Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eighth Annual Summer Shade Festival Celebrates Food, Art, Music & Fun in Historic Grant Park

For the eighth year, the Grant Park Conservancy welcomes thousands of guests to a weekend of fun for the entire family. The Summer Shade Festival features two Artist Markets, live music performances on three stages, tasty treats and beautiful late summer weather. Younger attendees will enjoy the Family Fun Zone, an area offering hands-on craft projects and kid-friendly entertainment like storytellers and puppet shows.

Each year the festival also welcomes its tasting extravaganza Corks & Forks: A Fine Food and Wine Event, which includes dishes from many of the city’s top chefs paired with wines and beers from around the world. Corks & Forks also provides a full schedule of cooking demonstrations and wine seminars.

Summer Shade Festival
Saturday, August 28: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, August 29: 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Corks & Forks: 1 – 5 p.m. both days

Adams Realtors 5K Run for the Park

Saturday, August 28: Registration at 7 a.m., Race begins at 8 a.m.

Historic Grant Park
625 Park Avenue SE, Atlanta 30312
Park Avenue/Berne Street intersection

The Summer Shade Festival is a free event. Tickets to Corks & Forks are $35 in advance and $45 at the door for each day. Tickets are available at

The Summer Shade Festival is organized by The Grant Park Conservancy. Saturday morning welcomes the Adams Realtors 5K Run for the Park. Grant Park – the city’s oldest public park – was initially established by a gift of 100 acres from the estate of railroad magnate Lemuel Pratt Grant in 1883. Grant Park was once referred to as a resort area due to its natural flowing springs, carriage trails, shaded walking paths and big beautiful trees. Today, Grant Park welcomes more than 2 million visitors each year who still enjoy it as a place of respite in a now busy city.

The Grant Park Conservancy is a non-profit organization committed to the preservation, restoration and maintenance of historic L.P. Grant Park.

Friday, March 26, 2010

First Lady Hosts 8th Annual Easter Egg Hunt

8th Annual Governor’s Mansion Easter Egg Hunt to be held TOMORROW, Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Activities will include the Easter Egg Roll, an Egg Hunt, Egg Decorating and an Easter Basket Cupcake Creation Station. Entertainment will also consist of a moonwalk, face painting, balloon animals, a magician and the opportunity to take a picture with the Easter Bunny.

Families attending are encouraged to bring a small donation for this year’s charity, Promise686. Promise686 is a new non-profit ministry serving children and families in the North Atlanta area committed to inspiring and equipping families to foster and adopt with the goal of placing orphans in loving, permanent homes. These gifts will be provided to foster families as foster children transition into their new homes.

WHAT: 8th Annual Easter Egg Hunt
WHEN: Saturday, March 27, 2010
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Governor’s Mansion
391 West Paces Ferry Rd NW
Atlanta, Georgia
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Stone Mountain Park Invites Families to Nine Affordable, Adventure Packed Days of Spring FUN Break

Shows and activities get kids up and moving

Date/Time: April 2-10, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Location: Crossroads® at the base of Stone Mountain

Prices: Adventure Pass - $27 Adults/$21 Children 3-11 (tax not included)

Mountain Membership Annual Pass - $54 Adults /$42 Children 3-11 (tax not included)

Family Value Pass- 4 one-day Adventure Passes, 4 meals and stadium cups with unlimited refills $119 (tax not included). Sold exclusively online.

Stone Mountain, Ga- As the snow melts from Snow Mountain, Stone Mountain Park, Georgia’s number one attraction, welcomes families to enjoy warmer weather and value packed adventures in the great outdoors with Spring FUN Break (SFB). This year, in addition to Easter Bunny visits, bonnet crafts and a parade, SFB features new limited engagement, interactive shows especially designed for kids and families. The line-up features a special appearance by PBS family stars, Laughing Pizza. The nine-day festival also includes a sneak peek of Stone Mountain Park’s famous Lasershow Spectacular.

“Spring is a time of starting fresh and de-cluttering. Spring Fun Break helps kids and parents shake off the winter blues and get active, participating in outdoor activities and shows that spark their imaginations,” said Stan Morrell, director of entertainment and events at Stone Mountain Park. “And with budget-friendly options like a Family Value Pass or Mountain Membership, families can enjoy lots of activities and dining out without breaking the bank.”

SFB kicks off its varied entertainment slate on April 2 with Easter Bunny visits and Easter hat crafts. After creating their top hat masterpieces, parents and kids can don their new bonnets and join the Easter Bunny Parade.

From April 6 to 10, Stone Mountain Park welcomes a special appearance by Laughing Pizza. Previously featured on the Today show, Laughing Pizza is a real family band that makes original music for kids, parents and loved ones alike. Their music videos are seen daily on public television stations by millions across the country, such as Georgia’s GPB – the third largest PBS station in the country. Laughing Pizza’s live performances are energetic, interactive, dance-filled shows that get kids and parents up and moving.

