Georgians Newsletter

Table of Contents

Did you know?

The official state fish is the Largemouth Bass.

In 1837, a trip from Milledgeville, Georgia to Washington D.C. took seven days and nineteen hours!

Georgia is the perfect place to get outside and enjoy the best sights, sounds, and food that summer time has to offer. Visit our Georgia Events Calendar at to get more ideas of great things to do. Please forward our newsletter to your family and friends and share the fun. Together, we can accomplish amazing things!

Atlanta Metro

Niki in the Garden

“Niki in the Garden”, presented by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. will be the world’s largest exhibition of internationally-renowned artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s outdoor sculptures ever presented.

The magical and joyful works of include enormous animals, mythical figures, totems, sports heroes and oversized, often dancing, powerful women celebrating life. These sculptures are brilliantly embellished with mirrors, glass, semi-precious stones and ceramic mosaics that come to life in all kinds of light. Massive in scale, some pieces reach as high as eighteen feet and span up to twenty-five feet long. Many invite sitting, climbing or crawling through secret passages.

“We are launching an exhibition of one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century,” said Mary Pat Matheson, Executive Director of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

This spectacular exhibition features Saint Phalle’s imaginative, monumental artwork beautifully displayed throughout the Garden. The Garden is the ideal place for Saint Phalle’s work to be displayed because of her love of nature. These whimsical, frolicking sculptures will undoubtedly delight Atlanta just as they have been delighting international audiences for decades.

“If life is a game of cards, we are born without knowledge of the rules. Yet we must play our hand,” said Saint Phalle. She undoubtedly mastered this philosophy as her works are internationally heralded as uniquely accessible. The sculptures possess qualities that appeal to the tactile and visual senses, making this exhibition ideal for all ages. Over thirty-five large-scale sculptural works will be spread throughout the Garden, harmonizing with the natural beauty of the landscape.

The Atlanta exhibition is made possible by the Niki Charitable Art Foundation (NCAF), a non-profit organization committed to the late artist’s ideals and the preservation of her legacy for future generations.

Much to the delight of the Garden visitors, the magnificent sculptures of Niki de Saint Phalle the sculptures will be specially lit for dramatic effect at night and on view during evening hours until 9 p.m. with Niki Nights every Thursday. During this time, guests will be invited to enjoy. Food and refreshments will also be available for purchase during Niki Nights. Niki in the Garden will be on display until October 31, 2006.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located at 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, adjacent to Piedmont Park in the heart of Midtown. It is open until October from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., November through March from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $12 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for students. Admission for Garden members and children under 3 is free. Every Tuesday the Garden extends $2 off per admission thanks to the generosity of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. with “Turner Tuesdays.” For more information on Niki in the Garden, call (404) 876-5859 or visit

Article supplied by Mary Reynolds and Amanda Allendorf Kozinn of the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Georgia Coast

Jazz in the Park

July is one of those months that happened to be blessed with five weekends. That means two high-tide Sundays and three great Jazz in the Park concerts! Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association (GIAHA) is pleased to present the 17th Annual Jazz in the Park 2006.

Sunday, July 9: Sam Rodriguez

Striving to preserve the African heritage in Latin American popular music, the distinct musical personality of percussionist Sam Rodriquez reflects Puerto Rican bomba and plena, guaguanco, samba and Latin Jazz. His broad scope has earned him the praise and respect of the many artists he’s worked with, including Anita Baker, Al Jarreau, Barry White, and Gladys Knight.

Sunday, July 23: One Leg Up

Bringing to mind the Paris bistros of days gone by, Asheville’s One Leg Up brings lively, intimate, danceable jazz in the immortal style of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. Their repertoire of 1920s, 30s, and 40s jazz standards, originals, modern jazz tunes, and of course, music from the book of the virtuoso guitarist Reinhardt is sure to be a unique and welcome addition to the jazz season.

Sunday, August 20: The Kelly-Scott Jazz 5tet

The versatile style of the Kelly-Scott Jazz 5tet reaches lovers of old school swing and driving bebop alike in their dedication to the art of improvisation and the pure enjoyment of entertaining. One of the most popular jazz groups in the southeast, the KSJ5 is co-led by the highly regarded duo of vocalist Lisa Kelly and trumpeter JB Scott, and features the outstanding rhythm section of pianist Doug Matthews, bassist Rick Ravelo, & drummer Rick Kirkland.

