Top 5 Reasons to Attend Paddle South in Columbus, GA

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Paddle South, a celebration of the best paddling location in the south is coming to Columbus this weekend for a FREE two day event!  The two days will consist of the 2018 USA Freestyle Kayak National Championships, and the Omaha Brewing Paddle Party on the Power House Lawn overlooking the Chattahoochee River. 

1. Paddle South is the NATIONAL Championship for Freestyle Kayaking

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Kayakers from across the country will ascend to Columbus to compete against the best for a chance to be crowned USA Freestyle Kayaking National Champion. Competing in the "Good Wave" in the Chattahoochee River, Kayakers will put on a show guaranteed to impress!


2. Local food, Omaha Beers and Expo Vendors

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With all of the action taking place on the River Walk and River Walk Island, check out our expo vendors, Heavy Eddy, Keen, NRS, Outdoor World, Salt Life, Uptown Society Co., and Whitewater Express. Thirsty? Grab a beer from the Omaha Brewing Beer tent.  Hungry? Follow the kayak lined bridge to River Walk Island and grab a bite from Bare Roots Farmacy, Country's BBQ or Kettle Me Krazy!


3. Omaha Brewing Paddle Party

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Brand new to Paddle South is the Omaha Brewing Paddle Party taking place on the Power House Lawn! The first event to EVER be held on the lawn, Paddle South attendees are given the option to purchase tickets for an elevated experience and the best seats in the house! All ticket holders receive an exclusive Paddle South souvenir cup, an Omaha Brewing Beer, live music from DJ O3 and Blackberry Possum as well as entry to the official Paddle South after party at The Loft! 


4. Official Paddle South After Party at The Loft

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After an incredible day on the island, take the short walk to upstairs at The Loft for the official Paddle South after party with Nick Black. Grab a drink and dance the night away with Columbus' finest! 


5. Camping

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For a truly awesome experience, camping is offered. Become one with nature-hood while camping out at PaddleSouth. Camping for participants is available within walking distance to downtown & event venue. Please send your request to Becca@UptownColumbusGA.com or call 706.596.0111.

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Christmas In Columbus, GA

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The Holiday Season is finally here and Columbus does not have a shortage of events to celebrate. 

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Dec 1st

Broadway Holiday Parade & Tree Lighting

1100 Broadway 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM 

Christmas lovers rejoice as Santa is escorted in by his entourage, including special guest appearances from Santa, the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. Sing along to traditional Christmas carols at the lighting of the giant Christmas tree and play in the SNOW! There will be hot chocolate, candy canes and lots of fun for the entire family. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite holiday attire and to bring their camera to partake in the many photo opportunities!

 

Dec 2nd

Breakfast with Santa

Columbus, Ga Convention & Trade Center  8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Make breakfast with Santa a new family tradition. Enjoy a delicious breakfast provided by our extraordinary chefs here at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, write a letter to Santa and hand-deliver it, enjoy a holiday craft and spend quality time with Ole' St. Nick! All proceeds will benefit Children's Miracle Network Hospital. The money raised will stay here locally at our Columbus Regional Hospital. 

 

Bi-City Christmas Parade

9th & Broadway 10:00 AM

This exciting parade will begin at Colin Powell Parkway and Dillingham Street in Phenix City, goes down Broad Street, crosses over the 13th Street Bridge, and ends in downtown Columbus on the corner of 9th and Broadway. The parade will consist of holiday-themed floats, horses, motorcycles, clowns, marching units, and much more!

 

Oxbow Meadows Holiday Open House

Oxbow Meadows 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Oxbow is bringing back the Holiday Open House, a winter celebration for our visitors who support Oxbow during the year. Nature crafts, storytime, animal encounters, and a visit with Santa will be a part of the holiday festivities.

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Dec 3rd

Holiday Tour Of Homes

Historic Columbus  1:00 PM - 5:00 PM 

Historic Columbus’ Holiday Tour of Homes features seven historic properties in the High Uptown Historic District with exquisite architecture, beautiful furnishings, and gracious hospitality. Hop on the Trolley to see Historic Columbus’ project, City Mills. Find something for everyone at the Mistletoe Market with local vendors for all your holiday needs. Enjoy holiday music by the Schwob School of Music. Holiday crafts for children and we hear Santa will also be there!

 

Christmas In The Garden

Columbus Botanical Gardens 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Camellias by Candlelight-a luminary walk through the Sam M. Wellborn Camellia Garden.  Music will be provided by The Friendship Baptist Church Chancel Choir, Brookstone School and Kendrick High School. John Woolbright will give the history behind the poem, "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Moore. Volunteers will have delicious homemade cookies and fresh greenery wreaths for sale in our Christmas store. Refreshments will be provided.

 

Dec 5th

Christmas @ Old Town

Old Town Columbus 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The Southern Living Inspired Community will be decorated just in time to welcome Santa, light our community Christmas tree and enjoy seasonal activities. 

