Category Archives: Vogel State Park

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Happy Hallo-weekend!

In less than a week, it’ll be Halloween! Here in Blairsville, there’ll be costumes, candy, tricks and treats for the whole family. We’ll be celebrating the season all weekend long with festivals and other fun events all over the area. Here’s just a glimpse of what’s going on this Halloween, and the weekend before, in Blairsville-Union County:

Haunted Hayride
Enjoy Joshua Dream Ranch’s Spook-Tacular Haunted Hayrides. Have a spooky fun time and help yourself to some gooey s’mores.
October 27, 28, & 31, 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Fall Festival at Vogel State Park
Celebrate Autumn at Vogel with Hayrides, a Cake Walk, Duck Race, Storytelling and more!
October 28, 12:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Downtown Blairsville Outdoor Movie Night                                                                                                Bring the family downtown for a free movie night featuring Disney’s Hocus Pocus. A costume contest will be held before the show.                                                                                                           October 31, 6:00 PM – 8 PM

Halloween on The Square
Games, costume contests, and lots of trick or treating.
October 31, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

There are lots of other fun events happening at some of the local wineries, restaurants, and other businesses this weekend. Since, this is just a small taste of all of the spooky happenings coming up, visit us online for a full listing of Fall Activities and Events happening this Halloween and Hallo-weekend!

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Fall Leaf Peeping 2017

One of the most commonly asked questions at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce is “when is the best time to see the leaves?” The answer to that question is difficult. The most common response is “the third and fourth week in October” However, there is a very scientific reason that determines the amount of color we are privileged to see in the autumn season. Let’s take a closer look at this.

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.”

We believe that the autumn of 2017 is going 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. 14th, 15th, 21st, & 22nd from 9am-5pm at Meeks Park.
  2. Fall Hoedown – Oct. 21st 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.

For detailed local area information including maps, directions, 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 tourism@blairsvillechamber.com or visit us online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

 

 

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Fall Festivals Preview 2017

Hard to believe, but Autumn is just around the corner! With a historic summer for Blairsville-Union County coming to a close, we’re now gearing up for all of the fun that the Fall has in store for us. Here’s a quick rundown of the events and festivals taking place in our community:

Mountain Heritage Festival
Historic Mountain Life Museum
September 2nd & 3rd, 2017  9am-5pm
Celebrate the history and mountain culture of Union County with music on the porch, arts & crafts vendors, food vendors, as well as demonstrations of skills used by Union County’s earliest settlers.

Mountain Music and Arts and Crafts Festival
Vogel State Park
September 9, 2017  10am-5pm
Appalachian, bluegrass, and gospel music as well as arts and crafts, demonstrations on spinning, blacksmithing and bowl carving, not to mention food and concessions available from the Vogel Volunteers.

Celebrate Autumn Arts and Crafts Festival
Towns County Recreation Center
September 16, 2017  9am-5pm, September 17, 2017  1pm-4pm
A juried arts and crafts show featuring indoor and outdoor booths.

Indian Summer Festival
Woody Gap School
October 7 & 8, 2017 9am-5pm
This fabulous festival, benefiting the Woody Gap School in Suches, GA, takes place every year on the first weekend in October. Activities include a Craft Show, 10K Run, Country Square Dance, Weaponry Demonstration, Auction, Play performed by Elementary Students, and Much More!

Run Above the Clouds
Suches Community Center
October 7, 2017 9am
These 10K and 5K road races take place over a beautifully scenic, challenging out-and-back course through the North Georgia mountains and serve as the kick-off events for the Indian Summer Festival. There is also a 1-mile fun run, over a mostly flat course.

BEAR – Blairsville Extreme Adventure Race
Meeks Park
October 7, 2017 7am
Teams will be exploring the mountains, rivers, lakes, trails, and beautiful woods surrounding Blairsville.

Sorghum Festival
Meeks Park
October 14, 15 & 21, 22, 2017 9am-5pm
Blairsville’s longest running festival celebrates the ancient art of cooking sweet syrup from Sorghum Cane. Visitors enjoy sorghum syrup making demonstrations in addition to contests such as “Biskit” Eatin’, Pole Climbin’, Log Sawin’, Rock Throwin’, and Horseshoe Throwin’.

Fall Hoedown at Vogel State Park
Vogel State Park
October 21, 2017 12pm-7pm
Celebrate autumn’s arrival with a cakewalk, hayrides, and food during the day and a campfire, dancing, and storytelling at night.

Good Neighbors Car and Truck Show
United Community Bank Parking Lot
October 21, 2017 8am-4pm
More than 200 cars and trucks (old and new) “show off” at the Good Neighbors Auto Show.

Hometown Halloween on the Square
Downtown Blairsville
October 31, 2017 6pm-8pm
Bring the kids and join the fun! Each October, Downtown Blairsville hosts a spectacular trick-or-treat event complete with candy, costumes, and contests!

For a full listing of festivals and events, visit our Festivals and Events pages.

