Home: Living in North Georgia June 2019

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JUNE 2019






Beth Baldwin,

Financial Advisor 439 Green Street NW Gainesville, GA 30501 770-534-1220

Reneigh Satterfield, AAMS®

Desiree Goodbar, AAMS®

Financial Advisor 3630 Thompson Bridge Rd Suite 22 Gainesville, GA 30506 770-536-2031

Financial Advisor 3030 McEver Rd Suite 200 Gainesville, GA 30504 770-533-9513

Dwight Larkins,

Financial Advisor 2551 Limestone Pkwy Suite 4 Gainesville, GA 30501 770-503-0812

ones.com MemberSIPC www.edwardjones.com MemberSIPC

Jil Avery

Financial Advisor 1532 Park Hill Drive Gainesville, GA 30501 770-297-6482

Chuck Footit,

Lance Gresham, AAMS®

Michael Chafin,

Financial Advisor 439 Green Street NW Gainesville, GA 30501 770-534-1220

Financial Advisor 340 Jesse Jewell Pkwy Wells Fargo Center Suite 525 Gainesville, GA 30501 770-536-0592

Financial Advisor 1532 Park Hill Dr Gainesville, GA 30501 770-297-6482

Prerak Patel

Financial Advisor 3630 Thompson Bridge Rd Ste 22 Gainesville, GA 30506 www.edwardjones.com MemberSIPC 770-536-2031

WE MADE SURE DYING DIDN’T STOP DUSTIN FROM LIVING. Long live Dustin. Long live hearts. Three years ago, Dustin Altom suffered cardiac arrest. He clinically died – no heartbeat, wasn’t breathing and was not conscious. The EMS team was able to restart his heart and took him to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where cardiologists performed other treatments to save his life.

Watch Dustin’s story and request your appointment online: nghs.com/dustin l 770-282-1090




Limited Seating available!

Suzy Bogguss Enjoy an intimate concert by one of the most acclaimed female country singers. Grammy, CMA and ACM award winning Suzy Bogguss blends country tradition with contemporary mainstream. Hits include Aces, Driving South, and Someday Soon.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. The Venue at Friendship Springs

7340 Friendship Springs Blvd, Flowery Branch, GA 30542



For more information, contact Leah Nelson at 770-535-6330.



678-316-6262 Pat’s Cell • 678-316-8687 Brenda’s Cell Pat.Burke85@gmail.com • BrendaKayBurke@gmail.com Joy Atkins, Licensed Assistant • joyatkins1@gmail.com BurkeRealtyTeam.com

Featured Properties COMING SOON!

3132 Shelter Cove, Gainesville - $665,000 Grass to water, level year round lake view, SS slip dock with party deck. Beautifully updated 4/3 ranch on full finished basement, featuring 2 kitchens, screened porch, multilevel decks, open floor plan and much more! Chestatee School District.

2 Lots in Dockside Cove Subdivision on Lake Lanier

3432 Davis Bridge, Gainesville

7712 Barker’s Bend, Murrayville - $745,000

Never on the market before, one of a kind lake Hard to find 5/3.5 four sided brick ranch home, worthy of Architectural Digest. Custom on partially fin. basement nestled on 8.94 built and designed using logs from the 1800’s. acres w/2 single slip docks. Year-round lake views. Property can be divided and This primitive log home sits in a Very private developed. setting, has 3 finished levels, master on main, SS slip dock and much more. Chestatee School District. 100% FINANCING FOR QUALIFIED BUYERS!


4105 Evian Way, Gainesville - $214,900

3970 Walnut Grove Way, Gainesville - $280,000

Upscale, gated lake community! Community This beautiful 3/2 home offers 1 level living on cul-desac, hardwood flooring in vaulted living room w/gas marina with boat slips for day use, fishing fireplace, tiled foyer, huge kitchen w/breakfast bar, and swimming. bright sun room overlooking deck in private backyard w/babbling creek. Cherokee Bluff school district.

5 bedroom/4 full baths home in cul-de-sac with three finished levels, new multi-level decks overlooking huge backyard bordered by creek! Chestatee school district.

JUNE 2019

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BUSINESS PROFILE Scott’s Downtown sets the bar for flavor for more than 12 years.

FEATURED HOME Boutique couple dresses up new home in Chattahoochee Country Club.

TASTE OF HOME There’s no guessing what Jim’s Smokin’ Que serves Blairsville patrons.

FEATURE Glamourous campgrounds close to home.

FEATURE Staycation day trips on less than a tank of gas.



GET TO KNOW Atlanta area musician plays locally too.

RECREATION Vibrant nightlife draws crowds of locals.

CALENDAR A plethora of local events to plug into your weekend.

AROUND TOWN A look at past Hall County happenings.

ON THE COVER: Gainesville Square photo by Sarina Roth, Never the Rock Photography.

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DIRECTOR OF REVENUE Leah Nelson GENERAL MANAGER Norman Baggs ADVERTISING SALES Bernadette Mastracchio Jenna Wellborn Megan Lewis Trent Sexton Debra Cates CREATIVE SERVICES Kerri Ivie, Manager Katerina Laskowski, Magazine Design Indigo Whatley, Ad Design Sarah Curtis, Ad Design


Jennifer is a creative writer who enjoys telling the unique stories of her community to readers across Georgia. Whether exciting new finds or classic topics, she writes about everything from food and fashion to travel and health, beauty, the arts and more with an enthusiastic yearning to truly know her neighbors.

PHOTOGRAPHY Scott Rogers Austin Steele HOME MAGAZINE, A DIVISION OF The Times Gainesville, GA A Metro Market Media Inc. property

Pamela A. Keene

Pamela A. Keene is a journalist who writes for about a dozen publications across the Southeast and nationally. She frequently writes about travel, gardening and business. She is also an accomplished photographer. She lives in Flowery Branch.

Amber Tyner

Amber Tyner is a student at the University of North Georgia. When she has free time, she enjoys baking as well as going new places with her family.

