Walker County & City of LaFayette Recognized for Tourism Efforts

Cartersville, GA – Walker County’s growing reputation as an outdoor adventure destination just received a boost from regional travel industry professionals.  Northwest Georgia’s Historic High Country Travel Association (HHCTA) recognized Walker Rocks with the 2018 Award for Association Excellence for Best Marketing Campaign.

Walker Rocks, a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Walker County Government, highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in the county for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor experiences.  The campaign launched with the creation of videos highlighting local attractions, a start-up grant competition to encourage business growth in the tourism industry and the introduction of walkerrocks.com and several social media platforms, among other efforts.

“It’s thrilling to know that others in the region are taking note of what we have to offer here in Walker County,” said Lacey Wilson, President of the Walker County Chamber of Commerce.  “The Chamber is proud to be part of the collaborative team working to showcase and share the assets of this community with the rest of the world.”

Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director for Walker County Government, said “This validates the valuable role tourism plays in our community.  Six months in and we’re already seeing an increase in sales tax revenue and a boost in occupancy at area accommodations.”  Wardlaw added, “Walker Rocks is fun, but Walker Rocks is also an economic initiative to help bring equity to our tax base, which in turn helps our citizens.”

HHCTA, which is comprised of travel industry professionals from a 17-county area, also honored one of Walker County’s cities for its tourism efforts.  HHCTA named the City of LaFayette’s Honeybee Festival as Best Event and LaFayette Mayor Andy Arnold as Tourism Advocate of the Year.

Lunch Conversation with the Commissioner Returns November 1st

Flintstone, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield invites you to join him for lunch on Thursday, November 1st.

Whitfield will hold the latest Lunch Conversation with the Commissioner event on November 1st from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Susan’s Diner, located at 3551 Chattanooga Valley Road in Flintstone. The public is encouraged to drop by, purchase a meal and enjoy some friendly conversation about Walker County as Commissioner Whitfield visits your table.

The event provides residents who can’t attend Commissioner Meetings in LaFayette with a daytime opportunity to ask questions and share their comments and concerns.

Susan Hays opened Susan’s Diner in 2012, bringing some of her family’s favorite dishes to the restaurant menu. The family owned diner serves soups, salads, hamburgers, sandwiches, and meat and veggie plates during lunch. Susan’s Diner also offers an extensive breakfast menu and features a daily special.

Fire Prevention Week in Walker County is October 7-13

Chickamauga, GA – Commissioner Whitfield recently signed a proclamation designating October 7-13 as Fire Prevention Week in Walker County.

Walker County Emergency Services (WCES) is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ­to promote this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. Fire can happen anywhere.” The campaign will focus on educating the public about basic, but essential ways to quickly and safely escape a home fire.

“Working in the fire service for many years, we know that people often make choices in fire situations that jeopardize their safety or even cost them their lives,” said Chief Blake Hodge. “We need to do a better job of teaching people about the potentially life-saving difference of escape planning and practice.”

This year’s “Look. Listen. Learn.” campaign highlights three steps people can take to help quickly and safely escape a fire:

  • Look for places fire could start
  • Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm
  • Learn 2 ways out of every room

Sparky the Fire Dog and a FriendWhile WCES and the NFPA are focusing on home fires, these fire safety messages apply virtually anywhere. “Situational awareness is a skill people need to use wherever they go,” said Chief Hodge. “No matter where you are, look for available exits. If the alarm system sounds, take it seriously and exit the building immediately.”

WCES will host a series of events in support of this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, including visits to local schools to reinforce the message with our children.

Smoke Alarm InstallationAlso, if you need a smoke alarm for your home, call or email Regina Dorsey at 706-539-1255 ext 111. She will schedule a time for a firefighter to come to your home and install an alarm for free. WCES does this as a community service with our partner, American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia.

Walker Rocks with Full Weekend of Fall Events

Walker County will be buzzing with activity this weekend, as the county plays host to a variety of memory making events.

