Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites September 2015 Events


Check out all the great events happening in September at Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. For more programs, visit and the parks’ web pages.

More information on accommodations and recreation can be found at or 1-800-864-7275.

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Your State Parks Day — Volunteer Projects
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Volunteer with Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites on a variety of service projects. Many will be working to establish Monarch Butterfly gardens as part of the nationwide effort to increase pollinator habitat. Free admission for all volunteers sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. 770-383-8900.

Coastal Georgia

Labor Day at Fort McAllister
Saturday, September 5, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort McAllister State Park – Richmond Hill, GA
Join us for old fashioned family fun, Civil War-era games and prizes. $5-$8 plus $5 parking. 912-727-2339.

Tools and Skills that Built a Colony
Saturday, September 5, 2015 until Monday, September 7, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah, GA
See craft demonstrations such as woodworking, blacksmithing, cooking, spinning, flint knapping, leatherworking, woodsman skills, pewter casting and more. $4.50-$10. 912-353-3023.

Labor Day at Fort King George
Monday, September 7, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien, GA
Watch musket and cannon firings, and see various jobs soldiers would “labor” on as part of their duties. $4.50-$7.50. 912-437-4770.

Labor Day Commemoration
Monday, September 7, 2015 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fort Morris Historic Site – Midway, GA
Commemorate Labor Day with hourly soldier talks, plus musket and cannon firings at this scenic coastal fort. $3-$4.50. 912-884-5999.

River Clean Up
Saturday, September 26, 2015 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Crooked River State Park – St. Marys, GA
Join our river cleanup with Rivers Alive and the Cooperative Extension Office. We will clean along the water way and remove trash from fishing areas. Please wear clothing that can get dirty. Bring water, a hat, sunscreen and bug spray. 912-882-5256.

Tabby Ruins and Jones Narrows Clean Up
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah, GA
Join Wormsloe Historic Site in clearing brush and collecting firewood for Your State Parks Day. Dress comfortably. Work gloves will be provided. Please register by September 26. Sponsored by the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. 912-353-3023.

Metro Atlanta

Dirty Spokes Trail Run
Saturday, September 5, 2015 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
This park’s trails offer something for every runner. The well groomed system with gentle slopes and beautiful scenery will leave you breathless (if that doesn’t, the 7.0/3.5 mile will). Register at $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Labor Day Weekend Night Kayak
Saturday, September 5, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, September 6, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
Join a ranger and experience the beautiful night sky by kayak. Learn about the park history, astronomy, and enjoy a paddle under the stars. Tours meet at beach area, space is limited, per-registration required. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

New Moon Kayak Tour
Friday, September 11, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, September 12, 2015 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
Lake Rutledge is a great place to enjoy the night sky. Join this ranger-led tour of the lake and enjoy night sounds, star-gazing, and a relaxing time on the water. A new moon means that many stars will be visible on the night-time paddle. The program will proceed if it is cloudy or lightly drizzling. Register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Harvest at the Homestead
Saturday, September 19, 2015 11 a.m.
Sunday, September 20, 2015 11 a.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park – Acworth, GA
Fall was a busy time at old homesteads. Join us by the log cabin for old-timey toys and games, crafts, blacksmithing, cooking and more. Also enjoy the park’s trails, picnic areas, fishing and boating. $5 parking. 770-975-0055.

Total Lunar Eclipse Paddle
Sunday, September 27, 2015 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Hard Labor Creek State Park – Rutledge, GA
Enjoy this rare occasion to see a total lunar eclipse while paddling on Lake Rutledge. The eclipse will start at about 8 p.m. and reach the peak (Blood Moon phase) at about 10:00 p.m. Space is limited, please preregister. $20 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Middle & South Georgia

Labor Day On The Lake
Saturday, September 5, 2015 until Monday, September 7, 2015 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Florence Marina State Park – Omaha, GA
Our family celebration includes games, nature programs and crafts, plus educational boat tours throughout the day. $1 – $5 plus $5 parking. 229-838-4706.

