Activities surround Kirbo’s opening

Published 6:52 pm Friday, October 17, 2008

Before the actual dedication of The Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center Sunday, Oct. 26, on the Main Campus at Bainbridge College, the citizens of Southwest Georgia can enjoy a week of special events, all open to the public free of charge.

The dedication event starts at 3 p.m. and will include the inaugural performance on the center’s grand piano, a reception and time to tour the facility.

Events kick off 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, with Blue Holler, a South Georgia Bluegrass group, and a Swamp Gravy cast performance in the 508-seat auditorium.

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For this and the Oct. 26 dedication, overflow guests can be accommodated in the 300-seat dining facility that will provide closed-circuit viewing.

Three performances by Balalaika, a Russian folk music group, are sponsored by the Bainbridge College Foundation. Balalaika will perform Friday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. in the Kirbo Center, at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28, in the atrium of the BC Early County Site, and at noon Wednesday, Oct. 29, in the Kirbo Center.

The first major event in the center, the 10th Annual Georgia Literary Festival will feature more than 20 Southern authors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.

Vendor booths open at 9 a.m. and programs start at 10 a.m. with different programs in four venues. This is the first time the statewide festival has been in south Georgia and has its materials in Braille.

From mystery, humor and science fiction to poetry, sports and children’s books, events will include readings, question/answer sessions, book signing, performances, plenty of planned activities for children, book vendors and more. The festival schedule is at

Featured presenters are Blakely native and NBC news correspondent Jay Barbree, who has covered every manned U.S. space flight, and Joye Cauthen, who will perform as Caroline Miller, Georgia’s first writer to receive a Pulitzer Prize.

Also presenting will be humorous essayist Bailey White of Thomasville, New York Times best-selling author Doug Blackmon, author of “Slavery by Another Name,” Atlanta Braves bullpen coach Bobby Dews, and award-winning science fiction writer Jack McDevitt of Brunswick.

Bainbridge native and former Secretary of State Cathy Cox is keynote speaker. She is president of Young Harris College, which hosted the 2007 festival.

Although not at the Kirbo Center, the college’s traditional Fall Coffee House/Literary Contest is to be Oct. 23 in the Student Center starting at 6 p.m. Students will read their original poems, essays or short, short stories.