Category Archives: Blairsville Festivals

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Celebrate July 4th in Blairsville!

This Independence Day, come and celebrate with us in Blairsville-Union County! From family activities and fireworks to BBQ and live music, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. This year, we’re starting the party early with our annual Boat Parade at Lake Nottely on June 30, so mark your calendars and make arrangements to join us in celebrating the birth of this Great Nation and the brave and courageous people who have fought and still fight to preserve our freedom. Here’s a quick rundown of everything happening this Independence Day…

Independence Day at Vogel State Park
July 4, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Vogel State Park

Fireworks and BBQ
July 4, 6:30 PM – 10:15 PM
First Methodist Blairsville

Independence Day Fireworks
July 4, 9:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Meeks Park

Woody Gap Fireworks
July 4, 5:30pm-10pm
Woody Gap in Suches

For a complete listing of everything happening this Independence Day, and all summer long, check out our Summer Activities page. We hope that everyone has a fun and safe July 4th!

Watercraft at Vogel

School’s Out! Now What? 5 Free Things to Do in Blairsville-Union County

Students all over the state are rejoicing in the freedom and carefree schedule of summer, while parents all over the state are scrambling to figure out what to do with these students now that they’ve got with a LOT more free time on their hands. Never fear, Blairsville-Union County is here with some great FREE suggestions for things to do with your kids this summer! Whether you’re trying to fill a long weekend or in dire need of a day trip, here are just a few options for free family-friendly fun in our area…

Outside adventure: Picnic and a hike
When planning a trip to North Georgia, take some time to enjoy all the picturesque nature sites. There are so many free activities waiting for you just outside your door. Helton Creek Falls is south of Blairsville off of Hwy 19/129. This hike is only 0.6 miles long, perfect for kids of any age. Be sure to pack a lunch because the falls offer a great site for a picnic. See more options on our Hiking page.

Learn something new: Alpaca Farms
Spend an afternoon getting to know an animal not common to North Georgia, Alpacas. At the Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm or Jerae’s Unity Alpacas you can do just that. Be sure to stop by the gift stores for a selection of handcrafted jewelry and products made from Alpaca fiber. Entrance is free to both farms, but donations are welcomed. For both locations, please call or email ahead to make an appointment.

Treasure hunt: Geocaching
Geocaching has become an international pastime for family fun. Using a GPS device, enter in coordinates and follow the clues to a hidden cache. This is a fun way to get to know a new area, or appreciate all that your own neighborhood has to offer. There are plenty of Geocaches to discover in Blairsville, including one that takes you in and around the Union County Public Library.

Relax on the water: Lake trip
Lake Nottely offers a breathtaking alpine experience for residents and visitors just northwest of Blairsville. Or stay on shore and have a picnic at one of the parks surrounding the lake. Another option is Lake Winfield Scott which offers hiking, swimming, boating, and camping year round.

Fun times at the festival
In a tight community like Blairsville, there are festivals all year round where you can enjoy local crafters, fair food, and activities for the whole family (though not everything at these festivals is free). Check out our Festivals page for more information on upcoming festivals.

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Scottish Festival 2018

It’s here! The time has come once again for Blairsville-Union County’s most popular festival, the annual Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games! At this event, We highlight our area’s heritage with traditional games, Highland music and dancing, food with a Scottish flare, and much more! Visit workshops to learn how to play the bagpipes. Discover your “clan” and learn about the rich Scottish roots of the area. Watch animal demonstrations like border collies herding sheep and falcons swooping on their “prey”. Take your wee ones to get their faces painted or go on a train ride. This festival gets bigger and bigger every year, and this year there’s a Gaelic Gallop Race and Fun Run to get things started!

The festival starts on Saturday, June 9 and continues through Sunday, June 10, so clear your schedule and head to Blairsville-Union County this weekend! Visit www.blairsvillescottishfestival.org or contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce for more details.

Parade Float Square

Celebrate Memorial Day Weekend in Blairsville!

Still working on your plans for Memorial Day weekend? Come and celebrate with us in Blairsville, we’ll have something for every member of the family to enjoy! Here’s a quick rundown of just a few of the events happening in our area this weekend…

2018 Spring Arts, Crafts and Music Festival
Saturday, May 26 & Sunday, May 27 – 10am – 5pm
Downtown Blairsville comes alive with arts, crafts, music, food and more! This festival features over 60 vendors and a variety of food and music to enjoy.
Learn more about the 2018 Spring Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival.

