Why is Georgia Known for Moonshine?

The Early Days of Moonshine in Georgia

Scotch-Irish immigrants began to settle in Georgia in the 1780s, bringing with them the knowledge of how to distill fruits into alcoholic beverages. With that settlement, moonshine production began. Whether it was apples, corn or peaches, Georgians made the most of their crops, including the production of whiskey or brandy.

Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery

Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery

During the Civil War, the United States government formed the Internal Revenue Service to collect taxes on “luxuries,” including alcohol and tobacco. Many moonshiners refused to pay the tax and continued operating their stills. In the 1870s, federal agencies started going after the moonshiners in North Georgia, and in 1920 Prohibition was enacted, which meant consuming alcohol was illegal.

The infamous cat-and-mouse moonshiner versus revenuer car chases through the North Georgia mountains reached is peak in the 1930s and ’40s, giving birth to a new type of industry, stock car racing, which would lead to the formation of NASCAR.

Modern ‘Shine in Georgia

Illicit still production of moonshine has died off in the last half-century, and in the last decade, liquor companies have been producing the spirit legally throughout Georgia, with the beverage enjoying a renewed popularity.

Grandaddy Mimm's in Blairsville. Photo from Facebook.

Grandaddy Mimm’s in Blairsville. Photo from Facebook.

Georgia is now home to 16 distilleries, including:

Moonshine Festivals in Georgia

Remaining popular are festivals that celebrate the moonshine heritage of Georgia. Check out these upcoming events in the Northeast Georgia mountains to learn more about the spirit and Appalachian culture:

Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In, Hiawassee (July 29-30, 2016) – This event includes the usual festival-type fun plus live mountain music, parade, classic cars, a pioneer village, and crafts representing the region’s heritage.

49th Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, Dawsonville (October 21 – 23, 2016) – Festivities kick off on Saturday morning with a parade of cars. There will be live entertainment, numerous vendors and festival fare. Also, festival-goers can enjoy a car show, cruise-in, and swap meet at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen Falkenberg-Hull 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.

10 Georgia Festivals You’ll Want To Go To This August

When you’re making your plans for August, be sure to add these Georgia festivals and parades to your itinerary.

Dillard Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival

Dillard Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival

Dillard Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival, Dillard (August 5-6, 2016) – Each year, the town of Dillard serves up two full days of fun that’s finger lickin’ good. Over 50 different teams will compete in the Georgia State Championship Cook-off, which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. There will also be a number of bluegrass music performers. Ticket required for entry.

Old Soldiers Day Parade, Alpharetta (August 8, 2016) – It may not be a full blown festival, but the annual Old Soldiers Day parade is a lot of fun for children and adults of all ages. Plus, it’s a great excuse to explore the fresh face of downtown Alpharetta. Free to attend.

Old Soldiers Day Parade in Alpharetta

Old Soldiers Day Parade in Alpharetta

Butterfly Festival, Dunwoody (August 20, 2016)Dunwoody Nature Center hosts this annual festival, which is a family-friendly favorite among DeKalb County residents and visitors. In addition to two large butterfly tents filled with hundreds of live butterflies, attendees can enjoy a Birds of Prey show, live animal encounters, games, educational booths, crafts, music, food and drinks. Ticket required for entry.

Dunwoody Nature Center's Butterfly Festival

Dunwoody Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival

Brooklet Peanut Festival, Brooklet (August 20, 2016) – This annual festival features arts and crafts, food, live entertainment, a Peanut Run, parade, and street dance. Free to attend.

German Bierfest, Atlanta (August 20, 2016) – From 2-7 p.m. adults are invited to partake in samples of over 35 authentic German beers in a prelude to Oktoberfest. Atlanta area German restaurants will be serving authentic German food including bratwurst, käsepätzle, pretzels, sauerkraut, and schnitzel. There will also be live music and a number of outdoor activities. Ticket required for entry.

Do the chicken dance at German Bierfest Atlanta. Photo from Facebook

Do the chicken dance at German Bierfest Atlanta. Photo from Facebook

Tomato Festival, Young Harris (August 20, 2016) – Enjoy a day filled with day of wine, food, and live music suitable for the entire family. Add to your fun by enjoying a hay ride, a fishing derby especially for kids, and wine tasting especially for adults. Ticket required for entry.