  • Voices of the Valley Singers will be performing

  • Santa will be making an appearance

  • Wreath making

  • Tree Lighting

  • Ornament craft table for children

  • Local vendors with crafts and edibles for sale

 

Dec 9th

Pictures With Santa

Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson  12:00 PM - 4:00 PM 

White Christmas Inspired Photos With Santa! Hot Chocolate, Cookies and More! Free and Open to the public! Bring us your letter to Santa and we will send it to the North Pole for you! Toys welcomed as donation and will be donated to a local charitable facility!

 

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The Nutcracker, presented by The Columbus Ballet

RiverCenter for the Performing Arts  7:30 PM 

Celebrating over a decade of performances, The Columbus Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker promises to instill a love of the arts in young and old alike. This family-oriented production, which features a cast of over 100 performers, with live orchestra and acclaimed guest artists, captures the magical wonder and innocence of Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet as seen through a child’s eyes. Spectacular sets, sumptuous costumes, special effects and live music come together to create a stunning grand-scale event that is sure to become a fun family tradition.

 

All Aboard! The Polar Express!

National Infantry Museum 11:30 AM (Multiple Dates & Times) 

Cuddle up in your favorite pajamas and enjoy this family friendly tradition that is sure to put you in the holiday spirit. The 2004 film is based on the children’s book of the same title by Chris Van Allsburg. This year, every child wearing pajamas will receive a free hot chocolate on the museum! The train’s conductor will make appearances at many of the screening to punch exclusive golden tickets prior to the film.

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Dec 17th

Holiday Ornament Glassblowing Workshop

The Columbus Museum 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM 

Heat up the holidays at The Columbus Museum with this special art-making class. Glass artist, Kelly Robertson, will instruct participants on how to make their own blown glass ornament.

 

3rd Annual Holiday Brunch

The Columbus Library  2:30 PM - 5:30 PM 

Give back to those less fortunate by providing Free Winter Gear, A Hot Meal, and Toys (for children 15 and under). Play games and enter random raffles for prizes and/or holiday decorations. 

 

Dec 18th

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live! 

RiverCenter for the Performing Arts  6:30 PM - 8:30 PM 

A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Emmy and Peabody award-winning story by Charles M. Schultz, has warmed the hearts of millions of fans since it first aired on television over fifty years ago. Now the classic animated television special comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation featuring all of your favorite characters and classic Vince Guaraldi score. Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they mount a play, save a tree, and uncover the true meaning of Christmas.

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Dec 29th

Holiday Edition Kids Cooking Class

My Boulánge  4:30 PM - 6:30 PM 

Join My Boulánge's head chef, Bruno, for a special one-on-one experience baking for the holidays with him! Children 3-10 are welcome.

 

 

 

We Asked, You Voted: Best Lunch Spots In Columbus, GA

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We wanted to know what restaurants locals love to visit for lunch. After RECEIVING over 100 surveys, we took out national chains and kept the local restaurants people voted for. So, what are we waiting for? Let's take a look at the best lunch spots in Columbus. 

 

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BBQ

1. Smoke Bourbon & BBQ

It's no wonder Smoke is at the top of the list. This restaurant was voted "Best New Restaurant" for the 2017 Ledger Enquirer Readers' Choice Awards. People seem to love the Pimento Cheese Wontons the best. What's great about Smoke is their Express Lunch. If you need to get in and out for lunch and get back to work, they have a different express lunch item every day during the week. 

2. Clearview Barbecue 

Famous for their 99 cent Chipped Sandwich, it's clear to see why this family run eatery made the list. 

3. Country's Barbecue

This restaurant has been around since 1975 and has turned into a Columbus staple. While they have a vast menu, most people in our survey said they love the Grilled Chicken Salad the best.  

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Southern Style

1. Minnie's Uptown Restaurant

With a cafeteria type setting and delicious food, it's no wonder Minnie's was one of the most mentioned lunch spots in our survey. Make sure you try the Fried Chicken, it's definitely a local favorite. 

2. The Black Cow 

Another Uptown restaurant, The Black Cow serves mouth-watering Southern comfort dishes in a rustic atmosphere. The Bacon Pimento Cheeseburger was mentioned more than a few times, so if you haven't tried one, head on over there. This restaurant also has daily lunch specials which caught the eye of our survey takers. 

3. Speakeasy

With a menu of pizza, burgers, and other familiar eats, this Midtown restaurant offers a lot of choices to their customers. The Turkey Rider is a must try! 

 

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Between The Bread

1. Dinglewood Pharmacy 

In the back of this pharmacy, you'll find a 50's style restaurant and the best Scrambled Dogs in Columbus. This restaurant was one of the top mentions in our survey. 

2. Midtown Coffee

We're talking about lunch, so how did a coffee house get on the list? It's definitely because of their Grown Up Grilled Cheese. Good food and it's easy to grab a coffee to bring back to the office? We are sold. 

 

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Asian Persuasion  

1. Chili Thai

Their Chicken Pad Thai had an insane amount of mentions. With a cool atmosphere and a menu with such amazing food that it's hard to choose, it's a no brainer Chili Thai made the list. 

