with the newly-constructed Enmarket Arena, which has become the new meeting point for Chatham County residents needing evacuation assistance.

Understanding these changes and the overall terminology regarding hurricane evacuation orders, per Sawyer, is much more beneficial than the hurricane warning levels, which are not as preemptively helpful. Unlike tornadoes—which also have watches and warnings that range from conditions are favorable to a tornado has been spotted—hurricane watches and warnings both mean that hurricanes are coming, the only distinction being the advance notice timing of 48 hours versus 36 hours or less.

“By the time we get to watches and warnings, those evacuation orders are already in place,” explained Sawyer.

According to her, what residents really need to pay attention to is whether an evacuation order or a mandatory evacuation order has been issued. An evacuation order encourages residents to evacuate, while a mandatory order requires it. However, it’s important to note that not all areas of Chatham County may be evacuated at the same time or equally. Evacuations are determined in zones.

A great tool to find and learn these zones is the CEMA website’s evacuation page and their interactive map, which can be found at

So, how do you know the status of a hurricane and evacuation orders? There are several websites, apps, and tools that can be used. While not a complete list, below are some popular and highly-recommended resources:



Sawyer recommends being signed up for at least one alerting mechanism, but notes that she herself uses multiple alerts and apps. Residents can also follow all the listed agencies on Facebook and Twitter.

For a comprehensive list of tools, tips and information, as well as access to presentations, visit

ABOVE: Chelsea Sawyer, Emergency Preparedness Manager for the Chatham Emergency Management Agency (CEMA), BOTTOM: Chatham Country EvacuationZones




Paris, France, will be buzzing with Olympic athletes this summer, but don’t worry about missing your shot at the podium. Here in Savannah, there are tons of ways to get active, embrace your inner champion, and prioritize your well-being. Here, we discover resources that will make you feel like a winner on your own personal health and wellness journey.

Staying healthy can be tough in some states, especially when you consider things like chronic illness, unhealthy habits, a lack of healthy options, and substance abuse. A 2024 Forbes Advisor study looked at all 50 states and found Georgia isn’t exactly topping the charts for health.

Coach TT, owner of Pressure Health and Fitness, who is certified in personal training and nutrition by the International Sports Sciences Association, started her health and wellness journey in 2018.

“My family really had some health challenges. I had a sister diagnosed with lupus at an early age. A lot of the women in my family suffered from thyroid issues. It really pushed me to just want to take care of my body more,” said Coach TT.

This was similar for Natasha Federico, a former athlete, certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and coowner of Renaissance Fitness, who noticed a pattern of health challenges in herself and her family.

“I have PCOS [polycystic ovary syndrome], and doctors only know how to maintain it. My mom dealt with it, and we noticed thyroid problems. My mom was an EMS and paramedic and has always been in the health and medical industry, and we did a lot of research on some of the problems and ways to be better,” said Federico.

Diving into the data, Georgia’s score of 61.9 [100 being the least healthy; 0 being the most] on the Forbes Advisor health ranking is reflected in higher rates of chronic conditions. Heart disease seems to be a particular concern, with around 185 deaths per 100,000 residents. Additionally, more than 11 percent of Georgia adults have diabetes.

“I started taking health and wellness very seriously at a young age. I have a family history of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. History showed in my family that some died at a younger age and were not living a healthy life. Seeing that at a very young age definitely made me health conscious and motivated me to do better,” said Zhane Roberts, a former athlete and co-owner of Renaissance Fitness.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is one of the leading risk factors for noncommunicable disease mortality. People who are insufficiently active have a 20 to 30 percent increased risk of death compared to people who are sufficiently active.

“I want people to look at the physical and nutrition sides, but nothing is going to work the same across the board. The chemistry and mechanics of your body are different from mine and everyone else,” said Federico.

While there is no one size fits all, one thing is for sure: regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, wheeling, doing sports, or engaging in active recreation, provides significant benefits for health. Some physical activity is better than doing none.

“I recommend that people lock in on their nutrition and talk to a dietician. See what your specific body needs are, and also take classes. A lot of times we get in the gym and we just want to get everything we see on video. People have to realize that there’s a starting point before you get to the more complicated steps,” said Coach TT. Maybe you are not

ready for the gym just yet or are not able to go. The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided some simple tips to help keep as active as possible at home. These include: online fitness classes; dancing for a few minutes; walking up and down stairs; playing active video games; working out with a jump rope; and doing stretching, muscle strength, and balance training exercises.

Taylor Jordan, an avid runner who studied health in college, started her fitness journey around 2015 to improve her mental health, but she started out doing workout routines around her house.

“I used Tumblr in the beginning to find great workouts. Now I use YouTube and have made several playlists. I get specific if I want at-home exercises—low impact, high impact—what part of the body it’s targeting? I would pick three a day, and most of these are ten-minute workouts,” said Jordan.

