IT’S that time of year again, and my favorite season of the year.

Here in North Georgia, despite a lot of rain, we are having some magnificent weather. And because of the rain, everything looks lush and green, just before the leaves start turning all the beautiful colors.

Every year, this is a part of the country that has a number of annual Fall Festivals. Dahlonega has Gold Rush days. In the little Alpine village of Helen, Georgia, they celebrate a week-long fall festival. Further north near the North Carolina and Tennessee border huge annual fall festivals are held in several towns.

Last weekend here in Gainesville, the annual Mule Camp festival was held around the town square. Hundreds of concessions and thousands attended. It was a beautiful weekend and I attended with my grandchildren.

All kinds of fun things for them to enjoy, from bungee jumping, rock-climbing, horseback riding and the animal petting zoo. Great country music band played music, and sooo many wonderful food concessions. Particularly the home-made ice cream.

All kinds of arts and crafts, hand-made jewelry, games to play and sights to see.

A number of concessions of hand-made foods, like jellies and jams, from berries and plums to peaches and pears plus wonderful sourwood honey.

Being there was like going back to another time period, watching so many children having such a happy time, and everyone in a festive mood enjoying themselves. Watching entrepreneurs tending their booths selling merchandise most had made by hand. Observing the wonderful free-enterprise system upon which this country was founded, in operation. All the while hundreds of people enjoyed themselves, eating and listening to live music.

Despite the fact it was a lot of walking, just being there gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and an appreciation of this great country we live in.

And just for a few hours all the worries and concerns about the economy, two wars, rising unemployment, homes foreclosing and all that is of great concern in this country, seemed so surreal and faraway. Just for those few hours while so many spent time with their happy children, spending the day at this annual festival, having a fun time.

I returned home rather tired from all the walking, but with a good feeling of renewed hope, that the great spirit of the American people, will somehow weather the storm and see us through the current crisis we face.

If you are anywhere in traveling distance of one of these other upcoming North Georgia festivals, treat yourself by attending. You will have an experience you can’t get from movies, television, facebooking nor twittering. If you do nothing but observe the happy faces and joy of all the children while having a cup of homemade ice cream the trip is worth it.



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