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Living for the Long Weekend

Everybody loves a good, long weekend! With Labor Day coming up, we thought we’d give you a roadmap for how to maximize your fun and relaxation right here in Blairsville-Union County! Just a couple of hours from major Southeastern hubs like Atlanta, Greenville, and Chattanooga, Blairsville is the perfect place to unplug and unwind for a few days. Let’s get started!

Ample Accommodations
There is a wide variety of options when it comes to staying in Blairsville, from traditional hotels and camping options to resorts and cabins. Whether you want a rugged outdoor weekend of “roughing it” or a luxury experience complete with wine tastings and spa days, we’ve got you covered!

Explore The Greater Outdoors
Get outside and do something fun! Blairsville has more outdoor activities to offer than we have time to talk about, including hiking, exploring Brasstown Bald (Georgia’s Highest Peak), horseback riding, making a splash in our amazing lakes, playing in some of the best parks in the South (including Vogel State Park), and so much more. There is truly something for everyone to explore, from families, to couples, group trips, and beyond! Learn more about all of the outdoor fun you can have in Blairsville-Union County here.

Eat Better in Blairsville
We aren’t your typical little mountain town with two restaurants that both close at 6pm. Dining options here include some of the best Barbecue and Southern cooking you can find, but our thriving food scene also includes Cuban cuisine, Seafood, Italian, American, Greek, farm to table, and much more! If you like to eat, you’ll never want to leave. Find a complete listing of restaurants in the area here.

Celebrate with Us
There’s always something going on in Blairsville-Union County, with fun festivals and special events happening all year long – like the Mountain Heritage Festival happening over Labor Day weekend. Check out our Festivals and Events pages for the latest scoop on what is happening and where.

What are you waiting for? Stop by visitblairsvillega.com/tourism to start planning your trip to Blairsville-Union County today!

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Spring Festival Season 2017

Spring has finally sprung and so has festival season in Blairsville-Union County! With the warmer weather upon us activities abound in these here hills. 

Make sure you don’t forget Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 14th. Several restaurants around town will have specials so you can treat your Mom and make sure she knows how important she is to you. Later that week on Thursday, May 18th the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce hosts their annual Buy Local Extravaganza! This is an opportunity for Union County businesses to showcase themselves and to remind residents how important it is to Buy Local. The event will be held at North Georgia Technical College with FREE parking, FREE admission, and something for every member of the family to enjoy from 4pm-7pm.

Saturday, May 20th features an Armed Forces Day celebration in Downtown Blairsville at 11am. In the afternoon, enjoy the sounds of the flamenco guitar as only Curtis Jones can play them at Paradise Hills Winery. End your day perusing classic cars at the Cruise In on the Square hosted by the Blairsville Cruisers. This is a great way to enjoy the Downtown Blairsville area dining around town, shopping at the stores, and enjoying music in a lively atmosphere!

May wraps up with the 2017 Blairsville Arts, Crafts, and Music Festival! On Saturday, May 27th and Sunday, May 28th from 10am to 5pm, downtown Blairsville will be bustling with arts and crafts vendors, delicious food, an endless amount of musical performances, quaint shops to visit, restaurants to sample and the friendliest people in the mountains! Saturday morning there will be a Memorial Day Parade at 10am and immediately following will be the first annual North Georgia Bed Race benefiting Habitat for Humanity. It is going to be a hoot and a half, y’all!

For more outdoor fun consider exploring a waterfall, visiting Vogel State Park, or hiking up to Brasstown Bald – Georgia’s highest peak! The Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce is happy to help build you a custom itinerary. For local area information, lodging, and additional upcoming events please stop by The Welcome Center located in the Union County Community Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road, or call 706-745-5789, or visit us online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

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Spring Break Adventure Agenda

It’s Spring Break season, and there’s no better place for your spring break adventures than Blairsville-Union County! From exploring the Greater Outdoors to experiencing all of the food, culture, and shopping that Blairsville has to offer, we’ve got everything you need for the perfect spring break trip. Ready to book your mountain getaway? Great! Here are just a few things that should make your Spring Break Adventure Agenda…

Brasstown Bald
Get an unforgettable view of four states from Georgia’s highest peak. Learn more about Brasstown Bald here.

Vogel State Park
Enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, paddle boats, and more at Vogel. Learn more about Vogel State Park, and other parks in our area here.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail
Union County boasts the only covered portion of the famous Appalachian Trail. You can also hike to the peak of Blood Mountain or brave one of the many other connecting trails. Learn more about hiking and other outdoor activities in Blairsville-Union County here.

Disc Golf
Play 18 holes of Frisbee Golf at Meeks park’s excellent 18-hole course. Learn more here.

Eat Well
Dine at one of Blairsville’s many amazing restaurants. There’s something to please every palette, from traditional southern food to fine dining! Browse listings and see a map of restaurants in the area here.

Waterfalls
We have many waterfalls here in Blairsville-Union County, like Helton Creek Falls and Wolf Creek Falls, to name a few. Learn more about our waterfalls and where to find them here.