With a variety of public and private gyms nearby, getting started with fitness is easy in Savannah. But before you jump in, take some time to prepare. Understanding your body’s limitations and strengths, familiarizing yourself with the equipment, and setting clear goals will maximize your workouts and help you reach your fitness aspirations.

“There are Google and YouTube. You can learn a lot about the body and how to properly do things. For example, how to workout a certain body part. You don’t want to start lifting weights by doing things that can lead to injury. You want to build goals that will work for you,” said Roberts.

LEFT: Natasha Frederico and Zhane Roberts, co-owners of Renaissance Fitness, ABOVE: Coach TT, owner of Pressure Health and Fitness

Even if you are still skipping the gym, Savannah and Chatham County have plenty of parks to use, like Forsyth Park, Daffin, Laker Mayer, and more. Jordan said she enjoys being outdoors when working out.

“Immersing yourself in nature is also really good for mental health. Get out of the buildings and away from the electronics sometimes. It’s a great stress-reliever. It kind of gives you a mental break, too. It’s hard to think about something for a long time when you’re outside running; it’s kind of like a meditation,” said Jordan.

According to the American Psychological Association, spending time in nature is linked to both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health, and emotional well-being.

According to WHO, children and adolescents aged five to 17 should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity, mostly aerobic physical activity, across the week.

Adults aged 18 to 64 years should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week.

“I encourage people to start small. Do something active for 15 minutes a day, and cut something out of your regular

diet. Cutting out a soda a day or that candy bar can go a long way and create a habit that will be built. There’s peaks and sometimes there’s valleys when life gets in the way. But, at the end of the day, we’re still pushing through,” said David Jones, a former college athlete and avid gym-goer.

Tony Wright uses kickball as his physical activity. He started about three years ago and is a part of the kickball team Kick Nation under the Savannah Adult Recreation Club, commonly known as “SARC.”

“It was a challenge. I am not a naturally athletic person. I never knew in my life that I would be playing on a kickball team at the age of 33 and kick well because, through practice and playing more, I was growing up. This has helped me get out of my comfort zone,” said Wright.

The Savannah Area Recreation Coalition (SARC) fosters a welcoming environment for individuals to participate in their favorite athletic pursuits. SARC offers opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals, establish lasting friendships, and forge positive experiences through organized sports. They have softball and volleyball leagues as well.

“I love our team. Our team is very different and has people from different walks of life. It is a welcoming community. If someone is interested in joining a team, they should look into SARC,” said Wright.

Adults aged 65 years and older have the same activity

Forbes Advisor, State ranking is determined by 21 metrics spanning three key categories: disease risk factors and prevalence, substance abuse and lifestyle habits and health outlook. To see the overall rank and two of the metrics considered, hover over each state.

recommendation as younger adults, and as part of their weekly physical activity, older adults should do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasizes functional balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity.

Anyone at any age can suffer from movement disorders and have difficulty with mobility. At St. Joseph’s/Candler, through their movement disorder program, locals can seek information and join to stay active.

Also at St. Joseph’s/Candler is SOURCE, which offers service options using resources in a community environment. Located at the Georgia Infirmary, SOURCE is a case management program under the Elderly and Disabled Waiver Program (EDWP) administered by the Department of Community Health.

“Our goal is to keep our elderly and disabled members living in the community where they reside for as long as possible and prevent nursing home placement,” said Angela Grant, SOURCE Program Manager.

Their Savannah campus at the Georgia Infirmary offers not only SOURCE case management services but also Adult Day Health and primary care services onsite.

“If you are at home and have difficulty with mobility and need someone to accompany you with physical activity, we have resources for that through SOURCE. If someone didn’t qualify for SOURCE, we have other resources to connect them with. We always try to link people to a resource in the community that can help you,” said Grant.

In the constitution of WHO, it states that health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Coach TT, Roberts, Jones, Grant, Federico, and Jordan all agreed that physical activity and better eating have had a positive impact on their mental health.

“I know it has helped my mental health in a good way. And I enjoy coaching others because you see them reach their goals, and it transforms their lives. They are proud of reaching the small goals and then working towards the big goals,” said Federico.

“You can train the person physically, but if they’re mentally in the wrong place, they will not continue. Anytime you start something new, it will require change, and anytime we change, it can be uncomfortable. My favorite thing when I am working with people is seeing the internal transformation,” said Coach TT.



This community-driven organization fosters a culture of wellness by implementing policies and environmental changes that promote healthy living. Their collaborative efforts, involving more than 200 partner organizations, focus on creating equitable access to nutritious food and promoting opportunities for physical activity. Through this comprehensive approach, Healthy Savannah strives to make Savannah a healthier place to live and work.


