, ,

Fall Activities at Washington Farms Mark the Start of Fall

Saturday September 22nd is the official start to fall on the calendar. It is also opening day for Washington Farms this fall season – talk about perfect timing! There are so many activities at the farm each year that you should plan to spend several hours having fun. Some have become traditions for many families, but other activities are being added each year. Below are just a few activities you should plan to add to your list for this year.

First, opening weekend is a big deal on the farm so Farmer John got a new toy. You may have seen this video on their Facebook page, but there will be a Candy Cannon shooting candy on opening Saturday and every weekend they are open. How cool is this!

Farmer John's new CANDY CANNON!!!!

CHECK OUT Farmer John's NEW TOY for this fall!!‼️ It's a… CANDY CANNON!!! 😲 🤣 We will be shooing our Candy Cannon THIS Saturday for our opening weekend, so come on out!! You can hear the candy actually coming down on the pavilion roof!! 😂 (And YES, we will be shooting it every weekend we're open!!)😁😋‼️ (And don't forget about the FIREWORKS too this weekend!!!🎆)

Posted by Washington Farms on Monday, September 17, 2018

Fireworks are new this year for opening weekend. This weekend (22nd-23rd), as well and the following (Sept 28th-30th), are Hometown Hero and Teacher Appreciation Weekends. With special discounts – see their site for more information.

Photo Credit: Washington Farms

Of course getting lost in a Corn Maze is a must do this time of year. The 8.5 acre maze honors the 25th anniversary of the farm this year. It’s an activity that is fun for all ages and usually take less than an hour to complete.  My kids enjoy going to do the maze at night which seems to add to the lack of direction for us parents.

One thing that has become a tradition is buying several large bags of Kettle Corn. It’s like Christmas in October for us. It’s defiantly a farm and family favorite. With so many food options in addition to the Kettle Corn you should not leave the farm hungry.

Photo Credit: Washington Farms

Some of the other activities, aside from pumpkin picking include: the jumping pillows, petting zoo, pig races, the corn cannon, inflatables, paintball, human hamster wheels, pumpkin slingshot, and so much more.

Photo Credit: Washington Farms

Photo Credit: Washington Farms

For complete information about Washington Farms and all their activities visit their website at www.washingtonfarms.net. We have listed their fall hours below. Hope to see you at the farm!

 

Fall Activities & Corn Maze:

September 22nd – October 28th
FRIDAYS: 4pm– 11pm*
SATURDAYS: 10am- 11pm*
 *Last ticket sold at 10pm
SUNDAYS: 1pm – 6pm

LAST WEEKEND DATES & HOURS:
They are only open for our NIGHTTIME activities on the last weekend.
Friday, November 2nd: 6pm – 11pm*
Saturday, November 3rd: 6pm – 11pm*
 *Last ticket sold at 10pm

Note: There are many activities that are open during the DAYTIME only, and close at dark. View activities lists on their site (washingtonfarms.net)  for which activities stay open after dark. 

, , , , ,

A Weekend Guide to Perspectives, Georgia’s Premier Pottery Event

 

Georgia’s largest pottery showcase and sale is on the horizon! PERSPECTIVES: Georgia Pottery Invitational is a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event hosted by the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF). The 20-day event in Watkinsville features pottery exhibits, demonstrations and studio tours. From Aug. 31 to Sept. 16, 2018, artists and art lovers will experience a showcase of 6,000 handmade, functional pieces by 50 Georgia potters. Here’s a weekend guide to Georgia’s premier pottery event of the year.

Where to Stay

Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast located in the heart of Downtown Watkinsville. Photo provided by Matt Brewster.

Just a short walk from OCAF is the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. Listed as one of the top inns to stay in Georgia, the bed and breakfast provides an inviting and relaxing environment with a pool and beautiful garden. The Victorian-style manor also features themed rooms raved about by national and international guests.