The activities begin with the BRAG (Bike Ride Across Georgia) tour on Friday. This three-day bicycle ride begins in Chattanooga and ends in Atlanta, after rolling through the Chattanooga Valley, Chickamauga, Rock Spring and LaFayette. Georgia recently joined the U.S. Bicycle Route System by designating a system of roads and trails as US Bike Route 21. The route will showcase some of the scenic and stunning valley and mountain vistas available for outdoor enthusiasts in Walker County. Click here to see the BRAG route

Ag Festival4H students, farmers and the agriculture community step into the action Saturday at the 2nd annual Walker County Ag Festival. The one-day event takes place rain or shine from 9am to 5pm at the Ag Center on the Civic Center Campus in Rock Spring. Along with rabbit, goat and poultry shows, residents will compete to earn blue ribbons for baking, growing fruits and vegetables, gardening, quilting and other talents. Inflatables, music, a Georgia grown cooking class, beekeepers, arts and craft vendors and other events highlight the festival. Walker County Emergency Services will also be on hand to register residents to receive a free smoke alarm, which they will install. Click here to see the schedule of events

Blowing Springs FarmOther events Saturday add to the excitement. (Now opening Sunday due to wet conditions) See Rock City, Inc.’s Blowing Springs Farm opens will an all-new corn maze design, plus super-sized board games, hayrides, duck races, pedal carts and more. The attraction is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday – Sunday through October 28th. (This attraction is now opening Sunday due to wet conditions)

The Rock Spring Show and Sell Arts & Craft Show at Rock Spring United Methodist Church and Georgia’s “Your State Park” Day are also Saturday.

Sunday brings the return of Ironman. Competitors from around the world will pedal their way through Walker County for the bike portion of the triathlon. Chickamauga serves as a main staging spot for spectators to watch athletes as they cycle through town. Gordon Street will be closed, but many downtown merchants will be open and several food vendors will set up shop for the day. Spectators can line up and down Cove Road and Lee Avenue to experience the action. The 116-mile bike portion of the race begins in Chattanooga and the first athletes are expected in Chickamauga around 10:00 a.m.

Battlefield Outdoors Wins First Walker Rocks Start-Up Challenge Pitch Competition

Chickamauga, GA – Walker Rocks will soon be hitting the road.  David Bridges, owner of Battlefield Outdoors, won a $5,000 grant at the first ever Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge pitch competition.  Bridges competed against two other finalists, selected from a pool of applicants.

Bridges pitched the idea of adding a passenger van to his business to transport outdoor enthusiasts to hiking, biking and kayaking destinations in Walker County and other parts of the southeast.  The van will be wrapped with the Walker Rocks logo, along with artwork featuring Walker County based attractions.  “It’s a way for people to find out about us and to get interest in an area that we know is so great,” said Bridges.  “There are so many things that would lend to people wanting to come here.”

The Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge pitch competition was designed to help a recreational, travel or hospitality business get started or expand in Walker County, building on the momentum created by the launch of Walker Rocks this summer.

Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in Walker County for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. The new tourism initiative embraces the county’s environmental assets and invites outdoor enthusiasts to come play.

In addition to promoting tourism in Walker County, Bridges said the shuttle, which will be able to carry up to 15 people, will make it feasible for Battlefield Outdoors to take people to Pigeon Mountain, McLemore Cove and other locations for excursions.

The $5,000 start-up grant is funded by a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Grant funds will be distributed in the form of a reimbursement for documented expenses.

Three Finalists Selected for Walker Rocks Start-Up Challenge Pitch Competition

Chickamauga, GA – $5,000 will be on the line later this month when three local entrepreneurs compete in the first ever Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge.

The Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge is a pitch competition designed to help a recreational, travel or hospitality business get started or expand in Walker County, building on the momentum created by the launch of Walker Rocks this summer.

Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in Walker County for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. The new tourism initiative embraces the county’s environmental assets and invites outdoor enthusiasts to come play.

Back Archer Farms, Tess de’Carlo and Battlefield Outdoors will present their ideas to a panel of judges at a pitch event on Thursday, September 20th. Each finalist will have 10 minutes to describe their idea and field questions from the judges. The competition begins at 4:00 p.m. at the Walker County Civic Center and is free and open to the public.

A $5,000 start-up grant, funded by a partnership between the Walker County Chamber of Commerce and Peach State Federal Credit Union, will be on the line at the September 20th pitch event. Grant funds will be distributed to the winner in the form of a reimbursement for documented expenses.

Walker County Plans 9/11 Remembrance Service

LaFayette, GA – On the 17th anniversary of the horrendous terrorist attack on our nation, Walker County will hold a public 9/11 Remembrance Service on the steps on the Walker County Courthouse in LaFayette.