The City of Savannah’s Recreation and Leisure Services will offer several athletic opportunities for youth and adults this summer.

ABOVE THE VIOLENCE FRIDAY NIGHT HOOPS -The Above the Violence Friday Night Hoops season will be a one-weekend tournament on July 12. The 3-on-3 tournament is free and open to ages 18 and over. Team registration is required by July 8. To register, call (912) 351-3852 or email athletics@savannahga. gov.

SUMMER BASKETBALL - Every Friday and Saturday from June 7 to July 27, Summer Basketball will welcome teens 12 to 18 at the Grant Gym, 122 West St. and Eastside Gym, 415 Goebel Ave. Ages 12 to 15 will compete from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Afterwards, ages 16 to 18 will compete from 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Food, drinks, games, and activities will also be provided. Registration will take place on site.

For more summer activities and fun for kids and adults visit the city of Savannah website 100 Days of Summer.


The Savannah Cultural Arts Center has an abundance of classes and workshops throughout the summer. Including but not limited to hiphop, ballet, jazz, and heel dancing. All classes take place at the Savannah Cultural Arts Center at 201 Montgomery St. Limited (paid) street parking is available near the SCAC. The closest parking garages are Liberty Parking Garage on Liberty and Montgomery and Robinson Parking Garage on Montgomery Street across from Chatham County Courthouse. There is an accessible drop-off area on Montgomery Street, and one accessible parking space next to the building on Turner Boulevard.




Savannah’s Waterfront will host their annual free Independence Day Celebration on Thursday, July 4, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rousakis Riverfront Plaza. The 3rd Infantry Division Band from Fort Stewart will perform. Now known as the “Best Band in the Land,” the 3rd ID Band is a 40-member unit with several performing groups. Plans for Independence Day include performances by the New Orleansstyle brass band, the rock band, and the concert band. The annual Independence Day fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m. and last about 20 minutes. Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets, while coolers are discouraged. The show will take place from a barge in the Savannah River in front of the Savannah Convention Center.


Tybee Island presents their annual Independence Day fireworks display on July 4 from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Pier and Pavilion at South Beach. Fireworks will start around 9:15, illuminating the night sky over the Atlantic Ocean. This event is free and open to the public.


Journey to the past and celebrate Independence Day with the spirit of 1864. Located in Richmond Hill at 3894 Fort McAllister Road, Fort McAllister State Park will host a special Independence Day celebration complete with captivating living history demonstrations, musket firings and awe-inspiring spectacles of artillery display, along with oldtimey games and fresh watermelon.


Join Savannah AMBUCS for their 13th annual Bowlapalooza fundraising event on Thursday, July 18, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Kehoe Iron Works at Trustees’ Garden. The goal behind Bowlapalooza is to engage the community in collective impact by coupling high-profile community leaders and leading corporations with AMBUCS rock star bowlers for a spectacular campaign that puts the “fun” in “fundraising.” Visit for more information.


Now in its fourth year, Homegrown Summer Jam will feature riveting performances from four incredible local Savannah bands including

Swamptooth, American Hologram, The Matt Eckstine Trio, and Susanna Kennedy. Genres represented include bluegrass, indie-rock, Americana and more. The summer jam will take place Saturday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Victory North. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.


The Front Porch will host the fourth annual Back to School BLOCK ROCK on July 27 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Civic Center. The event will include giveaways, prizes and school supplies from more than 30 community partners. Attendees can also enjoy the musical stylings of Fabulous Equinox Krewe along with free food.

-Compiled by Chantel Britton



This past Memorial Day, a new business opened up on Tybee, making waves literally and figuratively with their impressive fleet of watercraft. Tybee Island Water Sports offers single and tandem jet ski and pontoon boat rentals along with a 16-passenger tiki boat available for sightseeing and dolphin tours as well as private charters, for an enjoyable time on the water. Tybee Island Water Sports is a joint venture between a few veterans of the local aquatic recreation industry, namely Captain Keith Walston of Hilton Head’s Vagabond Cruise, Michael and Taylor Withrow of Hilton Head’s Island Head, and Danny Pegg of Savannah Harbor Cruises.

“All of us have been in the water sports and tourism industry for well over 15 years each, and we’ve had businesses between Hilton Head Island and River Street in Savannah,” said Pegg, Tybee Island Water Sports’ marketing director. “Then we had this opportunity to open the water sports business here in Tybee Island, so it fits in with everything that we’ve done in all of our years here in the Lowcountry.”

This experienced team opened the business just in time for summer vacations, so locals and tourists alike can take advantage of all they have to offer, from the jet skis and pontoon boats to the Tybee Island Tiki Adventure, a 90-minute cruise during which passengers can spot dolphins and enjoy scenic views while learning fascinating fun facts about the region from the knowledgeable captain.