Another new activity to get families grooving is Dr. Busybody’s Boogiebot Blast. This dance party gets everyone moving to help Dr. Busybody’s fuel his Boogiebot robot. If the families dance and create “imagination,” the only thing that fuels Dr. Busybody’s Boogiebot, his robot comes alive. Guests also become part of the act with SFB’s all new IMPROV show. Families are in charge of the action when zany comedians take suggestions from the audience to come up with the most fantastic tales imaginable.

Also new this year to SFB, is the world’s only animated talking goat, Hilda. Straight from the popular children’s book “Hilda: A Very Loyal Goat,” Hilda carries on conversations with children to their delight and amazement. The interactive screen transports children to the Cole Family Farm to meet and talk with the friendly goat. Hilda shares hilarious stories of life on the farm and asks children about their hobbies and interests.

The fun continues when kids use their imaginations at the new Make & Believe attraction. Activities such as fort building, puppet shows, mega building blocks, mural and face painting invites kids to express their creativity.

Families can conclude the day with a sneak peak of the Lasershow Spectacular before it returns regularly this summer. With displays of laser lights, graphics, characters and fireworks, the Lasershow Spectacular is an Atlanta attraction that is not to be missed.

Stone Mountain Park offers a variety of value-priced options for families to enjoy the park and the special SFB activities.

Adventure Pass

$27 Adults/$21 Children 3-11 (tax not included)

Includes all of the SFB activities and other popular attractions such as Sky Hike, Journey to the Center of the Earth 4D Adventure®, Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, mini-golf, Antebellum Plantation & Farmyard, The Great Barn and Memorial Hall.

Mountain Membership Annual Pass

$54 Adults /$42 Children 3-11 (tax not included)

Pays for itself in two visits. An annual pass lets families come again and again throughout the year to take advantage of the park’s attractions, special events and exclusive discounts.

Family Value Pass

$119 (tax not included).

Saves families 30 percent. Sold exclusively online, pass includes four Adventure Passes, four meal tickets and complimentary stadium cups with unlimited refills all day.

Families can also have a “staycation” at Stone Mountain Park, beginning at $179 a night. The Marriott Mountain Escape Package includes a one-night stay at the Evergreen Marriott Resort or Stone Mountain Inn, 2-day all-attractions Adventure Passes and breakfast.

Schedule of SFB Shows and Activities

April 2-4 Visits with the Easter Bunny, Easter hat crafts & Easter Bunny Parade

April 6-10 Laughing Pizza

April 2-10 Dr. Busybody’s Boogiebot Blast, Improv Show, Hilda: A Very Loyal Goat,

Storytelling and Make & Believe Activities

April 2-10 The Lasershow Spectacular, Nightly at Dusk

Listed in Frommer’s 500 Places to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up and cited by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of “35 Natural Wonders in Georgia You Must See…”, Stone Mountain Park is located just 16 miles east of downtown Atlanta. To get to the park, take I-285 to exit 39B, Highway 78 East. Stone Mountain Park is Exit No. 8 on Hwy 78. More information on Spring FUN Break, Stone Mountain Park attractions and hours of operation are available at 770-498-5690 or by visiting
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Time to Talk Turkey

Turkey hunters across the state are practicing their yelps and clucks in preparation for the upcoming turkey season. Opening day is Sat., Mar. 20 and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division anticipates that the 2010 season should be good, and harvest levels should be similar in comparison to the past several years.

“There should be many vocal 2-year old gobblers available for harvest this year thanks to the high reproduction rate in the summer of 2008,” says Kevin Lowrey, Wildlife Resources Division wild turkey project coordinator.

Statistics from the 2009 season harvest summary indicate that an estimated 56,113 resident Georgia hunters bagged 27,323 turkeys last year. The bird to hunter ratio (harvest rate) for 2009 was .49 birds per hunter – the same as in 2007 and 2008.

According to Lowrey, Georgia’s current turkey population is estimated at 300,000 birds.

Georgia turkey hunters are privileged with one of the longest turkey seasons nationwide. With a bag limit of three gobblers per season, hunters have from Mar. 20through May 15 to harvest their bird(s). Because most hunters pursue wild turkeys on private lands, the Wildlife Resources Division reminds hunters to always obtain landowner permission before hunting.

WMA Hunting Opportunities

Georgia’s Wildlife Management Areas offer excellent turkey hunting opportunities. Through the WMA system, resident hunters have access to nearly one million acres of prime hunting land for just $19 a year. Success rates and total harvest numbers from 2009 may help indicate which WMAs hunters should target this year.

