Flicks on the Square to begin May 24

Community, News

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The City of Hiawassee will host its second year of “Flicks on the Square” beginning May 24, 2019.

Movies will be shown every other Friday evening at 8:30 p.m. Admission is free. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase.

Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales displayed the season’s poster-printed selection, chosen by citizens, at the May 7 regular council session.

The features are as follows:

May 24 – Small Foot

June 7 – Ralph Breaks the Internet

June 21 – The Secret Life of Pets

July 5 – Spiderman into the Spiderverse

July 19 – The Blind Side

August 2 – The Incredibles

August 16 – The Incredibles 2

In the event of rain, movies will be shown inside of the Towns County Civic Center.

Feature Image: A scene from Small Foot

Hiawassee hosts back-to-back Moonshine Cruiz-In events

Moonshine Cruiz-In

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Two pit stops occurred in the heart of Hiawassee during the 9th annual Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In.

The first took place on the evening of Wednesday, July 11, as a fresh event was introduced to the itinerary:  A “drive-in” movie presentation of the 1978 classic hit, ‘Grease’, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

Vehicles from different eras traveled from miles around to rest their engines on Hiawassee Square while their owners enjoyed a night on the town. Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales graciously welcomed newcomers to the event as they arrived, taking their seats among the ever-growing crowd. A senior couple danced to aptly-themed music, entertaining bystanders before the main event began. Towns County High School football players sold beverages to fund the purchase of needed equipment. Towns County Library Branch Manager Debbie Phillips operated an old-fashion popcorn machine, and the smell of a vendor’s hot boiled peanuts tempted guests to snack as they watched the film.

The following day, Thursday, July 12, the owners of antique vehicles, along with appreciative spectators, flocked to the town square to participate in Hiawassee’s second annual Moonshine Cruiz-In Block Party. A parade of classic cars arrived on the square at noon, greeted by upbeat music streamed by “Soundman” Tim Massey. A sudden downpour of rain began to fall in unison as the cars roared in. Attendees sought shelter under the tents provided by United Community Bank, Hiawassee Police Department, and beneath nearby store-front awnings while they waited for the summer storm to pass. The clouds soon cleared, and visitors circled the square, stopping to converse with car owners while ogling a variety of vehicles from days gone by.

Hiawassee Block Party

Unique, antique truck attending the Moonshine Cruiz-In Block Party

“I think it’s great that Hiawassee added (these events) to the line-up,” Jerry Shook, a Habersham County resident and the proud owner of a pristine 1956 Ford Town Sedan, told FetchYourNews, “I attend every year, and it’s a nice to have even more to look forward to.”

Food vendors set up shop along Berrong Street, which was closed to traffic. Local restaurants Monte Alban, Sundance Grill, Asiano’s, and Hawgs & Dawgs BBQ offered a selection of festival-friendly fare. Cub Scouts Troop 407 supplied soft drinks to heat-parched guests. The event ran until 2:00 pm, and the classic cars and trucks proceeded to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds to regroup for a sixty mile caravan cruise to Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia. The crew returned to the fairgrounds that evening to celebrate the Sour Mask Kickoff Bash, overlooking sparking Lake Chatuge.

The rally continued into the weekend at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, featuring music, food, vendors, and of course, plenty of hot rods.

(Feature Photo: Jerry Shook checks under the hood of his 1956 Ford Town Sedan)

Hawgs and Dawgs

Visitors were offered lunch options from five local vendors





City of Hiawassee updates Flicks on the Square, adopts water leak protection plan

News, Politics
Liz Ordiales

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee City Council met for their regular session May 1, 2018.

New hours of operation were set  for Hiawassee City Hall, with doors open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales updated the public on Flicks on the Square, an outdoor, weekly movie night that is scheduled to begin after dark Friday, May 25.

(Correction: Showings have since been changed to twice per month rather than weekly.)

Referring to the associated cost of the project mentioned at last week’s work session, Ordiales explained her original quote was underestimated. “I had originally put down there $3,000. It’s really going to be $3,416 because the original quote of $2,899, the speakers were too small for that area. So when we upped the speakers a little bit, it was $3,416,” Ordiales explained.