Manuscripts, artwork, photography, inquiries and submitted materials are welcome. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from Metro Market Media Inc. Although every precaution is taken to ensure accuracy of published materials, Metro Market Media cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. HOME: Living in North Georgia reserves the right to refuse advertisements for any reason. Acceptance of advertising does not mean or imply the services or product is endorsed or recommended by HOME: Living in North Georgia.

Emilie McGrath

Emilie McGrath is a wife, mother, and nurse. After working in critical care for over ten years, Emilie became aware of the fragility of life, while simultaneously realizing that within all of life’s circumstances, there are endless stories of beauty and inspiration to be told. Emilie strives to write and tell other’s stories while being thankful for the journey of writing her own.

/HOMELivinginNorthGeorgia 345 Green St. | Gainesville, GA 30501 | 770-532-1234

www.homemagazinenorthgeorgia.com June 2019 | HOME | 7






hank goodness Kay and Scott Dixon moved to Gainesville. Formerly a marketing director for a technology company in Duluth, you may not have guessed that Scott’s dream job was actually in the food industry. But lucky for Gainesville — and the surrounding area — moving north re-inspired his dream, and Scott’s Downtown opened in 2007. “When we moved to Gainesville, I realized it would be the perfect place to open the kind of restaurant that I’ve always want-

ed to open,” said Dixon. “That conversation took place in late September in 2007, and we opened on December the 10th.” That kind of restaurant was a casual fine dining option that would complement the existing scene, but not be something pretentious. Alongside co-owner Kay, they’ve become more casual over the years, tweaking the concept as they’ve learned more about Gainesville and what the people here like. “We wanted to fill the void of what was missing out there in the marketplace,” said Dixon. “My degrees are in marketing and

business, so just being a student of business, I knew we wouldn’t be forcing something just because that’s what I thought it should be. We took people’s feedback. We listened to what people liked, and tried to execute things that they wanted to be done differently.” That interweaving with the community led to five years in that original location on Main Street, and allowed them to expand into their current location on Bradford Street in 2012. They built out the new, larger space in a way that could preserve customer

LEFT: Kay and Scott Dixon of Scott’s Downtown in Gainesville. RIGHT: Scott’s Downtown feature prime steaks and seafood in a fine dining atmosphere.

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favorites from the original location, like the same unique private dining alcoves, but also let the restaurant stretch its culinary service wings. That meant a separate bar and lounge, more private dining spaces, private dining rooms that could seat up to 20 people and a 10,000-square-foot space upstairs for catering and special events. With this footprint, the Dixons can meet the needs of those locals who treat Scott’s as their kitchen and dining room, the business men and women gathering for meetings and for the special-occasion diners who look forward to a meal here a few times a year. Doubled seating capacity helps it fully embody the neighborhood staple it intended to be. “It’s so nice to walk through here and see the same faces, to see neighbors talking to neighbors, and friends hanging out with friends on a regular basis,” said Dixon. “That exemplifies what we wanted to create here.” Other than a great hangout, Scott’s is best known for its steaks and seafood, offering a steady menu that sees a few seasonal changes throughout the year, all crafted with quality ingredients and presented in an artful, elevated way. Being local, it’s impossible not to revisit old favorites every now and

then, or add new options for guests that come on a regular basis. A popular dish is the kitchen’s creamy risotto, which never leaves the menu. It’s often ordered as a rich side dish, but many customers like it as an entrée, topped with succulent sautéed shrimp or flavorful, grilled chicken. This summer, the chef adds bright, fresh ripe tomatoes in dishes like the light and colorful Chicken Caprese with fresh mozzarella, or the Tomato Bruschetta with balsamic glaze. The best cut on the menu? Well, that’s all up to the customer, but Scott’s is the only restaurant in town that serves a prime aged ribeye (16 ounces and perfect as is, or topped with a lobster tail and creamy Béarnaise). “Even after being here for 13 years, we continue to still reach new people that have lived here the entire time,” said Dixon, who credits their team chemistry and valuable team leaders who’ve worked to create one cohesive business for the restaurant’s steady growth. “Not a week goes by that we don’t have first timers who live in Gainesville or Hall County. For as visible as we are in the community, in many ways we are one of its best-kept secrets. “The thing about Gainesville is that — ap-

ples to apples — there’s not anyone like us, but anyone could be our competition,” he added. “We are a healthy part of the Gainesville palate. We’ve become so many different things to different people. We really feel like we are part of the fabric of this downtown community.” In its thirteenth year, Scott’s Downtown has the same goal as when it opened — to keep doing what they’re doing, fine-tuning as they go. That means new wines, updated craft cocktails, and menu items that will keep it fresh for the people who’ve been coming for 12 years, and exciting for the ones who’ve yet to find. H

SCOTT’S DOWNTOWN Quality steaks, seafood, cocktails, wine and beer in a casual, fine dining atmosphere perfect for evenings in the lounge, intimate dinners, business meetings or private parties. An on-site catering and special events team helps make larger events seamless and unique. Scottsdowntown.com 131 Bradford Street NW 770.536.1111

8 Brands • 1 Location Family Owned & Operated since 1971


5 mins. north of Jaemor 1-866-262-7407 706-776-1144 Farms on Hwy. 365 hayesofbaldwin.com June 2019 | HOME | 9




ith their busy lifestyle and two young children, Derrick and Danielle Case knew what they wanted in their lakeside home at Chattahoochee Country Club. And from experience, they knew the builder that could make it happen for them. They chose Reed Brothers Design & Build. “Clean lines and a modern design, plus plenty of very usable outdoor space were among our goals when we talked with Ron and Todd Reed,” says Danielle, who with Derrick owns more than 20 DressUp stores across the Southeast. “They had built our first home for us several years ago and we knew from working with them before that they were who we wanted again.” The house has an open floorplan with a large kitchen, a formal living room, ca-

sual living space and a master suite on the main floor. “All the main-floor rooms have access to the deck, and we’ve included a wood-burning fireplace outside as well as outdoor heaters, so we can enjoy the space in every season,” Derrick said. “Having the large deck, which also has a television, is perfect for game day or just relaxing. Danielle and her sisters can be indoors doing what they want to do and we guys can be outside enjoying the game.” Overall, the home features clean lines and a mixture of white, wood and stone. Marble countertops and vanities are complemented by engineered wide-plank white oak flooring that enhances the amount of natural light provided by windows and French doors. The home is bright and inviting.

