Spring events planned

BBQ, Boogie and Blues, 150th anniversary of the Battle of Resaca and cleaning up exit 312, as well as Gordon County, were topics of discussion at a recent tourism committee meeting.

The first topic of discussion: BBQ, Boogie and Blues, which is planned for Friday, April 25 and 26. The tourism committee is still seeking sponsors and growing the list of vendors and professional barbecue teams.

At the moment, 15 barbecue teams have registered, but there is expected to be more, according to the committee.

“More will roll in. It’s just the beast of the event,” Kristy Brown, chair of the tourism committee, said.

As for Miss Strawberry Festival, registration is cheaper this year. Last year the registration fee was $50, but this year the committee has set the fee at $35. However, the fee for late sign ups is still $50, according to the committee.

The committee is planning on having the same events from last year, but there has been a slight variation.

Last year, the big moneymaker for the event was the Andy Baxter Runway Show, and the runway was outside. This year the runway will be inside at the GEM Friday, April 25, and showcase 51 models from Northwest Georgia.

While the runway show is happening, the String Band Festival will be going on at the Harris Arts Center, which features nationally renowned Norman and Nancy Blake, with James Bryan.

The Calhoun Times will feature each of the events of the BBQ, Boogie and Blues as the event approaches.

Another big tourism event coming to Gordon County is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Resaca.

“It’s supposed to be the biggest in Georgia and the biggest ever here,” Sarah Husser, director of the Gordon County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said about the re-enactment.

In an attempt to market the event, banners will be placed throughout Gordon County and a billboard will be put up around exit 312 to let people passing through know about the event.

According to Ken Padgett, chair of the Gordon County Historical Preservation Commission, there will be more artillery this year than ever before.

One project tourism committee has been spearheading is cleaning up exit 312. The committee calls it Project 312, and have been cleaning up trash and trying to make the exit look more appealing.

Recently, the committee planted 7,000 daffodils that are beginning to blossom. However, the tourism committee isn’t just picking up trash and planting flowers. The group has been planning to put lights up on the exit for over a year now. The problem the group is having is getting GDOT to approve the lights and give the go ahead.

The committee is working on putting up LED lights, which are more efficient and look better, according to the committee. What’s more, this would be the first intersection in Georgia with LED lights.

“Everything is going good, and it looks like we are going to get it done. It’s just taking a lot longer than we want,” Lee Crump, electrical engineer at Calhoun Utilities and tourism committee member, said.

The committee seemed pleased with the progress being made on exit 312, and wants to continue the work.

“We still got a lot to go on 312. We are just taking it one bite at a time,” Suzanne Roland, vice chair of the tourism committee, said.

One committee member, Dan McBee, said that he would like to see trash cleaned up all over Gordon County. He said, it kills all the work the committee puts in to bring events here. Once the visitors come they see the trash and it deters their return.

Everyone on the committee was in agreement with McBee, and said, after the BBQ, Boogie and Blues event the committee would spearhead the effort to clean up the trash in Gordon County.