The Night Before the Climb and Tour de Georgia

Night before the Climb party in downtown Blairsville

April 25, 2008 - Night before the Climb welcomes Tour de Georgia to Blairsville, Georgia

Fans, visitors, and participants in the Tour de Georgia bicycle race were recently given a hearty welcome at the Night before the Climb party in Blairsville, Georgia. Visitors say, "We love Blairsville. We have been following the race for several years and have never been welcomed with a party like this before. Blairsville, Georgia is really a terrific town. The people here are great."

Local citizens were also out on the town. Many were overheard saying, "This is wonderful! Why don't we do this more often?"

People came to Blairsville, Georgia from all over the world. Tourists from Los Angeles, New York City, South America, Australia, Europe, and Asia were on hand to dine under the stars, to get autographs from favorite racers, and to hear a live southern rock band.

Several pro cycling teams were available for autographs and photo opportunities. Jelly Belly team members Nic Sanderson and Bryce Mead took time to meet with fans and to sign tour items. Loh Sea Keong and Sergey Koudentsov of the GE Marco Polo team were also busy signing autographs.

Throughout the evening the excitement mounted. Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley welcome guests to Union County and DDA Project Manager Janet Hartman made announcements. DDA board members and committee members directed incoming traffic, helped with seating, and provided crowd control. Blairsville Police Department and Union County Sheriff's Department were on stand-by (but there were no negative incidents to report).

The Night before the Climb party was made possible by a bunch of folks pitching in where needed. Hosted by Seasons Inn Motel and Plaza (Chris and Colleen Urbaniuk), the Downtown Blairsville Development Authority of Blairsville, and the Blairsville Union County Chamber of Commerce, the free event was an outstanding success.

Visitors relaxed in 600 chairs (on loan from local churches and organizations) and dined at 55 brightly decorated tables. Papa's Pizza to Go and Comfort Café provided outdoor seated dining to the crowd. Cobb's Mill was on hand to sell sweets and gourmet iced coffees. Home Depot brought in a truck load of landscaping plants (from blooming hibiscus to five foot evergreens) for decoration. Rick Davenport's local band Sundown did a great job with the music. Local radio personality Toothpick Ensley (with the 95.1 prize patrol) was busy giving away souvenirs. Chair massages gave relief to tired muscles and several vendors sold everything from health drinks to bike gear to official Tour de Georgia merchandise. United Community Bank helium balloons and big waving Tour de Georgia hands added to the festivities. Blairsville Bikes and Boards donated a $500 mountain bike (at cost) for a raffle. Volunteers worked for weeks to get ready and kept the faith when rain threatened. (Thank God, the dark clouds went around the downtown area.) Thank-you to everyone that helped put this welcoming Tour de Georgia celebration together! It was a great time for all.

Tour de Georgia bikers race through Blairsville

Tour de Georgia in Blairsville, Georgia

Bike Raffle

March 23, 2008 - $500 mountain bike - raffle tickets on sale now

The Night before the Climb partyin Downtown Blairsville is on Friday evening April 25th from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and features an evening full of outdoor dining, live entertainment, and Tour de Georgia team member appearances. Presented by the Downtown Development Authority of Blairsville, Season's Inn, and the Blairsville Union County Chamber of Commerce, a raffle is being held to add to the excitement.

This K2 Zed 2.0 15" mountain bike has a retail value of $500. Raffle tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5. (All proceeds go to the Downtown Development Authority of Blairsville.) The drawing will be held on Saturday April 26, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. at Meeks Park , the start of Tour de Georgia Stage 6. You do not need to be present to win but the winner must claim the prize in person.

The beautiful K2 Zed 2.0 mountain bike is currently on display at Papa's Pizza to Go (located in Blairsville, Georgia on the square). Tickets may be purchased at Papa's Pizza , Season's Inn , and local area banks. Buy a raffle ticket and come on down to enjoy the fun! Help us welcome the Tour de Georgia bike racers and other visitors to Downtown Blairsville, Georgia - a great destination.