1: The Case’s kitchen in their new home in Chattahoochee Country Club. 2: The Case family has a new home in Chattahoochee Country Club. 3: Derrick, left, and Danielle Case stand in the kitchen of their new home. 4: The Case’s office space in their new home.

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For HVAC, Insulation & Plumbing Services!


(770) 532-9130

$25.00 OFF

any HVAC or Plumbing Repair! Exp5/31/2019 6/30/19 Exp

“We love that our home is filled with so much natural light,” says Danielle, who worked with Todd on custom design elements. “From the long boards of the white oak wide-plank flooring to the detail of the trim and 12-inch baseboards, every detail just really came together to create the look and feel that we wanted in our home.” The terrace level of the three-story house serves as a man-cave of sorts with a wet bar and a media area, room for billiards and a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a full bath. The layout allows for the addition of three more rooms that could be used as gathering space or additional bedrooms. The two-story formal living room has three sets of French doors that open onto the deck. They’re topped with large double windows that echo the shape and size of the French doors. The large fireplace is flanked by built-ins. The island kitchen with commercial appliances features white cabinetry with a

large walnut-finished island topped with marble. The breakfast area leads to a large keeping room with another fireplace and wood beams across the ceiling. The keeping room opens onto a covered porch. The main-level master suite has a tray ceiling and a private entrance to the deck. Reed Brothers Design & Build provides clients with a seamless, stress-free way to design and build your custom, dream home. Quality, integrity and professionalism drive a process that includes guaranteed contract pricing, time spent reviewing CAD drawings, touring other projects and fine-tuning the details together until your dream home is complete. ReedBrothersDesignBuild.com 770-318-8395 Oakwood

The master bath features dual vanities, an oversized shower and large tub and access to his-and-hers adjoining oversized closets. The boys’ bedrooms upstairs are easily accessible to a large playroom that can later be adapted to a game room as they grow older. “When we first started talking with Danielle, they told us that they wanted their home to be unique and reflect their personalities and style,” Todd says. “It has a modern flair that really reflects their lifestyle. We’ve worked to create a home that they can enjoy with their busy lives and when they want leisure time.” Danielle agrees. “We have plenty of space so that we won’t need to move again anytime soon,” she says. “Our home is designed for us to live in for a long time, and that’s just what we intend to do.” H

1: The Case’s living room in their new home in Chattahoochee Country Club. 2: The Case’s master bedroom in their new home. 3: The Case’s dining room in their new home. 4: The Case’s master bath in their new home.

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Peggy Conley

LAKE LANIER Relocating? Looking for a second home? Why not start a new life making memories on Beautiful Lake Lanier?!



Contact: @toddwreed 770-318-8395

REO Certified Georgia Properties 500 Jesse Jewell Pkwy SE Suite 300 Gainesville, GA 30501 Cell: 678-325-9792 | Office: 770-536-3007 peggy.conley@bhhsgeorgia.com www.PeggyConley.com

This 4 BR 3.5 BA gorgeous home is only steps from the water and private dock, newly renovated with stainless steel appliances and new flooring. Within the city limits of Gainesville, this home is close to NEGA Medical, Shopping, Great Dining, Olympic Rowing Venue, and Much More!

Call Jodie Kidd, Resource Brokers, 404-597-9750 www.live-lakelife.com

Find your new home or property or select a real estate agent when buying or selling on NorthGeorgiaHomeHub.com

LOCAL CUSTOMIZED SEARCHABLE For more information, contact Debra Cates dcates@gainesvilletimes.com, 770-535-6332

• Limited time close-out • Up to 50% off selected lots • Owner financing available • Each lot has a boat slip • Boat slips available for $45,000

toddwreed2@gmail.com www.reedbrothersdesignbuild.com



3751 Ledan Rd, Gainesville $350,000 Well maintained 3 BR/2 BA Ranch. Living area comprised of living room, kitchen/ dining & sunroom with views of Lake Knickerbocker. Kitchen has granite countertops & recently refurbished cabinets with soft-close drawers & doors. Basement provides a family room with built-ins, 1 BR/1 BA & unfinished multipurpose room. Detached 2 car garage with storage room above, and a swimming pool out back. On site free-standing shop & pole barn accessed by 2nd driveway. Nearby is a large garden spot. This peaceful oasis sits on 6+ acres with a creek, lake, and wildlife Close to HWY 60

2890 Thompson Mill Road, Gainesville $349,900 ELEGANCE WITH SIMPLICITY IN NORTH HALL! Two story foyer sets the tone! Great flow from the formal living room into the family room with a fireplace and continues to breakfast area and kitchen featuring island, glazed cabinets, stainless steel appliances, desk and formal dining room all on main level. Upstairs features master bedroom and large bath with whirlpool tub and separate shower, laundry room, 2 additional bedrooms and a bonus room with a closet. Hardwood floors on main level. Covered porch and open deck on back.


• Lake & mountain views • 3.5 miles of protected shoreline • Secure, gated community • Swim, tennis, clubhouse, golf cart parking • Nature trail along the lake

Ann Bryant 770-540-5191

Linda Morris 678-449-7753 3313 Harbour Point Parkway, Gainesville, GA 30506 1-800-283-HPYC





he smell of the burning cherry wood is what will greet you first when you enter the grounds of Jim’s Smokin’ Que and will linger in the air as you leave. Cherry wood smoke creates delicious food and special memories for the thousands of customers who come each year. And this phenomenon symbolizes the birth of Jim’s Smokin’ Que in Blairsville. Owners Jim, Donna, and Lauren Guess tell a story of renewal with their barbecue. Fourteen years ago, Jim, Donna, and Lauren suffered a tragic loss. On Saturday, February 8, 2004, Jim and Donna’s thirteen-year old son Garrett played in his scheduled Union County Panthers Middle school basketball game. On that Sunday, he became suddenly ill, and died that Monday. In addition to coping with devastating loss, Jim and Donna began to struggle financially as a result of the economic downturn in 2008. Jim and Donna realized they were going to have to make a change.