“The tiki tour is … fun and family-oriented. That’s how all of our businesses are,” said Pegg. “It’s going to be a familyfriendly cruise. … You’ve got your captain, who’s going to be your guide out on the tours. And … we’re going to have set paths [to see] the dolphins. We’ll have music aboard the boat, just a fun vibe out on the water experiencing Lazaretto Creek and heading out by the fort.”

In addition to the tiki tour, the watersports outfitter will also offer private, customizable charters for clients who want to book a more unique and tailored experience.

“I anticipate a lot of the families that are booking the big houses here on Tybee coming out and joining us for private excursions, a lot of bachelorette and bachelor parties coming in from Savannah. I know we get a lot of that here on Tybee. It’s great because we’ve got an awesome relationship with the restaurants here for any food and beverage add-ons that people want to have. It’s a great pairing, having that boat and food option,” he said.

Pegg and company encourage the public to take part in an aquatic adventure with Tybee Island Water Sports this summer as it’s a fun experience that everyone can enjoy.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen an unhappy person ride a jet ski,” he said.

While fun remains a top priority, safety is especially important.

“Safety is one of our biggest concerns,” said Pegg. “Getting out on the water, we’re making sure that all of our guests are going out and getting properly trained on our watercraft and rentals, and that they are going out and understanding how the jet skis operate and how the pontoon boat operates, so they can … have a safe and fun time on the water.”

While summer is certainly the peak season for aquatic activities, the Tybee Island Water Sports team is excited to provide wet and wild adventures throughout the year.

Co-owner Michael Withrow added, “We’re just super excited about the opportunity to bring this to Tybee. I think that there’s a little bit of a gap in the market. Tybee has so many great offerings [for] a lot of people, and having another offering on the water will enhance the overall vacation experience that Tybee is already doing a great job offering.”

To learn more about Tybee Island Water Sports or to book a rental or tour, visit


Summer is finally here, which means for many parents in Savannah, school is out and the kids are home for what can feel like an eternity. While there’s no shame in finding moments of peace with Disney+ or the tablet, we all know that those efforts are short-lived as our little balls of energy are charged and ready to play. As a mother of three—ages 20-months, four, and eight—I know all too well the hidden gems in and on the outskirts of Savannah that will help you get out of the house and into an adventure. Here are my personal favorites and kid-approved recommendations for outdoor fun this summer:


Tybee is always on everyone’s list of activities, but if you are looking for something more than just a day at the beach, Shark Tooth Island is a must. It’s perfect for locals who are wanting to avoid the crowds because it by-boat-only accessibility makes it incredibly secluded. Kids can spend hours enthralled in the fun of digging up fossilized shark teeth and other marine artifacts.


Located at the north end of Jekyll, this beach truly resembles something out of a movie taking place in other worlds. After a quick walk through the woods on a soft-sand trail, you emerge to a beach filled with colossal contorted and weathered trees that have been left behind from years of erosion. It’s often never-crowded due to areas of limited parking and the short-walk, but it’s well worth the hassle. You can put down roots under the shade of a palm tree or hang your hammock on the branches of a tree. My kids love walking along the rocks digging for shells, playing with the clay in the areas where you can access the water and building forts with fallen and dried palm leaves.


Just outside of Brunswick, St. Simons is my all-time favorite beach for a day of sand and waves. It’s worth the drive because you completely avoid the hit-or-miss delays

and traffic getting onto Tybee. Nothing is worse than a good beach trip being spoiled by standstill traffic getting on or off Tybee, especially when you have eager or tired toddlers in the car. You also don’t have to worry about parking, because there is a lot of it and it is completely free at areas like the Coast Guard Station (my go-to spot). When you grow tired of the sand, but your kids still want to have fun, take them into the town for ice cream by the pier and time on the playground.


Staying super local is really easy with a place as great as the children’s museum. The play areas are truly unmatched and your kids will have so much fun feeding off the energy of the other families. Keep an eye on the museum’s website, Facebook page and calendar of events because they always have something unique going on. I have never not had a blast.


A great day is always had at this wildlife center, a zoolike, 175-acre preserve and environmental education center with dozens of species in their natural habitats. The twomile stretch trails feel like a jungle adventure as you make your way through forest, salt marsh and pond habitats. The various points of animal observation make for fun discoveries along the way. The fan favorites are the cougar cubs and the small, barnyard area where your kids can pet a cow, donkey, and Ossabaw hogs. Be sure to pack lunch, snacks, bug spray and wear good walking shoes. While there are many more adventures to be had, these are the top five I keep in my rotation because they are a short drive with minimal cost involved. Check them out for yourself!

