By Shannon Sneed
The Eatonton Messenger
September 19, 2019
Uncle Remus has taken his Briar Patch tales to the courthouse square, bringing with him his fabled critters and the little boy.
Characters made famous by Eatonton native Joel Chandler Harris, the beloved storyteller and critters sit immortalized in wooden form on a bench at the historical Putnam County Courthouse in Eatonton. Br’er Rabbit holds on to the arm of one end of the bench listening intently while Br’er Possum and Br’er Coon sit nearby. The little boy sits in front of him, a look of mesmerized interest carved on his face.
The Eatonton Putnam Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 13 where organizers unveiled an audio solar box to make the experience more memorable. That story box features the story of “How Br’er Rabbit Lost His Tail,” as told by local storyteller Georgia Benjamin Smith.
The iconic display is the third phase of the pocket park project coordinated through the Eatonton Putnam Tourism Department, made possible by a matching grant from the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
The Critters on the Square were the grandest of the projects at a cost of $24,000.
Other wooden sculptures, all of which were carved by Chris Lantz of Extreme Sculpting, have already been located at The Uncle Remus Museum and The Briar Patch Park. Those projects, also funded by a matched grant from the GDEcD, were about $12,000 each.
COC president, Roddie Anne Blackwell, said that several people worked together to make the new pocket park possible and come to life.
Blackwell noted that Caroline Figiel of Creative Digital helped create the audio solar box; Rafi San Inocencio of Rafasan Music recorded and edited the story as told by Smith; the city and county officials gave much support for the project; and Anthony Frazier of Putnam County Public Works was instrumental in getting the sculptures placed correctly.
“Within the following month, more landscaping will be added to the area,” Blackwell said.
For more information regarding these projects, feel free to contact the Chamber at (706)485- 7701 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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