Concert at Mercier Orchards – June 2nd


Fire and Ice a success in Blue Ridge

Community, Downtown Blue Ridge

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Once a year in the dead of winter, things get spicy in downtown Blue Ridge as residents and tourists alike experience a “chili” weekend in February.

The eighth annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off Festival, brought to you by the Blue Ridge Business Association partnering with the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, kicked off Saturday, Feb. 17, and brought in crowds despite the weather.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Fire and Ice, Chili Cook Off, Blue Ridge Business Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, David Ralston, B. Alison Sosebee, Kay Kendall, Doug David, Bob Evans, Cesar Martinez, Cindy Trimble, People's Choice Award, Chester Brunnenmeyer's Bar and Grill, Blue Jeans Pizza, Blue Ridge Brewery, Project Chimps, Habitat for Humanity, Hot House Missionary Church, Grilling Gangsters, Kelly Barton, Pitstop Chili, Boar's Nesters, Mercier Orchards, Chuck's Moonshine Chili

Crowds enjoyed the live ice sculpting demonstration provided by Rock On Ice.

Visitors to the festival were welcomed to take part in the judging of the chili cook off where the contestant with the highest number of votes takes home the coveted People’s Choice award.

The Fire and Ice Festival also now holds the honor of being the largest ice sculpting display in the Southeast. Award-winning National Ice Carving Champion Rock On Ice created many unique sculptures sponsored by several area businesses and demonstrated their difficult art form firsthand with live ice sculpting demonstrations in the park.

Official Chili Cook Off judges were also on hand to judge this years 16 contestants and to award first, second, and third place in four different categories.

Among the guest judges were Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston, Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee, former celebrity chef Bob Evans, developer Doug David, and former chef and restaurant owner Kay Kendall.

“This is really one of the bigger events put on by the business association,” Blue Ridge Business Association President Cesar Martinez spoke about the festival.

Martinez explained that despite the unpredictable weather, this year’s festival saw a large turn out: “Better than last year. Last year, it rained actually more than this.”

Guest announcer Cindy Trimble took the stage at 3 p.m. for the moment that everyone had been waiting for, the announcement of 2018 Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off winners.

Trimble explained that judges were given five categories in which they had to rate each chili. These categories were aroma, color, taste, texture, and after-taste. Each category was rated on a scale of 1-to-10 and points from all judges were then added together to determine a winner.

The maximum number of points possible for a contestant to receive was 250.

The winners for each category were:

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Fire and Ice, Chili Cook Off, Blue Ridge Business Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, David Ralston, B. Alison Sosebee, Kay Kendall, Doug David, Bob Evans, Cesar Martinez, Cindy Trimble, People's Choice Award, Chester Brunnenmeyer's Bar and Grill, Blue Jeans Pizza, Blue Ridge Brewery, Project Chimps, Habitat for Humanity, Hot House Missionary Church, Grilling Gangsters, Kelly Barton, Pitstop Chili, Boar's Nesters, Mercier Orchards, Chuck's Moonshine Chili

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill took home the People’s Choice Award for a second year in a row.

Adult Individual
1. Grilling Gangsters with 176 points
2. Kelly Barton with 174 points
3. Pitstop Chili with 153 points

Team Adult
1. Boars Nesters with 175 points
2. Mercier Orchards with 162 points
3. Chuck’s Moonshine Chili with 155 points

Civic Team
1. Project Chimps with 178 points
2. Habitat for Humanity with 164 points
3. Hot House Missionary Church with 129 points

1. Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill with 168 points
2. Blue Jeans Pizza with 166 points
3. Blue Ridge Brewery with 165 points

Project Chimps, a sanctuary for chimpanzees, received the highest rating by the judges, and Trimble pointed out a uniqueness to their recipe: “This was a really unusually chili and you guys loved it.”

The recipe used by Project Chimps was “chimp friendly,” meaning that all the ingredients used were ingredients that the chimps could also eat and often do for their meals.

Finally, the coveted People’s Choice award was given. Out of 934 ballots turned in by visitors to the festival, Chester Brunnenmeyer’s received 185 of those votes, giving them the people’s choice chili award for a second year in a row.