Jazz concerts start at 7:00 p.m. at the St. Simons Island Lighthouse lawn. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and free for children 5 and under. For more information, contact the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association 912-262-6934 or by email at

Article submitted by Rob Nixon of the Golden Isles Arts and Humanities Association.

Historic South

Sunflower Festival

Experience an explosion of natural color and a day of family fun at the 5th annual Sunflower Festival in Rutledge, Georgia on July 1st and 2nd. Enjoy twelve beautiful acres of sunflowers, an Independence Day parade featuring antique tractors, artists market, live music, BBQ, heritage gardens, homemade goodies, pass-a-long plants and seed, fresh grown produce and much more!

Special music is provided by Mr. Danny Roland – who also doubles as the Master of Ceremonies for the festival. Mr. Roland is a Georgia native and recent inductee into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame. For thirty years he has performed across America and has appeared on the Dick Clark Show. In 2003, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Atlanta Society of Entertainers.

Many other local entertainers will perform traditional bluegrass, gospel, folk and country music throughout the two days!

Several Georgia heritage artisans will provide live demonstrations of blacksmithing, pottery, quilting, gourd art and more. Adults and children alike will enjoy interacting with these Georgia artisans in the shade covered arts and crafts market. This year there will be a larger variety of works for sale with over 60 exhibitors selling their handmade wares.

The kids will enjoy the antique tractor parade at 10a.m. Saturday, hay rides, pony rides and a petting zoo. Create a vivid memory of a life time for your kids as you venture into the sunflower fields and cut your own fresh sunflower bouquets! A large bouquet is only $7 and includes a nice vase.

The West-Holt family began the festival in 2002. The event has grown into a popular regional event and attracted around 5,000 people last year. Proceeds from the event will go to various local charity organizations including the Rotary Club of Madison, Habitat for Humanity, Project Linus, and others.

A $5 per car fee covers parking and admission. The event time is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday July 1st and 10a.m. to 4p.m. Sunday, July 2nd. Follow the signs from I-20 exit 105.The event address is 1380 Durden Road, Rutledge, Georgia 30663. For more information, please contact Rena Holt 706-557-2870 or visit the official website

Article submitted by Rena Holt.

Georgia Mountains

BBQ and Bluegrass

Imagine you’re strolling over the grounds of an historic school, surrounded by the beautiful North Georgia Mountains. Your tummy is rumbling from the mouth-watering aromas drifting on the breeze. There’s a definite spring in your step as you listen to world class Bluegrass Music. You’re saying hello to Blind Hogs and Acorns; Pig Pounda Kappa; Wauhatchie Stump Jumpers; Oink, Cackle and Moo; Music City Pig Pals; ButtRub.Com and other friends from near and far. Where are you? Why, you’re at the tenth annual Dillard Bluegrass and Barbeque Festival held on August 4th -5th, of course! The Georgia State Championship Cook-Off sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

From our humble beginnings in 1997 when we had eleven cooking teams and just a few Bluegrass groups. But in 1999 with thirty-four competing teams, we moved on to the grounds of the Old Dillard School. The Old Dillard School houses the Dillard City Hall and is home to the North Georgia Community Players – in addition to being the current home of the Dillard Bluegrass and Barbeque Festival.

In 1999, we were also sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and the State of Georgia as an official championship cook-off. This means that we now have “Certified” Barbeque Judges.

From our fourth year, we’ve had more than fifty cooking teams vying for the Georgia State Championship, coming to Dillard from: Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan and Virginia. Our Judges come from all those states and even further away, including: California, Arkansas, Missouri, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New York, Mississippi and Washington!

We also have world class Bluegrass Music on Friday evening and all day Saturday! The music line up for this year is, on Friday: Fowler Connection, Foxfire Boys, Carmel Ridge and Jasper Junction. On Saturday we’ll hear: Curtis Blackwell and the Dixie Bluegrass Boys, Al Wood and the Smokey Ridge Boys, Heavens Echoes and the Lonesome Whistle Band.

In addition to these headliners, we enjoy an “open mike” time from 2:00pm Friday and from 9:00am Saturday when lots of local talent entertain. There’s a real treat in store for musicians and wannabe’s this year with a Dobro Workshop at 10:00am Saturday by world famous Floyd Jasper, musician and builder of the Jasper Guitars!

We will also have a “Kid’s Q” to involve our youngsters in the wonderful world of barbeque competition.

