Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - (Page 36)

Quirky, colorful–and truly unique Georgia’s offbeat festivals captivate crowds BY MARGIE FISHMAN G eorgia’s festival dance card is packed at this time of year, and the more off-the-wall the theme, the larger the draw. Think chainsaw-carving, grapecrushing, skillet-tossing, good, clean fun. No single organization tracks exactly how many festivals are happening around our state, according to a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The website, www.exploregeor gia.org, lists more than 200 events year-round. Festivals are a major revenue driver and tourism boon for Georgia’s tiny towns. Raising tens of thousands of dollars for local chari- ties and businesses in one weekend, these homegrown gatherings generally rely on local vendors (from the outhouse supplier to the bungeejump operator). Resident farmers charge $5 a head for the privilege of parking on their fields. Offbeat Dahlonega themes, organizers readily admit, help fuel the marketing buzz. In tribute to a serious pest Take the city of Ashburn’s Fire Ant Festival, www.fire antfestival.com, held during the last weekend of March with 35,000 attendees. In its 16th year, the free event is an eclectic mix of arts and crafts, a barbecue cook-off, motorcycle poker run, pet parade, health fair and lip sync contest. Originally, the festival was to be named the Wiregrass Festival in honor of the needle-like tufts sprouting in South Georgia, recalls Penny Baker, one of the commit- A juggler wows a crowd in the park at the Fire Ant Festival in Ashburn. Inset: A girl poses with the Fire Ant Festival mascot. tee organizers. “There is nothing attractive about it,” she of Macon, features a fire ant-calling contest where parnotes. “There is nothing fun about it. It’s ugly.” Then, the editor of the local newspaper (ironi- ticipants sing, bellow and stomp in circles. It’s all for cally, named The Wiregrass Farmer) suggested a fire show, since the town takes pains to eradicate the fire ant theme to poke fun at the 2-foot-high mounds of ants before formally celebrating them. “We don’t want anyone to get bit,” explains Baker. stinging buggers that regularly inflame people around Dahlonega The fire ant does make an appearance (in theory), these parts. Since ants move (as opposed to wiregrass), the including a fire ant statue made of propane containbranding opportunities were endless. Marshall, Texas, ers and ice tongs, a “Fire Ant Fly In” where children hosts a similar festival that involves trapping fire ants take plane rides and, of course, the fireworks finale. This year’s theme was Viva La Fire Ant in a nod to Las in milk jugs. Today, the Ashburn festival, about 75 miles south Vegas glam. COURTESY FIRE ANT FESTIVAL COMMITTEE ★ • • 36 More online at www.georgiamagazine.org GEORGIA MAGAZINE http://www.exploregeorgia.org http://www.exploregeorgia.org http://www.fireantfestival.com http://www.fireantfestival.com http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - July 2011

Georgia Magazine - July 2011
Contents
Viewpoint
Mailbox
Picture This?
Georgia News
Calendar
Currents
Georgia’s Energy Outlook
Special Energy Report
A Jewel Against the Sea
“A Special Blessing”
Your Own Backyard
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month
Snapshot

Georgia Magazine - July 2011

Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Magazine - July 2011 (Page Cover1)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Magazine - July 2011 (Page Cover2)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Magazine - July 2011 (Page 3)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Contents (Page 4)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Viewpoint (Page 5)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Mailbox (Page 6)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Picture This? (Page 7)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia News (Page 8)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia News (Page 9)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Calendar (Page 10)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Calendar (Page 11)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Calendar (Page 12)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Calendar (Page 13)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Currents (Page 14)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia’s Energy Outlook (Page 15)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Special Energy Report (Page 16)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Special Energy Report (Page 17)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - A Jewel Against the Sea (Page 18)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - A Jewel Against the Sea (Page 19)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - A Jewel Against the Sea (Page 20)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - A Jewel Against the Sea (Page 21)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - A Jewel Against the Sea (Page 21A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - A Jewel Against the Sea (Page 21B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 22)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 23)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 24)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 25)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 26)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 27)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 27A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - “A Special Blessing” (Page 27B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 28)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 29)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 30)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 31)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 32)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 33)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 34)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 35)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 35A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Your Own Backyard (Page 35B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 36)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 37)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 38)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 39)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 39A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Around Georgia (Page 39B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - My Georgia (Page 40)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - My Georgia (Page 41)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Gardens (Page 42)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Gardens (Page 43)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 44)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 45)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 46)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47C)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Georgia Cooks (Page 47D)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 48)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Cookbook of the Month (Page 49)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page 50)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page 50A)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page 50B)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page 50C)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page 50D)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page 50E)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page Cover3)
Georgia Magazine - July 2011 - Snapshot (Page Cover4)
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