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Events spring up in Jackson County area
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Art Trax
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
Where: City square and The Depot, Hoschton
How much: Free
Contact: 706-654-9173 or

Braselton Bash
Car show and chili cook-off
When: 3-8 p.m. Saturday
Where: YearOne, Braselton TechCenter, 1001 Cherry Drive, Braselton
How much: Free, $10 to enter car; $5 for unlimited chili tasting

The Antique and Gardening Festival
When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 25 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 26
Where: Braselton Town Park
How much: Free
Contact: 706-824-7204

Braselton and Hoschton plan to usher in the spring season with three upcoming events featuring a blend of art, entertainment, cars, chili and the outdoors.

A weekend of art

Art Trax activities will be located in downtown Hoschton in city square and across the street at The Depot.

So far, an estimated 35 artists are scheduled to showcase their wares, including stone and woodworking, glass, jewelry, metal, pottery and painting.

This year's featured artist, Broderick Crawford, specializes in acrylic painting and owns Crawford Art Gallery in Clayton.

"He does really unique scenes of old stores, old buildings, animals (and) wildlife," said Robbie Bettis, owner of Braselton Antique Mall and one of the event's organizers.

Crawford will help kick off the festival on Friday at an invitation-only opening night celebration at C. Robin Wyatt's law office on White Street. During the event, Crawford will reveal the art piece he will auction off at the festival, said councilman John Schulte.

Performances by several musicians, actors and dancers also will add to the weekend's art-driven theme.

The Jefferson High School Drama Dragons will perform part of the musical "Oklahoma," and Stone Mountain-based Up Front Barbershop Quartet will sing a medley of comedy, gospel and western tunes.

Other acts include dancers from The Drake School of Irish Dance and flutist Keith Davis of Jefferson, who recently passed the first level of auditions for the TV show "America's Got Talent."

Schulte said he started Art Trax three years ago as a way to bolster publicity for Hoschton.

"What I tried to do was identify certain activities and types of people that supports our activities to bring business traffic to town."

Together with the fall festival, the Hoschton Harvest Tractor Hoedown and the city's recent attempt to break the scarecrow world record, Art Trax is another way to make Hoschton a "destination city where people can come and have fun," Schulte said.

Drive on down to YearOne

Art Trax visitors can also get their fill of chili and cars later that day at the Braselton Bash at YearOne.

The bash is the second in a series of car shows between March and November sponsored by YearOne.

Participants can pay $10 to enter their ride in the car show, which will be from 3 to 8 p.m., and prizes will be awarded to the top 25 cars.

At the same time, The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce will hold its fifth annual Chamber Chili Cook Off from 3 to 6 p.m. Chili chefs will have from noon to 3 p.m. to prepare their best chili concoctions.

A $5 armband will give visitors unlimited tastes of the chili and a ticket for their favorite bowl, according to Linda Foster, vice president of member services for the chamber.

"Or, if you don't want an arm band, tickets are 50 cents each and you get a taste for one ticket and a bowl for five tickets," she said.

Chili teams will be judged based on who has the best tasting chili, the best looking booth and who receives the most tickets to try their chili.

The April Braselton Bash theme is Public Safety Awareness and Law Enforcement Day. Activities will include interactive DUI demonstrations by the Gainesville Police Department and appearances by the Braselton Police Department, West Jackson Fire and Rescue and Life Flight and Georgia State Patrol helicopters, according to the event Web site.

"It's a family-filled day with fun for all family members," Foster said.

On to antiques and gardens

A week later, Braselton will host The Antique and Gardening Festival featuring 50 booths of antiques, collectibles and gardeners, according to Donna Cannella, owner of Countryside Antiques.

"We have different nurseries that set up and we also have five food vendors," she added.

The festival will be held in Braselton Town Park and feature a wide array of jewelry, pottery, glass, furniture, handmade quilts, doilies, china, yard art and plants including annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetables.

Live entertainment, including a performance of Patsy Cline songs and a five-piece band playing bluegrass and gospel tunes, will be provided Saturday and Sunday.

Attendees will also be able to browse Braselton and Hoschton's five antique stores.

Cannella said people should attend the event to have fun, meet neighbors and find great collectibles.

"You might find that hidden treasure you've been looking for," she said.

Regional events