Monday, October 21, 2013

Small Town Letdown...Part I

During the month of October, every small town in the North Georgia Mountains has some kind of festival during the weekend. Along Highway 575 which becomes Highway 515 and then turns to Highway 2 and then Highway 76 you'll find several of these small festivals.

 Jasper kicks the month off with the Marble Festival. In an area not much bigger than a football field, festival goers are herded through a small gate and must pay a $5 entrance fee. In addition, another fee (if you want to park close) is charged for parking. I know local groups use this as an opportunity to make money for their programs but the smallness and intimacy of the festival can sometimes lead visitors feeling a bit disappointed and under-whelmed. "Was that it?" I heard on more than one occasion. Or "I feel like I paid to shop and eat," has also been tossed around.

The next two weekends of the month feature the Apple Festival in Ellijay. It, too, has an area that you have to pay to access but it is much bigger than the festival in Jasper. They also have areas throughout the town that offer visitors a chance to wander around without paying an entrance fee.

Another festival in North Georgia is Gold Rush Days held in Dahlonega. A lot of people don't know this but Dahlonega was home to the first gold rush in the United States. It's also home to one of my Alma maters, North Georgia College, or as it is now known, The University of North Georgia. (I'm not sure why but the Administration of the college has changed the name of the school several times. It was North Georgia College, then North Georgia College and State University and now the University of North Georgia.) Gold Rush is a very large festival and they shout down the main road that runs through town so there is plenty of room to accommodate the crowds.

Farther up into the mountains you'll find the Moonshine Festival and the Sorghum Festival in the towns of Dawsonville and Blairsville. There's always something to look at, music to listen to and of course, food to eat.

Over the years, I have tried many different types of fair food but I always come back to the same two things:  deep-fried ribbon potatoes and roasted corn. I like the chicken-on-a-stick, too and sometimes go for a corn dog. Funnel cake doesn't really excite me but the peach cobbler that the local Boy Scouts cook in Dutch ovens over a campfire make me squeal with delight.

I've been to all of these festivals, and I'll have to admit that the main reason I go is to eat. I've learned that I don't have to go to the large festivals that charge an entry fee, I can go to the small festival right up the road in Talking Rock. The festival is called Heritage Days and takes place the third weekend of October every year. Talking Rock is a very small-town, about 60 people and a few antique shops; a Post Office and convenience store are located up near Highway 515. They have a small creek that runs through town and a very nice park.

The festival is small, has the prerequisite things for people to look at and music to listen to and has just the right amount of my favorite food vendors.

Usually...


2 comments:

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

One of the reasons I love this time of year is because of all the festivals around. There is something fun to do every weekend.

Gianetta said...

I totally agree. If you're not careful, you can spend all of your money and gain 10 pounds.

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