Mayor Ordiales said that the “good news” is that she has learned Towns County Library owns licensing rights to many movies until March 2019, and plans to allow the city of Hiawassee to borrow their agreement at no charge.

“I’d like to see if we can have a classic movie night maybe once a month, with like Casablanca and that kind of stuff,” Ordiales said.

Councilwoman Amy Barrett suggested inviting non-profit organizations to sell popcorn. There will be no admission charge to attend movie nights on the square.

Councilwoman Amy Barrett at January’s work session

The motion to adopt Flicks on the Square was unanimously approved by the council.

A motion to streamline future consent agendas, with the financials and minutes consolidated into a single, swift vote, was motioned by Councilwoman Nancy Noblet, and seconded by Councilwoman  Anne Mitchell. The idea was raised by Hiawassee City Clerk Bonnie Kendrick at the conclusion of April’s work session.

The ServLine water leak protection policy was adopted, motioned by Councilman Kris Berrong, and seconded by Councilwoman Nancy Noblet.

A motion to sign a formal contract with the current municipal court probation services was unanimously favored, and the first reading of the Hiawassee tree ordinance was approved.

“It basically says that we’ll have trees in Hiawassee, and that we’ll take care of them,” Ordiales noted at the previous work session.

An eligibility application with Georgia Surplus was unanimously approved.

“This is a contract that (Hiawassee Police Chief) Paul (Smith) found for us that will allow us to purchase items from the police department, the Army, the Navy, any type of government entity,” Ordiales said. “You can buy equipment for pennies on the dollar. When I was the president of the Fire Corps, we bought a Hummer for the Fire Corps, and they put a pump on the back of the Hummer that went into the woods, and all kinds of things like that, for 50 bucks. All we had to do was change the color. So, I brought this over here so that we can get this option. Maybe we can buy some tractors, or maybe we can buy some equipment for the water department.”

The second reading of the elected-official pay scale was approved, as well as the first reading of the benefit retirement plan. Ordiales says the new plan will freeze the policy that has been in place, in favor of 3 percent contribution from the city, zero percent from the employee. The previous plan garnered 11 percent from the city, and zero percent from the employee.

All council members were in attendance, with the exception of Patsy Owens.


Featured Photo: Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales



“Flicks on the Square” in store for Hiawassee

Community, News
Music on Square

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee Town Square, a focal point in the heart of the city, is in the process of transformation.

In addition to the newly installed Appalachian Trail kiosk, a platform stage has been constructed on the Square’s southern border in anticipation of plans in the making.

The annual season of “Enchanted Music on the Square” begins on May 26 at 6:30 p.m. and continues each Saturday evening throughout the summer months.

Hiawassee Town Square

A newly-constructed stage awaits performers

Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales announced the addition of a new event, “Flicks on the Square”, with movies projected on Friday nights after dark. While the bi-monthly occasion will be aimed at attracting families with children, the possibility of a classic movie or two for an older audience exists. The first showing is expected on May 25, on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.

“Our initial expense is going to be about $3000, but it’s going to be a 15-foot screen, a back projector, the audio, and a Blu-ray player,” Mayor Ordiales says, “The only other expense is the licensing which I’m working on right now, and depending on the movie, it’s anywhere between $250 and $350, so we’ll make the initial investment. I think we can get that from hotel-motel (tax) money.”

The mayor went onto say she hopes the cost of the movies themselves will be sponsored by local businesses or organizations.

Unfortunately, the progress on the Square also includes the removal of a maple tree which stands beside the trail kiosk, next to the newly-added picnic tables.

Hiawassee town square

Maple tree on the Square

Mayor Ordiales says she spoke with an arbor expert who inspected the maple, deeming it demised.

Hollow areas throughout the limbs were said to have been discovered during the trimming process, and due to liability concerns noted by Hiawassee City Attorney Thomas Mitchell, the tree must go.

A sugar maple tree is expected to be planted in its place.