In May 2010, they bought one smoker and began Jim’s Smokin’ Que in the back section of a local gas station. They had six chairs to serve people and no extra money for marketing or advertising. Word of mouth regarding their delicious barbeque spread through the community and surrounding areas. By April 2011, the current Jim’s Smokin ‘Que was constructed with the help of the community and Jim and Donna’s fellow church members. Great restaurants are not a matter of the stomach; they are a matter of the heart. The passion it takes day in and day out to continually produce delectable food for thousands of people a year has to be fueled by something deeper within. And in the case of Jim’s Smokin Que, it started with pain and struggle. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” H

LEFT: Owners Jim and Donna Guess. Photo by Jessi Blackwell. TOP RIGHT: The family packs are perfect for any occasion or on the way home to a hungry crowd. BOTTOM RIGHT: The pulled pork sandwich is loaded and the Brunswick stew is full of all their smoked meats and delicious. Photos by Donna Guess.

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JIM’S SMOKIN’ QUE AWARDS: • Ranked 6th in Nation for best BBQ by Trip Advisor - May 2014 • Live Weather Channel Interview - May 2014 • Interview with Fox 5 Atlanta - May 2014 • Chosen as top destination in Explore Georgia - Sept. 2015 • #13th in Country for Comfort Food Travel and Leisure Magazine • Best BBQ in GA - Money Magazine Aug. 2018 • 100 Plate Club - Best Ribs - 2018

4971 Gainesville Highway Blairsville, GA 30512 706-835-7427 Open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday




A |G

Serving Northeast Georgia since 1968. We have been devoted to providing quality interior design with an emphasis on customer service for over 50 years. What We Do We are a full service interior design company serving both commercial and residential clients. Our designers have over 50 years combined experience, and specialize in helping you achieve your unique look. Contact us for more information on how Millie’s Drapery and Decorating, Inc. can help you design the perfect look for your home or business.

Original Owners since 1980 1732 Cleveland Highway, Gainesville, GA 30501 Info@milliesdrapery.com





Saturday, August 24th · 10am - 5pm · 6140 Events


6140 Highway 400, Cumming, GA 30028

Free to the Public 2019

Enter to Win a Golf Cart !

To be an Expo vendor or for more information, contact Debra Cates at 770-535-6332 or dcates@gainesvilletimes.com. June 2019 | HOME | 15





ebeka Self grew up camping with her family in Oregon, but when she married her husband Nathan he didn’t share her enthusiasm for sleeping in the great outdoors. So together they developed a compromise; it was the birth of a new business. “Georgia Glamping at Lake Lanier was the best of all worlds for us, because we were staying outside but sleeping in tents that really had all the comforts of a hotel,” she says. “Now, he loves the idea of glamping with our family. We are still camping, but it’s much more comfortable. And it’s a good way to introduce other families to the camping experience without the expense of purchasing their own equipment.” Located at Shady Grove Campground in Cumming on Lake Lanier, Georgia Glamping offers four tented campsites and a retro trailer. Campsites have fire pits and

charcoal grills, but campers can add extras like propane grills, paddleboards, kayaks and bikes to their experience. The company also has a few campsites at Georgia State Parks, including Unicoi and Vogel. “Eighty percent of our guests are firsttime campers,” she says. “We’ve been amazed by the positive comments from the people who camp with us. Glamping is really starting to catch on, and people are now coming here from all over Georgia and the Carolinas. It’s really a fun way to get closer to nature.” North Georgia offers a plethora of camping and glamping options, from primitive camping, tent camping, to trailer and RV hookups. For immersion in nature with a glimpse at farm life, visit the mountain retreat at Elates’yi in Ellijay. It offers a vintage Airstream trailer, an authentic geodesic dome

and other options on a small farm. Campsites have grills, and owners Wesley and Rebekah Buchanan often leave fresh eggs laid by the Buchanan’s chickens for guests. The nearest boat ramp at Carters Lake is about a 1.5 miles from the farm; guests can use Elates’yi’s kayaks. Waterside camping just got a new choice with the opening of Margaritaville Waterfront RV Resort this spring. The brand-new luxury RV park at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands provides lake views and access to the activities at Margaritaville. Being built in stages, the first phase opened in April with 50 30- to 50-foot poured concrete pads. Each site has power hookups, water and sewer, plus free Wi-Fi and firepits. New laundry facilities, restrooms and showers are available for guests. Another 70 RV sites are planned for later this summer.

Above: Large tents provide the perfect setting for glamping under tall hardwoods on the shores of Lake Lanier. Credit: Calista Rain Photography (calistrain.com).

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RESOURCES: • Georgia Glamping, Cumming, www.gaglamping.com • Elatse’yi, Ellijay, www.northgeorgiaglamping.com • Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, Dawsonville, www.amicalolafallslodge.com • Unicoi State Park & Lodge, Unicoi north of Helen, www.unicoilodge.com • Margaritaville RV Resort, Lanier Islands, Buford, www.lanierislands.com/ margaritaville/Margaritaville-RV-Resort • Lake Lanier Campgrounds, various managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, recreation.gov • Georgia State Parks, various locations in North Georgia, www.gastateparks.org

