The year 2015 was filled with spectacular events and festivals, memorable moments, and new accomplishments for the City of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County! As we welcome in the new year, here is a look back at 25 of our favorite moments from 2015!
1. We started off 2015 with a flurry of winter storms that made quite the impact on Dahlonega! Though we were chilly, these storms certainly created a breathtaking scene. Photo by Cottrell Photography.
2. Dahlonega's Historic Holly Theatre was the recipients of a $10,000 grant from the Fox Theatre Institute! With this grant, the Holly Theatre was able to make major improvements.
3. With more tasting rooms than any other community in Georgia, Dahlonega was proclaimed the "Wine Tasting Room Capital of Georgia"!
4. The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center went through some major renovations this year! Stop in to see the final transformation for yourself!
5. We danced and jammed our hearts out at the 29th Annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival! Join us this April 16-17 for the 20th Anniversary of this vibrant festival.
6. In May we celebrated the arts in Downtown Dahlonega at the Mountain Flower Arts Festival!
7. Dahlonega held a special Memorial Day Ceremony to honor the brave men and women who have fought for our country.
8. Crowds gathered every first Friday from May through October for a free night of sensational local music in Hancock Park during the First Friday Night Concert Series.
9. We were honored to be named the 4th Best Southern Small Town by USA Today in 2015. Plan your trip to visit and see why!
10. In June, we celebrated the life of Bill T. Hardman, Georgia's first Tourism Director, and an incredible advocate and leader for positive change in Dalonega, by naming the GA-400 corridor the "Bill T. Hardman Hospitality Highway".
11. Hollywood came to Dahlonega to bring Christmas in the middle of Summer! Christmas in the Smokies was filmed throughout the city and county. Look close when watching the film and you will see many of your favorite Dahlonega spots!
12. In the month of June, Dahlonega celebrated the opening of Chelsey Park Health & Rehabilitation Center, a healthcare center with a focus on neurological rehabilitation patients. Chelsey Park is the first facility of its kind in Georgia, and only the fourth in the nation, to offer neurological care using a cutting-edge technological system based in a residential environment, rather than a chronic-care facility such as a hospital.
13. We saddled up for an exciting weekend at the 26th Annual Mountain Top Rodeo at R-Ranch in the Mountains. Thrill-seeking fans watched the Rodeo's main events: steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, and many more with pure enjoyment.
14. Crowds gathered downtown and at the University of North Georgia for a day of exciting 4th of July festivities, including the parade, a watermelon eating contest, and the spectacular fireworks show!
15. Dahlonega made a mark on the food scene again in 2015 when Bourbon Street Grille landed a spot on the Georgia Eats "100 Plates Locals Love" list for their irresistible Gumbo Cheese Fries.
16. We celebrated a successful Dahlonega Wine Trail Weekend in August! Participants enjoyed wine tastings at five local wineries during the last weekend of the month.
17. Our local scarecrow friends came back out to visit us in September and were quite a hit around town! Thanks to the Dahlonega Woman's Club for organizing their arrival.
18. Dahlonega's very own Paul Thomas Chocolates was named Georgia's #1 Sweet Spot in Food Network's October issue. It doesn't get much sweeter than that!
19. The last weekend of September, over 1,800 eager cyclists tackled the North Georgia mountains during the 27th Annual Six Gap Century & Three Gap Fifty Bike Ride! Cyclists tested their stamina with more than 11,200 feet of vertical climbing over the 104 mile course.
20. In September, Dahlonega was voted as the "favorite place in Georgia to bring an instrument and pick for a while" by GEORGIA Magazine's Readers' Choice Awards! Grab your instrument and head downtown every Saturday May through October for Dahlonega's Appalachian Jam. Our Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in April is filled with opportunities to pick and play with other musicians throughout the weekend!
21. After months of anticipation, people packed the Holly Theatre for the offical premiere of Christmas in the Smokies. This sweet holiday movie made its worldwide television premiere November 29th at 8 PM on INSP.
22. Over 200,000 people flocked to downtown Dahlonega in October for our oldest and most popular festival, Gold Rush Days, celebratin Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold.
23. Our downtown merchants put on their best costumes and stocked up on pounds of candy for our annual Trick-or-Treat Dahlonega event. Hundreds of families lined the square for a fun, family-friendly Halloween experience.
24. November kicked off the most magical time of the year in Dahlonega with the Lighting of Downtown! We celebrated Old Fashioned Christmas throughout the month of December with the Christmas parade, live music, lighting of the tree, and visits with Santa every weekend.
25. We welcomed in the New Year with the Nugget Drop and a performance by the Bad Habits Band, the final musical act of Dahlonega's newest festival event, First Night Dahlonega. Participants enjoyed an evening of family-friendly entertainment in support of North Georgia Interfaith Ministries's homeless shelter.
2015 was a wonderful year for Dahlonega, and we cannot wait to see what 2016 holds. We wish each and every one of you a happy and prosperous new year!
Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau | 13 South Park Street | Dahlonega, GA 30533 | (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543.