Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Storefront Window Competition Winners Announced

Main Street Toccoa hosted a Christmas Storefront Contest from December 4 through December 23 in downtown Toccoa.  Twelve stores decorated their storefront windows.  Voting was done online and at three places in the downtown.  The stores participating were:  All Things Currahee, CK Morgan & Company, Detail’s Salon 73, Stephens County Development Authority, Downtown Flowers, Feral, Ginger & Company, Sew Fabulous, Stewart’s Downtown Discount Drugs, The Studio, Toccoa Probation Office, and Victoria’s Sweet Treats.

This year’s winners are:
First place – CK Morgan & Company

Second place – Victoria’s Sweet Treats

Third place – Stephens County Development Authority

“We want to thank all of the businesses who participated this year.  Each storefront was so creative and helped to decorate our downtown for the holidays,” said Weslie Clark, Community Development Specialist for the City of Toccoa.  “We look forward to what you can dream up for next year.”

Monday, December 28, 2015


The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA) today announced the recipients of its new Vibrant Communities grant. Ninety-three entities received more than $300,055.00 in funding.
Earlier this year, the Georgia Legislature allocated funds to Georgia Council for the Arts to increase the reach of arts grants across the state. This grant was available to organizations in counties who did not receive an FY16 Project or Partner Grant. GCA received 109 applications requesting $353,766 from 65 counties across the state. Applicants included libraries, schools, arts centers, cities, historical societies, community theatres, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc.
“We believe that all communities in Georgia have great art, inspired artists and visions for the way in which local art can bolster community and economic development” said GCA executive director Karen Paty. “GCA is grateful to all of those in state leadership that enabled us to increase the breadth and reach of our funding to support the incredible work happening is communities throughout the state.”
Georgia Council for the Arts uses Peer Review Panels to adjudicate applications following National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) precedent. Peer Review Panels include GCA Council members; fellow professionals who are experienced in the arts discipline or type of grant being reviewed; or are Georgia citizens with a record of arts activities, experience, and knowledge.
Toccoa received $1,680 in funding to be used toward a concert featuring Francine Reed at The Schaefer Center. This concert is part of Toccoa’s “Flames Fest.” This new event will honor “The Famous Flames” and will begin with a concert by Milkshake Mayfield February 11. On February 20, the St. Matthias Episcopal Church will host a showing of “Selma” involving area churches.    
The Francine Reed concert will be finishing off the month long event by performing on March 3 at 7:00 p.m.  Born in Chicago and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Francine Reed has had a passion for singing since her early childhood. She began singing professionally with her family's gospel group when she was five.  After marrying young, the everyday struggles of life kept Reed from pursuing her dream of singing full-time until her children were older. Fortunately, she was able to sing in local jazz clubs and at various functions in Phoenix. She became known for her powerful voice and commanding stage presence, and delivered an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, and R&B. She was often the opening act for such headliners as Miles Davis, Etta James, Smokey Robinson, and the Crusaders. In the mid 1990s, she decided to pursue a solo career and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Here she recorded her debut solo album, "I Want You to Love Me," which featured a duet with Lyle Lovett. Her follow-up, "Can't Make It On My Own," featured a duet with Delbert McClinton. The success of these early works resulted in nominations for the prestigious W.C. Handy Award. (Blues Song of the Year and Soul/Blues - Female Artist of the Year - 1997). Reed is perhaps best known for her performances of the classic blues song "Wild Women (Don't Get the Blues)," written in 1924 by Ida Cox. Ida Cox was born in Toccoa. A recording of this song appears on Reed's albums, I Want You to Love Me, I Got a Right!...to Some of My Best, and Blues Collection; as well as on Ichiban Records Wild Women Do Get the Blues and Lyle Lovett's Live in Texas.

 Francine Reed has become one of Atlanta's most treasured artists and continues to expand her fan base at venues around the country. For several months out of the year, she performs in Seattle or San Francisco, appearing as the Chanteuse for Teatro ZinZanni. She describes the avant-garde production as "Cirque du Soleil meets dinner-in-the-round, on acid." Reed continually blesses audiences with her amazing vocals and vibrant personality; she is truly a musical experience that should not be missed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Historic Plaque Installation TOMORROW

The third historic plaque in the 2015-2016 series of ten plaques dedicated to downtown buildings will be mounted on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 5 p.m., at Hayes of Toccoa, located at 34 S. Pond St.