2. Mandarin Cafe

There was a tie between the Kung Pow Shrimp and Sesame Chicken and we are excited to see which one we like better. If you're hankering for Chinese, the locals have made it clear this is the best place to go. 

 

 

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Mexican

1.  El Vaquero

This restaurant blew all other Mexican restaurants out of the park. It is definitely a Columbus favorite. Whether you are a craving a taco, burrito, or quesadilla - El Vaquero is the place to go!

All About On The Table: Your Voice Matters

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On November 7th, citizens from all over the chattahoochee valley have the OPPORTUNITY to put their thoughts on the table.  It's not just about talking about our community, it's also about listening. 

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1. As a host, location is up to you!

As as host, you can choose to host your table anywhere you choose on November 7. Whether it's at home, a restaurant or coffee shop, or at one of the Public Tables offered by "SuperHosts," there is a table for everyone. Click here to register as a host or find a table to join.

 

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2. Conversation 

This is a chance to discuss not only what’s great about our community, but also ways to make it even better — more sustainable, just, safe, strong and vibrant. Having the chance to be a part of this type of conversation is important for the prosperity of the Chattahoochee Valley Area and it's residents. 

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3. Coming Together

When residents, organizations, businesses and government come together, we can all make contributions that add to a greater solution. This is the starting place for meaningful conversation, and together we can make positive changes for the city. 

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How It Works

1. Host

Being a host is easy.  A host commits to hosting a conversation over breakfast, lunch, dinner, a coffee break or anytime in between. The invite list is up to you – friends, family, colleagues, neighbors – and can be hosted in homes, restaurants, places of worship, libraries, offices, the breakroom at work or other community locations. The conversations can be sit down, catered, picnic, brown bag or potluck – it is entirely up to the host. Before the conversation, you'll receive a Host Toolkit with everything you need, including a conversation guide and easy ideas for taking action after your event. Everyone is welcome to serve as a host.

Register as Host 

2. Guest

Many people will attend an On the Table conversation by receiving an invitation from an individual or organizational host. If you're interested in participating but don't have a host, we invite you to attend an open table! Open tables will be set up at various locations throughout Columbus. 

Register as Guest

3. Superhost

Superhosts are organizations — nonprofits, places of worship, businesses, schools, civic organizations and others — that commit to hosting at least 15 tables, 8 to 12 people per table. If this describes your organization, please contact us at 706-718-9565 or onthetablechatt@cfcv.com.

 

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Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun: Hottest Halloween Events in Columbus, GA

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Halloween is fun for all ages and Columbus, Ga does not fail to impress with things to do. Below is a list of events happening in town Halloween weekend. Are you ready for a terror-ific time? 

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October 21st

Zombie Zip @ Whitewater Express

Weekends 10/21 - 10/31

All Ages

"For only 7 nights, the undead will come out to play. Will you be able to climb the tower to the safety of the zip line in time? But wait, you never know what's waiting for you on the other side...."

Call 706-321-4720 for more information. 

 

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October 27th

Halloween Rocks @ Columbus Public Library

4:00 PM

All Ages

"Paint a rock to keep, hide, or give to a friend. Whether it be a ghost, pumpkin, or witch, the choice is yours. Then watch a family favorite …”Hocus Pocus”!

For more information, call the Columbus Public Library at 706-243-2669.

 

 

4 Year Anniversary Halloween Celebration @

River Flow Yoga

6 PM - 7:30 PM

For The Fitness Enthusiasts 

"Alee will teach a 1 hour flow open to all levels, followed by some tricks and treats. Remember to come dressed! Prizes awarded for the BEST dressed! Creativity encouraged! Happy Halloween Yogis!"

 

Alabama Avenue @ Scruffy Murphy's

9 PM - 1 AM

21+

"Alabama Avenu is very excited to kick off Halloween festivities at Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub & Eater, a beautiful, authentic Irish Pub and Restaurant, serving delicious Pub-Style Fish ‘N’ Chips with house-made Tartar sauce! It's a little bit of Ireland in downtown Columbus, GA! Full menu available til 10 pm. Come early for supper and stay late to sing along and dance with us! Alabama Avenue starts at 9 pm, playing your favorite classic and Southern rock, new and traditional country, and fun party songs! $5 cover."

 

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October 28th

Ghost Parade Party @ The Loft Columbus

8 PM - 2 AM

21+

"The Loft Presents A Ghost Parade Halloween Party. Celebrate Halloween at the Loft on October 28th with live music from soul funk band, The Rail in the Green Room, party band Kirk Jay & The Solids in the main room, and stay late night for a DJ set by Gunpwdr in the Green Room. 

Costume Contest starts at 11:00p.m. There will be two contests. One will be audience choice with the chance of winning a swag bag. The second will be judged by three judges with the grand prize winner being awarded $1,000. The contestants will be judged on creativity, originality and complexity."

 

Uptown's Spooktacular Halloween Festival @ Uptown

Columbus

2 PM - 4 PM

All Ages

"Spooktacular provides a FREE and safe environment for the children of Columbus to enjoy an afternoon of ghosts and goblins, spooky activities, candy and lots of fun.
Participants are encouraged to show off their spookiest, most creative costumes during the costume contest from 2:15PM - 3:15PM in the following age categories: Ages 0-2, Ages 3-5, Ages 6-8, Ages 9-12 and Group Costume. Contest is limited to the first 25 participants in each age group, so participants are urged to arrive early to sign up! First and second place winners in each category will receive prizes."

