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7 scenic drives that will make you love Georgia just a bit more

Congratulations, you happen to live in a place surrounded by some of the most stunning and breathtaking scenery in the country. 

One drive around some of Georgia’s scenic byways, and you’ll be reminded of the beauty that lies just a few miles away from Atlanta.

Hit the road this year and experience these unbeatable scenic routes in Georgia:

The Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway, Dalton

When you travel along the Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway, you'll find yourself surrounded by peaceful forests, pastoral landscapes and stunning mountain overlooks. This scenic drive has a little bit of everything. It all starts at the Historic Prater's Mill, which takes you through the rolling hills of Murray County, meanders around the Chattahoochee National Forest and ends with a mountaintop overlook. To experience the Cohutta-Chattahoochee Scenic Byway, take Interstate 575/State Route 515 north to Ellijay then take State Route 52 west towards Chatsworth.

»RELATED: Hike these 5 beginner-friendly waterfall trails in North Georgia

The Russell Brasstown Scenic Byway, Blairsville

If you're drawn to majestic mountain scenery, enjoy a scenic drive through the Russell Brasstown Scenic Byway. This route, which takes you deep within the Chattahoochee National Forest, travels past sections of the Appalachian Trail, through Helen, Georgia’s little slice of Bavaria, up to Brasstown Bald, the highest mountain in Georgia, and past Vogel and Unicoi State Parks. Access the Russell Brasstown Scenic Byway by taking Interstate 985 north to Highway 23. Follow to State Route 384, then take State Route 75 North to the byway.

The Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway, Villanow

Georgia is home to some of the most lush and fertile farmland in the South, and you can experience this for yourself on a journey along the Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway. Along this route, you'll see 19th century farmhouses sprinkled in with breathtaking mountain stop-offs, including the Keown Falls Scenic Area, John's Mountain Overlook and the Pocket. To get on the Ridge and Valley Scenic Byway, take Interstate 75 north to Exit 306, then travel west on State Route 140. Follow to Highway 27 and continue along the highway north until you reach State Route 156.

The Historic Effingham-Ebenezer Scenic Byway (cities of Ebenezer, Guyton, Springfield, and Rincon)

Take a tour through Southern history with a drive along the Historic Effingham-Ebenezer Scenic Byway. You can see the historic churches throughout Effingham County, explore American Revolution-era tavern sites, retrace the steps of George Washington and General Sherman and see the ferries and gorgeous waterways along the Savannah River. To take a scenic drive down the Historic Effingham-Ebenezer Scenic byway, get on Interstate 95 to Exit 109, then follow Highway 21 north to Fourth Street in Rincon where the byway begins. (Note: this is a long way from Atlanta. To get to I-95 from Atlanta take I-75 south to I-16 east to I-95 north. Basically, you drive almost to Savannah then head north.)

The Millen-Jenkins County Scenic Byway, Millen

If you love history, this scenic drive is for you. The Millen-Jenkins County Scenic Byway passes through the Downtown Millen Historic District. On this drive you’ll see turn-of-the-century railroad depots, notable farmhouses and churches and Historic Camp Lawton, the 1864 prisoner-of-war camp. Stop by the Millen-Jenkins County Museum to see Native American artifacts, 19th century tools and vintage cotton mill equipment. From Interstate 20 east, take Interstate 520 to Highway 25. Follow Highway 25 south to access the byway along Big Buckhead Church Road.

The Altamaha Historic Scenic Byway, Darien

Spanish moss and Southern heritage abound along the Altamaha Historic Scenic Byway. This route will take you past Fort King George, the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, Butler Island and the marsh ecosystems found throughout the Georgia Coast. Experience the Altamaha Historic Scenic Byway by taking Interstate 95 south to Exit 58, turning east on State Route 57. When State Route 57 becomes State Route 99, the Byway will begin at the Sapelo Island Visitors Center. (Note: again, this is a long way from Atlanta. To get to I-95 from Atlanta take I-75 south to I-16 east to I-95 south.)

