7 Georgia Festivals to Visit August 24-27 2017

Football Fest at Georgia Football Hall of Fame

  • Aug 26, 2017
  • 250 Marietta Street NW – Atlanta, GA
  • Free with ticket to the Hall of Fame which is $21.99/adult 17.99/child

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

  • Aug 26, 2017 – Aug 27, 2017
  • 700 Boulevard Avenue SE – Atlanta, GA
  • Free Admission

German Bierfest

  • August 26, 2017
  • Wooddruff Park – Atlanta, GA
  • Tickets $35/advanced $40/day of  $10 Designated Driver ticket

Chattooga County Agricultural Fair

  • Aug 24-27 2017
  • 34 Middle School Road – Summerville, GA
  • Tickets are $5 – Sunday is Free Admission

Rabun County Fair

  • Aug 24-26 2017
  • 115 Longview Dr. – Tiger, Georgia 30576

  • Free Admission

Pigs & Peaches Bbq Festival

  • Aug 25 2017
  • Adams Park, 2753 Watts Drive – Kennesaw, GA
  • Free Admission

Villa Rica Frontiers Rodeo

  • Aug 25-26
  • Villa Rica Civic Center – 1605 GA-61 -Villa Rica, GA 30180
  • $13/Adult $7/Children

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

7 Georgia Festivals to Visit August 19-21 2017

Butterfly Festival, Dunwoody Dunwoody Nature Center

  • August 19th
  • 5343 Roberts Dr. Dunwoody, GA 30338
  • Adults $8/Children $4

Brooklet Peanut Festival –  Brooklet, GA

  • Aug 20, 2017
  • 29 Parker Ave. Brooklet, GA
  • Free Admission

Tomato Daze Festival – Young Harris, GA

  • August 18-21st, 2017
  • Crane Creek Vineyards 916 Crane Creek Road Young Harris, GA
  • Eclipse Party on 21st 1pm to 5pm
  • Free Admission – Everything is A la Cart

Southern Wing Showdown – Atlanta, GA

  • Aug 20, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017
  • 916 Joseph E Lowery Blvd NW Atlanta, GA
  • Adults $30

Eighth Annual Piedmont Park Arts Festival – Atlanta, GA

  • Aug 19, 2017 – Aug 20, 2017
  • 1215 Piedmont Avenue Atlanta, GA
  • Free Admission

Caribbean festival – Jonesboro, GA

  • August 19, 2017 (1 to 8 p.m.)
  • 2300 Highway 138, SE Jonesboro, GA
  • Free Admission

Get Off the Grid Fest Solar Expo & Sustainability Fair – Blairsville, GA

  • August 18, 2017 – August 20, 2017
  • 73 Saddle Club Drive Blairsville, GA
  • $10/day $30/weekend

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

Georgia Solar Eclipse Viewing Parties

The Best place in Georgia is at to catch 100% totality of the upcoming solar eclipse is:

12 Spies Vineyard Solar Eclipse – Rabun Gap, GA

12 Spies Vineyards is ground zero for the upcoming solar eclipse which means we will have the longest period of darkness during the eclipse on the North American continent! With that said, by resounding requests from our friends and guests, we have planned a solar eclipse event on the 12 Spies Vineyards grounds.  You better call ahead to see if there is still availability 706-490-0890.  Cost is 100.00/couple 60/single

If you can’t make it up to to 12 Spies Vinyard, here are some other parties happening for the eclipse.

Best small town party and 2nd place runner up goes to:

2017 Eclipse Across America – Lavonia, GA

  • Path of Totality 100%
  • http://www.exploregeorgia.org/listing/60630-2017-eclipse-across-america
  • Come to Lavonia, Georgia to experience the 2017 Solar Eclipse. Beginning around 2:45 p.m. EST in beautiful downtown Lavonia, we will be hosting a celebration of this rare solar event. There will be music, refreshments, educational items and protection glasses for the first 100 arrivals. (you might want to go ahead and buy a pair just in case)

Third place is awarded for the best theme party name:

Total Eclipse of the Park – Blairsville, GA

Honorable mention for a great theme party name goes to:

The Grape Eclipse Wine Tour

If my top 4 don’t catch your attention check out these other viewing parties.

