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Head to any of the Labor Day events in Georgia and make the most of your long holiday weekend. Watch hot air balloons float above the trees in Pine Mountain, crush grapes at a winery in North Georgia, build a sand castle on the beach, cheer for your favorite football team and race car driver, and watch a Pirate Boat Parade on Lake Blackshear. Find these and many more events on http://exploregeorgia.org.
Aug. 29-31: Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain
Aug. 30: Annual Kingsland Catfish Festival, Kingsland
Aug. 30-31: Laurel Summer Fest, Gainesville
Aug. 30-31: Labor Day Weekend – Sunset Tours, North Georgia Zoo, Cleveland
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Labor Day Celebration and Customer Appreciation Weekend, Clayton County International Park – The Beach, Jonesboro
Aug. 31: Tybee Island Labor Day Beach Bash, Tybee Island
Sports & Racing
Aug. 29-31: IPRA World Championship Fall Rodeo, Cumming
Aug. 30: Georgia Tech Football vs. Wofford, Atlanta
Aug. 30: Big Cat Quest Catfish Tournament, Rome
Aug. 31: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton
Aug. 31: Callaway Gardens Family Fitness Series Triathlon, Pine Mountain
Wine & Cheese
Aug. 30: Crush Fest, A Harvest Celebration, Yonah Mountain Vineyards, Cleveland
Aug. 30: Grape Stomping Festival, Paradise Hills Resort, Spa & Farm Winery, Blairsville
Aug. 30: Cheesemaking 101, Sweet Grass Dairy, Thomasville
History & Culture
Aug. 30: 3 Deep in the Yard – The Pivotal Battle of Jonesboro, Jonesboro
Aug. 30: Civil War Event at the Yellow River Post Office, Lilburn
Aug. 30-31: Mountain Heritage Festival, Blairsville
Art & Music
Aug. 30: Lighthouse Gospel Concert, Thomasville
Aug. 30: Just My Imagination Workshop, Dublin
Aug. 30-31: St. Simons Island Antique Show, St. Simons Island
Aug. 31: Drake and Lil’ Wayne at Aaron’s Amphitheatre, Atlanta
Select Events at Georgia State Parks
Aug. 29: Art in the Park, Sweetwater Creek State Park, Lithia Springs
Aug. 29 & 31: Labor Day Weekend Night Kayak, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge
Aug. 30: Labor Day Festival, Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill
Aug. 30: Astronomy, Stephen C. Foster State Park, Fargo
Aug. 30: Bark in the Park Dog Luau, F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain
Aug. 30: Labor Day Fishing Rodeo, Reed Bingham State Park, Adel
Aug. 30: Labor Day at Jarrell Plantation Historic Site, Juliette
Aug. 30: Lake Blackshear Pirate Festival, Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele
Aug. 30: Moonlight Movie Night, Victoria Bryant State Park, Royston
Aug. 31: Guided Canoe Trip, Mistletoe State Park, Appling
Aug. 31: Jr. Ranger Mini-Camp, Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia
Aug. 30-31: Indoor Basic Archery, Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge
Aug. 30-31: Tallulah Gorge Floor Hike, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Labor-less Day, Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge, Helena
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Labor Day on the Lake, Florence Marina State Park, Omaha
Aug. 30-Sept. 1: Tools and Skills that Built a Colony, Wormsloe Historic Site, Savannah
Sept. 1: Labor Day Commemoration, Fort Morris Historic Site, Midway
Sept. 1: Labor Day at Fort King George Historic Site, Darien
Last Chance! Events Ending Labor Day Weekend
Through Aug. 29: Bea Kuhlke Art Exhibition, Sacred Heart Gallery, Augusta
Aug. 30: Blue & Gray Saturdays, Heritage Sandy Springs Museum, Sandy Springs
Through Aug. 30: Family Farm Tours, Jaemor Farms, Alto
Through Aug. 30: Victorian Mourning Tours, Stately Oaks Plantation, Jonesboro
Through Aug. 30: 3D Off the Wall Exhibit, The Art Center, Blue Ridge
Through Aug. 31: The Land Abstracted: Exhibit by Colleen Sterling, The Art Center, Blue Ridge
Through Aug. 31: Corks and Canvas, Evans
Through Aug. 31: Exhibits at Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta
Through Aug. 31: Splash Pad, Southern Pines Regional Park, Dublin
Through Aug. 31: “Right On,” Horizon Theatre, Atlanta
Through Sept. 1: Summer Music Weekends, Rock City, Lookout Mountain
Through Sept. 1: Blue Star Museums, Flint RiverQuarium and Thronateeska Heritage Center, Albany
Opening Labor Day Weekend
Aug. 30-Sept. 17: Perspectives 2014 pottery event, Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation, Watkinsville
Aug. 30-Oct. 26: Pick Your Own Apples, Red Apple Barn, Ellijay
Aug. 30-Nov. 16 Buford Corn Maze, Buford
Sept. 1-30: Blue Morpho Butterfly Month at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain
Stone Mountain Park is a Georgia family tradition. I can look back on many fond childhood memories of summer days and nights spent enjoying the historic landmark. Now, as a mom, I’m creating new memories at this unique destination that has grown a lot over the past few decades.
