Jennah Collins, Trish Garrett, and Tessah Collins enjoy painting Blairsville Rocks.
Peope bring their painted rocks to Seasons Inn on the Blairsville Square for a group rock hiding event.
People are hiding and finding painted rocks everywhere in Blairsville and all around Union County. Children and adults love everything about this new craze – from doing the artwork, to hiding the decorated rocks, to finding one to take home as a souvenir. Blairsville Rocks has caught on like wildfire and is growing daily.
With over 400 people joining since yesterday, it is quickly becoming a sensation! Will rocks overtake the town? Will they all be scooped up by admiring collectors? Will the fad die out next week or last for years?
Right now, members are posting pictures of their finished rocks online and giving hints to help searchers know where to look. Members also post pictures when they find a painted rock so participants can see where their rocks end up. Several rocks were recently found from Miami, Florida! Blairsville rocks have traveled to San Francisco, California. There are no set rules about posting pictures, keeping rocks, or re-hiding rocks. Although most people re-hide them to keep things going, it is perfectly OK to keep your favorite!
Administrator and local rock painter Trish Garrett brought the rock painting craze to Blairsville in March of 2017 after seeing what was happening in Okeechobee, Florida, where her daughter lives. She says, “Okeechobee Rocks gave me the idea to start a Facebook Group for Blairsville Rocks. It was a huge surprise when Blairsville Rocks caught on in such a big way.”
Rocks are showing up in all kinds of places around Blairsville including Town Square, Meeks Park, churches, parking lots, sidewalks, public buildings, the Byron Herbert Reece Farm, at many local businesses, on the shores of Lake Nottely, and on top of Bald Mountain.
With hundreds of members in the Blairsville Rocks Facebook group, people are constantly sharing their rock experiences, along with pictures of painted rocks, happy children, and surprised wildlife (squirrels, snakes, and other critters)!
The little ones love getting to visit local parks, hiding their rocks, plus getting to find some, too. It is a great summer activity for families. Just remember to use caution as with any outdoor event. Use sunscreen, apply bug repellant, watch for poison ivy, look out for snakes, and keep away from busy roads.
It is a way to meet new friends, develop artistic talents, and get some exercise. Look for rock painting parties (Season’s Inn has been hosting them for their guests), group hides, themed hunts, and even rocks that can be traded for services such as free belly dancing classes!
Trish Garrett adds, “This has become a new way to get people outside. They visit the parks and see the beautiful countryside instead of sitting in air conditioning. It helps build a stronger community and promotes creativity in all ages. Finding a colorful rock can brighten a person’s day. Whether they choose to re-hide a rock or to keep it is their choice.”
Purchase rocks, brushes, and paints at local home supply and dollar stores. Rock painting is surprisingly fun for all ages. Need inspiration? Try Searching "rock painting" on Pinterest or Google to find interesting rock painting ideas.
Also, please reference the local Facebook group by adding “Blairsville Rocks” to the back of newly painted rocks so finders will know where they are from (Blairsville Rocks are traveling around the USA and beyond). Adding “Facebook” in smaller print so people will know about the online group is also much appreciated. Many rock painters also sign their rocks or use an identifying mark. Painted rocks should be sealed with clear waterproof spray paint or varnish to protect from the elements.
If you have internet access, please post pictures of your painted rocks before hiding them or after finding other people’s rocks.
A few places are 100% off limits. Do not hide in grassy areas or on lawns where they can damage lawn mowers. Do not hide rocks on walkways where they can trip someone. Do not hide in hospitals due to possible contamination of disinfected areas. Do not hide rocks or take rocks from anyplace that sells painted rocks. Don't steal rocks from private property or from someone's landscaping. Don't trespass on private property to hunt for rocks. Don’t take rocks from protected streams and rivers. Nice smooth river rocks can be purchased at local stores for around 10 cents each.
Painted rocks reflect the opinions, attitudes, and creative expression of the individual artists and not those of the Facebook page administration. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/1621972894486108.
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