“This is the first-ever RV park associated with Margaritaville in the United States,” says Bucky Perry, director of operations for Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. “We are very excited about this new amenity here at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. And of course all our guests will be able to enjoy all that Margaritaville has to offer as well.” Lake Lanier has several campgrounds managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Popular choices include Old Federal Park and Van Pugh South in Flowery Branch, Ducket Mill and Bolding Mill in Gainesville, Bald Ridge Campground and Sawnee in Cumming and Shoal Creek in Buford. Accommodations are varied, depending on the location. Throughout North Georgia, state parks are filled with camping choices. Unicoi State Park and Lodge just north of Helen offers a full ranging of camping experiences. Primitive camping platforms allow guests to sleep outdoors in sleeping bags or hammocks, or bring your own tent or trailer. You can also bring 30- or 40-foot RVs with water, power and sewer. The parks charming Barrel Cabins are an excellent alternative to going rustic. They are available in 1- or 2-bedroom configurations. Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge in Dawsonville has 24 wooded campsites nestled in its 829 acres of tall hardwoods and winding trails. For camping basics, bring a tent. RV sites offer water, power, grills and fire rings. Hike to Amicalola Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Southeast, for a breath-

TOP: Rebekah and Nathan Self enjoy a quiet moment with their dogs at one of their camping/glamping sites at Lake Lanier. Credit: The Decisive Moment Photography (www. thedecisivemoment.com) BOTTOM: Jase and Reed Humphries share some quality brother time while glamping. Credit: Lauren Humphries Photography (www.laurenhumphriesphotography.com).

taking view of the water as it cascades 729 feet from top to bottom. Other options for camping at Georgia State Parks include Don Carter State Park in Gainesville, Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls, Tugaloo State Park in Lavonia and Vogel State Park in Blairsville. Different parks offer distinct choices from primitive sites for tent camping to yurts at Fort Yargo and Tugaloo. All have hiking trails and other amenities that put guests close to the state’s natural beauty.

“Sometimes connecting with nature is the best way to unplug and unwind,” says Kim Hatcher, public affairs coordinator for Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. “The nice thing about staying in Georgia’s State Parks is that you can choose from a variety of ways to sleep under the stars, from the barrel cabins at Unicoi to the campsites at Vogel State Park. And when you wake up, you’re in the middle of the gorgeous mountains with hiking trails right outside your door.” H

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iving in North Georgia puts you in the drivers seat for memorable and affordable day trips with family and friends this summer. From the charm of Alpine Helen to world-class museums in Cartersville, you can almost stick a pin in a map and have a different adventure every week without burning a whole tank of gas. Dahlonega and Helen are two great day trip destinations that have something for everyone, including homegrown restaurants, unique local shops, attractions, museums and outdoor activities,” says Emily


Murray, senior communications specialist with the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “If you don’t have time to travel far, these are the perfect destinations to take a quick road trip for the day and explore locally.” If you haven’t been to Helen lately, you’re in for a treat. The Bavarian Village that rocks Oktoberfest each fall has many reasons for a summer day trip. The recently opened Georgia Mountains Coaster joins the ranks of river tubing, ziplining and even hiking for outdoor recreation. The coaster differs from a roller coaster in sev-

eral ways; it’s a family experience that takes riders down a 3,200-foot hillside track at speeds that the drivers control. Click on helenga.org for special events and other attractions. Nearby Smithgall Woods State Park offers miles of hiking trails and easily accessible waterfalls. The Hardman Farm State Historic Site has guided tours of the 19thcentury Italianate home. You can also hike the nature trails, visit the dairy barn or see the gazebo-topped Indian mound. Helen is connected to Hardman Farm Historic Site by way of a 1-mile paved trail

1: A guided hike through Amicalola Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Georgia. Credit Georgia DNR. 2: A group of visitors to Gibbs Gardens enjoy the Japanese Gardens. Credit ExploreGeorgia. 3: The Georgia Mountain Coaster in Helen, Georgia’s first alpine coaster, is now open. Credit Alpine Helen White County CVB. 4: The Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville is fun for the whole family. Credit VisitCartersvilleGA.org.

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that winds alongside the Chattahoochee River under tall hardwoods. Temporarily closed because of storm damage, plans are to re-open early this summer. The trail is a delightful way to get close to nature. You can hike, take a leisurely stroll, bike or even travel by wheelchair between the two popular destinations. Flora and fauna of the area, including wildflowers, birds and butterflies, greet visitors to the trail. Check with the Hardman Farm about the specific opening date by calling (706) 878-1077. Downtown Dahlonega has become a focal point for visitors to Northeast Georgia. With a variety of attractions, activities, restaurants and shops, it’s easy to spend a full day walking the square. Visit the recently renovated Dahlonega Gold Museum that tells the story of the nation’s first real gold rush — in Georgia, not California. Nearby, the Consolidated Gold Mine takes guests through the gold mine and offers gold panning and gem mining. The Chestatee River Diving Bell is on display downtown. It’s a relic from the Civil War. Hungry? The Bourbon Street Grille serves Cajun food; Spirits Tavern is known for its gourmet burgers. Gustavo’s specializes in Italian fare and The Crimson Moon of-

fers Americana food and new South cuisine. Bring home gourmet treats from awardwinning Paul Thomas Chocolates, handcrafted on site. Sample wines and gourmet foods at Taste. And if you decide to stay after dark, look up the performance schedule at the Historic Holly theatre, presenting plays and concerts. Learn more about Dahlonega at Dahlonega.org. Plan a drive to Ball Ground for seasons of color at Gibbs Gardens. The 200-acre garden developed by Atlanta landscaper Jim Gibbs has been bringing people from around the world to see the millions of daffodils in bloom each spring. This summer roses, hydrangeas, water lilies, daylilies, annuals and perennials provide non-stop color. Be sure to stop by the Japanese Garden for a peaceful respite among symbolic statuary. Find out more at gibbsgardens. com. It’s worth the 100-minute drive to Cartersville, home of two world-class museums — Tellus Science Museum and The Booth Museum. Both are affiliates of the Smithsonian. Visitors to Tellus are greeted by a gigantic dinosaur in the lobby. The museum houses the Weinman Mineral Gallery, the Bentley Planetarium, the Fos-

sil Gallery and Science in Motion. Youngsters can learn through hands-on exhibits or explore My Big Backyard. An active solar house on the grounds is powered by the sun. The Tellus Observatory reveals the mysteries of the night sky on selected nights. Tellus offers special events throughout the year. Check out the schedule at www.tellusmuseum.org. The Booth Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Western art, opened in 2003. The 120,000-square foot museum’s permanent collection in 12 galleries includes works by Frederic Remington and Andy Warhol. The Presidential Gallery showcases portraits and signed letters by each American president. Additionally, 10 to 12 exhibitions are hosted each year. Learn more at https://boothmuseum.org. Cartersville is also known for the historic Rose Lawn House Museum, the world’s first Coca-Cola Outdoor Wall advertisement and the Bartow History Museum. Dining choices range from Americana to Mediterranean and diners to white-tablecloth restaurants. For more about what to do in Cartersville, click on VisitCartersvilleGA.org. H

