Savannah Film Festival

Trustee Theater-Home of the Savannah Film Fest

Trustee Theater is one of the homes of the Savannah Film Festival. Photo courtesy of www.filmfest.scad.edu.

We have mentioned that Savannah has quite a lot of festivals throughout the year celebrating different cultures, foods and holidays. Every October, the best and brightest in filmmaking come to Savannah to be part of the Savannah Film Festival. This is the 15th year for the festival, which is hosted by Savannah College of Art & Design. The festival opened on October 27th and runs through November 3rd.

The Savannah Film Festival welcomes 40,000 people over the seven day festival to the city of Savannah. There are competition film screenings, special screenings (such as previews of new movies), workshops, panel and lectures. The festival honors professional and amateur filmmakers from around the world. There is even an “Audience Choice Award” where the public can vote on their choice of favorites for documentaries, shorts and feature films.

Each year, the festival honors a group of actors and actresses and the work that they have done or are currently doing. Past honorees include Liam Neeson, Sir Ian McKellan, Oliver Stone, Ray Liotta, James Marsden, Ellen Barkin, and Woody Harrleson to just name a few. This year’s honorees are John Goodman, Stan Lee, Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Michele Monaghan and Geoffrey Fletcher.

The majority of the screenings during the film festival are held at two theaters in downtown Savannah: The Lucas Theater and the Trustees Theater. Both of the theaters are iconic parts of downtown Savannah. You can still purchase tickets and special passes for events and movie screenings for the film festival online. Get out and enjoy this great festival. You never know who you might run into at a screening!

Spooky Savannah

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Savannah is rich in history and hauntings! The hauntings are receiving much more attention this time of year, but they last all year-long. That is why Savannah is always on the top of the lists from many travel and news sites for most haunted cities for the last decade.  Savannah was founded in 1733. Its city squares were built on old Indian burial grounds. The “newer” homes (dating only a hundred to two hundred years old) were built upon old gravesites of battles during the Revolutionary War, Civil War and for victims of the cities many Yellow Fever epidemics. No wonder the city is considered to be haunted; it has been involved and surrounded by many episodes of death, sickness and then resurgence!  Savannah has become a favorite place to visit for its historic sites and warm weather as well as for ghostly adventures.

There are so many haunted buildings and businesses, squares and homes in Savannah that I can just name a few in this blog post.  The Moon River Brewing Company  is named by US Today as one of the 10 great haunted places in the US. The staff could share ghost stories and even “Ghost Adventurers” have made a visit to the Brewery and Restaurant. The Marshall House  is one of Savannah’s oldest standing hotels. Built in 1851, this hotel has served as a hospital during the Civil War and outbreaks of the Yellow Fever epidemic in the mid and late 1800’s. Certain rooms are said to be haunted by the many nurses who cared for the sick during those turbulent times. The Sorrel-Weed House  was built in 1836 on the site of a mass unmarked gravesite of soldiers from the Siege of Savannah during the Revolutionary War. There are many historic cemeteries throughout the city including the Colonial Park Cemetery and the famous Bonaventure Cemetery. You can take tours of the Bonaventure Cemetery to see the famous inhabitants and the beautiful memorials.

There are many ghost tour companies in Savannah that will take you into the past and visit the haunted places in the historic district and beyond. These tours are especially busy this time of year, but taking one of the tours during the summer is just as fascinating. The tour guides take you on a tour (either walking, via trolley or even a hearse) of the various haunted places in the city. Each tour focuses on a specific area of the city and its historic significance.

Whether you just want to see beautiful historic buildings, walk around beautiful squares and eat at some great restaurants or if you are looking to have a ghostly encounter, then Savannah is the place to visit! Happy Hauntings!!

Autumn in Savannah

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Autumn is a busy time of the year in the Savannah area. While the temperature is actually still warm compared to the weather in other parts of the country, it is beginning to cool down a bit and the nights are actually much more pleasant.  The fall season is actually different in Savannah than you would find in a good portion of the country because Savannah is more of a tropical locale. Unfortunately, Savannah does not get to see the vibrant colors of the fall. Most of the trees and foliage in Savannah do not actually lose color in the fall. Most trees stay green to at least January, when the landscape turns brown or grey for just a few months until spring arrives. In Savannah, the year is filled with food, music, art and family festivals  and there are quite a lot of things to do in the autumn.

Savannah also has some special fall food festivals celebrating all the cultures that make Savannah a great city. The Jewish Food Festival is being held at Forsythe Park on October 28th and the 61st Annual Greek Festival was just held last weekend at St. Paul’s Hellenic Center. The Savannah Tourism Leadership Council hosts the Taste of Savannah at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center on November 8, 2012. A fall food staple in Savannah is the oyster roast.  Oysters are plentiful in the Low Country, making these roasts a tradition in Savannah for decades. Plus, this is a great way for family and friends to get together and enjoy great food. The oysters are best roasted over an open fire until they just open up. The rest of the feast will include cornbread, coleslaw or potato salad, saltine crackers and dipping sauces for the oysters.

