WinterFest arrives!

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Annual arts and coach tour features festivals Feb. 15-16 at three local sites

  • This weekend is an opportunity to explore a world of skilled artists and unique crafts during the 2020 WinterFest Arts & Coach Tour.
    This weekend is an opportunity to explore a world of skilled artists and unique crafts during the 2020 WinterFest Arts & Coach Tour.
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This weekend is an opportunity to explore a world of skilled artists and unique crafts during the 2020 WinterFest Arts & Coach Tour.

Unicoi State Park & Lodge, Helen Arts & Heritage Center and the Sautee Nacoochee Center will host the weekend of festivals that includes 145 artists at three locations over two days – for one ticket price.

WinterFest begins Saturday, Feb. 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and continues Sunday, Feb. 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Guests are not rushed to see everything in one day, however, as WinterFest is designed as an interactive event that lets visitors move at their own pace, organizers say.

Hop-on/hop-off coach service is offered both days, connecting the three venues. There is no charge for the festival at each venue, but a multi-part ticket and wristband is needed to ride the coach to each venue and be eligible for the grand prize drawings. The ticket is $10 and is good for both days. A book of five tickets for $40 is also available.

The transportation ticket acts as a grand prize ticket, as well. Tickets that are stamped at all three locations go into the drawing for grand prizes valued at over $450 that are offered by each festival site.

Along with artists demonstrating skills and showcasing their creations, there also will be food vendors and live music at each site.

While a fundraiser designed to support the educational efforts of the Sautee Nacoochee Cultural Center, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, WinterFest is an important economic driver for White County during an otherwise quiet time of year. The event is coordinated by the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association and funded in part by the White County Commission, the Georgia Council for the Arts and Sautee Nacoochee Corporate Partners Program.

The Fireside Arts and Craft Show at Unicoi State Park and Lodge is in its 45th year and has artisans that have attended the show since its inception 44 years ago. Fireside will host more than 74 artisans and crafters in 2020.

Experience a mixture of heritage, art, and fine craft at the Alpine Winter Festival at the Helen Arts & Heritage Center. ​The Center’s heritage museum presents the “Story of Helen.” Over 75 artists are represented in the galleries.

The artists at the Sautee Nacoochee Art Festival come from Georgia, the Carolinas, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama. All of the 40-plus artists who participate are juried, ensuring the best original local and regional artwork.

Information about and tickets for the WinterFest Arts & Coach Tour are available at www.WinterFestArtsTour.com or by calling 706-878-3300.