Imagine Music Festival, Hampton (August 26-28, 2016) – Voted a Top 300 festival in the world by Fest300, and Top Ten Emerging Music Festivals by USA Today, Imagine Music Festival sets up at Atlanta Motor Speedway for three days of EDM performances alongside cirque style acts. Camping is welcome. Ticket required for entry.

Imagine Music Festival. Photo Credit DV Photography

Imagine Music Festival. Photo Credit DV Photography

Pigs & Peaches BBQ Festival, Kennesaw (August 26-27, 2016) – Competition is the name of the game at this festival, which features a Kansas City Barbeque Society sanctioned competition, Anything Butt and Peach Dessert Contests, and a a Kids’ Que cook-off. There will also be over 200 vendors in addition to kid-friendly fun. Free to attend.

Fort Frederica National Monument NPS Centennial Living History Festival, St. Simons Island (August 27, 2016) – Fort Frederica not only served a critical role in making the United States the shape it is today, it’s also the site of a fun family-friendly festival that will explore its role in that history. Free to attend.

Meet historical characters at Fort Frederica on St. Simons during the Living History Festival Aug. 27, 2016.

Meet historical characters at Fort Frederica on St. Simons during the Living History Festival Aug. 27, 2016.

Festival Peachtree Latino, Atlanta (August 28, 2016) – Georgia’s Latino community is invited to spend a day at Piedmont Park enjoying the largest family and multicultural event in the Southeastern United States. Free to attend.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen Falkenberg-Hull 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.

Guide to the 2016 BB&T Atlanta Open Tennis Tournament

BB&T Atlanta Open

Photo courtesy of BB&T Atlanta Open

The BB&T Atlanta Open kicks off July 30, 2016, at Atlantic Station. Before you go to see some of the top tennis players in the world, here’s what you need to know:

Schedule of Events

To see the full daily schedule for the tournament July 30 – Aug. 7, 2016, click here.

Getting There

Location: Atlantic Station is a mixed-use live/work/play development situated squarely between Atlanta‘s Midtown and Westside neighborhood boundaries along 17th Street.

Public Transportation: By bus, the No. 37 DeFoors Ferry line will get you to Atlantic Station. By rail, the Atlantic Station Free Ride Shuttle is available to transport guests to and from the Arts Center MARTA Station from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. Also, the Route 491 Xpress bus runs from Woodstock to Atlantic Station each Monday- Friday.

Self-Parking: Atlantic Station offers abundant deck parking with color-coded parking sections for easy vehicle location. The first two hours of parking are free. Click here to see the full fee schedule. You must pay for parking before returning to your vehicle to exit the parking deck.

Valet Parking: For a fee, there is valet parking available just east of the Target parking deck.

EV Charging: If you’re taking your plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle to the BB&T Atlanta Open, you can charge it at one of Atlantic Station’s numerous charging locations.

Lexus Owners: If you drive your Lexus to the tournament, you’re able to receive complimentary parking in the 20th Street parking lot at the north end of Atlantic Station. Care to valet? Lexus drivers are eligible for reduced $5 valet parking.

Who’s Playing

2016 BB&T Atlanta Open Player Field. Photo courtesy BB&T Atlanta Open, Facebook.

2016 BB&T Atlanta Open Player Field. Photo courtesy BB&T Atlanta Open, Facebook.

1996 Olympic gold medalist Andre Agassi will return to the city to take on Sergi Bruguera in an exhibition rematch of the game that won Agassi the gold. Two-time BB&T Atlanta Open champion and UGA alum John Isner returns to the court as does past BB&T Atlanta Open finalist and Olympian Kevin Anderson. Rising star Taylor Fritz, three-time Davis Cup winner Fernando Verdasco, and U.S. Open and French Open finalist Marcel Granollers are also slated to play.

Stop & See

Lexus will have four of their performance vehicles plus the Fuzzy RX on display. Grab a picture with the Fuzzy RX, which is covered in a tennis ball-like wrap, and share it on social media using #FuzzyRX.

Dining

When you’re at Atlantic Station, be sure to take advantage of their numerous restaurant offerings like meat and seafood restaurant The Pig and the Pearl, local favorite Chick-a-Biddy and fast-casual Atlanta-born Tin Drum Asia Cafe. You can also grab coffee at Land of a Thousand Hills across from Regal Cinemas or Starbucks inside Twelve Atlantic Station.