Every community around the Savannah area has fall festivals for crafts, food and family fun. Fall is also the time to cheer for your favorite high school, college or professional football team. The University of Georgia Bulldogs are a big favorite in the Savannah area. They have a 5-1 record so far this season and 3-1 in the SEC (South Eastern Conference). The Football Classic Game against the Florida State Gators is a huge annual event with activities all weekend. The game is October 27th in Jacksonville. The pre-game and tailgating festivities are dubbed “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party”.  This event has been voted one of the best tailgating events in the United States! Even if you are not at the actual event, you are celebrating and watching the game from home.

The fall months are also busy for indoor activities including the Savannah Folk Festival to the Savannah Film Festival. There is so much to do and see in the city of Savannah in the fall. Get out and enjoy the great weather and cheer on your favorite team!

Items NOT to Store in Self Storage

Do not store aerosol cans in self storage

Stop N Stor  is your one-stop self storage solution in the Port Wentworth, Savannah and Hinesville areas. We have talked about how self storage is a great option for storing personal and business items.  You can store nearly anything in a self storage unit from business files to family heirlooms to construction equipment and tools. However, there are certain items that should NOT be stored in a self storage unit. These items are the same for most storage facilities across North America. Some states might have different laws pertaining to items stored in a storage unit, so check with the facility management and your read your contract before you move your items into storage.

All storage facilities have lists of what you can or cannot store in their units. This “Do Not Store” list will help you when you are planning on renting a storage unit.

1. Perishable items-Do not store any type of perishable items in your storage units. The food could spoil very quickly in a storage unit. This will attract bugs and other unwanted vermin.

2. Plants and Living Items-This should be a given, but it has appeared not to be in certain parts of the country. NEVER store animals in a storage unit! They do not have proper ventilation, oxygen or light when in a storage unit. The same goes for plants. They cannot survive in a dark environment without light. Plants and Animals can also invite bugs and vermin to the storage unit.

3. Flammable or Combustible Items-Cleaning fluids, paint thinners, gas, oil or anything in an aerosol can should not be stored in a self storage unit. This also includes fireworks. These items can burst into flames when under a lot of pressure from extreme heat.

4. Toxic, Hazardous or Illegal substances– Do not store chemicals, fertilizers, or radioactive medical supplies in a self storage unit. The items could cause a fire or chemical spill in or around the storage unit.

5. Valuable Items-Do not store valuable items such as jewelry, coins or precious metals in a storage unit. These are higher risk items and could be in danger of being stolen.  These items would be better to be stored in a safe deposit box.

6. Illegal Items-Another one that should be pretty obvious, but yet you still see stories about storing illegal or stolen items in a storage unit.  Some states prohibit the storing of firearms and ammunition. This could also include antique firearms.

Check with your local storage facility for their lists of “banned” items. Don’t risk your health and your personal belongings as well as the health and property of the other renters around you by storing these banned items.

Storage Auction Tips

Bidding on a storage unit

Let the bidding begin!

Storage unit auctions continue to be a popular hobby. Thanks to the popularity of Storage Wars and Auction Hunters, the crowds at storage auctions across the country have grown. The participants are looking for that “treasure in the trash”. It is important to keep in mind that storage unit auctions happen because renters default on the rent payment for the storage unit. The facility owners notify the renters far in advance (as well as multiple times) that their unit is going up for auction. The facility management is trying to recoup the lost rent on the unit by putting it up for auction. In most states, the highest amount bid on the unit is the total amount owed on the storage unit. In the majority of cases, the amount that is bid on the storage unit in auction is lower than the amount that is owned on the storage unit.

If you are new to going to storage auctions, there are some good tips to follow when attending and bidding on storage unit auctions. We have mentioned before that you will need to bring cash, a flashlight and a way to remove the items in the unit you have purchased. If you are bidding on other units at the storage facility, you will also need to bring locks to lock up your new possessions. You will have 24-48 hours to remove the items from your storage unit. When attending storage units it is important to have a strategy and a set budget in mind. Don’t over bid on units your first time out. Do your research on the neighborhood of the facility and the possible value of items in a storage unit. Also, have a plan in mind about what you are going to do with the items that you just bought. Are you planning on reselling them to make a profit? Then, you will need to figure out where to sell them and how much value they have.

There are some things that you can look for when you get your brief glance at a storage unit during the auction process. Following some of these guidelines will help you in making the correct bids.

1. Look at the organization of the storage unit. If the boxes are stacked nicely in similar sized boxes, it means that someone took the time and care with their items. If the items are in trash bags and flimsy boxes, then they might not contain valuable items.

2. Are the boxes in the storage unit labeled with the contents? If there are contents written on the boxes, that could give a hint to what is inside the boxes.

3. Spot the most identifiable object in the storage unit when you are getting your brief glance at the unit. This would include electronics boxes, tools, construction equipment or even musical instrument cases. Units that have a lot of commercial business items could be very good for resale value.

4. If there is a general layer of dust and dirt covering the items in the unit, it could mean that the items have been there for a while and could be valuable.

5.   Watch the other bidders for their reactions to the items in the storage unit. Hopefully, they will not be “bluffing” in their reaction to raise the bidding amount. Don’t fall for that type of games. Stick to your set budget!

Stop N Stor  has storage auctions for its Port Wentworth, Savannah and Hinesville locations. Keep up with auction information via our Facebook Page, Twitter Page and this blog! Happy Treasure Hunting!