For more information, call 706.596.0111 or visitwww.UptownColumbusGA.com

 

Trunk or Treat @ Old Town

4 PM - 6 PM

Kid Friendly

"An afternoon of FUN for you! Come Trunk or Treat! There will be a rock painting station, costume contest, pumpkins and mums for sale, food trucks on site and so much more! This event is open to the public!"

 

Ghost Hunt @ Port Columbus

7 PM - 10 PM

18+

"Join the Alabama Ghost Hunters at Port Columbus - The National Civil War Naval Museum in Columbus, Georgia for a paranormal investigation! Tickets are on sale now for $25 (must be 18 or older). Ticket purchase includes: a guided tour by author and ghost hunter, Faith Serafin, instructional by the Alabama Ghost Hunters and rental of investigative equipment for the night. Refreshment, souvenirs, and autographed copies of Faith Serafin's books will be available for purchase in the museum gift shop."

 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (the MOVIE) with Live

Shadow Cast @ The Springer Opera House

7:30 PM - 11:30 PM

17+

"Let's do the TIME WARP AGAIN!!!!

The cult classic MOVIE, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, returns this October at the HAUNTINGLY beautiful Springer Opera House. The film will be shown in Emily Woodruff Hall (Main Stage) with a LIVE SHADOW CAST. Come in character or come as you are and see the FILM that was not just for viewing, but for doing! Tickets are $23 and the PRICE INCLUDES A BAG OF PROPS AND A LIMITED EDITION TUMBLER. NO OUTSIDE PROPS ALLOWED IN.

Rated R NO ONE UNDER THE AGE OF 17 ADMITTED WITHOUT ADULT PRESENT. Doors open one hour prior to showtime. Beer, wine, soft drinks and concessions will be available for purchase."

Tickets on sale NOW at the Springer Box Office. Call 706-327-3688 or visit springeroeprahouse.org.
 

 

Trunk or Treat @ Chattahoochee Harley- Davidson

 12 PM - 4 PM

Kid Friendly

"2nd annual Trunk or Treat brought to you by Chattahoochee HD and SteelHorse Law. Kids activities , zombie photo booth and more. Raising awareness and encourage donations to the Area 10 Special Olympics!"

 

Hacker Halloween @ Iron Bank

1 PM - 3:30 PM

14+ or with parent

"Build your own animated skull head to scare trick-or-treaters this Halloween! Great family event (14+, or under 14 with a parent). 
PROMO: $40/person (FREE skull display)
Early-bird: $50/person
Regular: $55/person
At the door: $65/person
Children under 14: $5/child
Please register online to save your spot! Spaces are limited for this SPECIAL EVENT!"

 

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October 29th

Howl-o-ween Tattoo Fundraiser for Animal Ark Rescue @

Black Lotus

12 PM - 5 PM

18+ 

"Get inked for the Ark! Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery is hosting a Howl-O-Ween Tattoo Fundraiser for Animal Ark Rescue. Been waiting to get a cute tattoo? Now's your chance and it's for a great cause! 

Stop by Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery 12-5pm on Sunday, October 29th and select a $25 tattoo design. Proceeds benefit Animal Ark Rescue

Don't be afraid to wear your heart...or paw print...or black cat...on your sleeve! There will be a wide variety of designs to choose from. $25 tattoos are walk-in only, no appointments. Tattoos are first come, first serve so get there early!" 

 

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October 31st

Halloween Ride @ Ride On Bikes

5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

For The Fitness Enthusiasts

"It's going to be spooktacular! Beginning at 5:30pm we will have a kids and adult costume contest. Drop by to be judged and while you are out riding we will choose our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. Local businesses will be out with candy for the kids. Remember to keep your costumes cycling friendly!"

 

Halloween Carnival @ Bare Roots Farmacy

 5 PM - 8 PM

All Ages

"Come join us for a Halloween Carnival with pre-Trick or Treating Fun and Dinner! Starting at 5:00pm, get ready for some Ghoulish Games and Spooky Snacks! 
There will be a frightfully delicious Chili Bar, Hot Dogs, and Hamburgers! 
$10 for adults, and $5 for kids."

For reservations, call 706-887-0005 or
email: olivia@barerootsfarmacy.com

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P.S.

Have You Heard Of The Teal Pumpkin Project?  

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Kids with food allergies don't get to enjoy Halloween like the others. That's why FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) came up with the Teal Pumpkin Project. While you're stocking up on candy, get a few other knick knacks kids love like bookmarks, glow sticks, crayons, etc. If you have a teal pumpkin on your porch, that lets parents know there is an option for their children. 

Click here to read more. 

7 Reasons To Go To The 8th Annual Uptown Beer & Wine Festival in Columbus, Ga

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If your perfect Saturday consists of listening to great music and tasting beer and wine all day, then the 8th Annual Uptown Beer & Wine Festival is definitely the event for you. 