Totally Toccoa Eclipse 2017

Rabun County’s Georgia’s Total Solar Eclipse ‘OutASight’ Viewing Party

Park Tavern – Atlanta, GA

Solar Eclipse Kayak, SUP and Canoe Rental Extravaganza – Stone Mountain, GA

Eclipse Weekend at Timpson Creek Farm

Solar Eclipse Family Friendly Fun – Andy’s Trout Farm – Dillard, GA

University of North Georgia Solar Eclipse Program – Dahlonega, GA

Grayson Branch, Gwinnett Public Library – Eclipse Party – Grayson, GA

Tallulah Gorge Solar Eclipse Festival

Blairsville Eclipse Experience

Fernbank Science Center Great American Eclipse

Black Rock Mountain State Park Total Eclipse

Smithgall State Park Solar Eclipse

Solar Eclipse by Kayak – Elijah Clark State Park

Eclipse Paddling Trip – Fort King George State Historic Site

Eclipse Excursion – Panola State Park

Final note check out this awesome site that will show you what you can expect to see at any given location in Georgia.  

http://shadowandsubstance.com/2017/02.html

 

Keep the Lust for Wandering Ya’ll

Fran

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Georgia Festivals that Give Back

People love festivals for various reasons.  Some people go for the crafts, others for the music. Some people like the livestock shows and others for the carnival rides.  I go for the atmosphere and Shane goes for the food.  It doesn’t matter the size of the festival to me. It could be a small town celebration with 20 tents, or a huge production with fair rides and livestock shows.  I enjoy the people watching and eating an apple dumplin’ served up from a trailer by friendly southern folk.  Festivals are a great way to get businesses or organizations some publicity.  Some festivals have a purpose in mind: to raise funds for a community project.  Below are 15 festivals in Georgia that give back to their community.

Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival

JeepFest

  • August 31-September 3, 2017 –  Japser, GA
  • 100% of proceeds go on to help kids in and around community.
  • Jeep owners and enthusiasts come from all of the United States to attend.
  • Admission is free for spectators and passengers. $75.00 to register per Jeep

  • JeepFest – https://www.sheriffsjeepfest.com/event

AJC Decatur Book Festival

  • September 1-3, 2017 – Decatur, GA
  • Benefiting the DBF – Promoting a year-round literary community by hosting a series of fundraising and literary events.
  • Free Admission
  • https://www.decaturbookfestival.com/

Rock’n Ribville

  • September 16, 2017 – Lawrenceville, GA
  • Benefiting Lawrenceville Police Benevolent Fund this event is in it’s 10th year.
  • Enjoy live music and eat southern style barbecue
  • Free Admission
  • http://www.rocknribville.com/home

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Festival

Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival

Tiny Home Mountain Festival

  • September 23-24, 2017 – Elijay, GA
  • Benefiting the local area Boy’s and Girls Club and Gilmer County Food Bank
  • Explore Tiny Home Living at this festival.
  • $10 for Adults, $8 for Kids and under 3 will be free
  • https://www.tinymountainfestival.com/about

People First Fall Festival

  • September 30, 2017
  • Benefiting People First of Henry Count offering free socials for special needs families throughout the year
  • Come out and enjoy music, food, games, prizes, bingo, hay ride, social for special needs children and adults.
  • Free Admission
  • People First

Historic Oakland Foundation 40th Anniversary

  • October 1, 2017 – Oakland Cemetery – Atlanta, GA
  • All proceeds benefit the Historic Oakland Foundation
  • Come dressed in your best Victorian garb at the 38th annual Victorian-inspired festival features a variety of live musical entertainment, living history demonstrations, Irish dancers and an opportunity to enter some of the magnificent mausoleums.
  • Admission is $7 for adults, $3 for children aged 4-12, and free for children 3 and under
  • http://www.oaklandcemetery.com/?event=sunday-in-the-park-2