Memorial Day Parade 
Saturday, May 26 – 10am
Join us in Downtown Blairsville for a patriotic event you won’t want to miss!
Learn more about the Memorial Day Parade.

For a full listing of events and other happenings in Blairsville-Union County, visit our events page.

Don’t Miss the 1st Annual Gaelic Gallop!

Run with a kilt for a good cause at the Gaelic Gallop 5K & 1 mi Fun Run/Walk, in conjunction with the Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games. Taking place on Saturday, June 9 at North Georgia Technical College’s Blairsville Campus, the race route runs from NGTC through Meeks Park and back. Runners of all ages can join in the fun, awards will be given to overall and all age group winners. All racers will get a pass to attend the Scottish Festival and a race tank top. Registration starts at 7 am, the race is on at 8 am! For pricing and more information about the Gaelic Gallop, visit the Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games.

Bil Lepp telling at the 2017 Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival -- photo by Nathan Baerreis

Become Part of the Story at the Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival!

Many travelers don’t realize that Georgia has mountains–wild, beautiful, and home to a rich legacy of Appalachian culture. Minutes away from Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia, but only two hours from Atlanta, Union County Schools Fine Arts Center in Blairsville, GA, will celebrate Appalachian culture, particularly the spoken word tradition, by hosting the fourth annual Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival on 13-14 April 2018. The festival will showcase the art of Southern storytelling with a particular focus on Appalachian stories, both traditional and contemporary. The GMSF offers storytelling and musical performances, children’s events, and workshops.

In addition, The Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival will offer a free workshop for veterans titled “Story Medicine: Healing through Storytelling.” “As part of our mission of bringing storytelling to underserved audiences, we are developing community outreach programs to meet the needs of specific groups in our region for whom storytelling can be a source of healing: veterans, those affected by terminal illness, and victims of domestic abuse, for example. This year, we will offer an intensive workshop for military veterans,” said Ruth Looper, festival co-director. “Sharing stories about wartime experiences, whether verbally or in writing, is widely recognized as an important mechanism for healing. New York City’s Warrior Writing Project, the Veterans Writing Projects at VA medical centers in San Diego and Washington, D.C., and The Telling Project in Seattle have enabled thousands of veterans to speak about and come to terms with their experiences. Veterans living in rural communities like ours have less access to these kinds of programs, and we aim to change that.”

This interactive workshop will combine listening, writing, sharing, and discussion in small and large groups. Participants will be given the tools to increase mindfulness and develop a sense of belonging, a capacity for personal reflection, healthy emotional outlets, and a livelier imagination. The workshop will be led by Regi Carpenter (www.regicarpenter.com), a professional storyteller and workshop facilitator who has presented her therapeutic workshops throughout the United States, South America, and Asia for hospice organizations, non-profits, hospitals, veterans, cancer treatment centers, and bereavement organizations.

This free workshop will take place Sunday, April 15, from 2-5 PM at the Union County Community Center in Blairsville, Georgia. Seating is limited, so please sign up early by emailing info@gamountainstoryfest.org. Workshop participants will also receive free tickets to this year’s Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival.

About Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival, Inc.

Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing meaningful opportunities for an underserved audience to engage with storytelling through hearing stories and attending workshops that will develop their cultural intelligence through the arts of listening and speaking. We celebrate a variety of diverse traditions while showcasing the voices of Appalachia.  For more information, go to www.gamountainstoryfest.org.

Scottish Fest Family Square

Spring Festival Preview 2018

The official start of Spring is just around the corner, which means that it’s almost festival season in Blairsville-Union County! You’ll find something for every member of the family at these fun and festive events, from storytelling and music to arts and crafts and games. These festivals celebrate the rich history of our area and provide great opportunities for visitors to experience and explore all that Blairsville has to offer. Without further adieu, here’s a quick preview of the festivals coming up this spring…

Georgia Mountain Storytelling Festival
April 13 & 14
www.gamountainstoryfest.org

Blairsville Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival
May 26 & 27, 10am-5pm
www.unioncountyhistory.org

Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games
June 9 & 10, 9am-5pm
www.blairsvillescottishfestival.org

Be sure to mark your calendars for these awesome festivals, we’d love to see you there!

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Top 10 things to do in Blairsville-Union County for 2018

1. Eat collard greens & black eyed peas
After all, it’s a southern tradition. Eat these as your first meal for the New Year and you will increase your luck and prosperity for the year ahead. Let the Chamber connect you with local farmers so all your meals are sure to be fresh.