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20 | HOME | June 2019

native of Turkey, musician Emrah Kotan has performed in the North Georgia area quite a bit, from jazz events and festivals in Gainesville, Braselton and Dahlonega to a concert at Flowery Branch High School. “It was a while back,” he said about his performances in the local area, mentioning that he would like to come back. “If I have an opportunity, I would love to come play up there.” The 41-year-old Roswell said he first moved to the U.S. in January of 1999 to pursue a career as a musician. “That was my dream — to come here to study jazz and learn different kinds of world music and percussion and perform them,” he said. “And be able to teach as well.” 20 years later, Kotan has achieved this goal. He now performs every week at venues throughout Atlanta, is on faculty at Agnes Scott College and has even formed his own band. “I’m very thankful and grateful,” he said about his accomplishments, mentioning he first became interested in music as a child. “I started music when I was 8 years old,” he said. “(It) always was a part of what I wanted to do. I started playing a mandolin because in Turkey in the school systems they were teaching us how to play. Every time I had a break, I would pick up my instrument and practice that hours and hours.” He said his parents quickly realized his interest and had him audition to attend a music and performing arts conservatory. “When I got in the conservatory, they (saw) the strong sense of rhythm and they put me in the percussion department,” he said. “I studied orchestral percussion about nine years.” Kotan said that even while at the conservatory, though, he knew he wanted to move to the U.S. to expand his education. “I was 13 years old when I decided to come to the United States and study jazz and study drumming and study world percussion,” he said, mentioning he finally moved to Atlanta when he was 21. But following his arrival to the U.S., Kotan didn’t immediately enroll in a music program. He had to first take classes to learn English. “I didn’t speak any English when I moved here,” he said. “I went to Georgia Tech first to learn English. When I was there, I found out they had a music program. I didn’t study there, but I got actually invited to play with their big bands.” After about a year of studying English, Kotan then enrolled at Georgia State University. “I auditioned for the master’s program in jazz studies at Georgia State and I got in,” he said. “I started playing the orchestra, wind ensemble, all these different ensembles there.” And immediately after graduation, Kotan was hired at Agnes Scott College. “It was 2004 I started teaching there,” he said. “And I was the percussion instructor there. Later on, they offered me to become a jazz ensemble director and also the world percussion ensemble director.” Kotan said he performs at Agnes Scott with his students each semester and now has gigs at several venues in the Atlanta region with other musicians. “Most of my gigs, I play drum set and percussion — world percussion,” he said. “And I play so many different kinds of musical styles such as jazz, Brazilian music and salsa, Afro-Cuban music and flamenco. I also do orchestral percussion as well.”

He said he plays at places like Eclipse di Luna, MidCity Cafe, Anis Bistro, Loca Luna and other locations. “That’s my regular gigs,” he said. “Most of the time I am accompanying either a flamenco guitar player or I’m playing with a Brazilian group. Every time (you) see me with a different group, (you) will see me playing a different style of music.” But Kotan said he has his own band, too. “I also have my own band as a band leader,” he said. “I have very important gigs coming up. I will be performing with my own group on July 19 at (the) High Museum of Art.” He said he debuted his first album back in 2013. “I do have a record called ‘The New Anatolian Experience,’” he said. “It actually became quite successful as my debut record. It was number one in Canada for a while on the charts in Montreal. In many U.S. states it was like the CD of the week, CD of the month, top-ten playlist.” And in addition to his success as a musician, Kotan recently decided to explore a career in acting and modeling. “I have been studying acting about a year, and recently last February I got signed with PureFlare Acting & Modeling Agency,” he said. “I started to branch out a little bit other than just music. It’s like learning a new instrument, a new art form.” He said he’s excited to see where this path takes him next. “I have no desire to be a huge movie star,” he said. “If I can get some supporting roles and things like that here and there, I’ll be very happy. But God knows what happens. Never say never.” H

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TOP: Eric Merrell talks through the work being done at the Against The Clock escape room in downtown Gainesville. Photo by Nick Bowman. CENTER: People gather at the bar to enjoy drinks and small plates of food at Blake’s of Braselton. Memberships are available to the “speakeasy” providing weekly benefits. Photo by Austin Steele. BOTTOM: Beer Me is a newly opened craft beer store in Flowery Branch. Photo by Nick Bowman.




hen searching for entertainment or social activities to fill the evening hours, North Georgia residents don’t have to look far. The local area offers several options for nightlife, especially around the city of Gainesville.

