Georgians Newsletter

Table of Contents

Did you know?

In the 1930s, the Department of Agriculture paid farmers up to $8 an acre to cultivate kudzu to help control erosion.

John Henry "Doc" Holliday was a daring southern gentleman from Griffin,Georgia.

It’s time to get out and enjoy all of beautiful warm weather, great music, homegrown watermelons, and great baseball games. And Georgia is the perfect place to do just that. And don’t forget about Mother’s Day on May 14th. 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

Horse Park 10th Anniversary

This year the Horse Park celebrates 10 years of success since the Olympic Games with a week-long display free and open to the public showcasing Olympic memories and memorabilia.

It’s been 10 years since the Olympic Games made their mark on Atlanta, Georgia, but that’s not the only place that’s felt the impact of such a monumental sporting event. The Georgia International Horse Park (GIHP) located in Conyers, Georgia, 25 miles east of Atlanta, was the site for the equestrian, mountain biking and modern pentathlon events during the Centennial Olympic Games. The GIHP has made a name for itself and has prospered considerably since the worldwide sporting event that put the facility and the community on the map.

“The memorabilia will be displayed in such a way that will take attendees through the process of Olympic dream to dream realized,” said Matt Dixon, member of the Georgia International Horse Park Foundation that has organized the memorabilia display.

The display will be open to the public during the first week of August.

The week’s activities celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Olympics at the Georgia International Horse Park culminate with a “Movie under the Stars” event on Saturday, August 5. Attend a free viewing of a popular, family-friendly movie outdoors in the Park’s Grand Prix Stadium. A host of other ancillary activities including inflatables for the kids, food, bands and entertainment will also be a part of the celebratory evening. Details are still being confirmed, but the fun and food will be plentiful.

“This celebration is a wonderful way for us to give back and to thank our community and event promoters for their support over the past ten years,” said Jennifer Bexley, Director of the GIHP. “Thanks to them, the Horse Park is an economic development engine that generates upwards of $57 million into our county’s economy on an annual basis.”

For more information on these and other Georgia International Horse Park events, visit the Horse Park website at or call the Conyers Welcome Center at 770-602-2606.

Article written by Monica Coffin.

Georgia Coast

MayFair 2006

Join us for a full day of music, fun, food, arts and crafts on May 13th, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. There will be something for everyone! MayFair 2006 will be held in historic downtown Brunswick showcasing our beautiful community and our Historic Homes Tour.

Enjoy the talents of our youngest musicians- Glynn Middle School Jazz Band as well as the incredible sounds of Dromedary, a world music duo from Athens, GA. Artists from Georgia to South Carolina to Florida will be here displaying everything from jewelry, hand woven baskets, watercolors, and hand painted gourds. So bring a blanket and enjoy some Georgia barbecue or feast on a meal from one of our great local restaurants.

This year we have joined with the Brunswick Landmarks Foundation who will be having their annual Tour of Homes to promote our beautiful, historic city. The homes tour will feature “Homes on the Squares” as well as “Homes on Signature Squares”. Here we will be unveiling the recent renovations underway at Hanover Square with demonstrations on site. Come be a part of the community and enjoy the day! For more information, please contact Wendy Beeker at Cottonfield & Co. 912-267-5627

Article written by Wendy Beeker.

Historic South

10th Annual AthFest Music and Arts Festival

The AthFest Music and Arts Festival, June 21-25, is the perfect opportunity to sample Athens' world-renowned live music scene and boundless creative energy. Since its founding in 1997, AthFest has remained true to its roots as a showcase of local performing and visual arts. The 10th Annual AthFest will feature over 100 bands playing all day and all night in Athens' famous clubs and on outdoor stages, including the legendary Drivin' N' Cryin' with front man Kevin Kinney, who will headline AthFest's final night.

But AthFest is about more than just the music performances that put this vibrant college town at the top of the live music scene. Festival-goers should take time to check out the 2006 Sprockets Music + Video Competition, plus Sprockets Teenscreen showcases the work of Athens' next generation of filmmakers. The Flagpole Music Awards are also part of the calendar of events, as is an open-air juried Artists Market for all forms of visual arts media.

Perhaps lesser known to music fans outside of Athens is that AthFest has a full slate of weekend events for children, making it a very family-friendly event. Children will have plenty of hands-on opportunities to make their own art and other activities on Saturday and Sunday.

Wristbands are available for sale at $15 each. All wristbands are 'full event' and provide unlimited access to participating clubs and venues subject to age and capacity, as well as discounts to special events. All outdoor stage performances are absolutely free.

For wristband and CD sales, plus a complete schedule of AthFest events, visit the festival website, For complete Athens travel information, including accommodations and other attractions and activities, see the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau website, or call 800-653-0603.

Article written by Hannah Smith of the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Georgia Mountains

FoxFire Celebration

Please bring your favorite family dish to share and a lawn chair for relaxing in our picnic area. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a day filled with bluegrass and gospel performers from around Rabun County and the Georgia mountain region.

Our Community Celebration Picnic kicks off Foxfire’s 40th anniversary festivities. Foxfire invites you to join us on Saturday, May 13, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the grounds of The Foxfire Museum in Mountain City

Hear for yourself some of the wonderful stories that find their way into The Foxfire Magazine.