Labor Day at Jarrell Plantation
Saturday, September 5, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette, GA
How better to celebrate Labor Day than learning about old-time labor? Enjoy handicraft making demonstrations, learn about how household chores were done, and try some yourself. $4-$6.50 plus 478-986-5172.

Americus Explorer Train Ride
Saturday, September 5, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 19, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
SAM Shortline Train – Cordele, GA
Riding in air-conditioned, 1949 vintage train cars, you can travel from Cordele through Georgia Veterans State Park, across Lake Blackshear, visit Historic Downtown Americus, and tour Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village. Fee. 229-276-0755.

Watermelon Express Train Ride
Friday, September 11, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Friday, September 18, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
SAM Shortline Train – Cordele, GA
Enjoy this ride from our Downtown Cordele Depot to Historic Plains, the small Georgia town made famous by President Jimmy Carter. Fee. 229-276-0755.

Lovebug Festival
Saturday, September 19, 2015 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls, GA
Explore the wonderful world of insects with edible bug programs, crafts, dragon fly and butterfly hikes, insect demonstrations and more. $1 plus $5 parking. 912-384-7082.

Twilight Night Paddle
Saturday, September 19, 2015 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, September 25, 2015 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
High Falls State Park – Jackson, GA
Watch wading birds and enjoy the setting sun in this peaceful, ranger-led canoe trip to Buck Creek. This program is open to adults and children 8 years or older who are accompanied by an adult. Reservations required. $15 includes boat and gear. $5 parking. 478-993-3053.

Horse and Hiking Trails Clean-Up Day
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A.H. Stephens State Park – Crawfordville, GA
Do you love to hike? Do you love to horseback ride? Help maintain your state park by cleaning up our nature trails and equestrian staging area. 706-456-2602.

Digging a Monarch Butterfly Garden
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
A.H. Stephens State Park – Crawfordville, GA
We will learn about the North American Monarch Butterfly and install a garden that will create a wonderful habitat. $5 parking. 706-456-2602.

Bridge & Sidewalk Refurbishing
Saturday, September 26, 2015 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs, GA
Volunteers are being sought to help pressure wash the bridge and sidewalks on the drive into the site. Equipment will be provided. You may get wet, so bring an extra set of clothes or shoes. Come for an hour or make a day of it. Volunteers will receive free admission. 706-655-5870.

Peanut Festival Train Ride
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
SAM Shortline Train – Cordele, GA
All aboard for a wonderful adventure with fun, food and lots of peanuts. Vendors with arts and crafts will fill the park as you step off the train. 229-276-0755.

Northern Georgia

Labor Day Twilight Paddle
Friday, September 4, 2015 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA
Enjoy this relaxing paddle around scenic Lake Marbury. Learn about the history of the old fort, and enjoy the view under the setting sun. Space is limited, advance registration required. $15 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.

Holiday Gorge Floor Hike
Saturday, September 5, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 6, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Monday, September 7, 2015 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
This is a strenuous trek, include hiking down 531 stairs, a river crossing jumping from rock to rock, and climbing boulders along the side of the river to Bridal Veil Falls where you can swim. Total miles is 3.5. No pets; wear appropriate footwear; children must be 10 or older; bring food and water. Space is limited; register in advance. $10 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

12th Annual Mountain Music Festival
Saturday, September 12, 2015 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vogel State Park – Blairsville, GA
Join us for bluegrass and gospel music, as well as art and craft booths with handmade items for sale. A food concession will be provided by Vogel Volunteers. $5 parking. 706-745-2628.

Youth Fishing Days at Buck Shoals
3rd Saturday of Month 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. from September 19, 2015 until September 20, 2015
Smithgall Woods State Park – Helen, GA
Children and their special “big person” can fish in a lake stocked with catfish, bass and bream. Fish caught can be kept. Bring your own bait and rods. This event is not at Smithgall Woods, but at Buck Shoals, a nearby unopened state park. Call for directions. $5 parking. 706-878-3087.