The service, led by Walker County Emergency Services, begins at 8:30 a.m. and includes the ringing of a bell at 8:46 a.m. to recognize the locations this country was attacked.

Students from LaFayette High School’s JROTC and chorus programs will be participating in the program, along with Walker County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Blake Hodge, LaFayette Fire Services and Emergency Management Director Stacy Meeks and Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson.

Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield recently signed a proclamation recognizing September 11, 2018 as Patriot Day in Walker County, encouraging citizens to observe this day with patriotism and thankfulness.

WHAT:           9/11 Remembrance Service

WHEN:           Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 8:30 a.m.

WHERE:         Walker County Courthouse steps (103 S Duke Street, LaFayette, GA)

Low Cost Vaccine Clinic Coming to Walker County August 25th

Rock Spring, GA – My Kids Have Paws Veterinary Service brings its mobile clinic to Walker County later this month.

The Dalton based clinic offers many common preventative shots at a low cost to the public. Dr. Robyn O’Kane’s mission is to reduce euthanasia rates by helping keep pets in their homes with affordable surgical and medical care.

The following services will be available for $10 cash or credit/debit on Saturday, August 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. inside the Ag Center, located on the Civic Center campus at 10052 US-27 in Rock Spring:

Dogs:

  • Rabies 1 year
  • Rabies 3 year (must have valid proof of current rabies  – certificate or invoice, tag is not acceptable)
  • Distemper/Parvo
  • Distemper/Parvo/Lepto
  • Bordetella (kennel cough vaccine)
  • Heartworm Test

Cats:

  • Rabies 1 year
  • Rabies 3 year (must have valid proof of current rabies  – certificate or invoice, tag is not acceptable)
  • FVRCP (FeLV vaccine available for $15 with proof of a negative FeLV/FIV)

FeLV/FIV Test for cats will also be available for $20.

For more information about My Kids Have Paws Veterinary Service, call 706-516-4249 or email: Info.MyKidsHavePaws@gmail.com

 

“Walker Rocks” Outdoor Adventure Tourism Initiative Launched in Walker County

Chickamauga, GA – The Walker County Chamber and Walker County Government proudly launch Walker Rocks, an initiative to showcase the unique outdoor activities available in Walker County.

Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in our community for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. This new tourism focus, which includes the creation of WalkerRocks.com, invites outdoor enthusiasts around the world to come explore Walker County’s environmental wonders.

In 2016, the tourism industry supported 640 jobs in Walker County and generated over $63 million in direct tourist spending. “Walker County has organically developed into a destination for people seeking outdoor adventures, but there is plenty of room for growth,” said Lacey Wilson, President of the Walker County Chamber. “The experiences available in Walker County create lasting memories and it’s time to share those experiences with others,” added Wilson.

Walker Rocks is a platform to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to make the Walker County trip. “Walker County is the outdoor adventure destination of the south,” noted Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director for Walker County Government. “Those who come to ride horses, hike to waterfalls or venture through our caves will spend money here, increasing demand for new businesses, such as outfitters, restaurants and hotels,” added Wardlaw.

Along with the launch of the Walker Rocks brand, Wilson revealed plans for the “Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge,” a pitch competition to help a new recreational, travel or hospitality business get started or expand in Walker County. A $5,000 start-up grant will be offered to the winner, funded by a partnership between the Chamber and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Applications are available starting today at WalkerRocks.com and due by August 20.

Second Retire Your Tires Amnesty Day Outperforms Original Event

Chickamauga, GA – Hundreds of Walker County residents took advantage of an opportunity to dispose of old, unwanted tires for free Saturday at the Walker County Landfill.

The county hosted its second Retire Your Tires Amnesty Day. Residents brought 6,741 tires to the landfill during the seven hour event, including 106 tires from a satellite drop off site in Rossville.

6,741 bests the county’s original goal of collecting 5,500 tires. Last fall, the community cleaned up 5,543 tires during Walker County’s first tire amnesty event. The tires will be sent to an approved recycling center and turned into industrial fuel or rubber mulch for landscaping and playground applications.

Along with cleaning up the community, the county hopes this event will help eliminate mosquito breeding sites and cut down on the mosquito population this summer.