Tag Archives: Blairsville Sorghum Festival

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

Engage Your Senses This Fall

Fall DriveAutumn is my favorite season of the year. There are so many wonderful, fun, exciting ways to engage your five senses right here in Union County and enjoy experiences of which city folk can only dream! Here are a few of my suggestions for great autumn activities.

See – Take a ride along any of our scenic byways or mountain roads and delight in the explosion of autumn color – Richard Russell, GA 180, and US 129 South are a few of my favorites. This is a great time of year to make your way to the top of Brasstown Bald and see unmatched natural beauty. Finally, everyone will be able to enjoy the many scarecrows around town as part of our Scarecrow-Ville event.

Touch – Why not take a trip to an alpaca farm and pet these lovable creatures?   You’ll find a great selection of alpaca fiber clothing and accessories to keep you warm as the temperature drops.

Taste – This will be your last chance to pick up fresh, local produce at the Union County Farmers Market to make your own perfect autumn meal. Contact the Chamber for a list of old time general stores where you’ll find the perfect ingredients to complete your recipe.   Or if you are like me and prefer someone else do the cooking, try one of our many delicious restaurants including our newest Farm To Table restaurant, The Sawmill Place. Stock up on Sorghum Syrup to enhance your morning biscuit or make your way to our local winery or craft beer shop for a sip of the season.

Smell – Stop by a local retailer and pick up your favorite scented candle. The smell of apple or pumpkin pie will lift your mood. Step foot into one of our local bakeries and inhale autumn yumminess!

Hear – This is a great time for music in the mountains. Visit one of our many upcoming festivals – the Indian Summer Festival in Suches, the Sorghum Festival at Meeks Park, and the Fall Hoedown at Vogel State Park. There are concerts each Friday night at the Historic Courthouse on the square or check out our online events calendar for local music events around town.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the North Georgia Farm Trail guide in the Chamber of Commerce/Welcome Center and explore all of the agritourism sites in the area. This is the perfect time of year to get up, get out, and get happy!

For additional shopping, dining, lodging, and attraction information, contact the Blairsville-Union County Chamber of Commerce at 706-745-5789, online at wwwVisitBlairsvilleGA.com, or me directly at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Popular Weekend Getaways in Union County North Georgia

A weekend in Union County means an opportunity to know the place even better. Walk down the lanes of history and be a part of the fun celebrations that take place almost throughout the year. A nice place to begin exploring the past is the red brick courthouse, a nineteenth century Romanesque building that stands proudly on the center of the town square in Blairsville. It has a white clock tower on its top and is visible from any part of the city. It is also home to the Union County Historical Society and Museum and offers a glimpse into some of the important events of the past.

The history of Union County is incomplete without the Pulitzer Prize nominated poet Byron Herbert Reece who lived and died in this beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains county. His achievements were many and his poetry inspired a number of things including the State of Georgia’s official drama ‘The Reach of Song’. His birthplace homestead, now listed as a registered historical site, and the Byron Herbert Reece Memorial Park located near Neel’s Gap, shed light on the life of the poet.

The Blairsville downtown adds a dash of lively entertainment to the region. Many events that can be enjoyed by the entire family take place here. During the annual Blairsville Scottish Festival, which celebrates Scottish tradition with great food, live music, and workshops, the Meeks Park transforms into a fun zone.

Bagpipes and drums hold the main essence of the festival. Kids enjoy it with a lot of activities including miniature golf and train rides. People love to watch Scottish history being brought to life by live demos and re-enactments and those who are interested in knowing about their family heritage can do so at the free genealogy tents.

The connoisseurs of art and culture can have a nice time watching some of the finest exhibitions and art events that take place throughout the year in Union County, North Georgia. The Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association and Art Center organizes many such events in keeping with their mission of transforming the place into an ‘art town’. The lovers of golf can take a break from every day routine and tee off some exciting time at the 18-hole Butternut Creek Golf Course.

The Union County Farmers Market is a nice place to buy not only fresh farm products but also to enjoy some ‘green’ time. Events such as the Green Bean Festival, beauty pageant, and more are organized by the association throughout the year and provide a good source of family fun.

It is difficult to point out one best thing about Union County, in North Georgia. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the fascinating festivals and the warm hospitality, everything comes together to create an experience that have won the hearts of so many people and will continue doing so in years to come.

Visiting Union County, North Georgia

Nature, adventure, and the spirit of celebrating life come together in North Georgia to create one of the most beautiful places on earth, in Union County, Georgia. On one hand, several lakes, rivers, creeks, trout streams, and waterfalls dot this mountain landscape. On the other hand, campgrounds, hiking trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing, lodging, dining, and shopping destinations add a unique appeal to the place.

A rich historical past blends with a lively present to make this region an absolute delight for everyone. Known especially for the Blue Ridge Mountains, Union County has something for everyone. From kids to adults, Union County gives enough reasons to fall for the place and make memories that will stay with one forever.

