By Dianne Yost
Fireworks and sunflowers are in the air and that can only mean one thing in Morgan County: It’s time for the Sunflower Farm Festival. Thousands are expected in Rutledge this Saturday and Sunday to attend this year’s festival, one of Morgan County’s largest attractions. Indeed, the festival, which has grown to attract up to 10,000 people, takes place from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7.
An essential feature of the festival is its musical line-up and this year will be no different with regional and local stars like Miss UGA Shelby McLeod, The Rocky Creek Band, Tim Cadiere Band, Apostles of Bluegrass, Kickin’ Grass and April Allen.
In addition to shopping for hand-made crafts, gifts and art among 75 exhibitors, attendees this year will be able to cut their own sunflowers located on a beautiful 15-acre field, tour the 1811 house, take a hay ride or a pony ride, eat great local barbecue and other summertime treats and kids can roam and play in The Enchanted Forest!
But this year’s Sunflower Farm Festival will offer a brand new activity: flying. On zip line that is.
Or as it’s more formally known: The Sunflower Fly-Over Zip Line, operated by Let It Zip Amusements. It will have a 35-foot tower on the edge of the sunflower field and duel lines will land 300-feet into the middle of the sunflower field. About the duel lines, Sunflower Farm Festival organizer Wes Holt said: “Yes. You can zip down with your mama right next to you if you’re scared.” Holt also said the zip line is state of the art and the safest out there. “The rider is harnesed in and no helment is required because it has an automatic braking system and instead of having to land on a platform like a traditional line, it lowers you to the ground after you come to a stop. Kids from 5 to 75 will enjoy the ride!”
Also new this year Holt said will be the antique vendors in the barn. The Sunflower Farm Festival has something for everyone this year from daredevils to music lovers and all of those in between. “Great art in the shade-covered artist market and the Sharecropper’s Country Market, awesome food and unbeatable music line-up. We allow folding lawn chairs, but no coolers. Come on out,” Holt said.
SUNFLOWER FARM FESTIVAL
AT A GLANCE
Saturday, July 6th
9 a.m. Georgia Hummers Study Group: Banding Humming Birds, Rena’s Garden
9:45 a.m. Welcome to the Festival: Wes Holt and Dr. Jimmy Stokes
Blessing of the Sunflowers: Rev. Grady Mosley
Recognition of Veterans and Pledge of
Allegiance to the Flag: Gary McCullough
National Anthem: Shelby McLeod
America the Beautiful: All patriots join in
10-10:45 a.m. Rocky Creek Band with Special Appearance by Miss UGA Shelby McLeod
11-11:15 a.m. Neighborhood Antique Tractor Parade
11:15 a.m. – 12:45p.m. Tim Cadiere Band
12:45-1:45 p.m. Rocky Creek Band
2-3 p.m. Apostles of Bluegrass
3:30-4:30 p.m. Rocky Creek Band
Sunday, July 7th
9:45-10:45 a.m. Sunday Service and Singing
11-11:45 a.m. Rocky Creek Band
12-1:30 p.m. Kickin’ Grass
1:45-2:30 p.m. Cruise for the Cure Golf Cart Parade, benefiting the Morgan County Relay for Life
2:30-3:30 p.m. April Allen
3:45-4:45 p.m. Rocky Creek Band
Festival Weekend Pass: $8
Kids Pass (ages 4-12): $5
Little ones under 4: Free Admission
US Military and Veterans: Free Admission
Save-A-Buck Couples: $15
Family four-pack: $25