Monthly Archives: November 2016

Union General Receives Patient Safety Award 2 Years in a Row!

In Blairsville-Union County, you can rest assured that we’ll take care of you. Even in the event of a medical emergency, you’re in good hands here. The capable and highly qualified doctors and staff at Union General Hospital are here for you!

In fact, Union General was recently recognized with a Patient Safety Award for the second year in a row! This year’s award was in recognition of the hospital’s project to reduce hospital readmissions. Union General even received 2nd place in the Hospitals Under 100 Beds category!

This award is given by the Georgia Hospital Association Research and Education Foundation and PHA congratulating Union General for outstanding efforts in creating and maintaining a culture of safety and encouraging the prevention and reporting of errors to improve healthcare in Georgia.

Way to go Union General, keep up the great work!

What we’re thankful for…

Thanksgiving is the time to pause and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for. Here at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce, we are so thankful that we couldn’t possibly fit it all in one blog post. 2016 has been a big year for our area, and as we take stock of a year that has seen growth all around, we just wanted to take a minute to say a huge “Thank You” to everyone who made that possible. From record-breaking crowds at events to the many new businesses that opened their doors this year and the continued success of so many existing businesses, none of that would be possible without the good people of Blairsville-Union County.

Business owners, employees, customers and patrons all play a vital role in keeping our community not just up and running, but growing and thriving. All of the festivals and special events that go on in our area wouldn’t amount to much without the people who care enough to put in the time and effort it takes to make those events so special. Whether you’re graciously volunteering your time or just doing your job, people here genuinely care about their town and getting things done the right way, and that’s part of what makes Blairsville so special. We are truly blessed to live in a place where people take the idea of community so seriously.

There’s nowhere quite like Blairsville, and that has as much (if not more) to do with the amazing people who make up this community as it does the beautiful mountains and lakes that surround us. So, as you gather with your family, friends, and loved ones this Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks for the big things, the little things, and everything in-between. We’re certainly counting our blessings this year, and it’s all thanks to YOU!

Hometown Holiday Shopping Event

The Christmas season is fast approaching, and so is the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday. It seems like the sales, and in some cases the crowds, get crazier every year! While we certainly salute the Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping warriors, the local businesses here in Blairsville offer a unique opportunity to get ahead on your Christmas shopping. Just prior to Thanksgiving, the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce hosts a Hometown Holiday Shopping event where patrons to participating business can get a jump start on seasonal shopping. To get your coupons for participating merchants, you can either:

  1. Go to, click on “request a Newsletter” and subscribe to Buy Local Coupons & Events.  The coupons will be emailed to you prior to the Buy Local Holiday Shopping Event Weekend.
  2. Give us a call at 706-745-5789.
  3. Visit the Chamber offices to pick up your coupons.

This year, the Hometown Holiday Shopping event takes place from November 17th-19th. This provides the perfect opportunity for our local retailers to beat the “big guys” to the holiday rush. So, before you wait in the long Black Friday lines or cross your fingers that your internet connection is fast enough on Cyber Monday, make your lists, check them twice, and Buy Local this holiday season!

In addition to the Hometown Holiday Shopping event, the Mountain Regional Arts and Crafts Guild will host their annual Mistletoe Market on November 19th and 20th where you can buy the finest in mountain arts and crafts. Whatever your style of “shop ‘til you drop” might be, Blairsville-Union County has plenty of options during this wonderful season! For more information about these events and more, contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 1-877-745-5789 or visit us at

Ho Ho Ho, What do you know?

Blairsville-Union County is not your average sleepy mountain town. There seems to always be something going on in these mountains. As we wind down on a fun, fall season, full of festivals and music, we look ahead to cooler days, crackling fires and special holidays.

Cooler days mean outdoor adventures and exploring. Choose one of many hiking trails on or adjacent to the Appalachian Trail, down to waterfalls, or even up to the highest peak in Georgia. From moderate to extreme and short to long, hiking trails are abundant in and around Blairsville-Union County. Consider a short hike to Helton Creek Falls or Wolf Creek Falls at Vogel State Park. Maybe choose a more moderate hike to the summit of Georgia’s highest mountain, Brasstown Bald rising 4,784 ft above sea level. For a more strenuous challenge, hit the Appalachian Trail at the top of Neel’s Gap and conquer Blood Mountain.

Whether you decide to camp or rent a cozy cabin, a warm crackling fire is in order this time of year. From rustic to chic, you can find a cabin on the banks of the Nottely River or on a mountaintop with endless vistas. With 90% of the county protected by the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, you have your choice of prime campgrounds. The act of gathering around a fire dates back to prehistoric times. So, unplug your phone, grab a bag of marshmallows and enjoy that mesmerizing glow of the fire with your loved ones.