 

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Early Bird Tickets are only $35 and this deal ends September 17th. After that, the regular ticket price bumps to $45. Tickets are available here:  http://bit.ly/2wqFwpo 

The best deal is the "Save Water, Drink Beer" Package. For $65, this package includes a 9am rafting trip with WhiteWater Express, early entry into festival at noon, and lunch is provided. Hurry, there are only 100 of these amazing packages available. Tickets are available here:  http://bit.ly/2vgiu6p  

Still not completely sold? That's okay. Here are 7 Reasons to go to the 8th annual Uptown beer & wine festival in Columbus, Ga. 

 

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1.  Meet A Wine Pro

Faye Simmons, Owner of Meritage will be at this year's event! She is the area's only certified sommelier. To find out more about her, click here.

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2. More Than 100 Craft Beer Selections To Choose From

That's right, 100. There will be options from breweries like Sweetwater, Omaha, Grayton, New Belgium, Monday Night Brewing, Jekyll, Reformation, Red Hare, Wild Leap, Jailhouse. Southern Tier. Lazy Magnolia, Southern Brewing, Elysian, DB, and Golden Road. By the time this event if over, you will be a certified craft beerologist. 

 

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3. New & Improved Wine Tasting Tent 

For the Wine lovers, a new and improved wine tasting tent with more than 25 selections of whites, reds and blend varieties will be available. Charcuterie and cheese tastings to pair will be available in the tent. 

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4. Live Music From DJ Mike Kelly

You don't have to worry about sampling your beer and wine in silence. DJ Mike Kelly will be there to spin some tracks and rock the house down. Dancing is encouraged. 

5. Got Beer Munchies? 

We have got you covered. Uptown restaurants will be serving tasty bites for purchase to complement beer and wines. All available in the tap courtyard. Expect to see Barberitos, River & Rail, Bare Roots and more. 

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6. You Won't Miss The Game

SEC football fanatics can catch the game on the TVs at The Tap. Take a beer break to check the score, and celebrate with more samples when your team scores a touchdown. Win-Win. 

7. Designated Drivers Welcome 

Designated Driver tickets will be available at the gate for only $10. If all your friends want to drink, there is an Uber code for a free first ride up to $20 to use when you're leaving the event. The code is  BWF17. 

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All in all, this is not an event you want to miss. Join the event page here.

Don't forget to buy your tickets before the Early Bird Special is over! 

 

Back To School

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Summer is almost over and it's time for the kiddos to get back to the grind. We talked to NeighborWorks Columbus and Muscogee Moms to get you the tips for a smooth transition! 

1. Shop Early

 Most schools offer a list of required school supplies and books your child will need. Contact your child’s school or visit the website to get the list and begin looking for sales and bargains before the summer ends. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

2. Buy Personalized Pencils

If your kids are fond of school supplies, buy them a set of personalized pencils. This will motivate them to start off the year with a fresh batch of pencils with their names on them. Source: Muscogee Moms

3. Take A Back To School Photo

Capturing photographs of all the special moments from the first day of school is a must! Take a photograph of each child holding a chalkboard, with the grade they are entering written on it in chalk. These photos will become a time stamp for each grade. Source: Muscogee Moms

4. Transition Into A School Schedule

Establish a school-day schedule for homework, TV, baths and bedtime. Starting 7-10 days before the first day of school, ease your kids into your school schedule by backing up their bedtime 15 minutes each night and consistently waking them earlier. Also, establish a “get ready the night before” policy. Pick out clothes for the next day and set your coffee maker. Once the school year starts, add packing backpacks (and lunch boxes) every evening to your nightly routine. You’ll save precious time in the morning.  Source: Muscogee Moms

5. Gather Your Paperwork

Schools require lots of forms. Have the necessary immunization records available for easy reference. Be prepared to update school emergency contacts and health information for the upcoming year. Visit your school’s website to view registration information, school supply lists, and more. Source: Muscogee Moms  

College

1. Ask About Hidden Fees

In addition to tuition, there may be other charges. Ask about lab costs, books and resource charges, for example, get an accurate idea of the funds needed per year for your child. According to the College Board, the annual cost of books and other course materials for an in-state college could exceed $1,200 each year. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

2.Complete The FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) Early

This will help you determine the aid for which your child may qualify. Also check to see if your state offers any type of state grant or financial aid. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

3. Investigate Loan Types Before You Sign

Some states offer no-interest loans, which, if accepted by the school, can be a great alternative to a private loan. If taking out a parent-plus loan, be sure to borrow only the amount needed to cover the bill. Pay the interest accruing on all (private and federal) student loan accounts; this keeps debt from ballooning. Source: NeighborWorks® Columbus

For more information check out http://www.muscogeemoms.com/. 

