What: Fitz Boogie 2015
Where: 168 Paulk Park Rd.
When: March 19th - 22nd
Why: Great People, Great Vibe, Great Skydives
The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie is one of the few stand alone, off DZ, events left. It was born from the original idea Chris Spence had for a backyard boogie, originally held in Bolingbroke,Ga for several years on New Year’s and July 4th. Spence had access to a private airstrip across from his house and would bring in a Cessna 182 for the small events. After a day of jumping there would be food, a bonfire and the occasional adult beverage.
After several years, the event grew too popular to continue at the house. A new location was sought out and RoamingDZ was born. The event was held once in Perry,Ga. before the idea for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie came along shortly followed by the connection to the Dublin,Ga. location. The event thrived for many years in Dublin with attendance growing to over 350 by the third year. That same year the line-up of aircraft included two Casa's, a Caravan, a Pac-750, an Alouette helicopter and a Hot Air Balloon.
Tragedy struck the 4th year of the event when a canopy collision claimed the lives of Bob Holler and Danny Page. The decision was made to relocate the event after this tragedy as local politics made it impossible to enjoy the boogie as in previous years. If not for the support of many of Spence’s skydiving friends this would have been the end of the event.
The St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Boogie was held the following year in St.Marys,Ga and stands as the only event Spence has ever held on an active DZ.
Which brings us to the current location in Fitzgerald, GA. Suggested by a friend while driving around Georgia looking for a new location, Spence went to check out what was said to be the perfect place to have a boogie; and sure enough, it was.
The boogie venue boarders the east side of the Fitzgerald Municipal Airport and their 3000ft turf runway that doubles as the landing area for the skydivers. The area, known as Paulk Park, which includes a reception building that houses registration for the event, as well as check-in for the tandems and a full kitchen to keep all the jumpers well fueled. There are 25 full hookup RV slots as well as plenty of room for camping, on site showers, a washer and dryer, and a 10 acre swoop pond.
A large 40x80 packing tent is set up as well as private group/packing tents.
Pre Boogie starts on Monday the 16th this year with early arrivals and a fun laid back atmosphere through the setup. You can choose from cooking out with friends, hanging out around the campfires or heading to town for some good eats. We'll have a list of the best places to try.
The official start of the boogie is Thursday morning, but with this year’s response we might be able to get a few loads in the air on Wednesday. The boogie generally starts out kind of mild as people begin to arrive as they can, with Friday night bringing a huge influx. By Saturday morning registration is typically well over 200 and I highly expect it to approach 300 this year.
Over the years the event has acted as a meeting place for members of Dropzone.com, and there is currently a thread in the forums where users who plan to attend this year's event can place their name. Currently, there are more than 20 site members who plan to attend the 12th Annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration Boogie
What's in store for this year?
So far the aircraft line-up includes: the Twin Otter from Skydive Atlanta, the Beech 99 from Skydive the Farm (this may to turn into an Otter), a JetRanger helicopter and a Hot Air Balloon. It's possible a third aircraft will be added.
We generally have organizers for most disciplines, and if you can't find an "organizer" I guarantee you can find someone to jump with because that's the kind of jumpers that come to Fitz.
Nightly bonfires are an annual tradition. Thursday night tends to be pretty laid back. Friday night features Robby Rob and friends on the mic for entertainment, kind of an open mic/bonfire sing along. Saturday night will have a live band, St. Patrick’s themed party costumes, the ever famous/infamous Stupid Human Skydiver Tricks and a manufacturers sponsored fund raising raffle.
Thanks goes out to the following manufacturers for providing raffle donations:
Aerodyne - $1,300 off a complete system
Chuting Star - to be announced, plus swag
Square1 - Gift Certificate and swag
Para-Gear - 2x $25 Gift certificates, plus Swag
Bevsuits - 25% off a Bevsuit
Compass & Crow Studios - $100 & $75 Gift Certificates!
Cookie - 50% off a G3 helmet voucher
iFly - Voucher for tunnel time good at any location
Peregrine Manuf. - $250 of upgrades / options on a new Glide
UPT - 2x 30% off base, 15% off options certificates
Sunrise Manufacturing - 2x 50% off Base price on a Wings
Mountain Khakis - to be announced.
Proceeds will be going to a breast cancer organization, yet to be determined. More information can be found at http://FitzBoogie.com/