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Natalie Kissel

Young Farmers Association Monthly Meeting

Community, Rebel's Corner

The October monthly meeting of the Fannin County Young Farmers Association was held at Mercier Orchards on Monday, October 16 at 8:00am. Association business was discussed and the group was treated to a talk and tour from Mr. Tim Mercier. Mercier Orchards was the sponsor for the breakfast. 25 were in attendance. The next FCYF function will be held on November 9 at the United Community Bank Community Room in Blue Ridge at 6:00pm. A presentation will be given by Sgt. Ryan Fowler from the Georgia Motor Carrier compliance division. He will be discussing the MAP 21 legislature pertaining to those who haul logs, equipment, livestock, hay, etc.

FCYF October Meeting Announcement


Fannin County

Young Farmers Association Meeting

Monday, October 16, 2017

8:00 am at Mercier Orchards

FCYF Business Meeting

Mercier Family Business Talk and Tour

Agri-Tourism Talk and Tour

Anyone 18 years old or older and who has an interest in

Agriculture is welcome to attend

FCYF members are free

Non-members we ask you pay $5.00 for your breakfast

FCYF membership can be paid on site

Breakfast is being sponsored by Mercier Orchards

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce June Newsletter

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce  Newsletter
June 2017

Leading the way to economic vitality and quality of life in Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Morganton and all of beautiful Fannin County, Georgia. Together we prosper.

Tuesday, June 20
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Vault Blue Ridge logo
260 West Main St.- Blue Ridge

Congratulations Leadership Fannin 2017

“This class was very engaged and enthusiastic from day one. I know they will be a wonderfully positive influence on our community.” – Wanda Dostall
Congratulations to the steering committee and participants of Leadership Fannin 2017! The Leadership Fannin is coordinated by Wanda Dostall. The 2017 Steering Committee members included: Mark Belongie, Chairman
Eddie Ayers and Lynn Dwyer, Knowing Your Community;
Sarah Dunn, Social Services;
Lou Ann Potito, Health Care;
Heather Finley, Education;
Dana Chastain, Local Government;
Christie Arp, Economic Development and
Jan Hackett and Paul Gribble, Tourism
Members of the Class of 2017
Ken Banwart, Heartwood Health, Art and Yoga; Ryan Beadnell, Harvest on Main; Connie Clark; Dawn Cochran, Fannin County Tax Assessors Office; Jeff DePaola, Mountain Place Realty; Kelly Devine, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty;  John Drullinger, Fannin County Animal Control; Tony Dyer, Park Sterling Bank; Pam Fink, LG Web Consulting; Courtnie Fowler, Mountain Top Cabin Rentals; Toots Greene; Kayla Garceau, Serenberry Vineyards;  Gene Holcombe, Blue Ridge Bed & Breakfast; Shannon Miller, Fannin County Board of Education; Ginger Mize; Don Mull; Brian Mundy, Mundy Heat & Air; Nancy Norton; Sandy Ott, University of North Georgia; Mel Rothchild; Cindy Stone, United Community Bank; Rita Suiter, Mercier Orchards;  and Richard Turner, Masseria.

Newsworthy …
Fannin Regional/Riverstone Merger
David Sanders, CEO of Fannin Regional Hospital, announced the merger of Fannin Regional Hospital with Riverstone MDPC to create Riverstone Medical Group.  Fannin Regional Hospital is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary with over 300 employees and an economic impact of over $100 million a year. “It certainly is our intent to continue to grow and expand services here locally and continue to have that positive impact.” – David Sanders

Keep Fannin Beautiful: Adopt-A-Road!

Interested in helping? Civic-minded organizations, businesses and individuals can adopt a stretch of county road in the community where they are living or elsewhere in the county. For more information on the Adopt-A-Road program, CLICK HERE.

Also, beginning June 1st, the Fannin County Land Development Office  will issue citations to garbage haulers who do not have garbage properly tarped or covered. This measure along with the Fannin County Adopt-A-Road program is a great way to help keep our roads clean!

Check Out the Trout Art Trail!

Blue Ridge has 9 beautiful trout sculptures produced by local artists for the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association — and they are on view in downtown and at the Chamber Welcome Center on Orvin Lance Drive. Open and print the map above to discover all nine!

Welcome New Members!