What to Bring

Don’t forget a small seat cushion, sunscreen (lotion only; aerosol cans are not permitted), a water bottle, a hat and sunglasses. Backpacks, hard coolers, bottles or cans, weapons, pets, signs/banners, and larger electronic devices like iPads are not permitted. Be sure to check the full list of prohibited items before you leave to attend the tournament.

Tickets

Ticket prices vary by seat, date and promotion. To see the full ticket cost breakdown, click here. 

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen Falkenberg-Hull 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.

4 Places to Get Artsy in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward

Lit at Edgewood Speakeasy

Lit: Books, Booze & Beats. Photo: Edgewood Speakeasy, Facebook

Lit: Books, Booze & Beats. Photo: Edgewood Speakeasy, Facebook

The Lit monthly book club hosts events at Edgewood Speakeasy featuring books, booze and beats. Each month has a theme, and guests are welcome to sign up to reserve a spot to read an excerpt from a book live on stage. Admission is free, but guests are asked to bring a gently used book to donate to a local charity. 

Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival

Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival

Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival will be June 24-25, 2016 at Old Fourth Ward Park.

Grab your family and head up (or down) the BeltLine to get to this two-day neighborhood art festival. Along with the usual festival fare, the event is hosting up to 150 local and regional artists, offering selections for guests to browse from. The 2016 festival will be held June 25-26 at Old Fourth Ward Park.

DIY Living Walls Tour

Artist: Teo Moneyless Pirisi. Location: 483 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta. Photo by Joshua Gwyn. From Living Walls, the City Speaks, Facebook.

Artist: Teo Moneyless Pirisi. Location: 483 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta. Photo by Joshua Gwyn. From Living Walls, the City Speaks, Facebook.

Around a corner, down the street and on the face of some of Atlanta’s buildings, underpasses and bridges, you’ll find some of the city’s best artwork. No, it’s not graffiti like the famed Krog Tunnel, it’s tens of feet of purposeful artwork commissioned as part of Living Walls since 2010. Take a bike, drive your car or take the Atlanta Streetcar to see some of the best unique artwork the Old Fourth Ward offers up.

Jackson Street Bridge

Atlanta Movie Tours often stop for photos at the Jackson Street Bridge.

Atlanta Movie Tours often stop for photos at the Jackson Street Bridge.

Bring your camera, and photograph Atlanta from one of its best-known point-and-shoot locations. Take a group shot on the bridge with Atlanta Movie Tours, and check out #weloveatl to see what others are seeing from their point of view on the bridge.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen Falkenberg-Hull 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.

5 Reasons to Bee in Georgia

Savannah Bee Company

Savannah Bee Company

Savannah Bee Company

The Savannah-based honey and bee-product company has retail locations in Savannah and St. Simons Island as well as stores that sell their products throughout the United States. For a special peek inside the company, visit their Wilmington Island Showroom where there are daily honey tastings and you can tour the bee garden if you make a reservation in advance.

Lemon Bee Music Festival (Conyers)

Lemon Bee Music Festival in Conyers GA. Photo by Woody Ly.

Lemon Bee Music Festival in Conyers GA. Photo by Woody Ly.

Olde Town Conyers is home to this annual event featuring a quirky take on the usual arts and music festival. Bohemian-style apparel is encouraged as is singing, dancing, hoola hooping, playing corn hole and blowing bubbles. The 2016 festival is set for June 4. Admission is $10.

Clinch County Honey Trail

A selection of Georgia honey available on the Clinch County Honey Trail

A selection of Georgia honey available on the Clinch County Honey Trail

Clinch County, Ga., is home to more than 22,500 beehives, producing a variety of honey to suit every taste. Follow the Clinch County Honey Trail from downtown Homerville to eight retail locations throughout the county to find your favorites.

Hahira Honeybee Festival (Hahira)

Featuring the usual festival fun in addition to a parade, Gospel Sing, pageant, bike ride and dog show, this annual community festival celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2016. The festival runs Sept. 26-Oct. 1, 2016, in downtown Hahira. Admission is free.

Honeybee Festival (Buford)

Each autumn the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center hosts its Honeybee Festival, featuring opportunities for learning and play for children and adults. The event date for 2016 has yet to be announced.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen Falkenberg-Hull 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.