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Upcoming Fall and Holiday Happenings in Ball Ground

Now that fall has arrived, it’s a great time to pack up the family and head to Ball Ground to see what’s happening! The beautiful Ball Ground Botanical Garden and Calvin Farmer Park make the perfect spot for a family picnic or those long overdue family photos.As you travel through downtown, don’t let the seasonal “visitors” give you a fright. It’s Ball Ground’s annual Invasion of the Scarecrows contest! Each year, Karla Weaver and the Ball Ground Main Street Board sponsor this event, along with the Ball Ground Business Association. The contest is open to individuals, businesses, organizations, and clubs with a Ball Ground address. If you are interested in participating, please contact Karla Weaver at 770-735-2123 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The winners will be announced at the Spooktacular event Friday, October 25.

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Holly Springs Construction Update

Town Center Road Network Project Update
The city council approved the contract with Georgia Development Partners on May 20 for the construction of the Town Center Road Network Project. The project includes the construction of a roundabout on Hickory Road east of Cherokee Fire Station #8, the addition of a westbound travel lane from the roundabout to Holly Springs Parkway, the construction of a new roadway from Palm Street to Hickory Road starting at Walnut Street, and the conversion of the end of Palm Street to a right-in/right-out intersection. Construction began in late July with an estimated completion of fall 2020. 

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Ball Ground’s Roberts Lake Park Project

At its June meeting, the Ball Ground City Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of properties from five different landowners and to seek funding for the purchase from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, administered by the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority, for the Roberts Lake Park Project.The idea to purchase this beautiful gift from nature began on a hot summer day in July 2008. City Manager Eric Wilmarth and City Council Member John Byrd laid their eyes on something they knew about but had never seen. Each had heard of the beauty of Roberts Lake and how it once supplied power to Ball Ground in the 1920s but had never had the opportunity to visit. After reaching their destination, only accessible by an all-terrain vehicle or on foot, they were in awe. They immediately knew this property would offer something great for Ball Ground.

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Inaugural Etowah Film Festival

As Laine Wood sat in a film festival with friends in her old hometown of Sanford, Florida, a year ago, a seed began to germinate, and an idea was born. Fast forward to May 24, and welcome to the inaugural Etowah Film Festival (EFF) in Canton.Wood found a business partner in Brent Lambert-Zaffino, and the two began contacting filmmakers, actors, producers, directors, and sponsors to promote their product, and submissions began arriving.

Several people reviewed the submissions, spending about 100 hours judging entries. Genres included Documentary, Domestic Violence, Subject Narrative, Feature Narrative, Student Short, Horror Film Short, Georgia High School Film, and Animated Film. Though it’s an international film festival, many of the entries were created locally by native Georgia writers, producers, crews, and actors.

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In Memory of Former Holly Springs Mayor, Johnny Brackett

By Hannah Mitchell

Former Holly Springs Mayor Johnny Brackett passed away April 15, 2019. To honor his years of service to the City, we would like to dedicate this month’s column to his memory. This eulogy was written by Mayor Brackett’s granddaughter, Hannah Mitchell. — Erin Honea, Main Street Director, City of Holly Springs

Johnny was born February 12, 1943 at home in the North Canton Mill Village to Cecil and Ruby Brackett. The doctor gave the wrong date when he filled out the paperwork and put down February 14 instead. He was married July 23, 1961 to Barbara “Bobbie” Williams in a secret ceremony in Dallas, Georgia, and kept it a secret until Thanksgiving of that year.  

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Summer Fun in Ball Ground

Spring has sprung, and the first official day of summer is only a few short weeks away. Time to hit the road to enjoy all life has to offer. Each waking moment is precious time God gives us to spend with family and friends. Take advantage of that time and head to Ball Ground. Though small compared to other cities, what Ball Ground has to offer is an experience you won’t find anywhere else.Downtown Development/Main Street Director Karla Weaver invites you to take advantage of a unique shopping and dining experience. Our calendar of events lists the season’s first Concert in the Park featuring the Local Legends band on June 1. Greg Henderson and his band will provide you with an evening of your favorite rock and country tunes.