Photo by Brittany Herren, Four-year-old Charlotte Herren enjoys lunch atop a tree at Driftwood Beach


Savannahians and tourists alike will enjoy July’s First Friday in Starland, celebrating our coolest neighborhood’s local businesses, art, and food (details on Instagram: @ starlandfirstfridays). On Friday, July 5, be sure to visit the Ellis Gallery, inside nonprofit ARTS Southeast at 2301 Bull Street, for the opening of a six-week exhibition “Glued to The Horse” by John Paul Kesling.

Kesling (b.1980) was raised in Northeastern Kentucky, received his BFA in Arts from Morehead State University, and his MFA in Painting from SCAD in 2010. He spent six years in Brooklyn, New York before relocating to Madison, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. He is a member of the artist collective at Ground Floor Contemporary (Birmingham, Alabama), and is represented by The Red Arrow Gallery in Nashville and Wheelhouse Art in Louisville, Kentucky. The recipient of several prestigious residencies, Kesling was most recently ARTS Southeast’s ON::View Artist-in-Residence during May of this year and is featured in the nonprofit’s most recent issue of IMPACT Arts & Culture Magazine.

With sweeping brush strokes and bold colors, Kesling’s collection of paintings visualizes the passion and tenderness of human connection. He says, “Thinking about the lack of intimacy during the height of the pandemic, the “kissing” paintings were born. With nostalgia in mind, the early paintings of this series were visual dissections of that first kiss with somebody new. The thrill and fear, hope and trauma that normally connect in that moment, amplified by a potentially deadly virus. As these works have continued developing over the years, the daily news, both globally and personally, has sent them in new directions. Still rooted in the relationships we form, this work pieces together the excitement and vulnerability we feel with those we allow into our hearts and homes.”

He continues, “In the “Pietà” paintings of shaped and engraved plywood, I reinterpret the iconic religious imagery of the Madonna and Child through a contemporary retreatment of the surface. Reminiscent of headstones, they become places of quiet reflection, compassion, and remembrance. Using current conversations, tragedies, news, local histories, and local materials in real-time during the making of these pieces, they become process-based time-capsules of contemporary moments.”

While checking out Kesling’s show at ARTS Southeast, be sure to see the Good Vibrations show in the Supporter Gallery. Included in the group exhibition are works by some of the nonprofit’s artist supporters: Bede van Dyke, Joy Dunigan, Lisa D Watson, Nathaniel Thompson, Heather L. Young, Maxx Feist, and many others. It truly is a cornucopia of fun, vibrant, summertime work, and a fun tie-in to this Connect Savannah issue’s theme of Summer Vibes.

Savannah, and Telfair Museums in particular, will miss the intelligent, warm and vivacious assistant curator, Anne-

Solene Bayan who soon embarks on her doctoral program at Cornell. Come out to the Jepson Center, 207 W. York St., on Thursday, July 18, from 6-8 p.m. to experience “Of One Mind,” an exhibition curated by Bayan as part of the museum’s #art912 initiative, a platform dedicated to raising the visibility and vitality of artists living and working in Savannah.

Of One Mind is a collaboration between local artists Autumn Gary (b.1975), an American/First Nations painter, sculptor, and art instructor from Portland Oregon whose practice revolves around therapeutic art outreach, public art, and intertribal collaboration with indigenous/native arts communities, and Alexis Javier (b.1982), an American mixedmedia artist with Puerto Rican roots, who earned his BFA from SCAD in 2006 and is a founding member of ARTS Southeast’s Sulfur Studios and the Latin/Native American art collective SOY X SOY.

Their show centers around the theme of “oneness;” Gary and Javier’s July 18 exhibition will explain the inspiration they drew from the Haudenosaunee (also known as the Iroquois Confederacy or Six Nations) Thanksgiving Address. In this invocation, participants express gratitude for life-sustaining forces and elements, with each verse concluding with the refrain: “Now our minds are one.” Gary and Javier’s series of abstract sculptures demonstrates humanity’s symbiotic relationship to the cosmos and the recurring myths that connect the ancient past, our present moment, and the future.

Continuing its run during the first part of this month is the group show “Sugar Sugar” at Location Gallery, inside Corcoran Austin Hill Realty at 251 Bull St. Many beloved Savannah artists, including Stacie Jean Albano, Michelle Perez, Charissa Murray, and highly acclaimed, super-realist painter June

“Tennessee Waltz” by John Paul Kesling

Stratton, have depicted low-cal, high-impact sweet treats, food, and desserts in a variety of mediums.