24 | HOME | June 2019

“We have so much to offer downtown,” said Kristen Redmon, manager of Main Street Gainesville. Some popular evening events include the organization’s “First Fridays in Downtown Gainesville,” which are held in Roosevelt Square the first Friday of the month from May through September. “First Fridays are a mix,” Redmon said. “In May, June and August, we’ll have concerts, and then we’re adding movie nights — which will be a double feature — in July and in September.” She said First Fridays begin at 7 p.m. and are a great activity for both kids and adults. “We will have a kids’ movie and then we’ll have a grownup movie,” she said. “They’re all family-friendly concerts.” And in addition to these events, the Gainesville Business Coalition offers similar entertainment for people to enjoy. “Basically, it’s just a bunch of midtown and downtown business owners that have come together, and we’ve gotten sponsors to bring some more events to the downtown square,” said Lauren Williams, general manager at Downtown Drafts, about the coalition. She said the organization will host events like concerts on the square the second Saturday of the month as well as on a few other occasions. “As far as music goes, we’re trying to get a little bit of everything,” she said. “And all the businesses that are a part of our coalition have the opportunity to come out and vend or serve or sell. We’ve also started taking comment cards to see what people want to have out here with all of our events.” But when these activities aren’t scheduled, many individual businesses around the Gainesville square also offer entertainment in the evenings throughout the week and on the weekends. 37 Main, for example, hosts events every Tuesday through Saturday for adults. “We classify ourselves as a rock cafe, but we’re also on the weekends more of a nightclub-type venue where there’s live bands,” said Robin Waits, store manager. “And then the nights we have DJs (are) real club-like in here.” She said the cafe has activities from bingo and trivia to live music each week. “We do rock and country,” she said about the music. “The (bands) we have here are great. Most of the ones that play here are local to Georgia.” And just a few blocks down the road, Recess Southern GastroPub also has live music and a bar. “We have live music every Thursday night, typically an acoustic duo that plays from about 7-10 p.m.,” said owner Christopher Richardson. “It is a gastro-pub, so we focus on both food as well as the social aspect of the bar.” He said the busiest night is Friday, which is when the bar sometimes stays open until 1:30 a.m. “It’s not uncommon on any given Friday night we’re two or three deep at the bar and are offering live music in The Stables, which is the space next door that we expanded to about six years ago.” He said the genre of the music varies.

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“It’s more about the energy level,” he said. “We tend to go for higher energy music on Friday nights or dance music.” But if you’re interested in a more laid-back atmosphere, you can visit Downtown Drafts, a craft beer and wine cafe on the square. “Our aim is basically to be like a Starbucks but with beer and wine instead of coffee,” said co-owner Aimee Hoecker. “We have a lot of evening activities like game night, trivia night, open mic — that sort of thing. And it’s just a place where everybody from the community is welcome.” Hoecker said people enjoy coming to Downtown Drafts in the evenings because it’s different than a typical bar. “First of all, it’s kind of small,” she said. “So you can chat with all the people around you. We have a whole bunch of board games and card games that customers are welcome to play.” And Beer Me, a craft beer taproom in Flowery Branch, offers a similar experience for the evening hours. “We do trivia every Wednesday night, and that starts at 7 p.m.,” said Marc Stampfli, co-owner of the business. “We do karaoke about once a month. We have food trucks every Sunday.” He said the taproom also hosts “tap takeovers.” “We’ll have a brewery out, and they give out some free stuff and you learn about the brewery and what they’re doing,” he said. “We try to do it once a month.” He said guests can expect to have a fun time. “Just a fun, local place to hang out, drink some good craft beer and just have a lot of fun,” he said. “That’s about the gist of it.” H

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JUNE CALENDAR OF EVENTS Atlanta DhimTANA Competitions. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 2. Sexton Hall Enrichment Center, 2115 Chloe Rd, Cumming. Blackstone Griddle More Tour. 12 to 4 p.m. June 2. Walmart Supercenter, 3875 Mundy Mill Road, Oakwood. Braedon Hoffman, Lutenist. 3 p.m. June 2. Cumming First United Methodist Church, 770 Canton Highway, Cumming. Memorial Day Craft Week!. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 2. Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, 999 Chestnut St SE, # 11, Gainesville. $1. Pregnancy and infant loss support. 6 to 8 p.m. June 2, June 9, June 16, June 23, June 30. Rock Goodbye Angel, 615 Oak St., Suite G, Gainesville.

407-252-9884, angela@ RockGoodbyeAngel.com. Free. A Little Lesson in Letting Go. 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 3. George Pierce Park Community Center, 55 Buford Highway Northeast, Suwanee. City Council Meeting. 7 to 8 p.m. June 3, July 1. Maysville City Hall, 4 Homer Street, Maysville. Family Fun Night: Llama Llama Goes to Space!. 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 3. Spout Springs Branch Library, 6488 Spout Springs Rd., Flowery Branch. IMAGE Age Later Collections. Product Pairing and Cocktailing for success - Buford, GA. 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 3. Buford Community Center Theatre, 2200 Buford Hwy, Buford.

LinkedIn 101 with Gregg Burkhalter. 6:30 p.m. June 4. Gwinnett County Public Library Suwanee Branch, 361 Main Street, Suwanee. 770-978-5154, events@gwinnettpl.org. Free. Robotics Club Jr. 3 to 4 p.m. June 4, July 1. Spout Springs Branch Library, 6488 Spout Springs Rd., Flowery Branch. Book Club. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. June 5, June 20. Spout Springs Branch Library, 6488 Spout Springs Rd., Flowery Branch. Meet Bestselling Author Lauren Willig. 7 p.m. June 5. Georgia Gwinnett College, 1000 University Center Lane, Lawrenceville. 770-9785154, events@gwinnettpl.org. Free.

Low Country Boil LandShark Landing. 6 to 9 p.m. June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, July 3. 7650 Lanier Islands Pkwy, 7650 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. Nar Anon Family Support Group. 6 to 7 p.m. June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, July 3. Family Life Center, First Baptist Church, 751 Green St. NW, Gainesville. 770-540-4395, kentmurphey@ gmail.com. Free. Kid Nest Learning Center. 6 to 7 p.m. June 6, June 13. Grace Center of Hope , 1254 South Enota Drive , Gainesville, Georgia 30127, 1254 South Enota Drive, Gainesville, Georgia 30501, Gainesville. 770-519-5907, 770-851-5558, pgulick3399@gmail.com. Free. Lego Club. 5 to 6 p.m. June 6. Hall County Library System, Murrayville

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Branch, 4796 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville. 770532-3311, ext. 171, bhood@ hallcountylibrary.org. Free.

21, June 28, July 5. Lake Lanier Islands Resort, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 470323-3440.

FreeBird plays The Holly Theater. 8 p.m. June 8. Holly Theatre, 69 W Main St, Dahlonega.