Foxfire Mountaineer Festival

  • October 7, 2017 – Clayton, GA
  • Benefiting the Foxfire Fund, Inc. and support many educational programs at museum and in schools.
  • One-day celebration of the rich heritage of the Southern Appalachian mountains, featuring traditional music from numerous regional performers, showcases and demonstrations of time-honored heritage skills and trades, and all manner of traditional games and puzzles for young and old alike.
  • $5 per person, children age 5 and under are free
  • http://theblueridgehighlander.com/calendar/index.php?eID=3287

Alive Festival

  • October 21, 2017 – Suwanee, GA
  • Benefiting Project Green and Back to Basics Kids Camp
  • Health & Wellness, Green Living Eco Festival help attendees learn how to integrate health and wellness plus natural, organic and green products into environmentally responsible eco living and to create a positive impact on the world as a whole.
  • Free Admission
  • http://aliveexpo.com/alive_festival.php

Gold Rush Days

  • October 21-22, 2017 – Dahlonega, GA
  • Benefiting Empty Stocking Fund
  • It is a time for thousands to come and see fall colors peaking and celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold. Over 300 art and craft exhibitors and food vendors gather around the Public Square and Historic District in support of this annual event. It is estimated that a crowd of over 200,000 visits over the weekend to join in the fun and excitement!
  • Free Admission
  • https://dahlonegajaycees.com/gold-rush-days/

Humming Bird Festival

  • October 21-22, 2017 – Hoganville, GA
  • Benefiting the Hogansville Charitable Trust.

  • A true small town festival, featuring 200 vendors, food court, live music, kids area, artisan crafts, and more.

  • Free Admission
  • http://www.hummingbirdfestival.com/

Moonshine Festival

Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-off and Bluegrass Festival

  • November 4, 2017 – Cabbagetown Neighborhood, Atlanta, GA
  • Benefiting Cabbagetown parks, green spaces, and community center
  • A little bit of country in the big city,  featuring music that was popular when residents and mill workers. They played that old-time music and preserved rural traditions right here in the middle of Atlanta! Hard work and home-cooking, small houses and big hearts, recipes and religion, family and friends, stories and songs – relics of times past kept the community vibrant as it struggled to keep strong in a fast changing world.
  • This is a token event.  Purchase spoons and drink tokens on website if you want to avoid lines. They’ll also be available the day-of at each of our 5 Welcome Centers (we will accept cash or credit / debit).
  • http://www.chompandstomp.com/

Top 5 Barbecue Festivals in Georgia

Georgians like Barbecue.  Get us together during the summer and you better believe that someone will be grilling something.  Whether it is ribs, smokin’ a butt or BBQ’ing chicken, we have it down.  Don’t even get me started on the fixin’s.  Mac n’cheese, pork-‘in-beans, pimento cheese, or Brunswick stew, collard greens, mmmmmm mmmmm that’s good eatin!

Summer is wrapping up here in the south.  It is still hotter than a June bride, in July down here, but that won’t stop us from getting out over the next few months to take in some of the festivals.  The next few issues of my blog I am going to be talking about festival and today, we are going to start with some BBQ Southern Style.

Decatur BBQ, Blues and Bluegrass Festival

Pigs and Peaches BBQ Festival

  • August 25, 2017 – Kennesaw, GA
  • In it’s 17th year this festival holds a competition for best BBQ as well “Pigtales” a junior essay competition.
  • Free admission
  • http://www.pigsandpeaches.com/

Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Festival

Rock’n Ribville

  • September 16, 2017 – Lawrenceville, GA
  • Benefiting Lawrenceville Police Benevolent Fund this event is in it’s 10th year.
  • Free Admission
  • http://www.rocknribville.com/home

Big Pig Jig

  • November 3-4, 2017 – Vienna, GA
  • In it’s 33rd year, this is Georgia’s oldest barbecue cooking contest.
  • Ticket prices vary by date and time – check website for prices
  • http://www.bigpigjig.com/

I gotta get on now, because I can smell what Shane just took off the grill wafting up the stairs and into my room.  It’s time to eat some grilled southern food y’all!

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Keep the Lust for Wandering

Fran

We found this Underappreciated Gem. You Should, Too.

Let’s jump right into this one shall we.  Two things to say first.

  1. If you live in Georgia and don’t go “drink” in this small town you are an igit.
  2. If you don’t go this weekend, you are a bigger igit.

