10 Things to Do at Atlanta Motorama


Sure, there’ll be a lot of vehicles at Atlanta Motor Speedway April 26-27 during an event that will celebrate anything with a motor in it, the Summit Racing Equipment Atlanta Motorama presented by Classic Collectors Insurance & zMAX. But that’s only the beginning of everything that’ll be taking up the entire AMS infield during this inaugural event!

Here are ten things that you’ll need to be sure to see and do at Motorama!

1. Celebrating anything with an engine!

Classic and modern cars, boats, motorcycles and planes, some which are rarely seen by the public, will be on display! Rare vehicles in the Speedway Salon, set aside for the most valuable vehicles, will include a 1939 Packard convertible sedan and a Dusenburg Some of the ars from Truett Cathy’s Collection will also be on display in the Show area.

2. Car-crushing exhibition by BIGFOOT®

That’s right! One of the world’s most famous monster trucks will be putting on two demonstrations of destroying cars twice each day! The exhibitions, presented by Summit Racing Equipment, are scheduled twice daily near turn three of the Speedway Saturday at 10:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

3. Hot Rodders of Tomorrow.

See high school-aged students show off their engine-building skills as they take apart and rebuild engines in timed competition. The event will take place in Atlanta Motor Speedway’s victory lane.

4. Massive Vendor Midway

The Summit Racing Equipment Atlanta Motorama midway will rival any collection of vendors seen at America’s biggest car shows with nearly 200 vendors signed up so far!

10255811_10152314549170798_1737973566491185612_n5. Lawnmower racing

These aren’t your everyday landscaping machines! Racing among lawn mowers will take place multiple times during the two day event near turn three of the Speedway.

6. Classic Vehicle Auction

Have you watched vehicle auctions on TV and wanted to see one for yourself? You’ll have that chance at Motorama as Four Seasons Auction Gallery will be conducting one of the largest vehicle auctions in the Southeast!

7. American Street Car Series Autocross Presented by AARP

What would a car event be without some autocross? Scheduled for twice each day, autocross is open to all car show entries, including seasoned autocross veterans or first timers!

8. Seminars

Auto enthusiasts of all types can obtain a wealth of information on varying topics through the Motorama seminars.

9. Pull-A-Part Swap Meet

Here is your chance buy, sell, trade or just search for parts for your vehicle or for one that you’re dreaming of!

10252113_220951011437228_7054337798045434_n10. Drive the track!

Each car show entry at Motorama is eligible to take part in the Speedway Cruise each day, enabling each vehicle to drive on the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s racing surface! Car show entry for the entire event is $50. For more information, visit www.atlantamotorama.com

- See more at: http://www.atlantamotorspeedway.com/media/news/five-things-summit-racing-equipment-atlanta-motorama-presented-classic-collectors-insurance-zmax.html#sthash.BXjVCyLa.dpuf

Surprising Suburb: Vidalia & The Golden Onion Competition

Onions abound throughout the festival and the competition.

Onions abound throughout the festival and the competition.

Ten chefs compete for the Golden Onion trophy Sunday afternoon, April 27 preparing the sweetest of all onions right in the land where they grow – Vidalia, Georgia.

Sounds like a solid reason for a culinary holiday that happens in the midst of a 37-year-old festival. And it’s free.

Miss the 2014 version and mail order Vidalia onions to satisfy you until next April. This professional chef cooking competition is an annual affair.

Expect more than sweet and savory aromas; the Golden Onion lets visitors up close to the chefs: watching, learning, talking, tasting.

Golden Onion trophy stays with chef one year until the next competition.

Golden Onion trophy stays with chef one year until the next competition.

Chef competitors each prepare eight plates — five presented to judges, one for photography, two plates to raffle. Recipe books provide competition entries for $10.00

Why the excitement? This is the onion with a protective federal market order and a museum. Only onion I ever knew about with a pledge!

When you see the letters VO inside a little onion sketch on a menu, it means the restaurant owner pledged never declare it a Vidalia if not so.

Intrigue in growing these sweet treasures is nothing new. Guess that’s why Bob Stafford is known in Vidalia as the “onion high sheriff.”

He keeps everybody honest, enforcing the federal order naming 13 full counties and parts of seven as the only true Vidalia sources. Plus, he’s a judge in the cooking competition.

Stafford’s office is in the Onion Museum where the story of sandy soils explains the special sweetness.

I do believe I’d like to meet the 100 or so farmers in these counties growing real-deal certified Vidalia onions. Family farming does mean something in America.

Onions come in six sizes, from peewee to colossal.

Onions come in six sizes, from peewee to colossal.

Seems it’s sulfur that makes an onion pungent, maybe even hot, but South Georgia sandy soil lets the sulfur leach and the onions grow sweet.