Awning Builders of Atlanta
3355 Lenox Rd.,
Atlanta, GA, 30326
Clint Love
Awning Builders of Atlanta is proud to provide guaranteed and quality products backed by a 10 year warranty. All Awning Builders Awnings feature Sunbrella fabric – the leader in exterior fabrics for both beauty and longevity. Choose from hundreds of colors and designs to perfectly match your vision for your outdoor living space. With a fabrication facility and full engineering and design department, they are able to fill residential or commercial custom orders.
Lularoe Spring Creek Boutique
88 Cherokee Springs Trail,
Cherry Log, GA, 30522
Erin Gwinn
Lularoe is extremely comfortable, unique, quality clothing that comes in a wide variety of styles, designs and sizes for women, men and children.

June Community Events Calendar
May 13 – June 10 SAAG Spring Art Show, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
May 18-June 4 No Sex Please, We’re British, Blue Ridge Community Theater
June 2Downtown Drum Circle, Downtown Blue Ridge
June 2Senior Fishing Rodeo, Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
June 3 16th Annual Burra Burra Kids Carnival, Ducktown Basin Museum
June 3Family Fishing Festival, Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
June 3 Breathe Deep, Move to the Groove Concert, Mercier Orchards
June 3 St. Luke’s Anniversary Concert, St. Lukes Episcopal Church
June 4 Firefly Music & Treo of Blue Ridge presents a Wine Pairing Music Event, Treo Blue Ridge
June 9 Second Saturday Merchant Walk, Downtown Blue Ridge
June 9 Movies in the Park presents Moana, Downtown City Park
June 9-11Gemini Music Fest Concert, Fox Mountain Artist Retreat & Campground
June 10Maria Howell & Noel Freidline Concert, Blue Ridge Community Theater
June 14-18Dancing Tree Festival 2017, Heartwood Community
June 17-July 22 Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
June 17Tri-State Model Railroaders Open House, Mineral Bluff Historic Depot
June 18Sunday Supper on The Farm, The Cook’s Farm
June 23Classic Car Cruise-In, Dairy Queen
June 24Firefly Music presents Wade Hayes in Concert, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
June 30Firecracker Special Train Ride, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
July 1 Fireworks at Lake Blue Ridge, Lake Blue Ridge Marina
Recurring Events
* Trivia Tuesdays, Fightingtown Tavern


* Bingo, Kiwanis Fairgrounds
* Trivia Night! Fannin Brewing Company
* Pickin’ In Horseshoe Bend Park
*Blue Ridge Farmers Market, Downtown Blue Ridge
* Brewery Tours & Tastings: Thursday through Saturday’s at  Fannin Brewing CompanyGrumpy Old Men and Mercier Orchards.
* Swan Drive-inNow Playing
In This Issue
Business After Hours
Leadership Fannin Class of 2017
Trout Art Trail
New Members
Community Events Calendar

Chamber Events
June 6 – Ribbon Cutting for CK Laboratories, 51 Overview Dr., Blue Ridge
10:00 a.m.
June 7 – Lunch N Leads, Blue Jeans Pizza and Pasta Factory
12:00 p.m.
June 8 – Ribbon Cutting for Cloud Hopper Aerial Pix, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
June 13 – Ribbon Cutting for MNM Cleaning & Management Services, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
June 13 – Golf Committee Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
12:00 p.m.
June 14 – Board of Directors Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room, Executive Committee Meeting at 11:00 a.m., Board Meeting at 12:00 p.m.
June 15 – Ribbon Cutting for The Mountain Life/Keller Williams Team, 1665 Appalachian Hwy., Blue Ridge
10:00 a.m.
June 20 – Business After Hours at The Vault Blue Ridge, 260 West Main St., Blue Ridge
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
June 22 – Ambassador Lunch, Location TBD
12:00 p.m.
Membership Renewals
Thank you!
3 Monkeys Antiques, Inc
Allie Harper
AngelFire 7 BBQ

Appalachian Physicians Group – Dr. Clifford Thompson and Dr. Jonathan Bloch, F.A.C.S.General Surgery

Appalachian Physicians Group – Dr. Emily Sue Burnham, Internal Medicine
Aska Lodge B&B, LLC
Best Solar Control
Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company
Blue Ridge Brewery
Blue Ridge Community Theater
Blue Ridge Cotton Company
Blue Ridge Flowers
Blue Ridge Framing Company
Blue Ridge Mineral Springs RV Park and Tent Camping
Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters – Copperhill
Blue Ridge Village
Broadview Cove Apartments