(Correction: Movie showings were originally listed as a weekly event. It has since been changed to twice monthly.)


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“Drive-In” movie added to Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In

Community, News
Hiawassee Moonshine Festival

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – As the official start of summer approaches, a new event has been added to the 9th annual Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In:  A “drive-in” movie on Hiawassee Square.

The 1978 movie “Grease” will begin at dusk on Wednesday, July 11, the night prior to the grand opening of the hot-rod festivities at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds.

Over 600 classic cars are expected to participate in this year’s event which runs from Thursday, July 12 through Saturday, July 14.

According to Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales, music and games will proceed the movie, which was chosen by Moonshine Cruiz-In organizers, on the town square. The fun-filled evening is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.

The following morning, Thursday, July 12, vendors will set up shop at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, with another block party taking place on Hiawassee Square at noon. The event will feature music, food, and plenty of hot-rods to admire. Two 60-mile afternoon cruises through the scenic mountain roads will follow, with the Sour Mash Kick-Off Bash taking place at 6:00 p.m. at the fairgrounds, between Anderson Music Hall and Lake Chatuge. The bash will feature food, live music, and prizes.

The three-day event continues at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Friday, July 13, and Saturday, July 14. An authentic moonshine still will be available for viewing, along with a replica of a pioneer village. There will be mountain crafts, food vendors, and of course, plenty of classic cars, trucks, bikes, and rat rods.

Atlanta Rythmn Section and Molly Hatchet are scheduled to perform at Anderson Music Hall at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 14. Tickets can be purchased by calling 706-896-4191

Additional information on the Moonshine Cruiz-In can be acquired by calling 662-587-9572

Vehicle registration ends July 1.


Feature Photo: Credit Georgia Mountain Moonshine Cruiz-In/Facebook

Movie premier on Hiawassee Square a success

Community, Featured, News
Hiawassee movie

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – “Flicks on the Square” premiered in the heart of Hiawassee on the evening of May 25, 2018. Although storm clouds loomed above, the weather cooperated with what Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales called an historic event.

Hiawassee movie

The movie screen was raised shortly before dusk.

The first movie presented was Ferdinand, an animated film about a young bull who flees from a training camp in Spain after his father fails to return from a duel with a matador.

The fun began at 7 p.m. with children tossing frisbees, footballs, and frolicking on the square grounds. Families settled along Berrong Street, which was closed to traffic, to watch the show.

Towns County Library Branch Manager Debbie Phillips manned the popcorn stand, accompanied by members of the Towns County School football team, who sold candy bars to raise funds for needed equipment. The movie began at dusk, once the viewing screen was inflated. Hiawassee Police Chief Paul Smith assisted the set-up crew.

Seth Solesbee, manager of Goin’ Postal, passed out raffle tickets for toys to the children.

Liz Ordiales

Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales welcomes the crowd.

“I think it’s time to get some youth on the square, and get some families out here, having a good time, and enjoying our city. I think this is a good start. Everyone loves movies, and we’re trying to target the kids,” Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales told FetchYourNews. “It’s all about the kids, and all about the families, and that’s why we’re here.” Ordiales added that a classic movie, geared toward an older audience, may be scheduled.

Claire Wells, a Hiawassee resident who moved to the mountains several years prior, brought her father and two daughters along to watch the show. “I think this was a really good idea. It gives young people something to do, and it’s free, which is always nice,” Wells chimed. “We love Hiawassee. It’s a safe town, and we don’t have to worry. There’s clean air, fresh water, it’s the best place on earth to be.” Wells also noted her appreciation of newly-installed WiFi on the town’s square.

Hiawassee Councilwoman Amy Barrett poses for a shot.

“We love doing this because it doesn’t just cater to one small population,” Hiawassee City Councilwoman Amy Barrett said. “It targets everybody, and that’s great because that’s what we want to do. We want to cater to everyone and give them something fun to do on a Friday night.”

The next movie, Early Man, will be shown Friday, June 8, followed by Storks Friday, June 22. A full summer line-up is available on the rear of the Appalachian Trail map on Hiawassee Town Square.


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