Every season of the year brings with it new reasons to visit Union County, North Georgia. Its county seat, Blairsville, is the perfect example of a place where life means celebration. Each October Blairsville celebrates the famous Sorghum Festival. It is the time when the local farmers of Union County share the delicious golden brown syrup known as sorghum with the visitors who flock to the place to watch the fall colors. The festival takes place at the Meeks Park, which is situated right off Highway 55 as one enters the town.

It begins with a heritage parade around the red brick courthouse and has several attractions and challenges such as the “Biskit-Eatin’ and Syrup Soppin’ Contests”, arts and crafts inspired by folk culture of the mountains, and many other things that is reminiscent of the early mountain culture.

Although with the Sorghum Festival, which is one of the most important festivals of the place, Union County has several such happy events and occasions throughout the year. The list is pretty long including the Indian Summer Festival, the occasional Cool Mountain Festival, Blairsville Scottish Festival, and others. Although each festival has its own charm, music, dance, arts and crafts, contests, several kids’ activities, and sometimes bagpipes are what add an extra life to all.

The prospect of fun and adventure is something that draws many visitors to the beautiful and majestic Union County. A whole lot of options in shopping and dining make one feel at home. Just outside that ‘comfort zone’ waits the irresistible beckoning of the Appalachian Trail, which passes through this portion of North Georgia, the Benton MacKaye Trail, scenic drives, hiking, biking, and more.

The Nottely River is awesome for fishing and tubing, and the world famous Ocoee River located just forty-five minutes away from Union County, is the best place for the lovers of white water rafting. For golf lovers, there stands the 18-hole public golf course known as the Butternut Creek Municipal Golf Course just a quarter mile east of the Meeks Park.

The reason why anybody would want to visit Union County, North Georgia is countless. This is one unique place that has a bit of everything. From the relaxed vacationers to the adventurous hikers or the fun-loving tourists, the county waits with all its beauty to be explored, lived, and remembered.

4 Great Warm Weather Activities

The leaves are finally back on the trees, and the sun is starting to shine over Blairsville-Union County.  For those of us who live here, we often need to be reminded of the many fun activities that surround us during the Spring and Summer seasons.  Here are just a few of the reasons visitors flock to Union County this time of year.

  1. Water, Water Everywhere:  Spend some time on of our three lakes – Nottely, Winfield Scott, or Trahlyta – and choose your activity.  Boating, fishing, skiing, kayaking or pedal boats make great lake activities.  Don’t have the right equipment or need a guide to show you the ropes?  The Chamber has a variety of members that can help.  If waterfalls are more your speed, we have plenty of those too.  A waterfalls guide can be obtained in the Chamber’s Welcome Center or requested online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.
  2. See The Sites – If you feel like you are always seeing the same parts of Union County from the same perspective, venture out a bit.  Have you seen the view atop Brasstown Bald?  How about the lovely countryside while horseback riding?  Many of the hiking trails that wind throughout the county offer incredible views that might literally take your breath away.
  3. Step Back In History – Have you ever toured the Historic Union County Courthouse or the Mountain Life Museum?  Have you seen the Trackrock Petroglyphs up close?  How about the new Byron Herbert Reece Farm & Heritage Center or the CCC Museum at Vogel State Park?  Here is one you might not have thought of – the historic cannery and interpretive displays at the Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center.   While you are there, you can browse the ethnobotanical and native plant gardens.  If history is your cup of tea, Union County has a lot to offer.
  4. Attend a Festival – There is definitely no shortage of festivals and events to attend this time of year!  Weather you prefer arts and crafts, green beans, or bagpipes, you need not look any further than right here at home in Union County.  And if large crowds scare you, consider one of a host of other local events that offer music, dining, gift items, and educational activities.  Those can be found on our online Chamber event calendar or by signing up for our weekly or quarterly events newsletter.

What’s your favorite Blairsville-Union County activity?  Chat with us on facebook at www.facebook.com/blairsvillechamber.   The Chamber is always ready to assist with planning your next weekday or weekend escape right here in Union County.   We can be reached by calling 706-745-5789 or online at www.VisitBlairsvilleGA.com.  You can contact me directly at President@BlairsvilleChamber.com.

Blairsville Fun Facts!

Blairsville, population 700, is the county seat of Union County and is the only incorporated town in the county. It was named after Kentuckian Francis Preston Blair, a supporter of Andrew Jackson and editor of the Washington Globe.

Union County’s name has nothing to do with the Civil War or residents’ sympathies toward the Conflict Between the States as the county was created in 1832.

Union County is one of three northeast Georgia counties situated completely within the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Blairsville is world-famous for its sorghum; in fact, it is the only area in Georgia which grows sorghum especially for syrup making due to its unique climate and soil conditions, and the Blairsville Sorghum Festival, celebrated annually in October, is designated as the official Sorghum Festival of the state of Georgia.

The Walasi-Yi Center atop Blood Mountain is the only place where the 2,175-mile-long Appalachian Trail passes through a man-made structure.

Famous residents include Byron Herbert Reece (1917-1958), author of four books of poetry and two novels, recipient of two Guggenheim awards and a poet-laureate of Georgia.