Towns County’s Halloween draws hundreds of trick-or-treaters

Towns County Halloween

HIAWASSEE, GA – The one-day rain delay did not deter hundreds of trick-or-treaters from attending Towns County’s Halloween event on the courthouse campus. The line for candy extended beyond Hiawassee City Hall, nearing Main Street, as ghouls and goblins awaited their turn to circle the courthouse porch for treats. Towns County Historical Society offered tours of the “haunted jail” on Halloween’s stormy eve, the night prior to the county’s postponed event, estimating approximately 280 visitors at the spooky site.

Click on the below images to enlarge.


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Old Rock Jail to feature Halloween, Christmas events

Community, News
Sandra Green Towns County Historical Society

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – The Old Rock Jail Museum will transform into a haunted historical site this Halloween for the second year in a row. Towns County Historical Society President Sandra Green made the announcement at the society’s Sept. 9 meeting.

“We’re going to have a haunted Halloween at the jail, and that’s something that Tyler (Osborn) and Mary Ann (Miller) will be working on,” Green said. “We’re going to revise it a little bit from last year, and it will be new and improved. But we’re also considering charging a dollar for admission and hope that that would be a good moneymaker for the jail. So we’ll be working on that in the weeks to come, and I’m sure as creative as they are that they will come up with some great ideas.”

Old Rock Jail

The Old Rock Jail Museum is located next to the Towns County Courthouse.

Members of the local Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) will assist the historical society officers in shaping the spooky setting. Towns County, in cooperation with the City of Hiawassee, will host its annual Halloween trick-or-treat, costume contest simultaneously.

Additionally, the Old Rock Jail Museum  will once again feature “Picking on the Porch” in early October. In the event of inclement weather, the music will be held indoors at the Towns County Civic Center.

The festivities won’t end with the close of the autumn season, however.

“We’re also doing something new, and I can thank Tyler Osborn, our secretary, for coming up with this idea,” Green shared. “We’re going to have an old-fashion Christmas open house at the jail in December, and we’re going to do that in conjunction with the lighting of the tree on the Square.”

Holiday decor depicting the 1930s and 1940s eras, a time period when the jail was operatable, will be on display.

The Old Rock Jail Museum is currently open for touring Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are greatly appreciated by the Towns County Historical Society.

Old Rock Jail Archives


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

City of Hiawassee follows county’s lead, approves 45-day sign moratorium

News, Politics
City of Hiawassee

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee City Council met for their regular session on Tuesday, Nov. 6, reaching a decision to instill a 45-day sign permit moratorium. The unopposed council vote was reached eight days after Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw finalized the county’s “billboard ban” which imposes regulations on advertising signage within the county’s border.

Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales announced that the moratorium would appear on the city’s agenda during the council’s work session held the week prior. Ordiales explained that the city should consider similar measures in order to potentially follow the county revision. The moratorium will allow time for the council to review and discuss the county mandate.

The 45-day moratorium temporarily freezes the issuance of sign permits within Hiawassee.

The final reading of the Municode Digital Listing ordinance was unanimously adopted by HIawassee City Council. Municode Digital Listing is a process which will transfer the city’s mandates from printed documents to an online venue. The ordinances were housed in a series of binders prior.

The annual Halloween in Hiawassee event was discussed and deemed a success by the elected officials.


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Haunted Jail a huge hit at Hiawassee Halloween

Community, News
Hiawassee Haunted Jail

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hundreds of trick-or-treaters arrived at the Towns County Courthouse on Halloween evening to join in the fun-filled celebration. Candy booths sponsored by local businesses and government agencies lined the courthouse porch as children of all ages wrapped their way around the building, collecting sweets.

Towns County Historical Society

A ghostly “inmate” at the Old Rock Jail

This year’s event featured a “haunted jail” attraction at the Old Rock Jail Museum, and the line to tour the 1939 historic site stretched beneath the maple tree on the courthouse grounds. Towns County Historical Society accomplished a spooktacular feat by supplying themed props, adding startling strobe and sound effects, and casting a set of skilled actors to play the part of tour guides, inmates, and other creepy characters.

Towns County Historical Society President Sandra Green estimated that over a hundred visitors toured the spooky site on Halloween night.

Mayor Liz Ordiales

Hiawassee Mayor Liz Ordiales visits with a tiny trick-or-treater in front of the courthouse (Photo by City of Hiawassee)

Halloween in Hiawassee included a street performance by North Georgia Dance Studio, a “Thriller” flash mob, and a children’s costume contest.  The first place winner in the birth-to-age-two category was awarded to Kylyn Keyes. Romina Solorio was chosen for first prize in the 3-to-7 year range, and Anna Hamby was judged the winner in the 8-and-older category.

Hiawassee Halloween

A little ladybug took first prize in the birth-to-2 year old costume contest


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

City of Hiawassee budget vote delayed until late October

News, Politics
Hiawassee City Council

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – A delayed council vote on the potential adoption of the proposed City of Hiawassee 2018-2019 budget was announced at the regular session held Tuesday, Oct. 2, at City Hall. Mayor Liz Ordiales recognized that the final reading is required to be publicly advertised prior to adoption, a measure that was overlooked. The final reading was rescheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, during the council’s work session.

Prior to a motion to adjourn, Councilwoman Amy Barrett inquired as to whether the previous budget would remain in effect until the second reading takes place. Mayor Ordiales stated that it would remain fixed until the 2018-2019 budget adoption.

Minutes regarding the numerous millage rate meetings and September sessions were approved without opposition.

The first reading of an ordinance to enact Municode Digital Listing, a process which will transfer city mandates from printed documents to an online venue, was unanimously favored by council. The ordinances were solely housed in a series of binders prior.

The annual Halloween event was discussed, with plans to relocate the festivities from Hiawassee Square to the Towns County Courthouse grounds confirmed. The Old Rock Jail will transform into a haunted house attraction and candy booths for trick-or-treaters will surround the courthouse porch. The event is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Scarecrows are beginning to appear on Hiawassee Town Square, a new addition to the city’s fall tradition, with Mayor Ordiales acknowledging the creativity of participants.

Hiawassee City Council meetings are open to the public. Questions and concerns from citizens are addressed at work sessions, the last Monday of each month.


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

American Red Cross Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Hiawassee Halloween

Hiawassee, GA – The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross has offered a list of “lucky 13” Halloween tips for parents to share with trick-or-treaters in order to prevent injuries:

  1.  Plan your route and share it with your family. If possible, have an adult go with you.
  2.  Wear light-colored or reflective-type clothing so you are more visible.
  3.  Use face paint rather than masks that may obstruct vision.
  4.  Cross the street only at corners.
  5.  Look both ways before crossing streets.
  6.  Don’t hide or cross the street between parked vehicles.
  7.  Walk on sidewalks, not the street.
  8.  Carry a flashlight to light the way.
  9.  Only visit homes that have their porch light on.
  10.  Use a light stick rather than a candle in pumpkins to prevent fire hazards.
  11.  Accept treat at the door; never enter someone’s home.
  12.  Be cautious of strangers and animals.
  13. Have an adult inspect candy before consuming.

The City of Hiawassee will host their annual Halloween event on the Square on October 31 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

Contact the American Red Cross at 216.431.3046 for additional safety tips.



Robin H. Webb

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