For a traditional lodging experience, the award-winning Springhill Suites by Marriott Athens is located just a few short miles from OCAF with on-site and off-site gym and pool access. Book your room soon; the popular hotel fills fast!

What to Do

One of three exhibits at Perspectives: Georgia Pottery Invitational.

Friday

On Friday, arrive at your hotel to view the three-part pottery exhibit and purchase one-of-a-kind pieces. Items will include mugs, cooking dishes, tea pots, large pots and much more. The Opening Gala will take place on Aug. 31 at Rocket Hall. Enjoy refreshments and live Jazz music. The opening reception is an exclusive opportunity to view and purchase pottery before the exhibits are open to the public.

Saturday

After a full breakfast complimentary of your stay, head over to the Rocket Hall Courtyard, where potters will perform pottery demonstrations focused on wheel throwing and hand building techniques. Each Saturday from 1-4pm experienced potters will be hosting on site pottery demonstrations. Free admission to these events as well.

 

Photo Credit: Pub on Main

In your free time, enjoy shopping in Historic Downtown Watkinsville with unique shops that feature art galleries, clothes and accessories, home and garden décor, antiques and more. You can also explore popular lunch options in the area like unique burgers at The Traveling Hobo Café, sandwiches at Krimson Kafeor a classic BBQ sandwich at Hot Thomas BBQ. End the night with dinner at Pub on Main, Watkinsville’s newest dining experience. For more dining options, visit visitoconee.com/dining.

Sunday

Wake up to Sunday brunch at Girasoles with Mexican-Mediterranean fused dishes crafted by Chef Zambrano. On Sept. 2nd and Sept. 9th, and Sept 16th well-known Georgia potter Michael Pitts will host Gallery Talks with discussions on pottery styles, clays, glazes, and firing techniques. It is free and open to the public.

The Elder Mill Covered Bridge built in 1897.

Finally, a serene view and a classic photo at the Elder Mill Covered Bridge is the perfect way to end your trip before traveling home.

For more information on Perspectives, visit visitoconee.com/perspectives.

 

Similar Stories

, ,

6 Things to do at the Classic City Clydesdale Farm

 

We know – standing next to a striking Clydesdale is pretty impressive in itself, but there is more you can do at the Classic City Clydesdales farm in Bishop. From exotic animals to enjoying the farm’s trails, the Clydesdale farm is sure to bring you a couple hours of fun.

Tour the Farm

things to do in oconee_classic city clydesdales

 

A tour of the Clydesdale farm lets you explore the ins and outs of caring for the extraordinary creature. This is your chance to get inside the stalls and pastures, and stand side-by-side to the horses while your tour guide takes you through their day-to-day. You will also learn about their background and breeding methods. Tour times are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

 

Petting Zoo

Photo by Classic City Clydesdales.

 

Not only will you see Clydesdales at the farm, but you can also find exotic animals like Highland cattle and Ossabaw pigs. Their petting zoo includes goats, alpacas, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and donkeys. The petting zoo is a great activity for families!

 

Ride a Clyde

Photo by Classic City Clydesdales.

 

 

Yes, you can even ride a clyde! By appointment only, schedule a horseback ride along the 6-mile trail. The trail passes along the river and also provides a view of the farm’s pond. The guided tour lasts approximately one hour.

 

Carriage Rides

Also by appointment, the farm offers carriage rides for a romantic trail ride in the fall. Be carried away by beautiful Clydesdales with a peaceful trail ride throughout the woods bordering the Appalachee Shoals.

 

Haunted Trail Ride

Photo by Classic City Clydesdales.

 

In the spooky month of October near Halloween, the farm pulls out all stops for its Purgatory Park Haunted Trail Ride. If you are brave, tackle the 20-minute haunted trail ride with appearances by zombies, werewolves, and more creepy creatures.

