November is arriving, and fall is well underway in our community, coming in on the heels of a very busy October that included the County Fair, Fall Festivals, Halloween, Dauset Trails events and so much more. We even had a movie filmed right here in our county, using various locations in Jackson, Flovilla and the surrounding areas. Look for “Burden” in the movie theaters sometime next year starring Forest Whitaker, Garrett Hedlund, Andrea Risborough and others, including some local characters from around our town.

This month we’ll have more great things to do, starting with local community organization Partners for Smart Growth, who will be hosting a fascinating event for all you fans of “Tombstone”, when noted author Victoria Wilcox comes to Jackson on November 3rd to present a program about John Henry “Doc” Holiday, a native of neighboring Griffin, Georgia and a person with more than a few ties to Butts County. The presentation also promises to dispel some of the myths and legends about him, while unveiling new mysteries and a lot of things that many don’t know. This event is open to the public. The cost is $15.00 and includes a catered luncheon.

Jenkinsburg will be busy as well, with a fall festival of their own planned for November 5th that will feature a Barbecue cook off event. The Jenkinsburg “Bar-B-Choo-Chew” Fall Festival begins at 9AM in Memorial Park, just behind City Hall. Arts and crafts will be featured, plus music and entertainment through the day AND a Cornhole tournament to boot! The centerpiece of the day will be the cook off, and I have been asked to be one of the judges so I can’t wait to dig in and try some of my favorite food that day.

If you want even more Barbecue, the 8th Annual Smokin’ Pork n Butts Barbecue Festival is scheduled for the weekend of November 11th-12th at the Butts County Fairground. Hosted by the Exchange Club of Jackson, this annual event “pits” purveyors of fine Southern style Barbecue against each other for a trophy, and food sales will be available on Saturday the 12th, beginning around 10:30-11:00 AM. Cooking starts the evening before, and the fairground will be open for those who want to come and see the impressive cooking rigs that each team will bring. Come on Saturday to experience the goods! Admission is free, appetite required.

If you’ve always wanted to learn how to make syrup (or you’re just a connoisseur of fine syrup), Dauset Trails will be hosting the Cane Syrup Festival on November 19th and this event is FREE. You’ll learn how syrup used to be made in times past and they’ll also be offering blacksmithing demonstrations, all in the Barnyard section of Dauset Trails...not to mention, it’s one of the prettiest places to visit in the fall and there still should be some color to enjoy, as well as pleasant temperatures too!

The month will wrap up with some events that will usher us into the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday Season.

The Annual United Bank Community Art Show is something I look forward to every year and it is scheduled for November 28th from 6PM-8PM at the bank. Some of my favorite local artists will have their artwork on display, including Scott Coleman, Kathrine Allen-Coleman, Dale Hill and I’m sure some others….but I have to say that the show lost a bright star in the past few years with the death of Liz Carmichael Jones. I know that folks in Butts County who have some of her artwork treasure it a lot.

Another cornerstone of the season is the Annual Sylvan Grove Hospital tree lighting ceremony, called the Love Lite Ceremony. Join the community for this wonderful annual tradition, scheduled for Tuesday, November 29th on the front lawn of the hospital beginning at 6PM and enjoy festive choirs, singers and refreshments to help welcome the season!

As we move into November, that great American holiday of Thanksgiving becomes the focus and it’s probably my favorite one, simply because it is today what it has always been…a time to be grateful for our lives, thankful for what we have and to treasure and enjoy the company of those we care the most about, over the most common meeting place in our country…the American dinner table. Even though we tend to rush forward towards Christmas once the Halloween decorations are down, let’s make sure we don’t overlook Thanksgiving, the simple pleasures of being thankful, and enjoying the benefits of living in Butts County Georgia!

I hope everyone has a blessed November and a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!