So, now you know that as the last leaf falls off the trees and cold air nips at your nose, you can keep busy or unplug, shop till you drop or rejoice with the holiday season. Blairsville-Union County has everything you need for a well rounded mountain vacation with your family and friends. For more information about camping, hiking, lodging, events or area information call 706-745-5789, check out, or stop by the Welcome Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road in Blairsville.

‘Twas the month before Christmas

‘Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the town
People were shopping and running around
The smart ones bought local, and others online
There were some amazing hot deals from the Chamber you see
Some are 50% off and some are Buy One, Get One Free!

Hometown Holiday Shopping is just before Thanksgiving
With 31 participating businesses, you’ll see how much you’re saving.
In early December there is a Stop and Shop at the Civic Center.
Get your coats and gloves out, because now it’s winter.
During that time, we are proud to say
The Kris Kringle Market will be under way.
From crafters and vendors and lots of live music,
enjoy a s’more, see Santa, it’s really therapeutic.

The Tour of Trees can be seen at the Union County Community Center
The doors are open 7 days a week so feel free to enter.
The Historical Courthouse has plenty to see
With an Open House, Christmas Parade and concerts for free!
Trees will be lit from Blairsville to Vogel
Christmas is simply a great time to be a Union County local.

Our favorite event of the year
is the Holly Jolly Christmas,
An event that is filled with cheer.
There will be games, refreshments and trees
but best of all is Mr. and Mrs. Claus
for all the big and little kids to see.

Festive and fun with savings galore
There’s even Caroling on the Square,
Blairsville-Union County has it all!
There is so much around you can’t even perceive it
Blairsville-Union County – Believe It!

Hometown Holiday Shopping – November 17th, 18th, & 19th
Three days of holiday shopping excitement and savings from your favorite Chamber member businesses! For more information, visit

Tour of Trees – December 1-31, 9am-5pm, Union County Community Center
Over 30 beautifully decorated trees and wreaths by local businesses on display throughout the Union County Community Center.

Blairsville Stop and Shop – Friday December 2nd and Saturday December 3rd from 11am – 7pm at the Union County Civic Center.
There will be over 50 home-based business vendors there to cover all your shopping needs.  SANTA CLAUS WILL BE THERE FRIDAY NIGHT FROM 5PM – 7PM. For more information, contact Sharon Penner at 770-789-2044.

Kris Kringle Market – Saturday, December 3rd from 10am-3pm at the Union County Farmers Market.
Enjoy a visit to the European Outdoor Holiday Market right here in the North Georgia Mountains! Music, Children’s Area, more than 60 Vendors with Produce, Crafts, Art, Handmade Gifts & Delicious Food Creations, Roast Chestnuts, Sing Carols, Sit on Santa’s Lap, Warm up by a Bonfire with S’mores. For more information, visit

Christmas Parade/Open House/Pictures with Santa – Saturday, December 3rd, Downtown Blairsville.
Restored Butt-Mock House (1906) at the Mountain Life Museum Center open house from 11am-4pm. Included in the Open House will be the Payne Cabin (1861) which represents Union County life in the mid-1800’s. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Enjoy cookies, cakes and drinks! All of the exhibits at The Old Courthouse will be open during the day. Pictures with Santa are from 1-3 in the Historic Courthouse, the Christmas Parade with the arrival of Santa Claus is at 4pm, the Tree Lighting Ceremony on The Square to follow the parade.

Concerts at the Courthouse:
Friday, December 2nd – North Georgia Symphony
Friday, December 9th – Christmas Handbell Ringing with The Valley River Ringers
Friday, December 16th – Special Christmas Concert with W. Gordon Graff
For more information, visit

Holly Jolly Christmas – Saturday, December 10th, 3pm-6pm, Union County Community Center.
Beautiful decorated trees, face painting, storytelling, children’s crafts, Santa Claus, and refreshments. For more information, visit

Christmas Tree Lighting at Vogel State Park – Saturday, December 10th, 4pm-7pm
Enjoy the tree lighting, caroling, hayrides, a bonfire, and Santa Clause!

Caroling on the Square – Tuesday, December 20th, 5:30pm-6:30pm. Downtown Blairsville.
Join us for some old-fashioned Christmas Caroling in downtown Blairsville. Sing with us or sit and enjoy the sounds of the season! For more information, visit

For more ideas on winter activities and detailed local area information including dining, lodging, and upcoming event information please stop by The Welcome Center located in the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road, call 706-745-5789, email or visit us online at