»RELATED: 8 places to have outdoor adventures around Atlanta

The Enduring Farmlands Scenic Byway, Hawkinsville

Whether you love the idea of starting your own hobby farm or just enjoy looking out over a peaceful landscape, the Enduring Farmlands Scenic Byway will give you a glimpse into a truly Southern rural lifestyle. Visit quaint, small towns, shop at local farmer's markets and drive past pecan groves, cotton fields and cattle pastures along this picturesque route. Hit the road along the Enduring Farmlands Scenic Byway by taking Interstate 75 to Exit 135, follow to Highway 41, then continue toward the Perry/Larry Walker Parkway. The Byway begins in Hawkinsville.

Clark Howard’s Christmas Kids

Because of your generosity, the 2017 Clark's Christmas Kids campaign collected gifts for over 8,000 deserving foster children across Georgia! Thank you for helping us reach our goal and making a difference in the lives of kids in foster care this holiday season.

Thank you to our friends at The Goddard School for their generous contribution and their performance. 

We thank St. Vincent de Paul Georgia for their support.

Clark Howard and other WSB hosts were live from each location at the times listed below:

Watch Clark Howard's Christmas Kids video from 2016.

Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

While it may never reach the level of controversy of how to hang the toilet paper roll or which way to load the dishwasher, the right time to put up the Christmas tree is a heavily-debated household topic.

There are answers to this question that depend on everything from Prince Albert to the opinion of tree growers to something called Adelaide Pageant Day.

RELATED: They spent 30 hours to identify the best fake Christmas tree

Whether you're undecided on the best time to put up your Christmas tree or are merely looking for reinforcement for your preferred date, at least one of these timing traditions is bound to work for you:

Forbidding the tree before turkeys

The ultimate etiquette authority, Miss Manners, doesn't specify when you should put up the tree, but does note succinctly that it isn't done before Thanksgiving.

The nouveau 12 days of Christmas approach

In days of yore, the 12 days of Christmas started with Christmas Day and wrapped up on January 6, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany. Apartment Therapy suggests a more modern 12 Days of Christmas tree strategy, putting up the tree for around 12 days beginning in mid-December and taking it down right after Christmas.

This dovetails nicely with advice from the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, which noted in The Telegraph that while it's cool to buy live trees from December 1 onwards, the middle of the festive season, around the third week of Advent, is a good compromise between putting the tree up immediately and waiting for Christmas Eve.

Prince Albert

Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, is widely heralded as the man who lit up the Victorian Christmas tree tradition in the 1840s, bringing it to Britain from his native Germany. If you want to stick with the original Christmas Tree timeline of Albert and his German forebears, go with Christmas Eve. 

The Aussie approach

According to Monash University religious diversity professor Gary Bouma in The Age, the established guideline in Australia is not to put up the tree before December, but not everyone abides by it.

By "not everyone," he may mean the full 14 percent of Be a Fun Mum blog readers, who said they put up the tree in early November. They did restrain themselves until after something known as Adelaide Pageant Day, the second Saturday of November. And they are in solidarity with the Fun Mum herself, who says she put her tree up in early November because, "My mum always did. I love Christmas and like to string it out."

Viva Italiana

You may be leaning towards putting the tree up the first week of December anyhow, but this Italian tradition provides a godd reason for it. According to Italy Magazine, Italian Christmas traditions begin on December 8 with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a date set in the Catholic calendar in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV.

Since December 8 is a public holiday and most Italians get the day off, it has become the day when many of them put up their Christmas trees and other holiday decor.

The final word on when to put up your tree

Assuming your own family tradition isn't already firmly in place, Southern Living gets the last word on the best time to put up the Christmas tree. That's because the ultimate authorities on Southern taste on all things mayo and wicker are also so darn sensible and inclusive on this topic: "We pass no judgement, but here are the times for when to put up your Christmas decorations. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the earliest that you should set up a Christmas tree or put up Christmas-specific decorations."

The reason you shouldn't do it earlier? "It is inconsiderate for your beautiful tree to steal the thunder from your big turkey dinner."

As for the latest time to put up the tree, that would be Christmas Eve, a nod to bygone, less holiday-crazed times.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade star lineup announced

Big-named stars will headlining this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade for 2017.

Jimmy Fallon, Smokey Robinson, Wyclef Jean and Leslie Odom, Jr. will be joining 98 Degrees and the Goo Goo Dolls for the annual New York City spectacular, People reported.