Restaurant Week: The Yummiest Week Of The Year

It’s that time again, Foodies rejoice! Visit Columbus,GAUS Foods , and The Columbus Young Professionals have teamed up once again for second annual Columbus Ga Restaurant Week. So, what is Restaurant Week? It is a week celebrating the best locally owned restaurants and food in town, by offering amazingly prized three-course menus for one week, July 24th-July 30th.  Join the event page or check out the website

Each restaurant has a special menu ranging from $15, $25, and $30. This does not include tax, tip, or drink. Let’s see what restaurants are participating and what they have to offer!

1. Epic Restaurant  - See Menu

“I have been cooking since I was 15 years old.  I believe a great meal is not only about the food, but also the wine, the conversation and the people you share it with.  My wife and children are the most important ingredients in my life.  They are what inspire me.  Epic is about my family.  Food should be both emotional and comforting.  Epic tells my story, my love of food and people..it is a journey of life experiences and triumphs.  My life is Epic…” – Jamie Keating

2. MaBella's Italian Steakhouse - See Menu 

"We are an Italian Steakhouse inspired by a deep family history of recipes and quality cuts of meat. The name Mabella comes from our building's history. As an old telephone switch from the early 1900's, the building was home to many conversations that arguably formed Columbus to be what it is today. We want those same connections to live on. What better connects people than a great steak and a nice glass of wine."

3. Ezell's Catfish - Menu To Come 

"Since 1951 on the banks of the Tombigbee River, Ezell's has taken great pride in serving the best catfish, shrimp and chicken in Dixie. The tradition of serving our famous homemade cole slaw and hushpuppies family style continues today, along with a big glass of southern tea!"

4. Caffe Amici - See Menu 

"ITALIAN AUTHENTIC OLD STYLE HOME COOKING! COLUMBUS'S BEST KEPT SECRET"

5. Smoke Bourbon & BBQ - See Menu

"Smoke is a Bourbon, Beer and BBQ restaurant located in Columbus, Georgia that offers a modern twist on traditional southern BBQ. Expect some of your homestyle BBQ favorites with unique pairings of flavor and craft cocktails!" 

6. Ben's ChopHouse, Steakhouse & Seafood - See Menu

"Columbus’ favorite for the best hand-cut steaks and freshest seafood around. We hope you enjoy your visit with us whether for a great time with friends and family or an upscale business dinner." 

7. Hunters Pub - Menu To Come 

"If you ain’t worried about a nice fancy place that serves your meal on fine china, if you like great steaks and exceptional seafood offerings complimented by good ‘ole southern hospitality and one of a kind nightly chef’s specials, if you like just down right good food…Hunter’s Pub and Steakhouse is the place for you!" 

8. Marks City Grill - Menu To Come

"Located in North Columbus, Mark’s City Grill prides itself on serving uniquely pleasing dishes with extraordinary flavor. No matter what you choose we promise, we'll keep you coming back to experience the genuine taste and hospitality of Mark’s City Grill." 

9. Houlihan's Downtown & North Columbus - See Menu 

"With an inviting atmosphere that boasts a completely made-from-scratch menu, an award-winning wine list and tantalizing specialty drinks, Houlihan's is a multi-sensory experience for adventure-loving foodies." 

10. A New Beginning Restaurant - See Menu

"A New Beginning Restaurant & Catering is based on Family And Prayer. We strive on serving our customer's with dishes from the heart. Prepared with Love. Each Dish is Prepared By our family made especially for you. We aim to cater to each customer's taste buds. Come hungry Leave Full is what each visit will be. " 

 

11. Meritage - See Menu

"Meritage Columbus is a relaxed, upscale lunchtime cafe that morphs into a casual, sleek, wine focused dinner restaurant with a menu that reflects classic European & American Regional dishes with a Southern influence." 

12. The Loft - See Menu

"The Loft is a Columbus Uptown favorite, a family run business rooted in local history since 1992, combining food, fun, and music in a scrumptious and unique way. It has always been our family's goal to share with our patron's quality and value in a casual atmosphere. In short, if you love extraordinary food, the best in live entertainment plus a warm and welcoming service staff, come spend the evening with us!" 

13. Bare Roots Farmacy - See Menu

"Bare Roots was created from our love of all things healthy, especially food. We believe in the power of real, whole food but, we also know between work, gym and personal commitments our schedules can keep us out of the kitchen, and from maintaining the healthy lifestyle we wish to have. That's why we created Bare Roots Farmacy. We want to provide meals for EVERYONE, because healthy food can taste good, too."

14. River & Rail -See Menu

"River & Rail is a farm to table restaurant. It is West Coast culinary and cocktail creativity synced with the skill set of our Executive Chef and Head Bartender."

15. The Black Cow - See Menu

"The Black Cow brings a laid back rustic southern charm to Uptown Columbus. Just steps away from the Whitewater Rapids, sit down at another Mark Jones Kitchens restaurant, and enjoy Uptown’s only Oyster Bar. From “The Best Burgers in the South” according to Garden & Gun Readers and tasty Po’ Boys to our famous Meatloaf and succulent Steaks, Mark Jones continues to serve high-quality, mouth-watering southern comfort dishes from the areas best suppliers. Sit back, relax and enjoy one of our signature cocktails, a glass of wine, or a Georgia craft beer at our newly renovated bar. Watch the game on one of our five televisions or ride “Lil’ Rafter” the Bull."