In the northwest, Crockford-Pigeon Mountain and Berry College WMA reported the highest harvest rates. In the northeast, Dukes Creek WMA and Wilson Shoals WMA had the highest harvest rates. In west central Georgia, hunters should try Joe Kurz WMA and Rum Creek WMA. In east central Georgia, Di-Lane Plantation WMA and Tuckahoe WMA reported high harvest rates. In the southeast, hunters should visit Dixon Memorial WMA and Sansavilla WMA. Middle Georgia hunter should try River Bend WMA Finally, in southwest Georgia, River Creek WMA and Chickasawhatchee WMA had the highest harvest rates.

A special WMA license is required for any person 16 years or older who does not possess a valid honorary, sportsman or lifetime license when hunting wild turkey on a WMA, Public Fishing Area or State Park. In addition, both a valid hunting license and a big game license are required to legally hunt wild turkey. Wild turkey legally can be hunted with shotguns, loaded with No. 2 or smaller shot, any muzzleloading firearm, longbow, crossbow or compound bow.

Conservation of the Wild Turkey in Georgia

The comeback of the wild turkey is one of Georgia’s great conservation success stories. Although the bird population currently hovers around 300,000 statewide, as recently as 1973, the wild turkey population was as low as 17,000. Intensive restoration efforts, such as the restocking of wild birds and increased emphasis on biologically sound hunting seasons, have helped re-establish turkeys in suitable habitat in every county. This resurgence is due to the efforts of private landowners, hunters and conservation organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The Georgia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has donated more than $3,220,977 since 1985 on projects that benefit wild turkey and other wildlife. The NWTF works cooperatively in partnership with the Wildlife Resources Division and other land management agencies with the focus on habitat enhancement, hunter access, wild turkey research and education. There currently are 96 state chapters of the NWTF with membership totals of more than 16,000.

For more information regarding wild turkey hunting opportunities, WMA hunting opportunities, 2010 wild turkey hunting seasons, regulations or license requirements in Georgia, visit .

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Walter Reeves at the 12th Annual Callaway Gardening School

NEW Dinner with Gardening Experts; Lessons on How to Work Less, Spend Less with More Success

Launch your Spring gardening endeavors with advice from experts at the 12th annual Callaway Gardening School. Join us for a fantastic gardening experience with one of Georgia’s own gardening gurus, Walter Reeves.

Reeves, an Atlanta radio host and author, will talk about the latest research on how to correctly plant trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials. This knowledge will save gardeners money and time as well as produce plants that prosper. His practical approach on the basics of gardening makes him a popular and much sought-after lecturer. Reeves will have his books, including Georgia Gardeners’ Q&A 501 Answers to Frequently Asked Questions and Guide to Georgia Vegetable Gardening, available for purchase and signing.

Reeves will be joined by current and former horticulturists from Callaway Gardens to create an in–depth question and answer panel including David Chambers, manager of Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden at Callaway Gardens; Brian Kanotz, manager of greenhouse production; Hank Bruno, director of horticulture at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden of Belmont, NC; and, Helen Phillips, manager of Garden Solutions Garden Center of LaGrange, GA. Bring your gardening questions and challenges to see if you can get your perplexing gardening issues solved as well as receive practical, down-to-earth advice and insight into your gardening activities.

After lunch, Reeves will be available to autograph his many books. These will be available for purchase at the Callaway Plant Fair and Sale.

The schedule for the Callaway Gardening School is:
8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Registration Beach Lane Four, Shuttle

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. “Green Side Up – Planting Tips to Insure Long Life with Walter Reeves”

10:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 a.m. to Noon Questions and Answers Walter Reeves

Noon to 1:30 a.m. Lunch

1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Book Signing with Walter Reeves

Registration, which includes lunch, is $45. To register, contact the Callaway Gardens Education Department at or 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) ext. 5153. Space is limited so register today.

NEW this year is a Dinner with the Gardening Experts on Thursday, March 25 at the Gardens Restaurant from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Enjoy the opportunity to dine, mingle and interact with gardening experts Reeves, Chambers, Kanotz, Bruno and Phillips along with other nursery professionals. The dinner will feature regionally available foods chosen by Callaway Gardens’ Executive Chef Bill Justus. He will be sharing information about each dish as well as recipes. A reception and cash bar will be from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. followed by dinner and conversation. The dinner is $48 per person and seats are limited. To register, contact the Callaway Gardens Education Department at or 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) ext. 5153.

Enjoy free admission to the Callaway Gardens Plant Fair and Sale happening alongside the Gardening School. The plant fair offers hard to find plants that are unique to the Southeast. Plan to visit March 25 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; March 26 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and March 28 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Be sure to travel in a vehicle large enough to take home your finds!

Callaway Gardens® is in Pine Mountain, Ga., 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. For additional information, visit or call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292).
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