Stone Wall, Fire Tower Overlook, Trail Clean-Up
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fort Mountain State Park – Chatsworth, GA
Join in on a park clean-up day along the Stone Wall, Fire Tower and Overlook trail. Crews will pick up trash along the trail, cut and trim small trees along the stone wall and trail leading up to the Fire Tower. 706-422-1932.

Outdoor Adventure Day
Saturday, September 26, 2015 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park – Summerville, GA
Enjoy a day on the water with the kids’ fishing event and canoe instruction. On land, a live reptile show will be offered. Children can learn more about hunter’s safety at the archery range, BB gun range and the laser shooting system. Hot dogs and drinks will be available. 706-857-0826.

Full Moon Paddle
Saturday, September 26, 2015 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
Enjoy a relaxing paddle around Tallulah lake as the full moon reflects off the water. This ranger-led event is an exciting way to get out in the evenings and enjoy nature. Space is limited, so register in advance. $15 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

Your State Parks Day at Tugaloo
Saturday, September 26, 2015 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tugaloo State Park – Lavonia, GA
Tugaloo State Park will be having family fun with to celebrate the end of summer. We will have canoe races in the cove by the park office. After the races we will also have a volunteer event to clean up the shoreline after a very busy summer season. $5 parking. 706-356-4362.

Total Lunar Eclipse Paddle
Sunday, September 27, 2015 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park – Winder, GA
Don’t miss this rare occasion to see a total lunar eclipse while paddling on Lake Marbury. Join a ranger and enjoy the beautiful night sky by kayak. Tour will meet at the beach area. Register in advance. $20 plus $5 parking. 770-867-3489.

Full-Moon Suspension Bridge Hike
Sunday, September 27, 2015 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tallulah Gorge State Park – Tallulah Falls, GA
Enjoy a one-mile hike that takes you down the stairs across, the suspension bridge and on the rim of the gorge under the full moon. Register in advance. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-754-7981.

Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith

Coming to Infinite Energy Arena (formerly Gwinnett Center) on December 18

Featuring a Full Symphony Orchestra

Tickets on Sale Friday, Aug. 28


Outback Concerts has announced it will bring ‘Christmas with Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith’ to Infinite Energy Arena (formerly The Arena at Gwinnett Center) on December 18. Backed by a full symphony orchestra, this special holiday concert will feature Grant and Smith performing all your Christmas favorites and more!


Tickets will go on sale Friday, Aug. 28 at, the arena box office and charge-by-phone at 770-626-2464.


Ever since she burst on the scene as a fresh-faced teenager bringing contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, Amy Grant has gained a reputation for creating potent songs that examined life’s complexities with an open heart and keen eye. She became the first artist in Christian music to have a platinum record and went on to become a crossover sensation, her musical gifts transcending genre boundaries to make her a household name. She’s earned six Grammy Awards and numerous Gospel Music Association Dove Awards as well as three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums. She’s achieved 10 Top 40 pop singles and placed 17 hits on the Top 40 Adult Contemporary chart as well as scoring numerous hits on the contemporary Christian charts. A longtime and active Nashville resident, Grant is as well known for her philanthropy as her music. She and husband, Vince Gill, are tireless in their efforts to aid worthy causes.


For many people Michael W. Smith’s Christmas music has long provided the soundtrack for the holiday season. During his storied career the music icon has always had a special relationship with Christmas and his four holiday collections – 1989’s Michael W. Smith Christmas, 1998’s Christmastime, 2007’s It’s a Wonderful Christmas and 2014’s The Spirit of Christmas – are among the best-selling and most-beloved projects in his extensive repertoire. The Christian music icon has sold more than 15 million albums over his illustrious career. scoring 28 No. 1 hits, earning three GRAMMYs and more than 40 Dove Awards.

