All posts by Paul Hayward

What’s Happening This Week

Week of May 29 – June 4, 2023

Mountain laurel is in bloom in the mountains. Here are some of the many events happening in our area this week.

Memorial Day Ceremony – Monday, May 29, 12 noon – 1 pm, Fannin County Veterans Memorial Park, Blue Ridge
The North Georgia Honor Guard will be conducting the ceremony, which will feature a keynote speaker, rifle salute and Taps, and the Huey will be open for display for anyone who’d like to sit inside it.

Music – Thursday, June 1, 6 pm to dusk, Horseshoe Bend Park in Mineral Bluff (706-946-1130)
Pickin’ in Horseshoe Bend Park every Thursday, 6:00 PM to dusk, May – Sept. Live music jams & pickin’ on the banks of the Toccoa River at the Horseshoe Bend Park in McCaysville. Come out, bring the whole family to enjoy the experience.Picnic tables available, nice grassy lawn but you are also welcome to bring a blanket or chair. Weather Permitting.

Guided Hikes – Friday, June 2, Benton MacKaye Trail Association, Blue Ridge (706-946-0336)
“Bush Creek Trail” – dog-friendly hike (adult humans may bring a leashed dog). Easy/moderate 7 miles with a shuttle. Almost all gently downhill. Contact Hike Leader Ken Cissna at

Senior Fishing Rodeo ­- Friday & Saturday, June 2 & 3, 9 am –  12 noon, Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, Rock Creek Rd, Suches (706-838-4723)
“Senior Fishing Rodeo – 55 & Up” – Prizes. Bring Fishing Gear & Bait. Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Apply

Music – Friday, June 2, 1 – 3 pm, Reece Heritage Farm, Blairsville (706-745-2034) ^
“Curtis & Kim Jones” – Gypsy Music! Curtis Jones reins as the most highly respected flatpicking guitarist on the planet. Jones is often called by fans and critics alike, “The world’s fastest and cleanest” acoustic guitarist, an extraordinary technique that he both teaches and brings to his contemporary guitar performances and productions. Speed is only a small part of what Curtis can do though. He efficiently plays 22 instruments and is self-taught on all! Through his pure guitar mastery, he has created a new style of Music- “Mountain Gypsy Music” allowing his abilities to weave in and out of Bluegrass, Jazz, Rock, Flamenco, and World Music. Kim Jones is an artist, singer, and songwriter. She sings and plays upright Bass with Curtis’ Bluegrass band- Primal Roots, performs with Curtis in their Mountain Gypsy Music duo. Kim has been singing her whole life but has only just begun to perform in front of Audiences within the past few years. Kim plays and sings with emotion and delta blues style soul. When asked about her goals through music, her response is “I just want to share it. It’s in here, deep down inside, and I wanna let it out”! Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy music!!

Seafood & Wine Festival – Friday (1 – 9 pm), Saturday (10 am – 9 pm), Sunday (10 am – 4 pm), June 2 – 4, Young Harris, (706-897-6179) *
~ Enjoy some refreshing drinks at our Beer and Wine Gardens
~stroll through more than 50 fine arts & crafts exhibitors
~tap your toes to live music throughout the weekend
~eat some serious seafood and sweet treats

Concert – Friday, June 2, 7 pm, Old Courthouse on the Square, Blairsville (706-745-5493) ^
“Don Byers” – These Friday night concerts feature regional musicians that showcase our mountain heritage. Doors open at 6pm.  We recommend you get there early to make sure you get a seat!

Bird Walk – Saturday, June 3, 7:30 am – 12:00 noon, Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company, Blue Ridge,
“Brawley Mountain” – Roundtrip 5.5 miles to Bleachers/Ledford Gap or all the way to Fire Tower 6.75 miles. We’ll meet at the parking area of Wilscot Gap off of Hwy 60 at 7:30am sharp! Cell service is spotty! Hwy 60 S to Wilscot Gap parking. This is directly across the street from Forest Service Rd. Limited to 10 birders -RSVP required.

Farmers Market – Saturday, June 3, 8 am – 1 pm, Union County Farmers Market, Blairsville (706-439-6043)
“Opening Day” – Food purchased at a local Farmers Market comes with outstanding freshness, quality, flavor, and variety. You know exactly where your food comes from and how it was grown. Additionally, you support a sustainable regional food system that helps small family farms stay in business, protects land from development, and provides all of us with fresh, local food.

National Trails Day – Saturday, June 3, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm, Vogel State Park, Blairsville *parking
Vogel State Park, the Vogel Volunteers, the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Mountain High Hikers, and the Benton MacKaye Trail Association along with Georgia ForestWatch will join forces to celebrate National Trails Day at Vogel State Park in North Georgia.
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
– Cross-cut saw try-out (supervised by certified maintainers)
– A rock work demonstration
– Several hikes of varying lengths, at least one for families
– A maintenance work trip or two.
12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
– Lunch. To help mitigate the spread of Covid-19, we are doing a BYOBL (Bring Your Own Bagged Lunch) and the trail clubs will provide paper goods for everyone.
During lunch, a representative from each organization will take 10 minutes to update the group on what their club is doing, new initiatives, and any other desired information.

Kids Fishing Rodeo – Saturday, June 3, 9 am – 12 noon, Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery, Rock Creek Rd, Suches (706-838-4723)
“Kid’s Fishing Rodeo – 16 & Under”. Prizes. Bring Fishing Gear & Bait. Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations Apply.

Cruise-in – Saturday, June 3, 3 – 7 pm, Union County Farmers Market, Blairsville (706-897-5857)
Blairsville Cruisers car club presents their Cruise In at the Union County Farmers Market in Blairsville, GA.  No registration fees. All vehicles welcome!

Concert ­- Saturday, June 3, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Hiawassee Square
Trevor Ciongoli hails all the way from Michigan to the Deep South in Mississippi. Music is his life and has been doing it since he was nine years old. He moved to Blue Ridge from Charlotte, NC this Summer to spend time with family and to make an album. Elton John is his piano playing hero. If you like Elton John and The Beatles, all the way to Pearl Jam and Coldplay, come hang out and enjoy some piano music!

Music – Saturday, June 3, 7 – 9 pm, Vogel State Park, Blairsville (706-745-2628) *parking fee ^
Join us at the park Saturday nights for Music in the Park! Every Saturday in the summer we have a different artist or band playing at the Lakeside Pavilion! The concert is always free but donations to the artists are appreciated!

Concert – Saturday, June 3, 7 -10 pm, Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee (706-896-4191) *
“Happy Together Tour” – the touring sensation that has criss-crossed the nation delighting audiences for over a decade returns this summer with a show full of chart-topping hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s – features The Turtles, Little Anthony, Gary Puckett & Union Gap, The Vogues, The Cowsills. You will go home whistling the soundtrack of the 60’s and 70’s!

^ A donation is requested for this event.
* There is a charge for this event.

More details and other events can be found at these websites:

Blairsville & Union Country  –

Towns Country –

Blue Ridge –