Thursday, December 27, 2018

Malpass Brothers Return to the Ritz on January 4, 2019

Release: Immediate
Contact: Danita Gaudette, 706.244.0039
Date: December 27, 2018
RE: The Malpass Brothers Return to the Historic Ritz Theatre

Toccoa, GA – December 27, 2018 – The Ritz Theatre is very pleased to welcome back North Carolina-based sensation, The Malpass Brothers, on Friday, January 4, 2019 at 7 pm as part of its Night at the Ritz series.

In an age of electronic music, Christopher and Taylor Malpass are grounded in the traditions of country music. The brothers have toured with the late Don Helms, former steel guitarist for Hank Williams, have opened for music legend Merle Haggard on multiple tours and appeared on stages from the Shetland Islands to Ryman Auditorium to Merlefest. Gifted musicians and songwriters, the brothers have shared billing with artists including Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Doyle Lawson, Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, Doc Watson and more. These two talented, down-to-earth brothers from North Carolina are on their way to stardom.

As an added feature to the January 4th concert, ticket goers who arrive early will be treated to a short,
informal session from the Malpass Brothers on the roots and traditions of country music. Main Street
Toccoa sincerely thanks South Arts for providing this educational opportunity before a sellout concert.

Night at the Ritz, a regular event series at the Historic Ritz Theatre, is funded, in part, by a generous
grant received from Georgia Council for the Arts and South Arts. Tickets for all shows may be purchased online at or at the Toccoa Welcome Center. Adult tickets are $10, children under 12 and students with an ID are $5.

For more information on the performance or Night at the Ritz, please contact Ritz Theatre General Manager Danita Gaudette at or via phone at 706.244.0039.


Friends of the Ritz Schedules First Meeting in January

For Immediate Release
Contact: Keith Kozicki, (404) 434-7705
Date: 12/27/2018

RE: Friends of the Ritz, Inc. to hold its first quarterly board meeting of 2019 on January 28th
Toccoa, GA,

The Friends of the Ritz, Inc. a new organization dedicated to raising funds for additional programming and building enhancements at the Historic Ritz Theatre, will hold its first quarterly board meeting Monday, January 28th at 7 PM at the Ritz Theatre. This meeting, which is open to the public, is the first of four board meetings to be held in 2019.

Meeting agenda items include:
- Update on IRS 501(c)(3) status
- Special recognition of Katie Peeples and Johnson & Fields, LLC
- Organizational goals for 2019
- Friends of the Ritz, Inc. basic membership and individual donation plans
- Friends of the Ritz, Inc. business sponsorship and corporate donation plans
- Friends of the Ritz, Inc special "80 for 80" donation campaign
- Discussion of overall marketing plan for the Historic Ritz Theatre aimed at boosting regional
awareness and event attendance
- Feedback from the general public regarding ways to improve the overall Ritz patron experience

"We will be rolling out a number of key fundraising campaigns in 2019 that will directly benefit the Ritz Theatre and we want to have the opportunity to discuss the specifics and share them with the public prior to final approval. It's an exciting time for the Ritz and a significant development for music, film and live theatre fans in Toccoa and the surrounding area," according to Friends of the Ritz, Inc. President Keith Kozicki.

The Friends of the Ritz, Inc board members are:
Alton Adams
Rucia Adams
Marie Cochran
Sharon Crenshaw, Secretary
Sharon Crosby, Treasurer
Evan Hellenga
Keith Kozicki, President
Elaine Alewine Martin
Bill Standard, President-elect

The meeting is open to the public and anyone who is interested in the future of the Historic Ritz Theatre is urged to attend. For more information contact Keith Kozicki, President, Friends of the Ritz, Inc. at (404) 434-7705.


Monday, December 10, 2018

December Will Feature Open Mic Competition

Contact: Danita Gaudette, 706.244.0039



RE: Historic Ritz Theatre Welcomes Open Mic Monday Competition on December 17th

On Monday, December 17 th , the Ritz Theatre in Toccoa is pleased to host the fourth and final
round of the Open Mic Monday competition. The first 12 interested performers to either sign up
by email at or show up at the Historic Ritz Theatre on the evening
of the show before 6:30 pm will be accepted. The December winner receives a $50 prize.

