It seems odd to write an article about spring on a morning when the temperatures have once again dropped below the 30° mark, but like all things in Georgia, change happens fast and we can count on warmer weather just around the corner. During this time, we make plans and preparations for spring and in the Jackson-Butts County community, that is going on right now.

Why is spring such a great time our community? Aside from being the end of winter, it’s the time of the year when everything renews itself, when trees and flowers bloom, when warmer weather brings us outside more often to be with nature and to provide us all with a nice, pleasant break before the somewhat oppressive heat of summer in the South arrives. For a community as outdoors oriented as ours is, spring brings a lot of opportunities to be out in nature, provided you can survive that early season yellow scourge of pollen. Once medicated and immunized against its effects, you’ll find a lot of fun things going on in the months of April, May and June to do.

In anticipation of all that is coming up, the Tourism Board will be meeting on March 29th to plan, discuss and map out the upcoming spring season, as well as to plan for a very important strategic initiative that will help us shape and define our tourism offerings throughout the county. This initiative, which has been in the works since the middle of last year, will involve a two-day visit from the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Product Development Team. This team, comprised of anywhere from 6 to 8 people, each of whom specialize in a different area of tourism development, will spend two days and one night here in our community evaluating all of our tourism offerings. Once they have completed this, they will present a plan to our board and the community on the best strategy to continue developing opportunities for tourism in Butts County, its cities and communities.

These include area state parks such as Indian Springs and High Falls; Dauset Trails Nature Center; Jackson Lake and the Ocmulgee River; the Village at Indian Springs; and our three cities of Jackson, Flovilla and Jenkinsburg. They’ll look at noteworthy restaurants that are well-known outside of our community such as Buckner’s and Fresh Air Barbecue, as well as other food offerings that might draw people here. Available event venues, agricultural interest offerings and future projects such as the new State Conference Center and expanded bike trails will all be on the table. This team will help us prioritize where we need to be focusing our energies and to what demographics we need to be reaching out to the most. It’s a huge opportunity to really help put the Butts County community on the map for tourism, especially with the attention we have already been getting from the film community.

Television and movie locations for successful film offerings are a natural draw to tourists interested in seeing where their favorite shows and notable movies were made. All one has to do is drive down the road about 12 miles to Juliette to see the kind of impact that a movie like “Fried Green Tomatoes” had to grasp the importance of movie tourism, or take a trip over to Senoia to see what a successful TV series such as “The Walking Dead” can do for a location. The highly successful Netflix series “Stranger Things” is already starting to do that for us here in Jackson and out in the county, and other film opportunities have already given us the reputation as a “Film Friendly” community.

When you put it all together, we have a lot going for us right now. Rivers and lakes create opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming. State parks provide a wealth of things to do for families including picnics, water activities, camping, hiking and experiencing nature. Museums and historical villages provide the opportunity to learn and explore the past. Famous eateries and off-the-beaten-path restaurants provide unique dining experiences. We have all of that and more here in our community waiting to be discovered and we are looking forward to hosting this team in our community and showcasing all we have to see and do here.

Looking ahead to what is already in the works shows a spring season that is about to get underway in a hurry. Here are a few offerings to get you in the mood for spring!

  • The Annual Celebrity Roast held by Partners for Smart Growth, which raises money for scholarships each year, will be held on the evening of April 1st at the Jones Family Farm on Stark Road. This year promises to be highly entertaining as the organization has chosen Judy Weaver Yielding as the roastee, promising a fun evening for all.
  • The Butts County Chamber of Commerce will hold their Annual Chamber Golf Tournament on April 12th from 1PM-5PM at Hickory Hills Golf Club.
  • The Annual Dauset Trails Bluebird and Bluegrass Festival will take place on April 22nd starting at 9AM, an event which draws people from all over this part of Georgia to enjoy bluegrass music and nature offerings.
  • Flovilla will kick off the spring season with their 3rd Annual “Flo Who? Flo What?” Flovilla 3rd Annual 5K Walk on April 29th beginning at 9AM.
  • The Jackson Lake Association will bring a new event to the community with the First Annual PirateFest, which will be held on April 29 at the Lloyd Shoals Park on Jackson Lake beginning at 10AM and going on all day until 5:30PM.
  • On May 6th, the Butts County Chamber of Commerce will hold a Kentucky Derby Day Event at the Jones Family Farm on Stark Road beginning at 4PM
  • Dauset Trails Nature Center brings back their well-attended Movie Under the Stars event for those who enjoy movies and being outdoors, beginning at 7PM on May 6th.
  • On June 10th, Dauset Trails will host a Fishing Rodeo during the day
  • Plus check out the Village at Indian Springs and Indian Springs State Park to keep up with events they’ll be hosting through the spring season!

These are just some of the main attractions that will be going on from April through June. I expect to add several more after the Tourism Board meets and plans the season, so check back for updated postings, articles highlighting events and of course, our calendar of events which appears to the right of this page and shows the next several upcoming events.

If you’re from our community, I encourage you to take a look at all of the cool things going on around here. It’s sometimes easy to miss what is going on right around you and your support of our local destination places helps our community showcase itself in the best way possible. If you’re not from this area, I’m glad you found us here on the web and I hope you’ll come and visit our community soon! Explore our lakes, rivers, parks and nature areas…have a meal at one of our many restaurants or rent a weekend cottage at Indian Springs for quick getaway…and remember that here in Jackson-Butts County, located close to both Macon and Atlanta, we truly are “closer to everywhere than anywhere”.

Finally, if we can help, reach out to us. Our email is explore@buttscountygeorgia.net and we’ll be glad to help.

Looking forward to a great spring season!

Michael

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