 

Stay the Night

Stay the night in the 2 bedroom / 2 bathroom lodge set on the Classic City Clydesdales’s 220-acre farm. The lodge sleeps 5 people comfortably. Enjoy all the activities above and more when lodging on the Appalachee Shoals Farm like fishing and walking by the river. There are even stalls available to board your own horses. It’s the perfect getaway with or without your horses!

 

If you would like to visit the Classic City Clydesdale Farm, contact the farm at (706) 424-1889 or visit the farm for a tour on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. Also, stay up-to-date by following the farm on Facebook.

Similar Stories

, ,

5 places to tour art studios

Known as the Artland of Georgia, Watkinsville-Oconee County boasts many art adventures. From public art exhibitions to premier art events, Watkinsville is home to some of the finest pieces of art by some of the most talented artists in the state and country. During your art excursion through Watkinsville, Georgia, take a moment to see local artists at work by touring art studios and witnessing art demonstrations in pottery-making and glass-blowing.

Happy Valley Pottery

Artist Loretta Eby performing a glass-blowing demonstrations.

Veteran artists Jerry and Kathy Chappelle transformed an old chicken house into artists studios to create one of the most unique art attractions in the area. Tour multiple studios highlighting various art forms at this quirky art spot. At Happy Valley Pottery, visitors can see pottery demonstrations, as well as glass blowing and raku firing by other local artists like Loretta Eby. After witnessing these fascinating art demonstrations, guests can purchase the work of the artists on site.

Address: 1210 Carson-Graves Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Winterhawk Pottery

Inside WinterHawk Pottery’s art studio. Photo provided by WinterHawk Pottery.

The pottery work of Winterhawk Pottery artist John Winterhawk is inspired by Native American artwork found in Southeastern burials ad temple mounds built by Mississippian Mound Builders. In the showroom of this pottery studio, visitors will find these intricate designs, as well as nature-inspired designs. To complement their pottery creations, Winterhawk Pottery’s showroom also includes casual furnishings, accessories, and gifts in what is called Winterhawk Home.

Address: 8801 Macon Highway #5, Athens, GA 30606

321 Pottery

Matt Powelson shows off his intricate designs in his studio, 321 Pottery.

321 Pottery is the pottery studio of local artist and attorney Matt Powelson. Inspired by his experiences and journeys as an overlander, his work includes functional, production pottery inspired by a mix of western landscapes, nature, modern architecture, and industrial design, which are revealed in the style, shape, surface, decoration, and color of his work. Trained by Kathy and Jerry Chappelle, Matt previously created his pieces at Happy Valley Pottery before opening 321 pottery.

Address: 2980 Greensboro Highway, Watkinsville, GA 30677

Alice Woodruff Pottery

Photo provided by Alice Woodruff Pottery.

Artist Alice Woodruff‘s studio is located right on South Main Street in Watkinsville. She has 45 years of experience in pottery-making, and works in high-fired porcelain and stoneware. Alice was a production potter for 24 years, but now focuses on more unique, hand-thrown pots. You can also see Alice at work teaching classes at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation.

 Address: 35 South Main Street, Watkinsville, GA 30677

The Greenbriar

Using custom clay and glaze formulas, artist Steven Nedza specializes in functional pottery. The pottery pieces include mugs, bowls, pots and other functional pieces with intricate and detailed designs.

Address: 4240 Colham Ferry Road., Watkinsville, GA 30677

 

Similar Stories

, ,

Oconee County: Then and Now

The historic community of Oconee County has undergone quite a few transformations while maintaining some of its historic beauty. Take a glimpse of what six historic sites in Oconee County looked like in the past:

 

 

Left photo courtesy of Oconee Historical Society on Facebook.

The Eagle Tavern Museum formerly served as a 16-room stagecoach stop for travelers in the mid-1800s. The building, which was built circa 1801, now serves as a house museum in its original Plain-style structure. The right picture shows the Eagle Tavern in the mid-1900s before the building’s restoration. Today, you can visit the Tavern and stand on its original flooring which is more than 200-years-old!