The addition of the Crossroads District has enhanced the old-fashioned, family-friendly charm of Stone Mountain while the Natural District still preserves over 15 miles of serene hiking trails for nature-lovers. What I have learned to appreciate most about Stone Mountain Park is the bridge between the natural world and modern family fun.
Camping at Stone Mountain Park is truly like nowhere else. The campground is a tranquil lakeside spot nestled among loblolly pines and frequented by geese and ducks. Upon awakening, campers may be treated to the breathtaking view of deer hopping along or a Great Blue Heron fishing for breakfast. Exploring the park proves a thrilling adventure as visitors hike to the top of the mountain, relax on train rides, complete the SkyHike aerial obstacle course and picnic near the Carillon bell tower during its daily concerts. As the sun sets and the moon comes out of hiding, everyone settles down on the lawn to watch the Lasershow Spectacular. There’s no better way to put this day to bed than drifting to sleep to the sounds of nature.
The abundance of outdoor recreation, kid-friendly activities, intriguing natural features and full service campground make Stone Mountain Park the perfect place to get started on the road to family camping adventures. With the park’s “Ready, Set, Camp!” program it’s easier than ever for families to get a taste of sleeping under the stars in the great outdoors. The quiet campground provides all the amenities that may have campers homesick. Campsites are available with running water and electricity, a picnic table and grill. The sites are within walking distance of restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. There’s even a camp store, on-site, in the event that essential items are left at home.
Thanks to “Ready, Set, Camp,” new campers can jump right into the fun spirit of camping without the added difficulties of choosing gear & struggling to set it up on site. Campers arrive to brand new 4-person tent, pitched just for them, with 4 comfortable sleeping pads inside. The tent is a one-door, two-window tent with shock-corded poles. The mesh roof increases air circulation and allows for stargazing on clear nights and a rain fly for less-than-ideal conditions. The lightweight sleeping pads give a nice barrier between campers and the unforgiving ground. All in all, it’s a great setup that campers take home with them to use on their next family campout.
Reserve your “Ready Set Camp” experience at Stone Mountain Park, today!
Candy Cook is a professional writer & photographer who enjoys adventuring outdoors with her two sons. She draws inspiration from the natural world releasing it through written word and award-winning photography on her blog LongLiveLearning.com, as well as digital & print publications.
As road trip travel bloggers, my sidekick Jerry and I spend a lot of time driving the backroads of our amazing planet, and we frequently find ourselves drawn to the Americus – Plains – Andersonville area of South Georgia because there is so much to see and do in that 15-mile radius. We typically make the historical Windsor Hotel in Americus our home base because it is centrally located between the Andersonville National Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains.With two major national parks in such close proximity, this area of the Presidential Pathways region of Georgia is rich in culture and history.
When you visit the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site you will be transported back in time to the Boyhood Farm, Plains High School, and the Train Depot presidential campaign headquarters. You will drive away having spent a rewarding day learning about the 39th President of the United States.
But not so fast.
If you leave now, you will leave town having missed the best part—the opportunity to meet the President himself.
Yes, you heard me correctly. You can meet President Jimmy Carter in person!
Although most Americans know President Carter as a humanitarian and spiritual man, many people do not know that he has been teaching Sunday School for most of his adult life, and he still teaches most Sundays at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains. We have been privileged to attend on two occasions, and those visits rank among the most memorable moments, not just of our travels, but of our lives. If you plan your South Georgia travel accordingly, you can attend Jimmy Carter’s Sunday School class, too.
Here’s how it works:
1. The church doors open for seating at 8:30 AM, and Sunday School begins promptly at 10:00 AM.
2. You must pass U.S. Secret Service screening, including bag searches, metal detection, and a bomb-sniffing dog.
3. Prior to Sunday School, Miss Jan, a retired school teacher, will give a stern, but highly-entertaining, orientation so you will understand presidential protocol and how to behave in church.
4. After a short prayer, Jimmy Carter will rise, greet the congregation, comment on current events, and begin his hour-long lesson. (If you peek during the prayer, you will see the President enter the sanctuary from a side door.)
5. As the best souvenir, you can have your picture taken with Jimmy and Rosalynn, but you must wait until the end of the hour-long morning worship service.
Jimmy Carter will be 90 years old on his next birthday, and although he is in excellent health and still very active in diplomatic missions and humanitarian causes, I would encourage you to make the Americus – Plains – Andersonville area of South Georgia your next road trip destination. Before you plan your visit, however, be sure to verify Jimmy Carter’s teaching dates at the Maranatha Baptist Church web site.
Howard Blount’s passion is navigating the roads-less-traveled of this amazing planet in search of anything rare and remote. He is a writer, consultant, and published author with Simon & Schuster and McGraw-Hill. Although his road trips are financed by his day job as a middle school teacher, Howard would much rather be scouting waterfalls on the North Georgia mountain backroads near his cabin in Blairsville. You can reach Howard @backroad_planet on Twitter or at his road trip travel blog BackroadPlanet.com.