Contestants may play up to two songs lasting not more than 10 minutes. A December finalist will
be selected from a panel of three judges to return for a battle-of-the-singers-type competition on
January 21 st , 2019 to determine an Open Mic Monday 2018 champion. The Grand Finale winner
will receive a paid gig at the Ida Cox Summer Music series in June 2019.
The Historic Ritz Theatre is located at 139 E. Doyle Street in downtown Toccoa. For more
information about Open Mic Monday, contact Danita Gaudette, General Manager, Historic Ritz
Theatre at 706.244.0039.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Festival of Trees Winner Announced

News Release

      Release:  Immediate
Date:       December 3, 2018
Contact:  Sharon Crosby
Re:          Festival of Trees Winner

Festival of Trees Winner

TOCCOA, GA – December 3, 2018 – The eleventh annual Festival of Trees was held on November 30 and December 2 in the Historic Courthouse in downtown Toccoa. Fourteen trees were on display receiving a total of over 850 total votes. For $1 visitors were able to vote for their favorite tree.  Businesses and  non-profit organizations, decorated the trees, many with themes that reflected their organization.  Each group received the proceeds from their votes.  In addition to the money received from the vote, the tree with the most votes won a $500 grand prize.

The groups participating this year were; Toccoa Stephens County Chamber of Commerce for the Currahee Military Museum, 1st Franklin Financial for Powerhouse for Kids, the Friends of the Ritz, the Lion’s Club for Girl Scout Troop 11423, Friends of the Toccoa Stephens County Library, Cubscout Pack 77, Stephens County Hospital, Shepherd’s Hill Academy, Family Connections of Stephens County, Barefoot Youth of Toccoa First United Methodist Church, Clary Care Center and Wilkinson Center, Stephens County Senior Center, Carnes Creek Volunteer Fire Department and Sweet Mountain Honey Co.

The tree with the most votes over the two - day display was sponsored by Sweet Mountain Honey Co. for CASA. The beautifully decorated tree was bee themed and showed many uses of honey. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 951 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. Volunteer advocates—empowered directly by the courts—offer judges the critical information they need to ensure that each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care. Volunteers stay with children until they are placed in loving permanent homes. For many abused children, a CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.

“Congratulations to Sweet Mountain Honey for winning the most votes and for raising much needed funds for CASA. We are so thankful for the wonderful work that CASA does for the children in our community. All the trees were beautiful and each group worthy of the money that was raised,” said Sharon Crosby, City of Toccoa Special Events Coordinator. “We would like to thank each organization and business that put up a tree. Each one was beautiful and reflected the group they represented.”


Historic Plaque to be Placed on Just Right Catering

Press Release

Release: Immediate

Contact:  Christian Hamilton, 706.898.5777

RE: Historic Plaque Ceremony, Main Street Cafe, December 6, 2018

TOCCOA, GA – The fourth historic plaque in the 2018 – 2019 series of plaques dedicated to downtown buildings will be unveiled on Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 5 p.m., at 46 East Doyle Street, the current location of Just Right Catering and the former location of the Main Street Cafe.

The building which housed the Main Street Café was home to many various businesses over the years, including Lola’s Beauty Salon, Grace’s Beauty Salon, the Main Street Café, and The State Restaurant. Unique at the time in Downtown Toccoa, this storefront was capable of housing multiple businesses due to separate egresses in the structure. It still looks very much the same it would have back in 1927 when it was constructed. More information will be available during the ceremony.

 The historic plaque program highlights historic buildings in Toccoa, and the remaining plaques are set to follow each month. Once all plaques have been installed, they will be added to Main Street Toccoa’s Historic Walking Tour Guide.

The Main Street Office is happy to answer any questions regarding the Historic Plaque Program. Please contact Christian Hamilton at 706.898.5777 for inquiries.