2. Hike Brasstown Bald
Experience the wonders of nature at 4,784 feet above sea level. Get your blood pumping and oxygen flowing through your lungs with this moderate difficulty 0.6 mile Summit hike.

3. Wear a kilt at the Scottish Festival
You don’t have to be Scottish to wear a kilt. Find out your tartan colors, enjoy the Highland Games and nosh on some Scottish delicacies the second weekend in June.

4. Fly fish on the Nottely River
Brown trout, rainbow trout, and native trout are abundant in our freshwater mountain streams. Grab some flies and a pole and head out to the headwaters of the Nottely River, Coopers Creek, or Rock Creek for premier trout fishing.

5. Sip Moonshine
You can’t visit the south without tasting our famous moonshine. Grandaddy Mimms’ moonshine recipe has been passed down through the generations since the days of prohibition. Swing by the moonshine museum and learn about the history of this beverage.

6. Take a garden tour at Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center
Meander through a .25 mile loop of The Woodland Medicine Trail and discover numerous woodland wildflowers, herbs, fern and shrubs that were used extensively by Native Americans and early settlers. Then enjoy the Ethnobotanic Gardens containing plants that were harvested and often cultivated by early inhabitants of the region for medicinal, food, and craft uses.

7. Get wet at Helton Creek Falls
A rock slide for the kids and a veil of water to stand behind make Helton Creek Falls a must do activity for the young and young at heart. A short hike allows you to explore the beauty of both the upper and lower falls of Helton Creek.

8. Share a bag of boiled peanuts
Sunrise Grocery on Hwy 129 features world famous boiled peanuts. Grab a bag of this southern delicacy and enjoy with your family and friends.

9. Discover past & present ghosts
History is alive in Union County. With abundant heritage tracking resources at the Union County Public Library, the Historic Courthouse on the Square, and a plethora of cemeteries, exploring your heritage back to the pre-Civil War era is a great way to connect with the past.

10. Sop up some sorghum biscuits
Nothing says Union County like the sweet smell of sorghum syrup cooking. Join the festivities of the Blairsville Sorghum Festival the second and third weekends in October for biscuit sopping, pole climbing, rock throwing, horseshoe throwing, and log sawing fun!

For more information about any of the above or various other activities available in Blairsville-Union County, please contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com, or by visiting the Welcome Center inside the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road.

 

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‘Twas the First Weekend of December…

…and all through Blairsville-Union County there was holiday cheer as far as the eye could see! With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s full speed ahead with Christmas events for the whole family starting this weekend. Kick off your Christmas Season right with parades, caroling, shopping and so much more! Here’s a quick view of some of the events happening in our area this weekend…

Friday, December 1st
Tour of Trees
Blairsville Holiday Stop & Shop

Saturday, December 2nd
Kris Kringle Mountain Market
Christmas Parade
Holiday on The Square
Tour of Trees
Blairsville Holiday Stop & Shop

For a full listing of everything happening in Blairsville-Union County this holiday season, visit our Holiday 2017 page.

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Holiday Preview 2017

There’s just nothing like celebrating the holidays in the mountains, and there’s no better place to celebrate the season than Blairsville-Union County! We go all out for the holiday season, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy – from festive events like the Tour of Trees and Caroling on The Square to holly jolly shopping sprees like the Mistletoe Market and the Holiday Stop and Shop. Here are just a few of the holiday happenings coming up:

Mistletoe Market
November 18, 2017 9 am – 4 pm
November 19, 2017 11 am – 4 pm

Blairsville Holiday Stop & Shop                                                                                                                 December 1, 2017 11 am – 7pm                                                                                                                    December 2, 2017 11am – 7pm

Tour of Trees
Daily, December 1 – 31, 2017 9 am – 5 pm

Kris Kringle Mountain Market                                                                                                                  December 2, 2017 10 am – 3pm

Holiday on The Square and Christmas Parade
December 2, 2017

Holly Jolly Christmas
December 9, 2017 3 pm – 6 pm

Tree Lighting at Vogel State Park                                                                                                              December 9, 2017 4 pm – 7pm

There’s so much happening in our area this year that there’s a whole page of our website dedicated to all things Holiday-themed! Learn more about the winter wonderland that is Blairsville-Union County and plan your holiday journey with us at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com!