BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The annual Blairsville Sorghum Festival is back in 2021 for the second and third weekends in October at Meeks Park.
COVID-19 protocols resulted in the cancellation of the festival in 2020, but 2021 will give everyone the opportunity to learn about the syrup process again.
In 1969, the festival was held at the Old Union County Courthouse, where they sold jars of Sorghum syrup to passersby. It all started as a way to help children in need, so Junior Bridges, Davey Coker, and Newt Miller came together and with some help from the U.S. Forest Service and Bridges’ wife to boil down sorghum cane, then sell the syrup to raise money.
The event costs $5 admission for people 13 and older. Those under 13 are free. In 2021, Blairsville Sorghum Makers and Enotah CASA are hosting the festival.
Since the humble beginnings on the square, the festival has continued to grow, moving to Fort Sorghum next to Pat Haralson Memorial Civic Center for a time. Until eventually finding its current home at Meek’s Park.
The Sorghum Festival attracts over 10,000 visitors across the two October weekends and showcases the process of making sorghum syrup, as well as other old-timey contests such as pole climbing, log sawing, horseshoe pitching, rock-throwing, and biscuit eating.
Of course, the biscuit eating contest provides contestants with premium sorghum syrup to help them eat as much as possible and enjoy it.
Pole climbers must be able to ascend the structure using their hands in the fastest time possible to win. The event dates back to at least the 1800s and used to be considered a gymnastic sport. However, at the Sorghum Festival, it’s just part of the fun for participants and festival-goers.
Attendees also wander throughout the many festival vendors to find one-of-a-kind crafts.