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Mark Your Calendar — Upcoming Canton Events

Spring has sprung, and the beautiful weather means outdoor activities. Kicking off the season will be the Canton Festival of the Arts in Brown Park on May 4-5, which is always a fun event with an artist market, children’s activities, live music, food vendors, and this year’s new addition — a Chalk Walk. Preregistration is suggested for the Chalk Walk, but walk-up entries are welcome if space and supplies are available. There is a small fee to register. For more information, visit, or call the Arts Center at 770-704-6244. The festival is a rain or shine event that goes from 10:00am-5:00pm both days.With all the spring cleaning surely to occur, remember that Canton has Dumpster Day the first Saturday of every month, 8:00am-12:00pm, at 151 Elizabeth Street. Dumpster Days are provided for City of Canton residents only. Please bring proof of residency when dropping off items. The following items are NOT accepted: CRT TV or monitor (old style tube televisions or computer monitors), refrigerators, fuel tanks, motor oil, fuel drums, household hazardous waste, antifreeze, wet paint, paint thinners, pesticides, pool chemicals, or commercial waste. If you have any questions, contact Code Compliance Manager Merrick McClure at 770-704-1554, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Away We Grow!

Southern Environmental Services, Inc. demolished the structures on the future Town Center site and removed asphalt, concrete, and utilities in February. The company also removed the house and ancillary structures near the intersection of Palm and Walnut Streets in preparation for the construction of the new roadway from Palm Street to Hickory Road. Southeastern Engineering, Inc. completed the civil drawings for the Town Center road network in February. Construction is expected to begin this summer.In late spring, Baldwin Paving Company, Inc. is scheduled to complete the Holly Springs Parkway Widening Project and all associated infrastructure improvements from Sixes Road north to the intersection with Rabbit Hill Road. Backfilling over Toonigh Creek was completed in February, and construction of the eastern travel lanes is underway. The traffic light mast arms have been installed at the intersection of Holly Springs Parkway and Rabbit Hill Road.

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The Ball Ground Senior Center

Where is the best place for an active senior adult to spend time with friends? The Ball Ground Senior Center (388 Groover Street), of course! This beautiful new facility opened its doors in 2018 and has become “the place to be” for local seniors. If you are age 60 or older, you are invited to drop by all three days the center is open: Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and Thursday from 10:00am to 2:00pm.If you attend Senior Center activities Tuesday and Wednesday, you can have lunch with friends for only $1.50. Where else can you get a deal like that? If you prefer coming by on Thursday, you can enjoy “Coffee Talk Day” with other area seniors.

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2019 Signature Community Projects

Four major development projects will highlight the future of Canton this year: the Etowah River Trailways Network, Marietta Road Community Initiative, Archer Street Parking Deck, and the Canton Residential Strategy.1.Etowah River Trailways Network

This project will continue the development of the Trailways through existing parkland while working within neighboring connection points including residential and commercial nodes, utility easements, sidewalks, government structures, and recreational amenities.

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2019 Special Events in Holly Springs

Holly Springs offers fun things to do all year long, so mark your calendars now! Additional details can be found at

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Ball Ground Is the Place to Be in 2019

Ball Ground ended 2018 bigger and better than ever, with downtown Ball Ground continuing to grow, as new businesses discover that it is the place to be. What was once a sleepy town filled with rocks is now a thriving community where people meet for lunch or dinner, shop, attend concerts, or just take a stroll through the park. Ball Ground has it all!Mayor Rick Roberts and Council Members John Byrd, Frank Homiller, Mickey O’Malley, Lee Prettyman, and Andrenia Stoner are second to none when it comes to elected officials. Nowhere will you find a more dedicated group of men and women working to keep pace with the ever-changing times while maintaining the charm of a small town where everyone wants to live, work, and play.