Marvin Tabor Sr. and his Partner Dick Barron opened Tabor Motor Company in the 1930’s.  The Tabor Motor Company began on Tugalo Street selling Chevy automobiles.  The business lay dormant during World War II as there were no automobiles being sold.  After the war was over, Marvin Tabor, Sr. built the current building and moved the business to Pond Street.  They sold Buick and GMC trucks, later expanding to selling Pontiac and Cadillac vehicles.  Mr. Burrell took over the Chevy dealership when the Tabor Motor Company moved.  Ed Holcombe was the dealer of Tabor Motor Company from 1959-1986.  Stan Roberts operated the dealership from 1986-2006, selling Buick, GMC, Pontiac, and Cadillac vehicles.  In 2006 Hayes acquired the franchise. 

The historic plaque program highlights ten historic buildings in Toccoa, and the remaining plaques are set to follow each month. Once all plaques have been installed, a walking tour podcast will accompany them to further bring historical awareness to downtown Toccoa.

Everyone is invited to attend this event! The Main Street Office is happy to answer any questions. Please contact Weslie Clark at 706.282.3232 for inquiries. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Christmas Fest 2015

Main Street Toccoa will sponsor the sixth annual Christmas Fest and Festival of Trees on December 5 – 6, 2014 in historic downtown Toccoa. Many activities will take place during this special weekend.

The downtown streets will be turned into a magical place Friday night December 5 at 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. as Santa will greet the young and old alike. He will be there to talk with the children and for the children to get their pictures taken with him.  Santa’s Express train, a horse and carriage ride, and a live nativity with animals that the children can pet will also be a part of this special evening.

Christmas entertainment will begin at 5:00 with Clemson Jazz Band and The Dance Studio at 6:00. The Clemson Jazz Band will finish off the evening from 7:00 – 8:00. The entertainment stage will be located at the intersection of Pond St. and Doyle St. under the city’s Christmas tree. The lighting of the tree will be at 8:00 p.m.

For those who like to shop, several downtown businesses and restaurants will be open with special sales and refreshments during the evening. Troup’s, CK Morgan and Company, Downtown Flowers, Just Sew Pretty, Sew Fabulous, Ferals, x-Factor Grill, Spa and Salon Anastasia, {ashling}Booksellers, Victoria’s Sweet Treats, Mt. Cove Pottery, Master’s Touch Artworks, The Chattel Shop, and All Things Currahee will be open until 8:00 p.m.

The Christmas Sage Market will be located in the former Gold’s Gym at 9 Doyle St. It will be open on Friday from 3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Over twenty local artists and crafters will have Christmas decorations as well as Christmas gifts.

Beautifully decorated trees will be on display at the Festival of Trees located in the Stephens County Historic Courthouse. Six artists from Stephens County have decorated 10 trees which will be auctioned off at the end of Friday evening. Beginning on Thursday, December 3, visitors will be able to view the trees from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Friday, December 4. At 8:30 the trees will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Proceeds of the sale will go to the United Way.

On Saturday morning, December 5, the X-Factor Grill will be offering a Breakfast with Santa from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Price is $5.00. The Christmas Sage Market will be open from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

The following streets will close on Friday, December 5 due to the events;
  • Sage Street from Tugalo Street to Doyle Street from 12:00 noon- 10:00 p.m.
  • Pond Street from Tugalo Street to Foreacre Street from 2:00 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Sage Street from Doyle Street to Foreacre Street from 2:00 – 900 p.m.
  • Doyle Street from Alexander Street to Troup’s parking lot from 2:00 – 9:00 p.m.  We will be blocking some parking spaces on these streets earlier in the day but the streets will not be closed until 4:00 

All the parking spaces along Doyle Street from Hill Street to Sage Street will be blocked off Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. in order to keep the street clear for the Christmas Parade.  Doyle Street will continue to be open to traffic but no parking along Doyle Street will be available.  The parking lots and street parking on Pond Street, Sage Street, and West Doyle will still be available for use.