YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Only a week remains until the highly anticipated Get Outdoors! Expo premiers at the Towns County Recreation and Conference Center, offering a vast array of vendors and programs for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
FetchYourNews sat down with Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw and Towns County Chamber of Commerce President Candace Lee on Thursday, March 29, to learn what’s in store. Bradshaw and Lee are excited to welcome the fun-filled event and expect it to become an annual tradition in Towns County.
If hiking is in your future, you won’t want to miss the line up of experts on the subject. Saturday begins with Backpacking 101 with Diane Duffard, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. Duffard will share tips on preparing for both overnight and long-journey hikes, displaying her own gear as an example.
Later in the day, Joseph and Abigail Pate will host a workshop on multi-seasonal day hikes, focused on packing for a trip, choosing a trail, safety plans, and environmental considerations. Bob Gabrielsen, from Top of Georgia Hostel, will list the “Ten Golden Rules of Hiking the Appalachian Trail.”
On Sunday afternoon, Mary Maddox will share the journey of hiking the Camino de Santiago, a “prayerful path” that winds through the stunning terrain of northwestern Spain. Chef Joey Becnel will offer scrumptious recipes for easy-to-make meal and snack ideas for back-county cooking. The class will offer alternatives for those with allergies or special diet requirements. A primer on navigation and a basic first aid course will be available as well.
Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy hands-on Fly Rod Casting and Fly Tying workshops. Young Harris College Biologist Professor Jonathan Davis will present his research findings on the bass population of Lake Chatuge and other nearby fishing holes. The Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition will provide microscopes to view plankton in pond water, the basis of the aquatic food chain.
Chatuge Gun Club will offer the opportunity to test marksmanship skills at an air rifle range.
Sure to be a hit is Falconer Buster Brown and his birds of prey. Brown will share information on acquiring a raptor, training techniques, housing options for the bird, and species used in the sport. The presentation will conclude with a fascinating seven-minute video of falcons pursuing their quarry.
A falconry demonstration is scheduled for 2 p.m. on both days of the expo.
Children will delight in learning how to make and use turkey calls with avid turkey hunters Keith McKinney and Sam Stowe.
On Saturday afternoon, a class on the creative art of nature writing is planned, followed by a course entitled “String, Beans, and Fairy Godmothers,” which will spark imaginative icebreaker ideas for group leaders.
A worship service will be held on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. led by Pastor Jeff Deaver, of The Cross Church, host of X-treme Christian Outdoors.
Numerous exhibitors with a wide selection of information, displays, and wares related to everything outdoors will be set up both inside and outside of the venue.
Food vendors will be onsite with festival fare such as barbecue, hot dogs, jerky, boiled peanuts, kettle corn, and Italian ice.
The Get Outdoors! Expo takes place next weekend, April 7 and 8, 2018. The expo runs from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Admission is $5.00 for adults and children over 14 years of age. Children under 14 are admitted without charge. Parking is free.
Admission includes workshops. Program guides will be offered upon entry.
The Towns County Recreation and Conference Center is located at 150 Foster Park in Young Harris, Georgia.
For more information, visit Get Outdoors.