 

 

Left photo courtesy of Oconee Historical Society on Facebook.

The Oconee County Courthouse has always sat directly across from the Eagle Tavern in some form along Main Street in Downtown Watkinsville. The county has had four courthouses since its founding in 1875. The structure to the left was built in 1887; the current structure was built in 1939.

 

 

Left photo courtesy of Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast.

Also located along Main Street in Watkinsville is the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast. The manor was the home of William and Louisa Booth Ashford and their family in the mid-1800s. However, the original home is no longer standing. The now standing Ashford Manor was built in 1893 by the couple’s son, A.W. Ashford. The picture to the left was taken in the 1920s. The Victorian-style manor now serves as a bed and breakfast surrounded by beautiful gardens.

 

 

The history of Downtown Watkinsville continues to live on along Main Street. Pictured to the left is the Ashford Store. Built before 1900, this building is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Watkinsville. The building now houses Orchard Street Boutique and neighbors Spectrum Metals and Main Street Barbershop.

 

 

 

 

The left photo is the two-story Oconee County schoolhouse built circa 1902. Additions were made to the schoolhouse in the early 1910s, and again in the early 1920s. In 1954, majority of the building burned. Now remaining are the later additions to the schoolhouse and a nearby gymnasium. Still on their original sites, both buildings now sit on the campus of the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) as the 1902 OCAF Center and Rocket Hall, which host local, regional, and national art exhibitions throughout the year.

 

To the left is Main Street in Bishop, GA circa 1918. Downtown Bishop is located along Highway 441, connecting Watkinsville and Madison. Once a post office, the building shown is now home to one of the many antique stores in Bishop, Tracks of Time Antiques.

 

 

To the left is Main Street in Bogart at the turn of the 20th century. The street runs parallel to the railroad, where a few structures in the shown area still stand today occupied by small businesses.

 

Be sure to visit these sites during your trip to Oconee County. For more information or assistance with planning your trip, contact us.

Similar Stories

, ,

A romantic getaway in the Artland

Need plans for Valentine’s Day? Start planning your trip to the Artland of Georgia for a romantic getaway. From luxury lodging, fine dining, and fascinating art excursions, Watkinsville is the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway for you and your partner.

A Luxury Stay

A cozy and secluded Ashford Manor dressed in snow.

Located in the heart of Downtown Watkinsville, the Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast is the perfect combination of seclusion and accessibility. The Ashford Manor sits behind a privacy wall on four acres of land along Main Street. You and your partner can spend a relaxing time on the property that includes the 1893 Victorian-style manor, a cottage, gardens, and open woods. The Ashford Manor is also walking distance to the open greenspace of Watkinsville Woods and a variety of dining options and specialty shops.

Explore the Artland

 

Spectators interact with art pieces featured in the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s Resonance: A Bi-Sensory Art Exhibition.

Just a short walk from the Ashford Manor, Ground Up Glassworks will host a Valentine’s Day Glassblowing Date Night during Valentine’s Day Weekend on Friday and Saturday, February 9 and 10, and on Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, February 14. Enjoy a romantic and creative experience with your partner as you create glass art led by local artists.

Also in Downtown Watkinsville, enjoy an interactive art exhibition at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s bi-sensory exhibit, Resonance. The art show brings a new and unique experience to the Artland of Georgia as it pairs art with sound! Bring your smartphones and earbuds to enjoy this fascinating exhibit. For more art experiences, click here.

Wine & Dine

 

A fine dining experience at Chops Hops.

Also walking distance from the Ashford Manor is a dozen restaurants. Enjoy a late, romantic dinner at Pour Restaurant & Bar, Chops & Hops, or Girasoles. Pair the restaurants’ extensive selections of beer and wine with dishes like Chops & Hops’ Brasstown Beef Steak and Pour Restaurant & Bar’s Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. At Girasoles, choose from a variety of Mediterranean dishes or order off-menu courtesy of Chef Jose!