2017-07-22 09.14.36Cave Spring, GA population 1,154 (2016) is a quaint little town on the outskirts of Rome, GA, in the area known as the Historic High Country.  This place is is tiny and cute and awesome!  The town has 1 full time police chief and a handful of part time officers.  The grocery store is a ma and pa type shop.  If you Google Earth the town you will see an “H” for the medical center which is a tiny walk-in clinic, the largest building appears to be a day care, this tells us what everyone does on a date night.  There are old buildings covered with ivy, trees lining the quiet streets and a smell of honey suckle in the air. 2017-07-22 09.14.52Surrounded by rolling hills and sweet Georgia pines this area is the quintessential small southern town you would expect to see in a movie about a big city doc from Hollywood, who had to move to a small town for one disastrous reasons or another.  (please tell me you get the movie reference — Shane didn’t….)

In the middle of town square is a gazebo, seriously y’all, a gazebo.  Two roads intersect here and are littered with a handful of stores selling antiques, flowers and clothing. There is even a general store that had three retired men sitting in rockers talking about how hot it was. Unbelievable!  I fell in love with this town immediately! This place is currently in the number 1 spot for where I want to live out my retirement!

Currently, we were in search of breakfast, so we headed into a local restaurant called Southern Flavor. We entered and tried to head to a quieter area but the staff directed us, “Not back there, it’s cooler up front“, so we turned heels and went to sit with about 15 locals who greeted (nodded at) us as we entered the dining area.  It was crowded so we slid into a two top and glanced around.  A number of the locals were seated around a very long table that took up the length of the room. They didn’t sit directly beside each other and the plates of food were all in different degrees of consumption. They came and went greeting each other or saying goodbye, all taking up a seat at this communal table. Fascinating! They talked about the weather yesterday, the fishing tournament today, and church tomorrow.  Walking into this made me feel as if I had a glowing neon sign that flashed the word “Outsider” on my chest. Poor Shane, he is along for this whole “Wanderluster” ride and is not outgoing or a “step outside your comfort zone” kind of guy. So when I struck up a conversation with three local men, I am sure he was less than enthusiastically thinking, “Ok well, here we go, whoop whoop“.  But look, you find the BEST information by talking to locals.  I mean seriously, what better way to get in good with them, than gettin ’em talkin’ bout themselves. When in Rome, (GA) use your best southern drawl and drop your G’s!

Cave Spring General Store

We discussed The Trail of Tears that runs right through Cave Spring and the fact that you can see Chief Vann’s Inn (house) in the town square. 2017-07-22 08.25.50They directed where the house lies “O’vr yonder” (I could see it through the window) and where the trail starts even though it is clearly marked right outside the restaurant. Such southern charm!  The waitress came to and planted our breakfast in front of us and we dug in as the local men convinced us that we needed to research the Cherokee and Creek Nations history (I agree). Shane chimed in about his great great grandfather who was a Cherokee that married a white woman. Interesting fact: this was quite common in the late 1800’s because the natives knew that the best way to survive was to assimilate to the white man culture. Sad, but true.  We drank our first and second cups of coffee from mugs that were obviously picked up at a local rummage store.  Shane’s had “Delta” imprinted on it and mine, well.. I sure hope it was Christmas themed, because it had “hohohoho” printed all over it.

……. ……. ……..

We finished up our coffee and headed on out to take in the local sights, and there are TONS!  I mean come on this is like going to Orlando!  (just kidding) There isn’t much to see if you are into tourist stuff.  But if you like exploring, then this place is a goldmine. In town there is Chief Vann’s home that was getting a spring cleaning. New turf and whatnot so all we could do was walk up on the porch.  smurfWe meandered down the deserted street of the square (it wasn’t even 9am) and headed over to the general store.  Well now, this must be where the restaurant purchased their coffee cups!  This store is packed with all kinds of crazy odd and ins.  It isn’t so much a general store as a yard sale on steroids. Fun to look at if you like all sorts of junk.  Never know what you may find in these places right?  I mean who couldn’t use a Papa Smurf glass from Wendy’s Collection circa 1984.  Right?