On Saturday, July 20, all Savannah art lovers should flock to Location Gallery from 4-7 p.m. to wish artist and gallery director Peter E. Roberts a happy 60th birthday, and view his “Mental Properties” show. Roberts has almost singlehandedly promoted and championed local artists since the gallery’s inception in early 2016. As an artist himself, he is known for his witty, clever, and “punny” sense of humor displayed in affordable, impeccably executed, papercut art pieces. Peters tells me, “1972 started this strange pathway of being seen through artwork. My second grader’s rendition of a book cover for ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was selected as part of the Fairfield Children’s Library annual art show …”

“43 years later was my first solo art show, “Elsewhere,” marking my 50th trip around the sun. To mark my 60th on July 20, I was inspired to re-visit that very first show and reinterpret as “Mental Properties”—a series of multidimensional papercuts depicting travel posters from fictional places found in book, film, music, comics and television.” Prepare to be delighted! Gallery profits from the “Mental Properties” show will be donated to nonprofit ARTS Southeast.

Also, I encourage you to visit the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum to view a summer installation titled “Waves of Wonder.” Featuring works funded by UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant’s Artists, it includes paintings by Savannah artists Kip Bradley and Jennifer Nolan. I attended last month’s opening and was impressed by the quality of the work which encompasses a diverse range of disciplines— painting, sculpture, photography, illustration, sound, film, and even dance from eleven former and current AWS grant recipients. Each project was created to offer a fresh perspective on the intricate relationships that define coastal life, from the interconnectedness of animal communities to the profound connections between humans and the natural world.

Finally, I must mention my sadness and distress that two more downtown galleries closed last month. The Savannah Gallery of Art and the stellar artist collective, Kobo Gallery (still with an online presence), which was the winner of several Best of Savannah awards over its 17year history. Many factors are in play, but I lay much of the blame at the feet of our city and our Chamber who do little to attract the art-buying tourists who flock to other cities, such as nearby Charleston, South Carolina.

High net-worth vacationers, especially those who stay in boutique hotels and the soon-toopen Ritz Carlton, want more than T-shirts and to-go cups as mementos of their trips. I implore any tourists reading this publication to seek out the shows and locations I have highlighted this month. Help keep Savannah creative by supporting local artists!

(Left to Right) Autumn Gary and Alexis Javier
Peter E. Roberts “Amity Island.” A papercut assemblage referencing the fictional beach community in the 1975 movie “Jaws”





First day of practice


Start of regular season


End of regular season


State playoffs first round


Second round






State Championships

*All championship games to be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta



Aug. 23 at Glynn Academy

Aug. 30 vs Everglades (FL)

Sept. 6 at New Hampstead

Sept. 13 vs Wayne Co.

Sept. 20 vs Buchholz (FL)

Sept. 27 vs Tift Co.

Oct. 4 at Camden Co.

Oct. 11 vs Valdosta

Oct. 25 vs Lowndes

Nov. 1 at Colquitt Co.




Aug. 17 vs Rabun Gap (at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro)

Aug. 23 at Buford

Aug. 30 vs Burke Co.

Sept. 14 at Archbishop Moeller (OH)

Sept. 20 vs Westminster

Sept. 27 at Ware Co.

Oct. 4 at Warner Robins

Oct. 11 vs New Hampstead

Oct. 18 vs Wayne Co.

Oct. 25 vs Perry


Aug. 16 vs South Effingham

Aug. 23 at Savannah Christian

Aug. 30 at Effingham Co.

Sept. 6 vs Richmond Hill

Sept. 13 at Pierce Co.

Sept. 27 at Perry

Oct. 4 vs Ware Co.

Oct. 11 at Benedictine

Oct. 18 vs Warner Robins

Oct. 25 vs Wayne Co.



Aug. 16 at Calvary Day

Aug. 23 at Savannah High

Sept. 6 vs Windsor Forest

Sept. 13 at Jenkins

Sept. 20 vs Long Co.

Oct. 4 at Islands

Oct. 11 vs Johnson

Oct. 18 at Groves

Oct. 24 vs Liberty Co.

Nov. 1 at SEB


Aug. 16 vs Beach

Aug. 30 at Oceanside Collegiate Academy

Sept. 6 vs SEB

Sept. 13 at Windsor Forest

Sept. 20 vs Jenkins

Oct. 4 at Long Co.

Oct. 11 vs Islands

Oct. 18 at Johnson

Oct. 25 vs Groves

Nov. 1 at Liberty Co.


Aug. 23 at West Laurens

Aug. 30 at Jenkins

Sept. 6 vs Long Co.

Sept. 13 at Islands

Oct. 4 at SEB

Oct. 10 at Liberty Co.

Oct. 18 vs Beach

Oct. 25 at Calvary Day

Nov. 1 vs Windsor Forest


Aug. 16 vs MCA

Aug. 30 at SEB

Sept. 6 at Johnson

Sept. 13 vs Groves

Sept. 20 at Liberty Co.

Oct. 4 vs Beach

Oct. 11 at Calvary Day

Oct. 18 vs Windsor Forest

Oct. 25 at Jenkins

Nov. 1 vs Long Co.