Similar Stories

, ,

5 family-friendly things to do in October

Cooler weather, ripe pumpkins, and scary costumes are just a few things that describe the month of October. Enjoy these 5 family-friendly activities and more in October in Watkinsville and Oconee County, Georgia.

Cinema & S’mores at Rocket Field

Oconee State Bank will sponsor October’s First Friday on Main with a movie and s’mores on the lawn of Rocket Field in Downtown Watkinsville. The Disney animated film Moana will be screened at dusk. Other First Friday activities will include popcorn, tractor rides, and inflatables along Main Street. Be sure to stop by the numerous stores and restaurants in the downtown area before the movie starts!

Pumpkin picking at Washington Farms

Pumpkin Picking at Washington Farms

There’s no fall fun like Washington Farms. Photo by Gary Kufner.

Washington Farms is open until October 29 for pumpkin picking. The farm also features a corn maze, a sunflower field, wagon rides, and more. At night, tackle the corn maze with flashlights and enjoy fire-roasted marshmallows.

Oconee Chamber Fall Festival

Fall Festival in Downtown Watkinsville, Georgia

The Oconee Chamber Fall Festival draws thousands to Downtown Watkinsville for handcrafted art, kettle corn, funnel cakes, and more!

The Oconee Chamber Fall Festival is the area’s premier arts and crafts festival. The event, held in Downtown Watkinsville, brings out art and food vendors from across the region. Fall Festival also features a kids zone with a petting zoo and inflatables making the event the perfect family outing.

Haunted Hay Ride at the Classic City Clydesdales Farm

Classic City Clydesdales Farm in Bishop, GA

Get spooked at the Classic City Clydesdales Farm in Bishop. Photo courtesy of the Classic City Clydesdales on Facebook.

What’s October without Halloween? Get spooked at the Classic City Clydesdales Farm’s Purgatory Park in Bishop, Georgia. If you’re brave, tackle the 20-minute haunted hay ride with appearances by zombies, werewolves, and more creepy creatures. The trail ride is set to open on the following dates near 8 p.m.: October 20 – 21, October 27 – 28, and October 30 – 31. The farm will also host a special family night on October 22 with trick-or-treating for kids under 12.

Trick or Treat in Downtown Watkinsville

Trick or Treating in Downtown Watkinsville, Georgia.

Families fill Downtown Watkinsville for Trick or Treat on Main

There’s no such thing as too much candy during Halloween! Grab your costumes and Halloween buckets for more trick-or-treating in Downtown Watkinsville. From Town Center to the Eagle Tavern Museum, businesses will give away Halloween candy to kids and families. Pull out your best costume to scare your neighbors!

Enjoy these activities and more throughout the month of October. For a list of events in Watkinsville and Oconee County, view our event calendar.

Similar Stories

 

, ,

4 Facts about Elder Mill Covered Bridge

The Elder Mill Covered Bridge is one of 13 functioning covered bridges left in Georgia.

Oconee County’s Elder Mill Covered Bridge is one of Georgia’s 13 covered bridges that carries traffic. The bridge is a popular attraction in Watkinsville, and is the only covered bridge featured along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail. Check out these four facts about the bridge, including some of the notable people who influenced the bridge.

1. The bridge once connected Watkinsville and Athens

Before its move to Elder Road off of Highway 15 in 1924, the Elder Mill Covered Bridge connected Watkinsville and Athens-Clarke County. The two neighboring cities share a long history, as Watkinsville initially served as the county seat of Clarke County before the founding of Oconee County in 1875. Watkinsville is only a stone’s throw from Athens, with Clarke and Oconee sharing the city of Bogart and some parts of Athens existing within the county lines of Oconee.

 

Once connecting Athens and Watkinsville above Calls Creek, the bridge now sits above Rose Creek.

