Blairsville Sorghum Festival is an event with good eats and greater company

The 54th annual Blairsville Sorghum Festival, hosted by Blairsville Sorghum Syrup Makers and Enotah CASA, Inc., is one of Georgia’s must exciting fall festivals. Scheduled to take place across two weekends — Oct. 14-15 and Oct. 21-22 — the festival is a proud local tradition that features arts and crafts, music, face painting, sorghum syrup and much more.

“In North Georgia, the Blairsville Sorghum Festival has been a part of Blairsville’s heritage for more than 50 years,” according to the festival’s website. “While small in number, they accomplished by far the largest and most distinctive event of the year in Union County.”

Credit: Courtesy of Enotah CASA

Credit: Courtesy of Enotah CASA

Located in Meeks Park, roughly half of a mile west of Blairsville on Highway 515, the festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday. Children age 12 and under can enter the festival for free, while admission is $5 for adults.

From greased pole climbing to log swaying, the festival is set to feature a number of unique activities. Full of craft and food vendors, the best part of the festival comes down to the good eating. This year, the event will also be sponsored by the local Grandaddy Mimms Distillery.

And of course, there is also the matter of sorghum syrup making, which takes center stage during the event. In total, makers are expected to brew up roughly 500 gallons of fresh sorghum syrup during the festival.

Perennial Blairsville Sorghum Festival goer Lisa Kane spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Olivia Wakim about her excitement for this year’s offerings. Every year, she finds herself “right back down there” helping grow, harvest and prepare the sorghum cane for the festival.

“It’s just in me, you know?” Kane said. “It’s just what I do.”

While she harvests and prepares the sorghum, her husband makes the syrup — a cherished pastime for the festival goer. Afterwards, the couple make sorghum treats — ranging from pound cake to fudge — for their concession stand. The crown jewel of it all is a locally legendary recipe from her 94-year-old mother-in-law Cecilia Pruitt.

“Just the smell of sorghum cooking...” Kane said. “You have to come to know what I mean.”

Credit: Courtesy of Enotah CASA

Credit: Courtesy of Enotah CASA

The Blairsville Sorghum Festival is not just a local community affair, however. All of North Georgia comes prepared to participate each year.

“Georgia’s official Sorghum Festival is one of the longest-running festivals in north Georgia,” according to the nearby town of Blue Ridge’s website. “A parade kicks off the event. Bluegrass music, cloggers plus many other forms of entertainment add to this event which features a variety of artists and craftsmen who sell handmade goods. Sorghum is the 3rd most popular cereal grain in the US and a staple of early Georgia farmers going back to the early 1800s.”

When it comes to good eating and great family-friendly fun, you can’t go wrong with North Georgia’s Blairsville Sorghum Festival this year.

“You can’t have a fall in Blairsville without a Sorghum Festival,” Kane said.

Blairsville Sorghum Festival

490 Meeks Park Road, Blairsville, GA 30512

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