Social Media Connections

Infinite Energy Center Facebook 

Infinite Energy Center Twitter

Amy Grant Facebook

Amy Grant Twitter

Michael W. Smith Facebook

Michael W. Smith Twitter

About Infinite Energy Center

Just minutes outside of Atlanta, Infinite Energy Center’s (formerly Gwinnett Center) 90-acre lakefront campus can accommodate a variety of events from concerts, performances, meetings, trade shows, conventions, banquets, and celebrations. The multipurpose campus includes an amazing 13,000-seat arena (Infinite Energy Arena), a 708-seat theater (Infinite Energy Theater), 23 versatile meeting rooms, a 50,000-square-foot exhibit hall, and a 21,600-square-foot grand ballroom (Infinite Energy Forum). The campus, operated by the Gwinnett Convention and Visitors Bureau, distinguishes itself by hosting a diverse range of events, including the ECHL’s Gwinnett Gladiators, NLL’s Georgia Swarm, Carrie Underwood, Justin Timberlake, Menopause the Musical, JapanFest, Romeo Santos, Red Hot Chili Peppers, George Strait, Eric Clapton, NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, Disney On Ice, Enrique Iglesias & Pitbull, Orange Conference, Beyoncé and more. For a full list of events, please visit

FREE Entrance at National Parks 8/25

Cumberland Island
Get ready to visit some of your state’s national park(s) or even venture out to your surrounding states to take advantage of the FREE entrance dates for 2015!

The 2015 Free Entrance Days are:

August 25: National Park Service’s 99th birthday
September 26: National Public Lands Day
November 11: Veterans Day
For more information or to see what is available near you, please visit the U.S. National Park Service website.
Photograph Credit:  Leigh Anne borders, personal photograph 


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$22 million Lightning Rod is world’s fastest, first launching wood coaster

Dollywood announced the addition of Lightning Rod, both the world’s fastest wood coaster and the world’s first launching wood coaster. Set to roll to the starting line in March 2016, Lightning Rod adds another groundbreaking roller coaster to the park’s already impressive portfolio of world-class attractions. The thrilling $22 million ride also marks the single largest attraction investment in The Dollywood Company’s history.

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Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 mph more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments. At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before tackling the daring first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-ft. track to a top speed of 73 mph, the fastest speed for a wood coaster in the world. “Lightning Rod reminds me so much of those colorful cars cruisin’ up and down Main Street in downtown Sevierville back when I was in high school. I remember all those souped up cars; but what I remember most were those good lookin’ boys behind the wheel with those flat top and ducktail haircuts,” Dolly Parton said with a laugh. “I’m truly excited about this ride because it will let our guests experience something just as fast as those hot rods I remember,” she continued. “Even better, it’s the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, so I think we’re going to see a lot of people coming from all over to peel out on the Lightning Rod.”

Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, Lightning Rod rockets riders around its massive wooden structure on an adrenaline-charged lap through the trees in the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. During the ride, guests experience nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.   Dollywood’s development team has tapped Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) as the ride manufacturer. RMC is no stranger to out-of-the-box coaster projects, having designed a number of innovative attractions around the world. Lightning Rod employs several unique features including the lift hill launch, twin summit airtime hills, a 90+ degree banked breaking wave turn, a 90+ degree outside banked turn, and a non-inverting half loop.   Lightning Rod puts riders in the driver’s seat of Johnny Rev’s newest hot rod. After months of tinkering, Johnny invites Dollywood guests to step behind the wheel for the first test drive of his flashy new creation. Like any proper hot rod, massive header pipes and an imposing injector scoop peer out from the train’s flamed bodywork.   Lightning Rod is the newest member of The Dollywood Company’s collection of award-winning attractions. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20 million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. The company introduced RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, at Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2013. FireChaser Express, the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster, was added at Dollywood in 2014. Dollywood mainstays Thunderhead, consistently among the world’s top five wood coasters, Mystery Mine, Blazing Fury and Tennessee Tornado round out the park’s list of innovative coasters.