Vidalia’s are softer than western onions, and every one is hand planted and hand picked.

Mostly they ship fresh but 10,000 onions can be stored in tightly sealed rooms of nitrogen and carbon dioxide—only three percent oxygen at temperature of 35 degrees.

In addition to visiting the Onion Museum, I recommend talking to the Convention and Visitor Bureau before you go to see about a tour, or at least some conversations with the onion experts.

Christine 12. 2007 4Christine Tibbetts claimed Georgia as her home state in 1972.  She covers Georgia destinations, and the world, always offering prompts for exceptional experiences and opportunities to muse. Tibbetts earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the prestigious School of Journalism at the University of Missouri and is the recipient of numerous gold, silver and merit awards from North American Travel Journalists Association writing competitions. Follow her at www.TibbettsTravel.com.

“Gone with the Wind” 75th Anniversary Celebration

Façade of the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum; credit: Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum

Façade of the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum; credit: Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum

Mark the calendar and summon your inner Southern belle for a trip to Marietta, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, during the first weekend in June for a special 75th anniversary tribute celebration to Gone With the Wind, the movie. Don a hoop skirt during the costume ball, cheer on actors during a live play, mingle with celebrity guests – and grab an autograph or two, and join in an author’s forum all to celebrate the beloved Margaret Mitchell classic. The excitement will simply have you exclaiming, “fiddledee!”

While visiting, take time to explore the state’s first and only designated Gone With the Wind Trail. Through the Trail, fans of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel can discover the history and legacy behind one of the world’s most beloved books while navigating a variety of stops in and around Atlanta. Noted by CNN as one of the top 50 things to experience in America’s 50 states, Georgia’s Gone With the Wind Trail begins at The Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square, a mainstay in downtown Marietta since April 2003 when it opened in the historic Old Thomas Warehouse Building. With an extensive collection of memorabilia provided by Dr. Chris Sullivan, the museum is sure to delight and intrigue any Gone With the Wind fan, from novice to aficionado. Highlights include the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the movie, several of Margaret Mitchell’s personal volumes of the novel, an educational display dedicated to the African American cast members, foreign editions of the novel and more. Be sure to stop by the gift shop to find costumes to fit your favorite Rhett or Scarlett.

Visit www.GWTWMarietta.com for complete event details.

Event listing

June 6-8

Marietta Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of Gone With the Wind

Throughout the weekend, the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square will host a variety of events celebrating the 75th anniversary of Gone With the Wind, the movie. Festivities to include dinner and costume ball, author’s forum, live play, documentary debut, celebrity guests, autograph signing and much more.

Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square, 18 Whitlock Avenue, Marietta, GA 30064


Chronicles of a Georgia State Park Journey

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My family and I are on a mission to visit every state park in Georgia, one a month, until we have explored the ins-and-outs of each one. Each quarter over the next year, we’ll share with you a sample from our diaries on this journey. May you be encouraged to explore the hundreds of thousands of acres that make Georgia beautiful.

January 27 – Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, Georgia

doncarterThey are calling for snow tomorrow, but today I am thankful for the 60-degree weather and the opportunity to dip my toes into Lake Lanier.  The beach is deserted now, but the sand is warm and the sun is glistening off the water.  I’m sitting on a bench, rocking, as I watch the boys play at the playground.  I wonder how difficult it will be to persuade them to go hiking with me. There is a 1.5-mile paved trail, and a 1-mile natural hiking trail.  I spoke to the ranger earlier, and he indicated they are already making headway on additional trails, as well.  With the playgrounds, the beach and bathhouse, trails, campsites, and boat docks, there is evidence of significant progress at this newest state park.

We’re staying in a cottage tonight; the vast back-porch faces the lake, and I can already hear the rocking chairs calling my name.  The kitchen and dining room are expansive, and with two bedrooms, sleeping up to eight people, I’m wishing we had invited friends to come with us.  The boys will want to build a fire off the deck tonight, but I am looking forward to the warmth of the cast iron stove that sits in the living room.  This cottage will make a great place to hold out if the predicted “snowpocalypse” comes to fruition.


February 17 – Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen, Georgia

smithgallwoodsSpeechless. That is how I feel right now. I’m sitting on the deck of our gorgeous three-bedroom cottage, which butts against Dukes Creek. I can hear the water racing over large moss-covered boulders. The trees tower hundreds of feet above my head and create a canopy that holds the temperature at a good five to ten degrees colder than it is outside the park.  The dense shade creates a special home for ferns, unique wildflowers, and enormous river trout. Rhododendrons, larger than my truck, dot the riverbank, and I can glimpse their buds beginning to form.  The sun is setting, the temperature is dropping, and the fireplace roars inside the cottage, but I cannot move. The beauty of this park captivates me. I want to take in every leaf, every boulder, and every sound.

The boys are asleep now. The excitement of the day made this task more difficult than usual.  Tucked into their warm beds, we reminisced about our earlier hike to Duke’s Creek Falls.  It was warm enough to hike without a jacket, but we met snow at the top of the trail. It blanketed the mountain like a thin veil. The falls reached over 200-feet tall, and dropped with such force that we had to yell in order to hear each other speak.  But mostly, we were quiet. Together.

March 3 – Richard B Russell State Park in Elberton, Georgia

richardbrussell“Frisbee Golf!!!” the wee ones exclaimed as we drove in this evening.  I’m delighted at how much there is to do at this park. There is a beautiful disc golf course, bike rentals, boat rentals (pontoon, canoe, and paddle,) playgrounds, hiking, and an 18-hole golf course.  The beach was closed today, but we longingly gazed at it from the playground, wishing spring would hurry herself along. The highlight of our day was visiting the Rowing Center, which served as a training facility during the Olympics.  We watched as several men hoisted their racing shell into the water and skimmed the lake like an oversized heron. It was our first experience with rowing, and we were mesmerized by the size and grace.

Tonight we are staying in a cottage in the park, on Lake Richard Russell. It’s too cold for the beach, but too warm to light a fire in the fireplace.  I’m sitting on the screened-in porch, admiring the orange sky’s reflection in the water.  The sun will rise over this cove in the morning, and I will be back in this rocking chair, coffee in hand. Now, I’ll join the boys by the outdoor firepit and roast up the last marshmallow of winter.

lesliLesli Peterson is Georgia’s Destination Expert for Trekaroo and founder of 365 Atlanta Family. She is a homeschooling mom to 2 young boys and bonus mom to two teenagers. From her home base of Atlanta, Lesli spends her time life-learning with the kids one road-trip at a time, and sharing her experiences along the way. 

Easter Events in Georgia


Color some eggs, read the tale of Peter Cottontail and remember to don your favorite bonnet for Georgia’s Easter celebrations! Enjoy eggs hunts and parades as we welcome the beautiful flowers and robins of spring!

4/11/14: Night Eggstravaganza in Pine Mountain

4/12/14: Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Tallapoosa

4/12/14: Easter “Eggstravaganza” in The Rock

4/12/14: Magical Easter Eggstravaganza in Cleveland

4/12/14: Slpashy’s Egg Dive in Statesboro

4/12/14: 10K CottonTrail Rabbit Run in Pine Mountain

4/12/14: Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Egg Hunt in Chatsworth

4/12/14: 15th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Jefferson Davis Historic Site in Fitzgerald

4/13/14: Easter Egg Hunt at Midtown Greenway in Gainesville

4/17/14: Fitzgerald Downtown Easter Egg Hunt

4/17/14 – 4/19/14: Easter Treats including Uncorked Art Class in Blairsville

4/18/14: Easter Egg Hunt – Ages 0-5 in St. Marys

4/18/14: Flashlight Egg Hunt – Family Hunt in St. Marys

4/18/14: Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt in Monroe

4/19/14: Easter Egg Hunt in Ashburn

4/19/14 – 4/20/14: Easter Egg Hunts, Sunrise Service and Brunch at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain

4/19/14: Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Baxley

4/19/14: Annual Kingsland Easter Egg Hunt

4/19/14: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Easter Egg-spress

4/19/14: Royston Easter Egg Hunt

4/19/14: Easter Egg Hunt in Winder

4/19/14: Easter Egg Hunt in Crawfordville

4/19/14: Baskets, Eggs and Rabbits in Appling

4/19/14: Easter Blast! in Savannah

4/19/14: Easter Egg Hunt at Florence Marina in Omaha

4/19/14 – 4/20/14: Celebrate Easter Weekend at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville

4/19/14: Georgia Veterans Easter Egg-Stravaganza in Cordele

4/19/14: Easter At The Park in Adel

4/19/14: Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Egg Hunt in Jackson

4/19/14: Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Lavonia

4/19/14: Suwannee River Visitor Center’s Eggstraordinary Easter in Fargo

4/19/14: Easter Egg Hunt at Kolomoki in Blakely

4/19/14: Easter Eggstravaganza in Helena

4/19/14: Eggciting Hike Hunt in Stockbridge

4/19/14: 2nd Annual Easter Fun Fest and Egg Hunt in Helen

4/19/14: Eggstravaganza: Callanwolde’s 14th Annual Easter Egg Hunt in Atlanta

4/19/14 – 4/20/14: Spring Opening & Easter Festival in Cleveland

4/20/14: Easter Sunrise Service in Stone Mountain

4/20/14: Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt in Buford