Opening Reception President’s Summer Art Series: A Retrospective. 5:30 to 7 p.m. June 6. Brenau University Galleries, Presidents Gallery, 200 Boulevard, Gainesville. 770-534-6263, alauricella@ brenau.edu. Free.

Nature Art Workshop. 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 7. Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Dr, Gainesville.

Gwinnett Stripers Game. 6 to 9 p.m. June 8. Coolray Field, One Braves Avenue, Lawrenceville.

Clutch Classic Basketball Tournament. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 8 - June 9. Suwanee Sports Academy, 3640 Burnette Road, Suwanee.

ICON Music Festival The Cumming Fairgrounds by 37 Main!. 12 p.m. June 8. Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd, Cumming.

Art Afternoon. Starry Night Collage. 3 to 4 p.m. June 7. Spout Springs Branch Library, 6488 Spout Springs Rd., Flowery Branch. Crochet Club. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 7, July 5. Dawson County Library, 342 Allen Street, Dawsonville. First Friday On Roosevelt Square. 7 p.m. June 7, July 5. City of Gainesville, 104 Main St, Gainesville. 770-535-6865. Free. Flyboard Show. 6 to 8 p.m. June 7, June 14, June

Men2Men Prayer Breakfast. 9 to 10:30 a.m. June 8. E-mail for location, 4000 Thurmon Tanner Road, Flowery Branch, mzbcinfo@yahoo.com. Free. Small Biz Marketing Series: 30 Ways to Grow Your List. 6 p.m. June 11. Gwinnett County Public Library - Suwanee Branch, 361 Main Street, Suwanee. 770-978-5154, events@gwinnettpl.org. Free.

Council of the Blind. 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. June 8. Smoky Springs Retirement Residences, 940 S. Enota Drive, Gainesville. 770-932-1112, harveyroberts2@att.net. Free. Free Tai Chi on The Green 9am on Saturdays. 9 to 10 a.m. June 8, June 15, June 22, June 29. The Spa on Green Street 635 Green Street, NW. Gainesville, Ga 30501, 635 Green Street, NW, Gainesville. 678-450-1570, tworster@spaongreenstreet.com. Free.

June 2019 | HOME | 27

Marriage Enrichment. 9 to 9:45 a.m. June 9. Mount Zion Baptist Church, 4000 Thurmond Tanner Road, Flowery Branch, mzbcinfo@yahoo.com. Free.

Summer Exhibitions at the Quinlan. 5:30 to 7 p.m. June 13. Quinlan Visual Arts Center, 514 Green St NE, Gainesville. 770-536-2575, info@qvac.org. Free.

Better Business 2019 June 12. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 12. Flowery Branch City Hall, 5410 West Pine Street, Flowery Branch.

Adult Coloring Day. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 14. Murrayville Branch Library, 4796 Thompson Bridge Road, Gainesville. 770-532-3311 ext. 171, bhood@hallcountylibrary. org. Free.

Low Country Boil LandShark Landing. 6 to 9 p.m. June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26, July 3. 7650 Lanier Islands Pkwy, 7650 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. Tween S.T.E.A.M.: Circuit Rocket Bookmarks. 4 to 5 p.m. June 12. Spout Springs Branch Library, 6488 Spout Springs Rd., Flowery Branch.


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Veterans Roundtable Monthly Meeting. 1 to 3 p.m. June 12. Gwinnett County Public Library - Buford Branch, 2100 Buford Highway, Buford. 770-978-5154, events@ gwinnettpl.org. Free. #1 Dad Medal craft. 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 13 June 14. North Hall Tech Center, 4175 Nopone Rd. Suite B, Gainesville. 2019 ASTI “Southeast Regional Safety Day”. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 13 - June 14. Lanier Technical College Ramsey Center, 2535 Lanier Tech Dr., Gainesville. College Open House. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 13. Gwinnett County Public Library - Collins Hill Branch, 455 Camp Perrin Road, Lawrenceville. 770978-5154, events@gwinnettpl. org. Free. Father’s Day Craft. 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 13. Murrayville Library Youth Services Area, Gainesville.

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28 | HOME | June 2019

Knitting Group. 1 to 2 p.m. June 13. Spout Springs Branch Library, 6488 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch.

Flyboard Show. 6 to 8 p.m. June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28, July 5. Lake Lanier Islands Resort, 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 470323-3440. Food Truck Friday on The Lake 5 to 9 p.m. June 14. Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville. 5th Annual Red Oak Lavender Festival. 1 to 5 p.m. June 15, June 15. 2882 Red Oak Flats Rd, Dahlonega. Greeting Card Workshop. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 15. Blackshear Place Branch Meeting Room, Gainesville. Tiny Stitches. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 15. Lakewood Baptist Church, 2235 Thompson Bridge Rd., Gainesville. 770-561-7007, janicekehrle@yahoo.com. Free. AWPL 2018 Atlanta First Women’s Cricket Tournament. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 16. 5325 Keith Bridge Rd, 5325 Keith Bridge Road, Cumming. Father’s Day Play. 5 to 8 p.m. June 16. Windsong Sailing Academy, 6900 Holiday Rd., Buford, GA 30518 Dock 6, Buford. 770-967-1515, Info@ WindsongSail.com. Georgia On My Mind Book Club. 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. June 19. Dawson County Library, 342 Allen St., Dawsonville.


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Children participate in the Super Hero Sprint during the March for Babies. Jerious Norwood, former Atlanta Falcons player, warms attendees up prior to the walk.

Attendees mingle and examine art during the Vision 2030 Public Art Block pARTy.



Cheri Young of the Wayne Farms Clucking Dragons wears a chicken mask during the Annual Dragon Boat Challenge at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. The Mekong Dragons paddle toward the start line.

Brian Rochester (top), Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce chairman elect, Carol Burrell (bottom), chairman of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, speak during the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce’s 111th Annual Meeting & Gala at Chattahoochee Country Club.

30 | HOME | June 2019

The Elachee Nature Science Center holds its Flights of Fancy fundraiser each spring.




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