Carol L. Smith – Coldwell Banker / High Coun

try Realty
Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill
Copperhill Country Cabins
Eagles Rest
Edward Jones, Amanda Payne
Edwin C. Pound, III, MD, PC
Family Life Chiropractic Center
Fannin County Empty Stocking Program, Inc.
Free Time Hobbies
Georgia Foothills Hand Surgery
Gracious Me!
Hilburn Solutions, Inc.
Hometown Foods IGA
Iron Bridge General Store & Cafe
Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters
Kimberly Bruner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty
Morganton Grill
Mountain Gateway Appraisal
Mountain Laurel Cabin Rentals
Mountain Property Limited
Multitudes Gallery
Nancy MacLean, Century 21 In The Mountains
Nevaeh Cabin Rentals
New Blue Home & Gift
North GA Stone
Nottely River Valley Vineyards
Out of the Blue, Inc.
RE/MAX – Town & Country
Reel’em In Guide Service
Rum Cake Lady Bakery & Cuban Cafe
Serenity in the Mountains Hair, Nails & Body Spa
Shamrock Septic Service
Southern Car & Truck Center
Stan Hamm, Real Estate Around the Mountains
The Diamond Center
The Mail Box Company
The Toccoa Lodge
The Vault of Blue Ridge, LLC
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant
Tupelo Tea
Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge
Member to Member Ads


WFE – Kindergarten field trip

West Fannin Elem

On Tuesday, April 11th our kindergarten students travelled to the Chattanooga Aquarium. The students had a great time learning about all the different animals. They particularly loved the marine aquarium and the butterfly garden.  Thank you to our many t-shirt sponsors that enable us to have matching t-shirts for our field trips and field day. Our 2017 sponsors are: Copper Basin FCU, Copper Basin Vet Clinic, Dillion Miller, MD Family Practice, El Rio Mexican Restaurant, Habanero’s Tex Mex, Jabaley Eye Care, Mercier Orchards, Preferred Medical Products, Shoreline Solutions LLC, The Lilly Pad Village, West Fannin PTO.

WFE field trip

Kindergarten field trip – left to right: Tallie Mull, Bryson Mull, Bentlee Elmore, Blake Martell

The Fannin County School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, creed, or disability in admission to its programs, services, and activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. For additional information or referral to the appropriate system coordinator, contact the system superintendent’s office at 2290 East First Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513 or 706-632-3771.   ­­


Congratulations Fannin County High School Graduates 2016

Rebel's Corner

Congratulations to Fannin High School Graduates 2016!  Fannin County officially wrapped up the school year by holding the 2016 Graduation on the Football Field Friday May 20th 2016.


Follow the link for photos:  Fannin County High School Graduation 2016


U-Fishing with Fannin Fishing Club at Mercier’s Orchards

Community, Rebel's Corner

Glorious spring weather made fishing comfortable for the young kids at Mercier Orchards at the spring U-Fish on Saturday, May 7th.  The Fannin Fishing Club was there to make it successful for the kids by helping them bait hooks, cast and unhook fish.

Fannin County Fishing Club is in its first year.  The club is for students from 7th to 12th grades.  The club is sponsored through Fannin County schools, but receives monetary support from various local and commercial sponsors.  Club members compete against other schools and organizations in fishing tournaments as local as Lake Nottely and as far as Lake Chickamagua.  Some of the competitions have as many as 644 people (322 boats) out in two-man teams.

coach with kids

Wesley Chastain, coach, with two members of the Fannin Fishing Club

Wesley Chastain is Fannin County Fishing Club’s coach.  He works in the maintenance department for the Fannin County School System.  Mr. Chastain volunteered to start the club  because he wanted to give students a chance to get “hooked into” fishing and receive guidance while they are at it.  Also, he is thinking about the students’ education after high school.  Mr. Chastain states that many colleges now have competitive fishing teams and the schools offer athletic scholarships for team members.  In fact, Mr. Chastain has already arranged scholarships for club members.  The Lake Blue Ridge Civic Association is giving $2,000 scholarships to team members to use for university, college or technical school training.  Mr. Chastain invites local fishing enthusiasts to see pictures of the Fishing Clubs’ competitions on the Fannin Fishing Clubs’ Instagram page.






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