Aug. 16 at Lowndes

Aug. 30 vs Groves

Sept. 6 at Liberty Co.

Sept. 13 vs Beach

Sept. 20 at Calvary Day

Oct. 4 vs Windsor Forest

Oct. 11 vs SEB

Oct. 18 at Long Co.

Oct. 25 vs Islands

Nov. 1 at Johnson


Aug. 16 at Bryan Co.

Aug. 30 at Long Co.

Sept. 6 vs Islands

Sept. 13 at SEB

Oct. 4 vs Liberty Co.

Oct. 11 at Beach

Oct. 18 vs Calvary Day

Oct. 25 at Windsor Forest

Nov. 1 vs Jenkins


Aug. 23 at Brantley Co.

Aug. 30 vs Liberty Co.

Sept. 6 at Beach

Sept. 13 vs Calvary Day

Sept. 20 vs SEB

Oct. 4 at Jenkins

Oct. 11 vs Long Co.

Oct. 18 at Islands

Oct. 25 vs Johnson

Nov. 1 at Groves



Aug. 16 vs Whitefield Academy

Aug. 23 vs New Hampstead

Aug. 30 vs Providence


Sept. 6 vs Oceanside Collegiate Academy

Sept. 13 at Fellowship


Sept. 27 at Blessed Trinity

Oct. 4 at Savannah Country Day

Oct. 11 vs Vidalia

Oct. 25 at Swainsboro

Nov. 1 vs Toombs Co.


Aug. 16 at Charlotte Country Day (NC)

Aug. 23 at Athens Academy

Aug. 30 at Porter Gaud (SC)

Sept. 6 vs Bluffton (SC)

Sept. 20 at Tattnall Co.

Oct. 4 vs Savannah Christian

Oct. 11 at Swainsboro

Oct. 18 vs Toombs Co.

Oct. 25 vs Episcopal School of Jacksonville (FL)

Nov. 1 at Vidalia



Aug. 16 vs Johnson

Aug. 23 at Aquinas

Sept. 6 at Savannah High

Sept. 13 vs Portal

Sept. 20 at ECI

Sept. 27 vs Claxton

Oct. 4 at Screven Co.

Oct. 11 vs MCA

Oct. 18 at Jenkins Co.

Nov. 1 vs Metter


Aug. 16 at Frederica Academy

Aug. 23 vs Beach

Sept. 6 vs Bryan Co.

Sept. 13 at Metter

Sept. 27 at Portal

Oct. 4 at ECI

Oct. 11 vs Claxton

Oct. 18 at Screven Co.

Oct. 25 vs MCA

Nov. 1 at Jenkins Co.


Sultry summers in Savannah have longstanding traditions. A day at the beach, a picnic in Forsyth Park, and the simple pleasure of just about any air-conditioned space short of a medieval torture chamber are among them. A newer one developing over the last few years is a Fourth of July show by the Intracoastal Playboys. Born on July 4, 2022, they’ll play a third birthday show at the Fortaleza Funtime Freedomfest, a joint venture by the friendly neighborhood bars Lone Wolf Lounge, Moodright’s and Over Yonder.

The group has carved out event space behind Lone

Wolf, installed handsome fencing to separate the onceambiguous alleyway, and has been running First Fridays art shows and a handful of ethnic festivals over the past few months. They’ve also held live music on the Fourth before, but this one is their biggest bash yet, with tequila company Fortaleza upping the sponsor ante to new heights and Creature Comforts Brewing chipping in.

The freedom starts flowing at 2 p.m. when Dylan Puckett & All The Fixins pledge their allegiance to The Hagg with a 10-song set of ol’ Merle’s best. It might be too early in the day to hope for “Misery and Gin,” but fingers are crossed, nonetheless. A little less country, but not too rock ’n’ roll, Bottles and Cans follows with bluesy psych garage folk accented by frontman Ray Lundy’s distinct vocal style.

The tempo picks up with the intricate and eye-popping banjo, fiddle and mandolin picking by Swamptooth, Savannah’s bluegrass dominators. If you’ve had a few, you’ll wonder how anyone’s fingers can move like that. But forget that appendage when discussing the Intracoastal Playboys. With eight members and a combined 9,000 years of experience playing music, they’ve got 16 talented hands at work. As per usual, they’re playing a gimmick-free set of classic country.

“We specifically decided not to do anything special,” said Andrew Ripley, Playboys musical director, bassist, and coowner of Lone Wolf Lounge.

It’s a good call if you’ve ever seen them play songs you know and love or songs you didn’t know that you grew to love over four minutes. They do that regularly, and there is no resisting the charm offensive when the combo of Ryan Schimmenti’s crooning and Igor Fiksman’s pedal steel start making love to your earholes.