Horseback Riding
Riders of all ages and levels can experience the countryside on horseback. Find out more about riding and a listing of stables here.

Shop ‘til You Drop
Blairsville offers a unique shopping experience, from local artisans to designer duds! Plan your shopping trip here.

As you can see, Blairsville-Union County offers something for everyone! This little list is just the tip of the iceberg, so call us today at 877-745-5789 or visit us online to learn more about all the fun your family can get into over spring break!

 

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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 www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com, or stop by the Welcome Center at 129 Union County Recreation Road in Blairsville.

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‘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 www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

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 www.UCFarmersMarket.com

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 www.UnionCountyHistory.org

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 www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com

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 www.downtownblairsville.com

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 tourism@blairsvillechamber.com or visit us online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

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Fall Color in Blairsville-Union County

One of the most commonly asked questions at the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce is “when is the best time to see the leaves?” The answer to that question is difficult. The most common response is “the third and fourth week in October” However, there is a very scientific reason that determines the amount of color we are privileged to see in the autumn season. Let’s take a closer look at this.

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.

A succession of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp but not freezing nights seems to bring about the most spectacular color displays. During these days, lots of sugars are produced in the leaf but the cool nights and the gradual closing of veins going into the leaf prevent these sugars from moving out. These conditions-lots of sugar and lots of light-spur production of the brilliant anthocyanin pigments, which tint reds, purples, and crimson. Because carotenoids are always present in leaves, the yellow and gold colors remain fairly constant from year to year.

The amount of moisture in the soil also affects autumn colors. Like the weather, soil moisture varies greatly from year to year. The countless combinations of these two highly variable factors assure that no two autumns can be exactly alike. A late spring, or a severe summer drought, can delay the onset of fall color by a few weeks. A warm period during fall will also lower the intensity of autumn colors. A warm wet spring, favorable summer weather, and warm sunny fall days with cool nights should produce the most brilliant autumn colors.”

We believe that the autumn of 2016 is going to be a brilliant one! Make your plans to come visit the North Georgia Mountains from the end of October through the beginning of November. Some of the best leaf peeping spots in Blairsville-Union County are:

  1. The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is a nationally designated Scenic Byway that is 40.64 miles in length and makes a loop through the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/3955-russell-brasstown-scenic-byway-cnf
  2. Lake Winfield Scott offers a myriad of fall color along with a small beautiful lake. http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=10528&actid=29
  3. Brasstown Bald rises 4,784 feet above sea level and is Georgia’s tallest mountain. Visitors to this place on high find an observation deck which allows a spectacular 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, exhibits, a film, hiking trails, and gift shop. http://cfaia.org/brasstown-bald-recreation-area-visitor-centers-in-georgia/
  4. Vogel State Park One of Georgia’s oldest and most beloved state parks is particularly popular during the fall when the Blue Ridge Mountains transform into a rolling blanket of red, yellow and gold leaves. Hikers can choose from a variety of trails, including the popular 4-mile Bear Hair Gap loop, an easy lake loop that leads to Trahlyta Falls, and the challenging 13-mile Coosa Backcountry Trail. http://www.gastateparks.org/Vogel
  5. The Appalachian National Scenic Trail stretches over 2,146+ miles from Georgia to Maine.  With over 74 miles of the southern route in North Georgia, the Appalachian Trail offers the ultimate in hiking opportunities.  http://www.appalachiantrail.org/home/explore-the-trail/explore-by-state/georgia
  6. The Southern Highroads Trail can be traveled in its entirety or in sections.  This very scenic route travels through four national forests (Chattahoochee, Nantahala, Cherokee, and Sumter) and four states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia).  http://www.southernhighroads.org/

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.

For detailed local area information including maps, directions, 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 tourism@blairsvillechamber.com or visit us online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGa.com.

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Fall, Festivals, and Fun!

The Autumnal Equinox, signifying the first day of fall, is this month on September 22 to be exact. The summer has just flown by and now Blairsville-Union County is gearing up for fresh autumn days, falling leaves, and FESTIVALS!

Here’s a quick rundown of upcoming events: The Mountain Regional Arts & Crafts Guild will host their annual  on Saturday & Sunday, September 17th & 18th from 9am-5pm on Saturday and 1pm-4pm on Sunday at North Georgia Technical College, Blairsville Campus. The Indian Summer Festival brings The Valley Above the Clouds alive in Suches. Arts, crafts, music and more await you on the first weekend in October, Saturday & Sunday, October 1st & 2nd from 9am-5pm. Georgia’s most beloved state park, Vogel State Park, will host the Fall Hoedown on October 15th from 12pm-7pm.

The 47th annual Sorghum Festival will be held in Blairsville at Meeks Park for two continuous weekends: October 8-9 and October 15-16 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 Lightening (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 8th 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. 8th & 15th) 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 15th from 8am¬4pm at United Community Bank. Enjoy more than 200 collector and antique cars.

For more information on all these great events, future upcoming events, dining, shopping, and lodging call the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, email tourism@blairsvillechamber.com, or go online to www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.