2. Its structure is known as Town’s Lattice Truss

Most of America’s covered bridges were built between 1825 and 1875. The maker of the Elder Mill Covered Bridge, Nathaniel Richardson, built the bridge in 1897 using Town’s lattice truss form, which was patented by architect Ithiel Town in 1820 and 1835. The structure utilizes a large number of smaller planks for easy labor. The Elder Mill Covered Bridge is one of the few covered bridges in the state that carries traffic without the additional support of steel beams.

 

The bridge was built in 1897 by Nathaniel Richardson using Town’s lattice truss structure.

3. The bridge was saved with funds granted by former U.S. President and Georgia Governor, Jimmy Carter

In 1974, the bridge endured termite damage and was deemed unsafe for traffic. An Oconee resident who oversaw much of the upkeep and traffic of the bridge reached out to former President Jimmy Carter, Georgia’s governor at the time, and received $2,500 to repair the bridge. Three years later, President Carter began his presidential term, serving until 1981.

 

The Elder Mill Covered Bridge provided access to the Elder family’s mill in 1924.

4. It’s named after the family of David Elder, soldier in the Revolutionary War

David Elder, born in Brunswick County, Virginia, arrived in Oconee County after his military service during the Revolutionary War granted him land in Oconee County. Descendants of the family have lived in Oconee County for more than 200 years, long after his death in 1853. After the bridge’s move from Calls Creek, the bridge provided access to the family’s mill—Elder Mill (hence the name of the bridge and road the bridge sits on). David Elder’s memorial stone can also be found along Highway 15 in the Elder Cemetery, approximately 2 miles from the covered bridge.

 

 Sources: Athens Banner-Herald & Georgia House Resolution 224

 

Similar Stories

Filming in Oconee_Full Count Movie
, , , ,

Walking in Watkinsville

William Massey’s “Object of Wo(man)” along Main Street in Downtown Watkinsville

There is a lot to do on foot in Watkinsville. Park your car and explore public art, locally owned restaurants, and walking trails all within a 1-mile streak. Start at the Oconee County Welcome Center in Downtown Watkinsville, and pick up a map highlighting the area’s unique shops, historic sites, dining and parks.

 

Public Art

Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation Sculpture Garden

Known as the Artland of Georgia, the city of Watkinsville features two public art exhibitions in its downtown area. There are a total of 27 art sculptures and art panels as part of two exhibits: Public Art Watkinsville: A Pop-Up Sculpture Exhibit and Artscape Oconee: The Monuments of Artland. Many of the pieces are within walking distance of each other, and can be enjoyed while shopping and dining in the city. You can find a guide on this collaborative effort by the City of Watkinsville and the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation (OCAF) in the welcome center. Also, stroll through OCAF’s on-site sculpture garden, a tranquil garden featuring sculptures in a variety of mediums.

Locally Owned Restaurants

Photo by Gary Kufner.

Within a 5-minute walk from the Welcome Center, you can enjoy a dozen locally owned restaurants specializing in baked goods, BBQ, steak, burgers, Mediterranean dishes and more. There is an endless option of dishes from local favorites like Kiki’s Bakeshop, JB’s Smokin’ Pig BBQ, Chops & Hops, The Traveling Hobo, and Girasoles. Keep your adventures outside and enjoy these restaurants’ outside dining patios, or dine-in to experience the ambiance of the dining establishments, which occasionally feature live music.

Walking Trails

Harris Shoals Park. Photo by JR Charles.

Watkinsville Woods is only a short walk off of Main Street, with six acres of greenspace. The wooded walking paths provide access to groves of native trees, a historic spring, and once-covered rock outcrop known as “Pulpit Rock.” Watkinsville is the only city in Georgia of its size with a walking park inside the city limits. Also less than a mile from Main Street is Harris Shoals Park, where visitors to the park can also enjoy a walking trail and picnic near the shoals of Calls Creek.

This post was first published on blog.exploregeorgia.org.

Similar Stories