Participate in the 2018 Tour of Trees & Gingerbread Competition

Love to Deck the Halls and get in the Christmas spirit? We’ve got two fantastic opportunities for Chamber members to participate in some truly fun Christmas events here in Blairsville-Union County! The Tour of Trees and Gingerbread Competition are great ways to engage with the community, spread the word about your business, and celebrate the season.

Tour of Trees
The 2018 Tour of Trees is open to the public from December 1 – 31. Sponsoring a tree or wreath is a wonderful opportunity to create a festive atmosphere at the Union County Community Center throughout the Christmas season and showcase your business to hundreds of visitors and residents. Decorating starts on Monday, November 19, so fill out a registration form and get it back to us ASAP!

Gingerbread Competition
The Gingerbread Competition is a festive and creative way to have a little friendly competition at the Holly Jolly Breakfast with Santa on December 8. Have some fun designing your entry! It doesn’t have to be a house, but it does have to be 75% gingerbread and must be on a sturdy, movable base. Entries must be completed and dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce during business hours on or before December 6. Attendees of the Holly Jolly Breakfast with Santa will vote on their favorites at the event on December 8 and winners will be notified the week of December 10.

Don’t miss out on these great opportunities to celebrate the Christmas season in our community! For applications and more information, contact Chris Coleman at marketing@blairsvillechamber.com or by phone at (706) 745-5789.

Mistletoe Market 2018

It’s hard to believe, as surely many of us still haven’t finished all of the Halloween candy yet, but the Christmas season is rapidly approaching! Most people probably haven’t even started on a Christmas list, much less checked it twice, but there’s no better place to get a jump on your shopping than the 18th Annual Mistletoe Market! This incredible indoor arts and crafts show features local and regional vendors showcasing their distinctive handmade creations, including wood crafts, jewelry, pottery, soap, and much more.

Come on out to the North Georgia Technical College Blairsville on November 17 from 9am – 4pm and November 18 from 11am – 4pm to support local and regional artisans and find some truly unique gifts for your loved ones this year. Admission to the Mistletoe Market is free and there will be a light lunch available for purchase. Learn more on the Chamber website.

Halloween On The Square 2018

Happy Halloween, everyone! Who’s ready for costumes and candy, tricks and treats? There are lots on fun and spooky happenings all over Blairsville-Union County to celebrate, but one of the biggest highlights is Halloween on the Square! We can’t wait to see everyone out on the Downtown Square for Trick-or-Treating, games, costume contests, and more.

This family-friendly event starts at 6:00pm and ends at 8:00pm, businesses can start setting up their booths at 5:30pm. For more information about Halloween on the Square and all of the other events and happenings in our area, visit our Autumn Activities and Events pages.

Best Fall Drives

We are in the thick of Autumn and the trees are really showing off here in Blairsville-Union County! Whether you prefer to hike, bike, or drive, there are some pretty amazing opportunities to come on up and bask in the brilliant fall color. For those who love get out and explore the outdoors, the trails and views around Brasstown Bald, Vogel State Park, and Blood Mountain offer and up-close-and-personal experiences with the natural beauty of our area. However, if you prefer a leisurely drive through the mountains, here are a few of the best routes for enjoying the seasonal scenery…

  • Vogel State Park to Suches via GA-180
  • Vogel State Park to Neel’s Gap via US 19/129
  • Neel’s Gap to Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway via US 19/129 and GA-180
  • Richard B. Russell Scenic Byway to Brasstown Bald
  • Brasstown Bald to Track Rock Gap

For a very detailed account of these routes and some of the history of the sites nearby, check out this great comprehensive guide from The Blue Ridge Highlander. For more details on things to do here in Blairsville-Union County like outdoor activities, festivals, and other events, call the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789 or visit our Autumn Activities page.

Fall Festival at Vogel State Park

Mark your calendars for October 27, because you don’t want to miss the Fall Festival at Vogel State Park! Celebrate Fall in Blairsville with games, prizes, food, and storytelling from 12 pm to 7pm. There will be classic fall festival activities like hayrides and a cake walk as well as a campsite Halloween decoration contest (for those camping at the park.) Here’s the full schedule of events:

12:00 PM: Concessions Opens
1:00 PM: Hayrides (Free)
2:00 PM: Cake Walk ($1 per person/round)
4:00 PM: Rubber Duck Race ($5 per duck)
6:00 PM: Halloween Campsite Decoration Contest (Free)
7:00 PM: Professional Story Telling Begins (Free)

Parking Fee: $5

To learn more about the Fall Festival at Vogel and other events, check out our Autumn Activities page.

Sorghum Festival 2018

October brings us one of the most fun and exciting events of the year, the Blairsville Sorghum Festival! The Sorghum Festival will be held at Meeks Park for two continuous weekends: October 13-14 and October 20-21 from 9am-5pm. Experience one of the most unique traditions in North Georgia – cookin’ sorghum syrup. Live demonstrations on how sorghum syrup was made years ago is the highlight of the festival, but you can also see how an old still makes White Lightning (moonshine). This popular festival will also showcase local arts and crafts, delicious treats and other assorted food vendors, a kids’ area, live music, and of course sorghum syrup.  All weekend you can enter a Biskit’ Eating contest and sop up as many sorghum drenched biscuits as possible. You can also participate in Pole Climbin’, Rock Throwin’, Horseshoe Pitchin’, and Log Sawin’.

Your family can’t ask for a more economical, fun weekend event. Sorghum Festival admission is $4 per person and kids under 12 are FREE. Free parking and shuttles will be available both weekends. Saturday, October 13th the Sorghum Festival Parade will roll through town at 11am with this year’s theme as “Bring Out the Kids…”. You may also choose to finish up your Saturday evenings (Oct. 14th & 21st) with traditional square dancing, an Appalachian tradition, at 8pm in the old middle school gym. Don’t worry, we’ll give you directions! Finally, for all you car lovers the Good Neighbors Car Show will be held on Saturday, October 14th from 8am-4pm at United Community Bank. Enjoy more than 200 collector and antique cars.