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Holly Springs Update

Holly Springs City Council approved the 2019 Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) list of roads to be repaired and resurfaced last October. The list includes Hickory Road from the eastern city limits to Sequoyah Circle, Palm Street from Amanda Lane to the southern city limits, and Rabbit Hill Road from I-575 to Marble Quarry Road.The City Council also approved several stormwater projects to address drainage issues throughout Holly Springs. These projects were awarded to Excellere Construction in the amount of $65,300. In addition, the City has started surveying work for a stormwater project to address drainage issues along Palm Street near Palm Lake. This work will be completed before Palm Street is resurfaced in the summer.

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Update: The Mill on Etowah

Developers Penn Hodge and Grant Schmeelk, with a combined experience in development of over 35 years, purchased the property at 141 Railroad Street, formerly the Canton Textile Mill. Once a denim factory, it will feature a brewery, several restaurants, a 50,000-square-foot retail space, a massive outdoor artificial grass activity area, possibly a covered pavilion space, and a co-working office space.The co-working space will be called Thrive. There are Thrive spaces located in Milton and Alpharetta. You can learn more at A co-working space has a membership fee and allows a person to work comfortably away from home and have a place to meet one person or a group. It also has dedicated office space, providing a place to stop in between appointments. Most have a snack bar and WiFi.

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The Rearview Mirror

Have you ever noticed that the windshield of your car is very large compared to the rearview mirror? Car manufacturers expect you to spend most of your driving time focused on where you are going, not where you have been. However, a rearview mirror is included to give us an opportunity to see the roadway over which we have traveled. As I glance into the rearview mirror, I recognize important landmarks for myself and the professional police officers of the Holly Springs Police Department.The first landmark in my rearview mirror is becoming the Chief of Police. Was I nervous and a little apprehensive? You bet I was. But the footing is sure, and I am reminded to be brave. With this assurance, I can face the challenges of tomorrow with confidence because others have stood with me and given me strength. 

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The History of Ball Ground’s Close-Knit Community

Ball Ground has always been a thriving, close-knit community throughout its 135 years of existence. That’s because Ball Ground has always been comprised of hardworking people who care about where they live, work, and play. Local people started businesses, which provided jobs for those who didn’t have transportation to drive anywhere else.

Being just down the road from Tate, GA, the Roberts Marble Company, the Consumers Monument Company, and the Ball Ground Monument Company provided many jobs for the locals. The Harris Lumber Company, Stancil Manufacturing, Ingram Trucking, Citizens Bank, and the Ingram Motor Company also provided many jobs, just to name a few. Only in small-town America could you walk to work, the grocery store, the post office, the bank, school, or anywhere else you needed to go.

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Reducing Single-Use Plastic Consumption to Keep Canton Beautiful

Plastic — it’s everywhere we go; it’s a product upon which we have come to heavily depend. It’s also littering everywhere we go now, too. Plastics are made from natural materials such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants. Technically, rubber from the rubber tree is a plastic. The number of items that we encounter each day that are made of plastic are nearly infinite: car parts, toys, dishes, storage containers, office supplies, building materials, clothing, grocery/shopping bags, straws, cigarette filters, balloons, and the list goes on.

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Main Street Holly Springs Update

The City of Holly Springs’ Main Street program has again been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center during 2017. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the country, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities,” says Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.

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1930s Ball Ground

If you ever read the minutes of past council meetings, you would realize that not only are the citizens of Ball Ground blessed with a mayor and city council that have proven to be forward-thinking, spending many hours making a long-range plan for the betterment of the city, but that this was true in years past as well. Without the wisdom and forethought of these fine men and women, Ball Ground would not be what it is today.

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Canton's Mysterious Mulberry Tree

Mulberry trees are fast growing with aggressive roots that can lift sidewalks and clog drains, making them a less-than-desirable choice for an ornamental specimen. However, those that bear fruit are worth the effort to incorporate into your landscape; just be sure to install it in the proper place.Mulberry trees are heavy bearers, which means you’ll have more fruit than you can use and will be able to share with neighbors and friends. If you’re a backyard birder, you’ll attract a host of fruit-loving birds like bluebirds, orioles, tanagers, and warblers. Some are steadfast; the red mulberry can survive up to 75 years, while the black mulberry can live and bear fruit for hundreds of years.

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