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Northeast Georgia's oldest festival is back
Clarkesville hosts Mountain Laurel event
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The 49th annual Mountain Laurel Festival returns to Clarkesville on Saturday.

The festival was recently named in the Top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, and is the oldest festival of its type in North Georgia.

City manager Barbara Kesler is very excited about this weekend’s festivities.

“I hope that we’re going to have a great year. We have so many people in the community who have worked so hard to put this together,” Kesler said.

Several events are planned to entertain the crowd on Saturday.

Festivities kick off with a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast at the Clarkesville United Methodist Church put on by the Kiwanis Club.

At 10 a.m., there will be a parade. This year’s festival has an agriculture theme, and long-time Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin will be the grand marshal for the parade.

“The parade is always a blast. It’s always a favorite for the kids, and one of the most popular events at the festival,” Kesler said.

Additionally, fine arts and craft vendors will be set up around the square.

More children’s activities are sponsored by the Kiwanis Club, and local artist John Kollock will be on hand at the Mauldin House garden to sketch children.

Traditional Appalachian lifestyle demonstrations will be held at the Mauldin House, and the Millinery Shop and Big Holly Cabin will be open for touring.

Local entertainment will be provided throughout the day at Sam Pitts Park from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“If you’re looking for family fun on Saturday, come to Clarkesville. There will be something for everyone to enjoy,” Kesler said. “There is something fun for everyone to do.”

“It’s truly an arts and crafts festival, with something for anyone who enjoys arts and crafts.”

The Mountain Laurel Festival is free and open to the public.

It will take place at several locations around Clarkesville. For more information, contact the city of Clarkesville at 706-754-4216.