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Information on Jasper's July 4th Celebration

By Doug Brooks

Jasper Lion

Since 1949 the Jasper Lions Club has developed and sponsored an Independence Day Celebration for the citizens of Pickens County. Lion Tony Pishnery is chairing the 2011 Celebration Committee and the theme this year is America, Free and Proud. Articles in the Progress issues of June 2 and 16 carried details of the 2011 Independence Day Celebration to be held here on July 4.

Time to remind those desiring to be part of the Celebration parade to get applications in.  Applications must be submitted no later than Friday, July 1.  They can be obtained at the Chamber of Commerce, Moore Furniture Company on Main Street or on www.jasperlions. com

Entry fee for the parade will be $10 and prizes will $50 for 1st place float and $25 for 2nd place float. Prizes will be awarded at the bandstand during the opening ceremonies and winners must claim their prizes at that time.

Previous articles have included details of activities at Lee Newton Park on the 4th and next week’s article will include a final wrap-up of the activities.

An Independence Day Celebration would not be complete without fireworks. This 2011 Celebration will end with a spectacular fireworks display that will get underway at 10 on the 4th. Many thanks to Renasant Bank in Jasper for sponsoring them this year! Fireworks technical support will be provided by Donnie Craig, Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.

Peachtree Rides Carnival attractions will be at the park from Wednesday, June 29, through Monday, July 4. Openings will be Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 5; Saturday and Sunday at 1; and at 11 a.m. on Monday, the 4th. “Armband” (cost $20) nights will be June 29 and 30; July 1 and 3. No armbands on the July 2 or 4.

So, make plans for you and your family and friends to be here in Jasper with us during the 2011 Independence Day Celebration.


Freeze mob descends on Farmers Market

Participants with the Creative and Performing Arts Academy sent chills through the Jasper Farmers Market with an unannounced Freeze Mob last Saturday, June 18.



Submitted by Crystal Merrell of the Creative and

Performing Arts Academy

Brrrrr…. It was cold at the Jasper Farmers Market last Saturday.  Don’t believe me?  Right there among the summer plants and produce, there MUST have been an arctic blast as there were several patrons frozen in place all over the Market!  Check out this link:, and see for yourself.

The ‘Freezers’ were led by Ellen Painter, local actress and acting instructor at the Creative and Performing Arts Academy.  ‘Freezing’ or ‘Freeze Mob’ is a term used to describe a group of people who gather in a public place and, for a short period of time, become motionless, starting and stopping in sync without a noticeable cue.

Ms. Ellen stated this about ‘Freezing’:  “It makes you experience time and the world around you differently, if only for a few minutes….everything slows down …and you see things from another perspective.”  Plus, “it is a lot of fun!”.

Often the most fun part of the experience is seeing and hearing the reaction of the onlookers.  Some passerbys simply pass by and don’t notice the frozen person standing in their path.  Others question or try to engage with the freezer to no avail.  As one man comments in the Farmers Freeze video “they’re froze up! They’re all on drugs!”

The Farmers Freezers were interacting with the Jasper Farmers Market vendors and wares, from Ramblewood Garden’s wooden baskets to jeweler makers and produce vendors.  One pair of young Freezers were stopped while looking at their cell phones, which the general public is accustom to seeing in ‘normal speed’ life more and more.

Ranging in age from 8 to adults, this was a well kept secret in the planning and rehearsal stage.  The Freezers descended upon the Market around 10:00am and were frozen for 5-8 minutes.

There are no announcements of plans for future Freezes from Ms. Ellen and her group, but perhaps we should all pay attention just in case.


Public help sought for missing Ball Ground man

Update -- Mr. Barber was found overnight in Gilmer County. "He was ok," according to an update this morning from the Cherokee Sheriff's office


Cherokee County Sheriff Office Press Release

The Cherokee Sheriff's Office is asking for assistance in searching for a missing elderly man. Tommie Barber, 84 years old of Ball Ground, left his home at approximately 2:30pm Thursday.

He called his family at approximately 7pm to say he was lost. He has not been heard from since. He is driving a 1992  blue Ford Explorer. Tag number 4303AKE. Mr. Barber does suffer from dementia.

Anyone who sees Barber, his vehicle, or has any information that could assist investigators is urged to call 911 or 770-928-0239.

Brief storm left lengthy outages

This road in the Wildwood area of Jasper was blocked by falling trees Saturday evening which also took down power lines throughout the area. Some areas of the county are still without power.


See update from power companies in this week's print edition

Though brief, Saturday evening's storm has left several areas of Pickens County without power into Monday. And those residences may not see power restored until late this evening.

A spokesperson from Amicalola EMC said they project having all power restored by the end of today, but, noted it may not be until late in the day.

Stacey Fields, Director of Public Relations at Amicalola EMC, issued this statement Monday morning," Currently, we have approximately 1,100 members without power across our service area. Those outages include Gilmer, Pickens, Cherokee, Dawson and Lumpkin counties. We are now estimating that all power will be restored today, although restoration for many may be into the evening and late evening hours."

County crews are continuing road-clearing efforts as well on Monday morning. Some secondary roads remain blocked with downed trees.

Initially after the storm, Commissioner Rob Jones reported that the thunderstorm, which only lasted a few minutes, produced widespread, though mostly minor, damage. No serious structural damage, nor injuries were reported.



With summer gardens producing, Farmers’ Market to open Wednesdays

Andy Givhan bags up lettuce for a customer who has brought her dog along.


By Darlene Huffman

There was still plenty of lettuce available at the Jasper Farmers’ Market Saturday. Andy and Marie Givhan from Rydal  where they operate an aquatic plant nursery in addition to growing vegetables, had lettuce, kale, carrots, onions and some exotic looking bog plants for sale.

Another vendor known to have unusual plants is Mark Harrison. He often sells, and is very knowledgeable about, native plants as well as a large variety of the more common ones. On this Market day he had a magnolia tree that has extra large leaves and huge blossoms and grows to about 30 feet high.

Cindy Fix has been selling her fiber arts at the Market for several years, focusing on clothes and hair bows for little girls. This season she has sun hats. Mimi Tritt, the vendor next door selling fresh fruit sorbet, liked them so well she had Cindy custom make her one in fresh fruity colors.

Handmade soap has become increasingly popular with both vendors and shoppers liking the idea of a natural, local product.  Beth Allen is fairly new to both soap making and the Farmers’ Market but has made an interesting variety – a shampoo bar, a shaving bar, an exfoliating bar and several other choices.

This is the week that the Wednesday Market opens. The hours will be the same as Saturday, 7:30 to noon and will end Wednesday, August 31. The Saturday Market continues through October. Here is where we usually say that we are closed for the 4th of July celebration but this year we will be OPEN THE 2ND OF JULY. Sackett’s Western Wear Tack and Feed has invited us to have the Market in their parking lot, so tell everyone, “The Jasper Farmers’ Market is not closing for the 4th of July.”

See more of what is going on at the Farmers’ Market on Facebook,, or the Master Gardeners Web site ( The Market is a project of the Pickens County Master Gardeners.  See their Web site for more information or contact the County Extension Office (706- 253-8840).