For more information about Dollywood’s attractions, please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

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Patterns of Evidence Exodus

POE Image
About Patterns of Evidence Exodus:
For more than 50 years, the vast majority of the world’s most prominent archaeologists and historians have proclaimed that there is no hard evidence to support the Exodus story found in the Bible.  In fact, they say that the archaeological record is completely opposed to the Bible’s account.  This view of extreme skepticism has spread from academia to the world.  The case against the Exodus appears to be so strong that even some religious leaders are labeling this ancient account as historical fiction.  Filmmaker Timothy Mahoney begins with the questions, “Is the Bible just a myth, or did the archaeologists get it wrong?”  He decides to tackle this issue wit a deliberate scientific approach.   After examining the details in the biblical text, he journeys across the globe to search for patterns of evidence firsthand.  The result is the most in-depth archaeological investigation into the Exodus from Egypt ever captured on film.   This scientific documentary’s goal is to communicate the TRUTH of the Bible and help equip believers with defending their faith and the Bible.
The DVD features stunning animations and a cast including narrator, Kevin Sorbo (God’s Not Dead, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys), interviews with leading archaeologists including Israel Finkelstein, Kent Weeks, and David Rohl, and guest appearances by Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
My Review
To be honest, I did not know there was even debate going on about whether or not The Exodus happened.  I was totally unaware that there were issues in the chronological timeline of Egypt.  As a Christian, I just believe and have faith in what the Holy Word says.  This DVD was great at educating me of some of the debates that have existed over The Exodus, and Director Timothy Mahoney did an outstanding job presenting the archaeological evidence for the Exodus of the Israelites.
Released on DVD August 4, 2015
Run Time:  119 minutes
Special Features:  Cast Profiles & 17 Extra Interviews
      Behind the Music
      From Film to Book
      Additional Books and Resources
      Host a Patterns of Evidence Movie Event
Genre:  Documentary
Rating:  NR
Want to purchase your own copy so that you can discover Exodus?  You can purchase one here!
S O C I A L • C O N N E C T I O N S  
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.”

Toby Mac This is Not a Test CD Review and Giveaway


My family enjoys a variety of music!  Honestly, there is no telling what station my radio will be on when I get in the car.  The kids are always changing it from station to station.  The other day when I was driving to work a song came on the radio that I had not heard before. I honestly thought that the kids had it on one of those pop stations; however, upon listening to the words of the song I knew I was listening to Toby Mac!   It was lively and upbeat.  Gave me that feeling that I wanted to get up and dance.

I was given the opportunity to check out his entire album before it was released.  What I love even more about him and his newest album is that it reaches across ages and genres. From rap to pop, this album has it all.  With a house full of kids, this is music to my ears!  I love that we can listen to his music and be filled with the Spirit.  Toby Mac has a sincere love for Christ and he beautifully shows us (teens included) the love the Father has for his children.

Toby McKeehan(known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman.  Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music.  While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk.  Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001.  Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight(2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008).  This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released.  Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and – perhaps most relevant of all – the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going.  “It’s the truth,” he says.  “I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart.  I believe God can use a song to open someone’s mind and heart.”
Like A Match
Backseat Driver feat. Hollyn, Tru
This Is Not A Test feat. Capital Kings
Lights Shine Bright feat. Hollyn
Til The Day I Die feat. NF
Feel It feat. Mr. TalkBox
Move (Keep Walkin’)
Love Broke Thru
Beyond Me
Love Feels Like feat. dc Talk
Lift You Up feat. Ryan Stevenson
TobyMac – Fall
Beyond Me (Phenomenon Remix By Soul Glow Activatur)
Like A Match (Garcia’s Remix)
ALBUM was released on August 7th! Want to purchase it?  You can do so right here on ITunes!
Winner announced below
Social Media Connections

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”