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Clarkesville, Lula celebrate annual events in their cities
Wayne Phillips drives his train during last year’s Railroad Days Parade and Festival in Lula. After the parade attendees could ride around downtown Lula on Wayne’s Train. This year’s festival will be Saturday, May 14, at the Lula Depot. - photo by Get Out file photo

40th Railroad Days Festival
When: Parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 14
Where: Lula Depot, 802 W. Walnut St., Lula
Cost: Free
More info: 770-869-3801 or

54th Mountain Laurel Festival
When: 6-9:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 21
Where: Friday night at Sam Pitts Park, 221 Sam Pitts Circle, Clarkesville; Saturday night on the Clarkesville square
Cost: Free
More info: 706-754-4216 or

Two, decades-old festivals bringing parades, arts, crafts and music to North Georgia will return once again this month.

The Railroad Days Festival will be Saturday in Lula, followed by the Mountain Laurel Festival on May 20-21 in Clarkesville.

The 40th annual celebration of Railroad Days will be a one-day event of a parade, entertainment, food and crafts at the Lula Depot, 802 W. Walnut St., Lula.

This year’s parade includes a special grand marshal. East Hall graduate Sterling Bailey recently signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts and will be signing autographs and throwing candy to children during the parade.

The following weekend, the 54th annual Mountain Laurel Festival will bring a parade, arts and entertainment to the streets of Clarkesville.

The Mountain Laurel Festival is the oldest festival of its type in North Georgia. Friday night activities will start at 6 p.m. at Sam Pitts Park, 221 Sam Pitts Circle, Clarkesville.

“The kickoff to the Mountain Laurel Festival on that Friday was planned in conjunction with Friday Night Live — Clarkesville Main Street’s third Friday event,” Main Street Manager Mary Beth Horton said in a release. “The idea is to drive additional traffic into downtown, exposing visitors and festivalgoers to all of the unique offerings on the square, as well as providing a fun-filled night for everyone.”

Friday Night festivities will include a bouncy house, water sprinklers, games and concessions. A live concert from the band Haywire will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Finally, the South State Bank/City of Clarkesville fireworks show will begin at 9:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the festival continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the square with children’s activities, fine arts and craft vendors, an outdoor food court and the Clarkesville Lions Club parade with Beatrice York as the grand marshal.

“We invite everyone to come and enjoy another great day in Clarkesville,” Clarkesville City Manager Barbara Kesler said.

For more information on the festival, contact 706-754-4216 or visit

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