Watch some of our regional crafters who will be demonstrating their skills and you will understand some of the time and talent that goes into traditional handcrafted goods.

The Picnic is a great chance to relax, let your hair down, visit with folks, or dance away the afternoon. We will also have games for the kids. We hope to see you there!

Parking on the Museum grounds is very limited. You may also take advantage of our shuttle van and parking areas (look for the signs) just off Highway 441 in Mountain City. If you have mobility issues, please drive to Foxfire Lane by following the brown signs off Black Rock Mountain Parkway or by taking Cross Street off Highway 441.

Article supplied by Lee Carpenter.

Georgia Southern Rivers

Watermelon Days

It is the season, it is the reason for shouting out loud – “It’s Watermelon Time in Cordele-Crisp County, Georgia” as plans are being made for the 57th Annual Watermelon Days Festival making it one of the oldest festivals in the State.

Beginning June 1, more than thirty events have been planned by the Watermelon Days Committee of the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce. On June 10, the Watermelon Capital Queen Pageant will be held to select girls in four categories ranging in age from four to 21 to serve as “Melon Queens”. They will reign over all the activities during the festival and represent our community at events around the region.

The festival will be featured on Phil Streetman’s Channel 55 noon show on June 28 and Channel 10’s Ruthie Garner segment on June 29. Some of the events include a Watermelon Word Hunt ; a Window Decorating Contest among local merchants; a 4-H Dog Show on June 23; a Kiwanis Fishing Rodeo for kids; a Mushmelon Parade for the kids, “This is Your Life” Banquet honoring a local citizen yet to be named, a Fireworks Show on July 4 at Lake Blackshear; a “Slice of Talent” show on July 6 sponsored by Crisp Area Arts Alliance, a Puppet Show on June 19 sponsored by Misdemeanor Probation Services, and an “Old Fashion Gospel Sing” on July 7.

On July 8, which is the biggest day of the festival, you can participate in the 5K Run and Fun Run, a Parade , Singing at the Suwanee, Arts and Crafts at Watermelon Park, a Junior Watermelon Eating Contest, a Car and Truck Display, a Tractor Display, a Horseshoe Tournament, a Watermelon Slice give-away, Watermelon Days Entertainment, an Adult Seed Spitting and Big Melon Contest, a Watermelon Recipe Contest featuring desserts made with Watermelon, a Watermelon Days Dance with a Margaritaville theme . Some of these events are all day long and some are scheduled for a specific time.

When making plans to attend the festival you will want to include some extra time to ride the SAM Shortline Excursion Train, attend a car race at the Watermelon Capital Speedway, play a round of golf at one of our three championship golf courses, shop at the Cordele State Farmer’s Market (for that fresh watermelon and produce) or just relax at Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park located on beautiful Lake Blackshear.

Information on the area and the National Watermelon Days Festival are available by calling the Cordele Crisp Chamber of Commerce at 229-273-1668, or 1-866-426-3566. or going on line Come be part of the “sweetest festival of the summer!” There is something for everyone!

Article written by Monica Simmons of the Cordele Crisp Chamber of Commerce

Georgia Charity Profile

Hope Has Never Been Higher

While many have heard the movie title “Angels in the Outfield,” one “angel” in Atlanta – 15-year-old Anna Hanger of Tucker – will be standing squarely on the mound at Turner Field, the two-year anniversary of her final chemotherapy treatment in her sights.

To “live each day like it’s your last,” is 17-year-old Carson Hand’s anthem – lyrics of a song he wrote upon completing his last chemotherapy treatment on December 8, 2005. At Turner Field, the Columbus teen will share his voice with many.

Anna and Carson will throw the first pitch and sing the national anthem, respectively, at the Spring Baseball Classic for Kids on May 10. Their ceremonial rites will precede the match between collegiate rivals the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech, the second of an afternoon double-header and benefit for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Anna was diagnosed with a brain tumor in June 2003, which required surgery and chemotherapy treatment. She also struggled with the loss of her hearing and complications with speech and feeling. Anna approached her challenges with courage and ultimately turned her compassion toward others receiving treatment at the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Believing that there were patient families in greater need than she, Anna created “Anna’s Angel Fund,” which to date has raised nearly $70,000 for patient families at the Aflac Cancer Center.

Carson, a Georgia fan and Northside High student active in the school’s government, golf team and as its marching band’s drum line captain, was diagnosed with a 9-pound, 6-ounce tumor on his liver in March 2005. He underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and experimental therapy at the Aflac Cancer Center. Just days after his last chemotherapy treatment the following December, he performed his newly penned song “Your Last” to a full house at the Aflac “Focus 2006” meeting in Atlanta to a standing ovation. He continues to share his message of seeking meaning and purpose in life and living each day as if it’s one’s last.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Children’s and its Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor program. The system’s accuracy offers an advantage for the removal of brain tumors in children. Children’s Hospital treats more than 70 brain and spinal cord tumor patients a year. In 2005, the event raised more than $220,000 for Children’s.

So join us in watching the University of Georgia Bulldogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 7 p.m. and the Wesleyan School and the Greater Atlanta Christian School at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10th. Turner Field (755 Hank Aaron Dr., SE, Atlanta 30315; General admission tickets are $10 each. Tickets and more information are available by visiting or calling 404-785-7315.

Article by Jennifer Sinclair of Children's Hospital of Atlanta.