Please check out our web site at for directions, maps, and rules and regulations for the cooking competition and “Kid’s Q”.

Article submitted by Katheryn Granberg, Volunteer Coordinator.

Georgia Southern Rivers

Georgia Veteran’s Triathlon

The Cordele-Crisp Chamber is sponsoring the 6th Annual Georgia Veteran’s Triathlon, August 19th, 2006. The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. with a ½ mile swim in beautiful Lake Blackshear, followed by a 13.6 mile bike ride along the shores of the lake and ending with a 3.1 mile run through Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park.

We are anticipating more than 200+ participants from throughout Georgia as well as surrounding states. The committee has been working for months to be sure that this is the biggest and best Triathlon yet.

Participants throughout Georgia say that “Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park is the ideal location to hold this event and they enjoy coming back each year.”

The Georgia Watermelon Queen Jenna Stanford will be on hand to pass out trophies. Participants will receive a t-shirt and trophies by age category as well as overall.

We invite everyone to come and watch the event. And while in Crisp County, we would invite you to enjoy the other great attractions we have to offer in addition to our southern hospitality. Take a ride on the SAM Shortline Train. Eat at Cordelia’s Restaurant located at the lake Blackshear Resort. Play around of golf on the Lake Blackshear Golf Course. Rent a boat at the Lake Blackshear Marina (inside Georgia Veteran’s Memorial State Park). Shop in our local specialty shops or our State Farmer’s Market. Attend a race at the Watermelon Capital Speedway. Spend the night at one our award winning hotels. Eat a delicious meal at one of our many local restaurants.

Volunteers are also needed to assist with the event. If you are interested in helping, please call the chamber at 273-1668.

For more information, call the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce (229-273-1668) or go to our web site or email us at

Article submitted by Monica Simmons, Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce.

Georgia Charity Profile

Airwaves and Fairways

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta supporters can tune in and tee up in August, as News/Talk 750 WSB Radio presents its sixth annual Care-a-Thon and three Atlanta Braves standouts present the city’s largest celebrity-amateur golf tournament. Both star-studded events will benefit the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a leading not-for-profit childhood cancer and hematology program.

Scott Slade, host of WSB Radio’s “Atlanta Morning News,” and fellow News/Talk 750 WSB on-air personalities including Neal Boortz and Clark Howard will broadcast the Sixth Annual Care-a-Thon on August 24 and 25 live from the Aflac Cancer Center at Children’s.

Beginning at 5 a.m. on August 24 and continuing until 6 p.m. on August 25, listeners will hear courageous stories from the children and families who have benefited from the care they received at the Aflac Cancer Center. The Care-a-Thon also will feature special guests and opportunities to bid on exciting auction items.

During the broadcast, listeners can tune in to 750 AM on the radio dial, call 888-750-2772 to support Children’s or listen online, read patient stories and donate by logging on to Information and donation opportunities also will be available at

Recognized as one of the top three pediatric cancer centers in the country by Child magazine, the Aflac Cancer Center has benefited from the generosity of the News/Talk 750 WSB staff and listeners for the last five years. The Aflac Cancer Center treats more than 320 new cancer patients annually and follows more than 1,700 patients with sickle cell disease, hemophilia and other blood disorders.

In its 14th year, the John Smoltz Atlanta Braves Celebrity-Am golf tournament will grow from one star host to three. Fellow Braves teammates Tim Hudson and Jeff Francoeur will join Smoltz to present Atlanta’s largest celebrity-amateur golf tournament August 27 and 28. The two-day event will provide a memorable opportunity to play golf and socialize with current Braves players, former professional athletes from the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL and local celebrities – all for the benefit of patients at the Aflac Cancer Center.

The festivities begin on August 27 with a special Dugout Level Sponsor Challenge, continue with Sports Auction and Draw Party that evening and culminate with the John Smoltz-Tim Hudson-Jeff Francoeur Braves Celebrity-Am on August 28. The 54-hole golf tournament will take place at three highly acclaimed private courses: Atlanta National Golf Club, Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek and White Columns Country Club.

Past Celebrity-Am participants have included Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Schuerholz, Gary Sheffield, Mike Kenn, Randy Cross, Steve Bartkowski, Dan Roundfield, Kevin Butler and more than 70 other celebrities.

Sponsorship levels range from $500 to $4,500 and provide different levels of participation in the event. For more information, call 404-785-7373 or visit

Article submitted by Jennifer Sinclair, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.