That competing bars have realized there are more than enough drinkers to go around in Savannah and are working together on a joint venture like this says a lot about the community spirit in Savannah. It doesn’t end with unusual cooperation. Proceeds from the Fortaleza Funtime Freedomfest will benefit The Giving Kitchen, an Atlantabased charity that helps food service and hospitality workers in crisis.

“It’s the perfect charity for us. We’re all in the business and know how tough it can be sometimes,” said David Eduardo, a Moodright’s partner.

The twang doesn’t wane after the Fourth for the Playboys. They have a show at Coach’s Corner lined up for July 26 featuring Jalen Reyes opening with an all-George Jones set. Another summer show is scheduled for August 16 at the Bull Street American Legion ballroom. A benefit for the Sons of the American Legion, the Intracoastal Playboys are joined by two of Savannah’s most popular honky-tonkers, the Anders Thomsen Trio and Damon & The Shitkickers. Thomsen is a well-known Savannah guitar maestro. For more than a decade, Damon and company have treated Savannah to some of the best country shows in town. Between these two bangers, the Playboys ride the massive Cadillac south to Brunswick for a Saturday set at Southern Soul BBQ, a perfect road trip from the Hostess City to a place that serves smoked meat as fine as their taste in music.

“We’re pretty excited for that Brunswick show, and the legion ballroom is a great space to play in,” Ripley added.

Other summer shows of note announced so far include pro bronco rider and songwriter Zach Aaron on July 17 at Over Yonder, the unique rap stylings of MC Chris on July 19 at El Rocko, and Canadian indie rockers The New Pornographers at Victory North on July 27. On the non-music-but-still-a-show front, comedian Sebastian Maniscalco performs at Enmarket Arena on July 19.

As always, for more live music all summer long in Savannah, keep an eye on The Connect Five for the best shows of the week, with an emphasis on indoor, airconditioned bliss.



1. ___ school (doc’s training ground)

4. “___ and the Pussycats”

9. Short story writer H.H. Munro’s pen name 13. Guac source, casually

14. Make changes to 15. “___ say a word” 17. Square

20. Quality of sound 21. Show lots of love

22. Automotive pioneer Benz

23. Online bidding site 26. Tommy Lee Jones, in “Men in Black” 28. Menlo Park surname

31. “Inception” director Christopher 33. Square

35. Caustic cleaning solution

38. Get ready

39. Jr.’s son, sometimes 40. “I’m in the ___ for love”

41. “Delta of Venus” author Anais

42. Square

46. Selected

47. Aisle guides

48. Denver-based “Baby Bell” telephone company until 2000

51. Word before bar or after swan

52. What the world will do on its axis

53. Tail end

56. Certain loaves or whiskeys

60. Square

64. Style where what’s old is new again

65. SAG-AFTRA, for example

66. Lucy of “Elementary”

67. Recolors

68. Element number 54

69. Former “Tonight Show” announcer Hall


1. “Will & Grace” guest star Bomer

2. Cooking acronym popularized by Rachael Ray

3. Like this clue (and many others)

4. “You Are” band Pearl

5. Cockney residence for ‘Enry, maybe 6. In poor shape

7. Enthralled with 8. Update a LinkedIn profile, perhaps 9. “Marry the Girl” (1937) screenwriter Herzig, or “Deadliest Catch” captain Hansen

10. Greet the day

11. 114-chapter holy book

12. Like 68-Across, chemically

16. “Me ___ Pretty One Day” (2000 David Sedaris essay collection)

18. Liam with a particular set of acting skills

19. “Seraph on the Suwanee” novelist Zora ___ Hurston

24. “___ voyage!”

25. Lauren Bacall’s first movie, “To Have ___ Have Not”

27. Long-jawed freshwater fish

28. Home of “SportsCenter”

29. Place to order a sandwich and a huge pickle

30. “___ See Clearly Now”

31. The color of coffee

from a French press?

32. Hurty boo-boo

34. Cherry leftovers

35. Opera house seating section

36. “Habibi (I Need ___ Love)” (2014 single by Shaggy)

37. Dreyer’s ice cream, east of the Rockies

40. “Thanks for coming to the rescue”

42. Nervous speaker’s pause sounds

43. “The Hunchback of ___ Dame”

44. Rapa ___ (Easter Island, to locals)

45. “seaQuest ___” (1990s sci-fi TV series)

46. Middle, in Manitoba

48. “Back in the ___” (Beatles hit)

49. June 1994 release starring Keanu Reeves (yes, it’s 30!)

50. Clever and funny

51. Sap of energy

54. Parisian waters

55. “SNL” guest host Hathaway

57. Christmas season

58. “National Velvet” novelist Bagnold

59. Poker variant

61. ___ Angeles Kings

62. Dove noise

63. Anderson Cooper’s network

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