County commissioners planning to recognize Palatka Young Professionals

The Board of County Commissioners will recognize Palatka Young Professionals on Tuesday after the group successfully revived the Blue Crab Festival two weeks ago.

The group took on the festival after it looked like it would be canceled for a second consecutive year. In just 109 days, it managed to organize vendors, attractions and entertainment and draw tens of thousands of people to the St. Johns riverfront.

This year’s Blue Crab Festival, its 30th edition, was well received by the public, many of whom were initially skeptical by the short timeframe in which to plan it. Palatka Young Professionals plan to organize next year’s festival.

Since it wrapped up after Memorial Day weekend, Palatka Young Professionals have begun to receive public recognition, first by the Putnam County School District earlier this week.

County commissioners have been looking to show their appreciation to the group for its effort to revive the festival since its May 28 meeting. 

“I want to echo what everyone said about the Blue Crab Festival. It was as good as it can be,” Commissioner Terry Turner said at that meeting. 

Commissioners will also vote on a resolution to name the entrance road to a community developed by Habitat for Humanity after the late philanthropist Frank V. Oliver, whose eponymous charity fund donated thousands of dollars to build.

The community, called Veterans Village, will be a subdivision in Palatka designed for honorably discharged veterans. Construction of the road broke ground earlier this year.

The project took four years of fundraising before construction could begin, including $40,000 from the Frank V. Oliver Jr. Fund at the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida.

Many of the veterans who will live in the community are people Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Ramicah Johnson said fell through the cracks after not qualifying for existing programs.

“We met a lot of veterans who were living with a family member or in an old dilapidated trailer on someone else’s property, and we can only help if there was an actual homeowner,” Johnson said in February.

Naming the street after Oliver is a way for the organization to honor his legacy and the contributions the fund has made to other organizations and projects in Putnam County.

The meeting will take place 9 a.m. Tuesday at the Putnam County Government Complex.

Palatka Daily News

1825 St. Johns Ave.
Palatka, FL 32177
(386) 312-5200


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