Learn more about the Sorghum Festival and more fall fun at our Autumn Activities page.

 

2018 Fall Leaf Peeping

“When is the best time to see the leaves?” We get this question a lot, and the answer is not exactly cut and dry. Usually, the third and fourth week in October is a safe bet. However, there are scientific reasons determining the amount of color we are privileged to see in the autumn season. Let’s take a closer look.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, “The amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. Temperature and moisture are the main influences.” While variations in these two factors ensure that no two autumns are alike, the consensus is that “A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.”

With that said, this fall is sure to be a brilliant one! Make your plans to come visit the North Georgia Mountains from October through November. Some of the best leaf peeping spots in Blairsville-Union County are:

  1. Brasstown Bald – Highest natural point in Georgia. You can see beautiful colors for miles!
  2. Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway – Stunning, meandering road with breathtaking views.
  3. Lake Winfield Scott – The secret of Suches. Take a ride on Hwy 180 for delightful colors.
  4. Vogel State Park – Every angle provides exquisite vegetation for the leaf connoisseur.
  5. Blood Mountain – From the top of the Appalachian Trail, both the views and colors are sublime.

There are no shortages of activities in and around Blairsville-Union County this time of year. From festivals to fundraisers, music to motorcycles, and concerts to culture heritage, there is truly something for everybody! A full list of all the events and event details happening in and around town are available online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com. Here’s a small sampling of upcoming events:

  1. Blairsville Sorghum Festival – Oct. 13th, 14th, 20th, & 21st from 9am-5pm at Meeks Park.
  2. Fall Festival – Oct. 28th from 12pm-7pm at Vogel State Park.
  3. Joshua Dream Ranch Corn Maze – Weekends in October on Hwy 76 just past the VA Clinic.

To keep an eye on the leaf changing over the next few weeks, check out http://gastateparks.org/LeafWatch or https://smokymountains.com/fall-foliage-map/. Both of these websites, and many others, will keep you up-to-date on the expected peak of fall for the North Georgia Mountains.

Indian Summer Festival 2018

October 6th and 7th, come on up to Blairsville-Union County for the Indian Summer Festival in Suches. The festival is held at Woody Gap School – Georgia’s smallest public school. Over the weekend, attendees can enjoy all the family fun that the festival has to offer. Events include a 10k and 5k run, car show, crafts, music and dance performances, and other family activities.

Some notable events include the Run Above the Clouds 10k and 5k run on Saturday. Racers will run a challenging, but scenic, trail through the North Georgia mountains. There’s also a 1-mile fun run over a mostly flat course. You won’t want to miss the Country Square Dance with a live band on Saturday evening starting at 8pm. Tickets for the dance are $6 in advance or $8 at the door.

The fun continues with the crowning of the King and Queen, clogging performances, an auction, and performances of North Georgia mountain music. In between performances, be sure to take time to browse the wonderful vendor booths set up on the grounds. There you can view and purchase handcrafted pottery, leather crafts, folk art, jewelry and more. You can also buy some delicious food and snacks, including pork BBQ plates and sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and all the fixins’, funnel cakes, boiled peanuts, cotton candy, fried apple pies, homemade preserves, and more. Admission for the Indian Summer Festival is $4 for adults, $2 for students, and free for kids under six. Parking is free.

Don’t miss this weekend of family fun in Suches and learn more about everything happening in Blairsville-Union County this fall on our Autumn Activities Page.

 

BEAR Race 2018

Calling all adventure-seekers! The Blairsville Extreme Adventure Race (BEAR) is happening next Saturday, September 22! This 8-hour team race starts at Meeks Park and winds through the mountains, rivers, lakes, trails and beautiful woods surrounding Blairsville-Union County. This is a perfect race for sports or family teams to discover and explore The Greater Outdoors!

Easy to read and simple navigation will take you to some hidden spots around Blairsville. Distances are always based on your teams abilities and speed in adventure racing, but the race includes between 20-30 miles of mountain biking, 5-8 miles of trekking, and 4-8 miles of canoeing. Canoes, paddles and PFDs will be provided, but teams may bring their own paddle gear if placed in paddle bags.

For more details and to sign up today, visit the AR Georgia website. Late Registration ends today, so don’t wait to register!

Fall 2018 Bucket List

Fall is almost officially here, and there’s so much to do here in Blairsville-Union County! The cool mountain temps, amazing outdoor activities, family-friendly events, and welcoming community make our area the perfect place to experience autumn. There is truly something for everyone here, so here are a few suggestions for your Fall Bucket List this year…

Get Outside
The Greater Outdoors are calling! From hiking, camping, and outdoor fun at one of our amazing parks to corn mazes, hay rides, and even a Haunted History Tour, we’re the perfect destination for classic fall activities! We also have some of the most gorgeous fall foliage in the area, perfect for autumn leaf peeping that you won’t want to miss.

Celebrate!
Fall is Festival Season here in Blairsville-Union County, so come on and celebrate with us! Festivals like the Indian Summer Festival, Sorghum Festival, and the Fall Festival at Vogel State Park are great events for the whole family, so mark your calendars.

Eat Up
If you like to eat, you’ll love Blairsville! We have several incredible local restaurants to choose from, serving seasonal favorites from a wide variety of cuisines including Italian, Greek, Cuban, Farm-to-table, Traditional Southern Cooking, and much more!

There’s no better time to escape to the mountains, so check out our Autumn Activities page for more details and suggestions. Happy Fall, Y’all!