Four Best Places to See Roses in Georgia

Did you know that the Cherokee Rose is the official Georgia State Flower? Here is where you can see the flower and other roses throughout the state of Georgia.

Roses at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy Atlanta Botanical Garden, Facebook

Roses at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy Atlanta Botanical Garden, Facebook

Atlanta Botanical Garden (Atlanta) – Nestled into the heart of Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden boasts 30 acres of gardens including the Rose Garden. Peak blooming times are in May and June while some re-blooming occurs in the autumn.

Callaway Gardens (Pine Mountain) – Head to the Middle Georgia mountains in the springtime to see the flowers at Callaway Gardens at their peak color. In addition to roses, you won’t want to miss the Gardens’ acclaimed azaleas and the Day Butterfly Center.

Thomasville Rose Garden. Photo courtesy of The Village Journal

Thomasville Rose Garden. Photo courtesy of The Village Journal

Rose Show & Festival (Thomasville) – Celebrating its 95th year in 2016, the Rose Show & Festival features thousands of roses, two parades, live music, a street dance, arts and crafts, festival food and more. The 2016 festival will be held April 21-23. While you’re there, be sure to check out the 5-acre Thomasville Rose Garden.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum (Atlanta) – Along with being the home to a museum featuring President Jimmy Carter’s life, the destination features 37 acres of land where guests can see a formal garden, meadow, cherry orchard, waterfalls and rose garden that contains the coral-colored Rosalynn Carter Rose, named after the 43rd President’s wife.

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

Georgia Events for Chocolate Lovers

A selection of chocolates from Lulu's Chocolate Bar, Savannah

While visiting Savannah, stop in to Lulu’s Chocolate Bar for a sweet treat. Photo courtesy of Lulu’s Chocolate Bar, Facebook.

Valentine’s Day makes some people think about love and romance. For others of us, it’s all about the chocolate. While you’re exploring Georgia this year, try out these chocolate-centric events.

Chocolate Walk (Braselton) – Grab a treat from local businesses during this second annual event in Braselton on February 6 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. While you’re there, don’t be afraid to browse and shop. 

Chocolate & Art Walk (Monroe) – On February 11 from 5-8 p.m. the city of Monroe invites residents and guests to experience an evening filled with sweets. Explore the streets, visit with local artists, and taste a variety of desserts.

ERS Savannah Love Chocolate Half Marathon and 10K (Savannah) – Explore Savannah’s Southbridge district on foot while enjoying treats along the way- from the time you pick up your race packet to when you cross the finish line on February 13.

Chocolate Run (Statesboro) – Enjoy a 5K race through the campus of Georgia Southern University on February 20. Proceeds from the race benefit Open Hearts Community Mission.

But wait! There’s more!

Hot Chocolate 5K/15K, Atlanta

Hot Chocolate 5K/15K, Atlanta

Start training for your next road race now so you’re ready for next year’s Hot Chocolate 5K/15K in Atlanta. Work out and warm up during the annual race, happening each January, which takes runners on a course throughout downtown and lower Midtown Atlanta. During the race, participants have the opportunity to sample chocolate along with hot cocoa.

Chocolate Plantation on Sapelo Island, Georgia

Chocolate Plantation on Sapelo Island, Georgia

If you can’t get enough, explore Chocolate Plantation on Sapelo Island. It doesn’t have anything to do with the sweet treat; instead it gets its name from the Guale Indian village on the island named Chucalate. Today, the home’s thick tabby walls still stand, nearly 200 years after they were first built.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen 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 You Need a PULSE Pass

From January 27-31, 2016, the PULSE Art + Technology Festival will take over Savannah, offering locals and visitors the opportunity to experience the intersection of art and technology at the Jepson Center for the Arts. Here are five reasons why you need to explore the festival.

Video: PomPom Mirror by artist Daniel Rozin will be on display at the PULSE Art + Technology Festival in Savannah.

It’s completely interactive. PULSE invites guests to be a part of the art with interactive exhibitions, artist talks, performances and more.

If you’re GIF-happy there’s no other place you should be. The second annual Savannah International GIF Festival, happening during PULSE, will showcase “the best digital animations set to live music by local performers.”