We headed off to check out the local architecture of the buildings that seem to date back to the 1800’s.  GOLDMINE! I couldn’t resist the ivy covered buildings and snapped some photos of the town’s old mill and may or may not have trespassed a little to get some of my shots.

If you like this type of thing the Town Hall (at least I think it is the town hall) is something to see.  It appears to be an old wood mill of sort.  There are these old creepy stairs leading up two a second floor that I just had to go see!  They creaked and were broken in places.  It was fantastic!

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Now here’s the best part of our trip. Rolater Park, is the gem in the middle of this quaint town.  This is the reason we came.  It is this small park that drew my attention, weeks ago. Within Rolater park resides a tiny little limestone cave. Visible inside the cave is a natural spring that produces over 2 million gallons a day.  It is this spring that gives the Cave Spring it’s name. This natural spring water is the purest water I have ever put in my mouth. There isn’t any additives that coat your tongue.  It is cold and pure.  It comes out of a grate right at the mouth of cave where you can fill up your bottles.

Cave Springs Water
Spring Water right from the mouth of a cave

ducksIt was crowded at the park that morning. The Veterans Administration was hosting a fly fishing tournament and it was in full swing.  Men were fishing, children were splashing in the water and women were fussing at children. The freshly caught fish was fried up right there and eaten on the spot. Just as we found a park bench and sat down to watch the spectacle, a flock of geese made their way on to the scene.

The cave doesn’t have any business hours posted so we were a bit concerned that it would not be opening that day.  We spoke to a few locals who said, “I reckon they’ll open it today with the tournament and all….just giv’em a bit.

Southern small town y’all, they do things on their own time stamp not yours.

Finally, at 10:30 A.M. an elderly gentleman announced that he was opening the cave.  It took him 15 minutes to open the door, count the money till and turn over the sign. It was like opening the gates to Disney World, y’all a mass rush of people swarmed the entrance separating Shane and myself, who were waiting patiently to enter.  I think you will agree that it was in our best interest to let the group of 25 people go on ahead of us….

The cave has stalactite hanging from the ceiling and is coated in Georgia red clay. The day was beginning to get hot but as soon as you walk into the cave you are blasted by a draft of cold air.  We both were sweating and it felt really nice to have some of God’s natural air conditioning blowing on us. We were hoping for a quiet meander into the cave but we heard a lot of children’s holler’s echoing throughout. They were hoopin’ and hollerin’ listening for the echoes. They climbed on the stone steps and rolled on the rocks and got good and dirty. That bath water is going to be brown tonight.  We could have waited for the rush to die down and enjoyed the silence, but hey you gotta live on the edge baby! The cave itself is tiny. It is a quick walk from entrance to the back of the cave. The tunnel gets very small in the very back. Shane, being 6’2″, decided to passed on going through the final crawl space. Even I had to scrunch down to squeeze through the opening and I am short.   We hung out in the cave for about 10 minutes hoping to enjoy it in silence but with this many people at the fishing tournament it just didn’t happen.

pool

There is a short nature trail outside the cave but we decided to pass on it. It was muggy and hot here in July and I was recovering from being ill the previous week.  On our way out of the park we stopped the Hearn Inn Bed and Breakfast that oddly wasn’t open, like I said, small towns operate on their own agenda.  I guess if there “ain’t a guest, the B&B ain’t open” . Makes perfect sense to me.  I peeked through the windows and then we sat on the porch a few minutes rocking in the chairs and enjoying the seen and silence.  Before leaving we checked out the 2nd largest swimming pool in the state of Georgia. This pool is really cool. The natural spring water from the cave feeds the pool so it is a very cold 68 degree dip on hot summer days here in Cave Spring.  People say the pool is shaped like Georgia and I can kind of see it, but.. no.. not really.

If you are looking a quiet laid back few days, come to Cave Spring, GA y’all.  We stayed right outside the city in a small loft cabin on Dry Creek.  We meandered through the town, ate with locals, sat on the porch, drink from the springs and enjoy the people and the southern charm of the small town.

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Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

2017-07-23 08.09.02 HDR
Relaxing on Dry Creek

New Moon on Monday – Solar Eclipse is Coming!

