It’s time to say goodbye to the old year of 2016 and welcome in the new year of 2017, along with all the hope and promise that a new year brings. Before we do that though, I thought we should look back on the year ending, and highlight some of the great things that happened in our community over the past year that has really put our tourism efforts on the minds of many Georgians around the state. None of this would have been possible without everyone across city and county lines, organizations and community leaders working together to make a positive difference in the marketing of our little part of the world.

First, we had some awesome events this year…the Chamber Banquet, the Fur Ball, the Native American Festival, Artifacts Day, the Jackson Alive Festival, Halloween on Second Street, Christmas in the City, Christmas in the Village and more, all serving to draw visitors from the middle Georgia region to our community for food, fun and entertainment.

We had art festivals and art showings. We had fun events at Dauset Trails and Indian Springs State Park. Breakfast with Santa and barbecue cook offs. Small town festivals in Flovilla and Jenkinsburg. TV shows and movies filmed in Jackson, Flovilla and in the county. Ribbon cuttings on new businesses and the return of the majestic Carmichael House to its place as the most lovely old home in Jackson. Put simply, we had a really great year and we could not have done it without a lot of people pitching in, volunteering their time and talents, working hand in hand to promote each event, getting the word out and talking us up wherever they went.

While we savor the many positives that 2016 brought to us, lets look ahead to the new year of 2017 and some of the things that are going to be going on in Butts County. Groundbreaking on a new State Conference Center at Indian Springs State Park on January 5th to begin with. How about the 2nd Annual Fur Ball Benefit in February to benefit our local humane society? The Chamber of Commerce Banquet in March and much more coming in the months ahead.

Dauset Trails will have their annual Blue Birds and Blue Grass Festival in the spring, Indian Springs State Park is always doing something, along with the Village at Indian Springs. Even during the slow months of winter, beautiful weather is plentiful and all these locations offer great opportunities to get out and get some fresh air. Why not check them out?

We’ll continue to put out updates on Facebook and Twitter, as well as post to the community calendar located on this website. Check back regularly to see what is going on. Finally, I hope each of you have a great 2017 and look forward to seeing you out in the community in the months ahead.

Happy 2017!