16. Your Pie - See Menu 

"At Your Pie, we provide you with new flavors, spices and the freshest of ingredients that you can combine together to capture your spirit, character and personality each and every time you come and visit. Don’t let time be a barrier! With a fired up brick oven, your pizza cooks up fast in about five minutes or less. And what’s more fun and rewarding than taking the time to enjoy the rich flavorful taste of gelato Italian ice cream homemade with fresh fruit and pure chocolate? Enjoy the gelato anytime of the day… because any time is a great time to take a break and reward yourself for being you! In this time of mass-produced, pre-packaged everything, it’s our goal at Your Pie to celebrate you!" 

17. Wicked Hen - Menu To Come 

"Featuring modern technique and fresh, natural regional fare, the kitchen recreates the bounty of the surrounding area and redefines traditional Southern cooking. We look forward to seeing you soon for lunch and dinner or drinks upstairs in the Village on 13th!" 

18. B.Merrell's - See Menu

"B. Merrell's has something for everyone. A local favorite in Columbus, Georgia for almost 25 years, we serve tasty rotisserie chicken with homemade side dishes, baby back ribs, great sandwiches and signature salads. We also sell tons of chicken wings with our own award-winning sauces." 

19. The Cannon Brew Pub - See Menu 

"The Cannon Brew Pub experience is unique old-world charm complemented by Signature Made on-site Brews, classic American cuisine, and Brick-Fired Oven Pizza. Sidewalk cafe seating is also available." 

Which menu are you most excited for? 

We Asked, You Voted: Best Food At Mark Jones Restaurants

When you hear the name Mark Jones, you may think of numerous things. Among those are probably the names of one of NINE restaurants he owns in Columbus, GA and surrounding areas. While he's been at it for a long time (Hunter's Pub is almost 20 years old!), his menu only seems to get better and better. We put out a survey, took the 87 responses and tallied them up! The results are below. 

Smoke Bourbon and BBQ

Smoke is a Bourbon, Beer and BBQ restaurant in Uptown Columbus that offers a modern twist on traditional southern BBQ. Expect some of your homestyle BBQ favorites with unique pairings of flavor and craft cocktails!

 

1. Pimento Cheese Wontons 

This delicious appetizer was number one on the list of fan favorites! These come house made with jalapeño and bacon dipping sauce. Yum! 

Southern Reuben Smoke .jpg

 

2. Southern Reuben

This sandwich is served with one side. Which yummy side? Well that's up to you. Enjoy smoked beef brisket with BBQ 1000 island, sauerkraut and white cheddar on sourdough.

 

3. Street Tacos 

Taco's in a BBQ place? You read it right! They are filled with beef brisket with pineapple cilantro slaw, pickled onions and house sauce. These tacos fit right in.

The Black Cow

The Black Cow brings a laid back rustic southern charm to Uptown Columbus. 

pineapple casserole black cow.jpg

 

1. Pineapple Casserole 

Whether you order this for a side dish or dessert, it will be amazing. You're looking at the number one fan favorite at The Black Cow.

 

2. Meatloaf

 

There's not much to say except this meatloaf is "udderly" delicious! 

 

3. Bacon Pimento Cheeseburger 

Named best burger in the South by Garden & Gun magazine and also on Explore GA's "100 Plates Locals Love", this burger is a must try! It comes topped with house made pimento cheese, bacon and jalapeño jelly topped on a toasted bun. No wonder it's a fan favorite! 

Plucked Up Chicken

This restaurant is the go to place for Breakfast and Brunch in Uptown Columbus. Serving chicken - any way you like it. Biscuits, Eggs, Sandwiches, Wraps, Salads and more. 

1. Chicken Coop

The chicken coop is everything breakfast on a plate! Served open face wth chopped, grilled, or fried chicken, sausage gravy, cheddar cheese, bacon and an over easy egg. We have tasted and agree that this plate has earned it's place as the number one fan favorite. 

2. The Chelsea

Fried chicken, pimento cheese, bacon and jalapeño jelly. Do we even need to say anything more? 

3. Biscuits & Gravy

Simple but classic, sausage gravy on delicious biscuits is never a bad idea. 

Ready Steak GO!

This is a "fast casual" restaurant in two locations! Macon Road and Williams Road. The Williams Road location even delivers! 

1.  Steak Tips

This entree comes loaded with mushrooms and onions.  

better burger rsg .jpg

2. Cheeseburger

Sometimes you just want a hand made burger and when those times come around it's time for a visit to Ready Steak GO! 

3. Hamburger Steak

Smothered with onions and gravy, this dish will definitely leave you satisfied. Coming in as the third fan favorite, it's definitely worth a try. 

Mark's City Grill 

Located in North Columbus, Mark’s City Grill prides itself on serving uniquely pleasing dishes with extraordinary flavor. 

1. Pounded Pork Cutlet

With a lemon butter sauce that will melt in your mouth, this dish is a personal favorite of ours. We can see how it is the number one fan favorite! We recommend you order macaroni and cheese as your side dish.  We think it's the best in Columbus. 

2. Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast

You can't go wrong ordering this meal. With mashed potatoes and grilled veggies, it's a pleaser. 

3. Shrimp & Grits

Sautéed shrimp and Andouille sausage in a cream sauce over white cheddar grits. Even reading that makes our mouth water.  

Mark's Pies & Thighs

Mark’s Pies & Thighs is located in Cataula, GA. Serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner from bone in crispy fried chicken and mouth watering pizza pies to delectable burgers and juicy chicken wings, food lovers can opt to use the convenient drive-thru window or sit down in the dining area and indulge in some of the best food in the south.

1. Fried Chicken

Choose from two or three piece dark, mixed, or white chicken. They even have a family deal! 

2. Pie In The Sky - Pizza

This pizza has everything on it, pepperoni, ham, sausage, onions, peppers, black olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, and banana peppers. We can see why it's a fan favorite! 

3. Dipped Fried Chicken

Chicken dipped in Mark's special sauce. Really, who could ask for more? Delish. 

Hunter's Pub & Steakhouse

Located in Hamilton, GA, Hunter's Pub has been making customers happy with it's wonderful food since 1998. Not only do they have steaks but also "Fresh Catch Of The Day" specials that are truly one of a kind! 

1. Steak

Hunter's is the best place around for a good ole steak. You can choose from a 16oz Ribeye, 14oz New York Strip, 12oz Filet, or a 8oz Petite Filet.

2. Fried Lobster Tails

The picture speaks for itself. These babies are definitely worth a try. 

3. Peanut Butter Pie

This might be the best dessert in all the land. No joke. 

There you have it! Fan favorites from seven of the nine Mark Jones restaurants. Did your favorite make the list? 

6 Reasons To Attend Paddle South In Columbus, Georgia

Paddle South is April 14th and 15th at the Columbus Ga Whitewater Park. The two day event will consist of the 2017 USA Freestyle Kayak National Championships, and a beer and barbeque festival. This is the perfect event for everyone to get outside and enjoy nature while experiencing some amazing food and the Omaha Brewery Craft Biergarten! Need more of a reason why? Read our top 6 reasons why you should not miss this unique weekend below.

The website: https://paddlesouthfest.com/

The event page: Paddle South

1. Freestyle Kayaking National Championships

The Freestyle Kayaking Nationals will be held on “The Good Wave”. People will have the chance of watching professional kayakers from all over the country fight for the national title on our Good Wave.  On Friday evening, the 2017 USA Freestyle Kayak National Championships will begin at 4:00 p.m. and end around 8:00 p.m. Saturday morning, the competition will kick back off at 10:00 a.m. and last until 6:00 p.m.

2. Barbecue Competition 

If you love barbeque, PaddleSouth is for you! With several southern barbeque vendors, you are guaranteed different flavors that will satisfy your taste buds. On Saturday at 4:00 p.m. the barbeque and beer festival will open its gates at the Eagle & Phenix water tower. Entrance into the festival is $5 and all food and drinks are for purchase.

3. Omaha Brewing Biergarten

Beer lovers rejoice at PaddleSouth when they enter the Omaha Brewing Biergarten. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Chattahoochee River while enjoying liquid from Columbus’ closest craft brewery. Bringing multiple craft beers, this section of the festival will be packed.

4. Music

No festival is complete without music and PaddleSouth has got the music covered! Caleb Gambel has a voice like butter and Big Saxxy was born to amaze with his top notch saxophone talent. Sticking with the southern, down-by-the-river theme, festival goers will get down to Blackberry Possum, a local bluegrass band.

5. Camping

For a truly awesome experience, camping is offered. Become one with nature-hood while camping out at PaddleSouth. Camping for participants is available within walking distance to downtown & event venue. Please send your request to Becca@UptownColumbusGA.com or call 706.596.0111.

6. Escape The Ordinary In Columbus, Ga

Columbus is the place for everyone to escape the ordinary. Experience true southern hospitality, adventurous days and exciting nights . Adventure isn’t the only thing Columbus has to offer. If you are a family seeking history and education on their trip, Columbus has Nationally recognized, free museums; The National Civil War and Naval Museum, and recently voted the number one free museum from USA Today, The National Infantry Museum. Columbus is where Coca-Cola was founded. Visitors can stop and see the creator's house, and visit the Coca-Cola Space and Science center where visitors learn about space, and partake in simulations.

If adventure is what your family is seeking, look no further than Columbus. Columbus has the World’s longest urban whitewater course, Columbus Ga Whitewater. Columbus GA Whitewater was voted a “Top 12 Man-Made Adventure” in the World by USA Today. The rapids range from Class I to Class V, open to ages 7+. Accompanying the whitewater course is a 1,200 ft. long zip line with an in-air obstacle and ropes course at the end. The zip line is the only one in the country that connects two states! Visitors can walk or bike along our 25-mile RiverWalk that connects it all!

Escape the ordinary vacation, and give Columbus, Georgia a try during Paddle South, April 14th and 15th.