Where are you going to be on Monday, August 21, 2017?

white_light_coronaAre you going to be working in an office?  Or will you be seeing the sight of a life time? The countdown is on!  To steal a quote from one of my all time favorite movies, “LadyHawke”.

In 26 days, in Columbia…

there will be a day without a night…

…and a night without a day.

In less than a month a small portion of the United States will be experiencing a total solar eclipse. While eclipses happen somewhere on the planet every year, the path of totality (total solar eclipse) hasn’t swept across the U.S. in 99 years and this time it is making a transcontinental cut straight through the center of the country.

I will not be in an office in Atlanta (even though you will see a partial) on this day, oh no no.  I will be in South Carolina in the path of totality and I urge you to take the day off and hit the roads to catch a glimpse of stars in the middle of the day.

The last time the U.S. had a total solar eclipse was in 1991, and was only visible from Hawaii.  Before that, in 1979, the total eclipse that hit the mainland was only visible in the Pacific-Northwest, and would be 40 years before the next big one. The time has finally arrived and it indeed is big.  It hasn’t been since 1918 that a total solar eclipse made it’s away down the middle of the Continental U.S.!  The time is now because as you can see it is going to be a few years before you have a chance to witness it again.

21stCenturyNorthAmericanEclipses.png

The Path

Are you in the path?  NASA states that most of the country should catch a small portion of the eclipse but to see the total eclipse you need to be in the direct path.  The path of totality is only 60 miles wide, so it is very narrow. On this interactive map you can plug in your zip code to see if you are in the path of the eclipse, the animation is pretty cool, it will show you how much you will actually glimpse.

Visit Farmer’s Almanac to see where you can see partials and total’s and the times table.

map

“You suddenly feel as though you can see the clockwork of the solar system. Where you think you lived doesn’t look like the same place anymore. We kind of know — in the back of our minds — that we live in a giant ball and it revolves around a hot ball of gas, and we’re floating in space. But you don’t really believe it until you see something like a total solar eclipse, where everything is all lined up and you go whoaaa. Other planets pop out. You got instant nighttime. And you can see Mercury and Venus usually. And sometimes Mars and Jupiter. … It looks like the pictures from the textbook. It’s not entirely a science thing anymore. … It’s mostly a thing where you have a better appreciation of where you are in the solar system.” – Ernie Wright, NASA

Where Can You See the Eclipse in the South?

You can check out all the areas by visiting http://www.eclipse2017.org/2017/maps.htm  For my friends and family living in Georgia, you have a few options for viewing.

As stated above: Atlanta will see a partial eclipse.  “Partial” sounds so blase but even if you can’t take off to witness the total eclipse, you will still be able to see a large portion of it, 97% according to Farmers Almanac.

Atlanta 1:05 p.m. 2:36 p.m. 97.0% 4:01 p.m.

So if you are in your office, you may be wondering why it got dark at 2:36 in the afternoon.  97% partial is very dangerous on the eyes to look at as the moon is not covering the entire sun.  Eclipse glasses are a must in this zone. Start time is 1:05 and end is 4:01.

There is a tiny area in north Georgia (Toccoa, Blairsville and Clayton) that is in the total eclipse path.  (does anyone else start humming Total Eclipse of the Heart when you read that?)  Clayton has the longest totality time (how long the sun is completely covered) because it is almost dead center.  North Carolina, like Georgia has a tiny little portion of the state, but Tennessee and South Carolina has quite a few towns in the path.  Click the images to see up close.

 

If for some reason your boss has you chained to your desk during the small window of the eclipse. Fear not you can stream it live.

Eye Safety

Looking at an eclipse directly will damage your eyes.  Don’t do it.  Purchase glasses. Please read how to safely watch the eclipse here. I picked my glasses up at the Planetarium at the University of South Carolina in Aiken, SC for 2 bucks.

safety_2

Phone Apps

There’s an app for that!

 

Resources:

I urge you to read more.  It is fascinating! For more information please visit:

I hope you find a spot to see this phenomenon.  Lots of cities have events, and the areas are going to be packed.  I will be in the woods somewhere in South Carolina.  I am not telling you where, find your own spot! 😀

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran