Events Commemorating Memorial Day in Georgia

Memorial Day in Woodstock, Georgia

Photo courtesy of Woodstock, Georgia

Start summer 2015 at some of the many weekend events occurring this Memorial Day in Georgia:

May 22-24: Memorial Day Night Paddle at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge

May 22-24: Memorial Day Mayhem at Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge in Helena

May 22-25: Memorial Day Celebration at LanierWorld in Buford

May 22-25: Memorial Day Weekend at North GA Zoo in Cleveland

May 23: Memorial Day Weekend Celebration at Florence Marina State Park in Omaha

May 23: Old-Fashioned Memorial Day at Fort McAllister State Park in Richmond Hill

May 23: Memorial Day Miniature Golf Tournament at Indian Springs State Park in Flovilla

May 23: Volunteer Day – Memorial Day Face Painting at Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth

May 23-25: Memorial Day Observance at Andersonville National Historic Site in Andersonville

May 23-25: Memorial Day Weekend – Salute the Troops at Stone Mountain Park

May 23-25: Memorial Day Commemoration at Fort King George Historic Site in Darien

May 24: Memorial Day Celebration at Hightower Creek Vineyards in Hiawassee

May 25: Memorial Day Ceremony at The Park at City Center in Woodstock

May 25: Roswell Memorial Day Ceremony at City Hall in Roswell

May 25: Memorial Day at Fort Mountain State Park in Chatsworth

May 25: Jackson County Memorial Day Parade in Jefferson

May 25: Memorial Day Celebration in Historic Downtown in Senoia

May 25: Memorial Day Commemoration at Fort Morris Historic Site in Midway

10 Georgia Air Shows and Balloon Festivals

The Great Georgia Air Show

Photo courtesy of The Great Georgia Air Show

Let your spirit soar with these high-flying festivals happening in Georgia this summer and fall!

1.)  Good Neighbor Day Open House Air Show – On Saturday, May 30, guests from across the Southeastern United States are invited to gather at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport’s annual Good Neighbor Day and Open House. The event is free to attend, though there is a $10 parking fee.

2.)  Helen-Atlantic Hot Air Balloon Race – Look to the skies as the United States’ only long distance hot air balloon race rises over the Alpine Village of Helen starting June 4. While the competition to the Atlantic continues throughout the weekend, other balloonists will compete in events in Helen with balloon flights each day.

3.)  Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival – Go up, up, and away on Labor Day weekend at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain.  In addition to the regular Callaway Gardens lineup of fun, the festival offers days filled with entertainment, family activities, exhibits, demonstrations, music and more between balloon launches.

4.)  Tunes and Balloons – On September 12, Middle Georgia State College lights up the night with a family-friendly festival. By moving from its usual springtime date, the festival hopes to offer guests a larger, more festive event.

Tunes & Balloons

Photo by Heidi Haun, courtesy of the International Cherry Blossom Festival

5.)  Harvest Balloon Festival – The shores of Looper Lake in Hall County are home to this event which will feature festival fun, pumpkin carving, concerts, food, live entertainment, and more all to benefit local charities.

6.)  Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival – Running October 23-24, the annual Kennesaw event will feature a whole stadium filled with family-friendly fun. Balloon glows, trick-or-treating, tethered balloon rides, Oktoberfest beer garden, live music, vendor marketplace, sports bars, artist market, food trucks, roving entertainment, interactive kids area, live concert, and more!

7.)  Wings Over Georgia Air Show – The first weekend in October, parachute teams and stunt planes will perform for crowds at Richard Regional Airport in Rome. In addition to the high-flying fun, there will be camping, a Saturday night concert featuring The Charlie Daniels Band, barbecue competition, and a fireworks show.

8.)  Boshears Skyfest & Fly-In – This annual Augusta event has been moved to mid-October, but the same type of fun as in years past will continue. In addition to the usual air show fun, there will be an appearance by the Discovery Channel’s Airplane Repo cast and a classic car show.

9.)  The Great Georgia Air Show – Halloween weekend the fun of air flight comes to Peachtree City for the annual air show. But, it’s not just about airplanes. Helicopters, and monster trucks will be available to ride while Blue Angel and stunt plane performances are the highlights of the show.

10.)  Harmony Jubilee – Spend the first weekend in November flying high above Fitzgerald, or don’t, it’s your choice. Either way, there will be something fun to enjoy at this annual hot air balloon themed festival.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Kids to Parks Day in Georgia

Sweetwater Creek State Park. Photo courtesy of Lauren Cleland.

Sweetwater Creek State Park. Photo courtesy of Lauren Cleland.

Come on out to Georgia State Parks on Kids To Parks Day and explore the great outdoors! Our state parks are introducing kids to fishing, archery, and target shooting while guides lead hikes, bikes and paddles. Join in the fun by visiting one of these parks on May 16.

Stephen C Foster State Park hosts games, crafts, intepretive programs, and free Okefenokee boat tours for kids under 11. 8AM-5PM

Sweetwater Creek State Park celebrates with the 14th annual Family Fun Day Catfish Rodeo. The park’s lake is stocked with catfish for elementary and middle school children. 9AM-3PM

Don Carter State Park invites kids to paddle a tranquil section of Lake Lanier and look for wildlife. Space is limited and registration is required: 678-450-7726.

General Coffee State Park is introducing kids to archery, recreational target shooting, fishing and more. 10AM-2PM

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Cloudland Canyon State Park

Cloudland Canyon offers fishing lessons, as well as self-guided geocaching and scavenger hunts. 10AM-3PM

Fort King George Historic Site encourages kids to come discover science, history, nature, and adventure along with offering the ever-popular Imagination Playground. 10AM-4PM

Tallulah Gorge State Park leads families on a 1.5 mile hike or a 3 mile bike! 11AM-2:30PM

Skidaway Island State Park celebrates Kids To Parks Day with classic yard games like sack races and water balloons starting at 1PM.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park leads kids along a woodland stream to discover cool critters and impressive plants. 1:30PM-3PM.

Fort Mountain State Park

Fort Mountain State Park

Fort Mountain State Park invites families to enjoy Kids To Parks Day with face painting, crafts and water balloons. 1:30PM-3:30PM.

Crooked River State Park welcomes Kids To Parks with a paddle through the saltwater marsh to spot birds and explore the sandbar. Space is limited, registration required: 912-882-5256. 1:30PM-4:30PM

High Falls State Park takes kids on an expedition learning to track wildlife and singing campfire songs. 2PM-3PM


Fort Yargo State Park invites families to explore the Birdberry Nature Trail to meet the birds, trees, and animals that call the park home. 3PM-4:30PM

Hard Labor Creek State Park gets kids outside after dark for a fantastic look at the night sky on a guided paddle of the lake. Space is limited, please register: 706-557-3001. 8:30PM-10PM

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.


12 Summer Arts Festivals in Georgia


Photo courtesy of Alpharetta Art in the Park

1.)  Decatur Arts Festival (Decatur, GA) – When you plan your Memorial Day weekend, plan on making a stop in Decatur, Georgia for the annual Decatur Arts Festival. On Saturday, May 23 and Sunday, May 24, an artist market, live musical performances, improvisational and stand-up comedy, a children’s festival and parade, literary events, dance performances and more will take over the downtown area.

2.)  Spring Arts in the Park (Blue Ridge, GA) – On May 23 and 24, 2015, this twice-annual celebration of the arts comes to Downtown City Park in Blue Ridge, Georgia. In addition to the festival fun, the community invites visitors to enjoy the Blue Ridge Community Theater, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Swan Drive-In Theater, and surrounding forested hiking opportunities.

3.)  Blairsville Arts, Crafts, & Music Festival (Blairsville, GA) – Gospel music is presented alongside arts and crafts by regional vendors during the Memorial Day weekend festival. While you’re there, be sure to make time to explore nearby Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain peak in Georgia and Vogel State Park  which is a the base of Blood Mountain where a loop trail takes you to Trahlyta Falls.

4.)  Alpharetta Art in the Park (Alpharetta, GA) – This monthly festival features local artists and artisans on the last full weekend of each month, May through September. The first event of 2015 will be in downtown Alpharetta May 30 & 31. When you’re done shopping the festival goods, be sure to stop by downtown’s quaint businesses to shop for clothing and gifts.

5.)  Flower & Liturgical Arts Festival (Clayton, GA)  – St. James Episcopal Church in Clayton will serve as the home for this unique festival on June 12 & 13, 2015, which celebrates the scenery and surroundings of the North Georgia town along with religious artwork.

6.)  Roswell Lavender Festival (Roswell, GA) – On June 13, 2015, the grounds of Barrington Hall will again transform into Roswell Lavender Festival. The family-friendly event will feature children’s activities, The Zen Zone, live music, food, arts and crafts for sale, a beer and wine garden, and more. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the historic home that was once owned by the co-founder of the City of Roswell.

Photo courtesy of  Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival

7.)  Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA) – June 27 & 28, 2015, Atlanta’s beautiful Historic Fourth Ward Park will come alive with the sights and sounds of this festival that features all things local. The event, which runs along the Atlanta BeltLine, will feature fine arts and crafts, a children’s play area, local food and beverage concessions, live acoustic entertainment in the amphitheater, plus a new “Emerging Artists” pavilion for new artists and artisans.

8.)  AthFest Music & Arts Festival (Athens, GA) – Music, art, kid-centric fun, and film all come together for AthFest happening June 24-28, 2015 in downtown Athens.  Three stages dot the festival landscape along with an artist market, club crawl, and a KidsFest celebration across the city at more than 10 venues. All proceeds directly benefit AthFest Educates.

9.)  Sunshine Festival Arts & Crafts Show (St. Simons Island, GA) – Taking over Postell Park Pier Village on Mallory Street the Show brings St. Simon’s Island guests and residents to the water’s edge to enjoy. Over 80 vendors will set up shop July 3-5, 2015 selling goods including jewelry, pottery, photography, vintage clothing, children’s books, birdhouses, prepared dips, snacks and spices.

10.)  Homespun Festival (Rockmart, GA) – This annual festival serves as an emerging artists showcase for locals and brings in regional artists and artisans to round out the bill each year. This year’s event takes place on July 17-18, and in addition to arts and crafts will feature live music, a parade with classic cars, 5K run on the Silver Comet Trail, and fireworks display.

Photo courtesy of Piedmont Park Arts Festival

Photo courtesy of Piedmont Park Arts Festival

11.)  Piedmont Park Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA) – August 14-17, one of Atlanta’s biggest arts festivals takes center stage at the city’s Piedmont Park. The event promises to feature up to 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork, glass blowers, jewelers, crafters, artist demonstrations, live acoustic music, an Emerging Artists Pavilion, children’s play area, festival food and beverages, and more.

12.)  National Black Arts Festival (Atlanta, GA) – On various dates throughout the summer, year, the Atlanta Black Arts Festival celebrates artists of African descent by showcasing performing arts, literature and visual arts. 2015’s events kick off with the annual gala in July.


EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Mother’s Day Love at Oakland Cemetery

Historic Oakland Cemetery - Historic Oakland Cemetery

Treat Mom or that special someone to a lovely stroll through Oakland Cemetery this Mother’s Day weekend, when the popular Love Stories of Oakland guided walking tours return. Enjoy an evening among the stunning magnolia-linedsd gardens and elegant mausoleums of Atlanta’s oldest burial ground on May 9 and May 10.

Oakland Cemetery invites families and friends to learn more about the stories of devotion and symbolism (both familial and romantic) found within its hallowed grounds. A costumed guide will tell the stories of a few of the 70,000 people who lie in rest at Oakland, including famous Atlantans and ordinary citizens alike. Read on to get a snippet of a few of the stories you can expect:

Marsh family mausoleum

Oakland’s iconic urns outside the Marsh mausoleum are tributes to the Marsh family’s children, one bearing the inscription: “When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.”

Historic Oakland Cemetery flowers - Historic Oakland CemeteryMillard Seals monument

This example of motherly love at Oakland Cemetery is evidenced in the obelisk’s inscription describing Millard as “The Model Boy.” Seals died at a young age, and his mother Mary Ellen was so distraught that she couldn’t attend his funeral.

Rawson mausoleum

Two residents of the Rawson mausoleum, Julia Collier and Julian Harris, had a “storybook marriage” that spanned more than 60 years — and the description is especially fitting, as Harris was the son of Tales of Uncle Remus author Joel Chandler Harris.

Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell drew on family lore to develop the characters from her iconic novel, but some of the most touching love stories can be drawn from real people buried in her family plot

Tours will be offered at  5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., and spaces for this limited-time engagement must be reserved in advance. Admission is $12 for adults; $6 for students and seniors 65+ (with valid ID); $28 for families of two adults and two children; and free for Historic Oakland Foundation Members and children under 3. Order tickets online at

For more details, visit or call 4040-688-2107.