Video: Recap of the 2015 Savannah International GIF Festival.

You can’t get into the evening festivities without a PULSE Pass, including the GIF Festival. Other evening lecture experiences include a lecture by Featured Artist Daniel Rozin. Medeology Collective, a performance by SCAD alumnus Helado Negro and the opening night festivities.

It’s free! If you’re a member of Telfair Museums, your PULSE Pass is free, getting you admission to the evening sessions. Non-members may purchase passes for $15. Buy your pass online via telfair.org/PULSE or at the Jepson Center front desk starting January 20.

PULSE at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah

Experience everything PULSE has to offer at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah.

Everyone gets free admission during the day. Thanks to several sponsors, admission to PULSE during the day is free and open to the public.

Want to experience more arts in Savannah? Check out this guide featuring art-centric destinations and accommodations within the city.

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

6 Georgia Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss in 2016

Mark your 2016 calendars and start making plans to attend these Georgia festivals.

parade at the International Cherry Blossom Festival

Don’t miss the parade at the 2016 International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon.

International Cherry Blossom Festival (Macon) – Party with the blossoms during the annual two-week event in downtown Macon. This festival has something for everyone, including (but definitely not limited to) tours, food, a huge parade, concerts, vendors, sports events, a battle of the bands. The 2016 festival will be held March 17- April 3.

Savannah Irish Festival (Savannah) – Do you love St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah but you’re not up for joining the thousands of roaming street revelers? Head to the city a month in advance for the annual Savannah Irish Festival, a three-day cultural celebration that kicks off the town’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. The 2016 festival will be held February 19-21.

Rose Show & Festival (Thomasville) – Celebrating its 95th year in 2016, the Rose Show & Festival features thousands of roses, two parades, live music, a street dance, arts and crafts, festival food and more. The 2016 festival will be held April 21-23.

Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival (Jekyll Island) – Each September Jekyll Island cooks up something good (real, real good if you ask me) for locals and visitors. The annual Shrimp and Grits Festival features a celebration of the favorite dish in all things, including cooking demonstrations, book signings, arts and crafts vendors, a cook-off, kid-friendly entertainment options and shrimp boat tours. The 2016 festival will be held September 16-18.

Arts in the Heart of Augusta (Augusta) – Visual, musical and cultural arts combine for this annual event in downtown Augusta. In addition to arts and crafts vendors selling their goods, the festival features family-friendly fun for youngsters and live music, festival food, street performances, open galleries ready for browsing and plenty of local flavor. A 2016 festival date has not yet been confirmed for this autumn festival.

The Cotton Pickin’ Fair (Gay) – Step back in time to the days when cotton reigned supreme throughout Georgia. This festival focuses on art, antiques, crafts and classic Southern-style live entertainment. A 2016 festival date has not yet been confirmed for this autumn festival.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen 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 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parades in Georgia

Savannah MLK Day Parade 2015

Photo by Justin Chan Photography courtesy of MLK Observance Day Association – Savannah.

Celebrate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during these parades throughout Georgia.

Tybee Island MLK Parade (Tybee Island) – Kickoff for the Jan. 9, 2016, parade is at 2 p.m. The parade will follow the Butler Avenue Parade Route.

22nd Annual MLK Parade (Dublin) – This noontime parade winds its way through downtown Dublin on Jan. 16, 2016, and will feature more than 160 floats, making it the state’s second largest parade celebrating the late civil rights icon.

Gwinnett County 2016 MLK Day Parade (Lawrenceville) – This annual event kicks off in downtown Lawrenceville at the Gwinnett Justice & Administration Center on Jan. 18, 2016, at 10 a.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade (McDonough) – This parade in Henry County will kick off at 10 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2016, with revelers beginning their route from the Henry County Performing Arts Center at 37 Lemon Street.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Parade (Savannah) – Jan. 18, 2016, at 10 a.m. the parade will set off from the corner of East Liberty and East Broad Street heading toward the Savannah River. Then, it will follow a route where it turns left on Broughton Street, then right on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard before terminating at the corner of West Anderson Street.

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