>> Read more trending news

Broadway will also highlight new shows like “Anastasia,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Once on This Island” and “Spongebob Squarepants.”

Don’t forget about the massive balloons the parade is known for.

This year Olaf will join the parade, along with Chase from “Paw Patrol.”

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving.

Photos: Target’s hot holiday toys for 2017

What toys will be on your children’s holiday lists? Target says these are the hot toys this year.

Tad & Drex Stuff The Truck

Join Tad, Drex and Kara as we STUFF THE TRUCK for Atlanta Community Food Bank at Publix in Alpharetta Commons located at 4305 State Bridge Rd, Alpharetta, GA 30022!  

We will be there on Thursday, November 16 from 2 until 7pm collecting Turkeys, Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Green beans, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes and Corn for Atlanta area families in need. 

Atlanta Community Food Bank procures enough food to provide nearly 59 million meals each year and distributes it to more than 600 nonprofit partner agencies serving families and individuals in 29 metro Atlanta and north Georgia counties.

Our community faces one of the highest levels of food insecurity in the nation—meaning that our neighbors often struggle to put food on the table, and that their access to nutritious food is limited by a lack of money and other resources. And the need continues to grow.

  • One in every four children in Georgia (23%) lives in food insecure households — meaning they don’t know where their next meal will come from.
  • 16% of Georgia’s population is food insecure.
  • Nearly 842,000 people – or 1 in 7 – across metro Atlanta and north Georgia to provide food for themselves and their families.
  •   

U2 announces 2018 Atlanta concert

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene

U2 is finally coming to town.

For the first time since 2009, the Irish superstars will visit the Atlanta area with a stop on their “Experience + Innocence” tour.

The show will take place at the intimate Infinite Energy Arena on May 28.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Nov. 20 exclusively through Ticketmaster Verified. U2 fan club subscribers receive first access and can register at http://www.u2.com/subscribe through Nov. 12. U2.com subscribers can purchase tickets beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 14 through 5 p.m. Nov. 16. Ticket prices are TBA.

The band’s new album, “Songs of Experience,” arrives Dec. 1.

U2 2018 TOUR ITINERARYMay 2 Tulsa, OK BOK CenterMay 4 St. Louis, MO Scottrade CenterMay 7 San Jose, CA SAP CenterMay 11 Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile ArenaMay 15 Los Angeles, CA The ForumMay 22 Chicago, IL United CenterMay 26 Nashville, TN Bridgestone ArenaMay 28 Atlanta, GA Infinite Energy ArenaJune 5 Montreal, QC Bell CentreJune 9 Uniondale, NY NYCB LiveHome of the Nassau Veterans Memorial ColiseumJune 13 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo CenterJune 17 Washington, DC Capital One ArenaJune 21 Boston, MA TD Garden

Aunt Yvonne’s Lil Monster Mash

Listen to Tad, Drex and Kara through Thursday for your chance to win a 4-pack of tickets to Aunt Yvonne’s Lil’ Monster Mash this Saturday at Coca-Cola Roxy in The Battery Atlanta! 

Double, double, toil and trouble! Aunt Yvonne’s Lil’ Monster Mash is a kid-friendly Halloween dance party for parents and children of all ages! Bring the kiddos for a very special daytime event with music and themed activities with music by DJ Aunt Yvonne.

The first 50 kids get a gift bag filled with goodies from Monkey Joes! The first 100 kids will receive a pumpkin to decorate courtesy of Home Depot! Your favorite Home Depot Tool Race Mascots from Suntrust Park will be on site!  

The event will run from 11am - 2pm and tickets are on sale now for only $15!

Scarlet Johansson Organizes Star-Studded Puerto Rico Benefit Event

Friday, October 20, 2017 — 

Fundraising will benefit the Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund, tickets go on sale Monday, October 23 at 10 a.m.

The John Gore Organization is proud to announce a special benefit reading of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town at the iconic Fox Theatre on Monday, November 6, featuring Tony Award® winner Scarlett Johansson along with her Avengers co-stars: Academy Award® nominee Robert Downey Jr.Chris Evans and Tony Award nominee Mark Ruffalo. The evening, directed by Tony winner Kenny Leon and organized by Ms. Johansson, will include additional, surprise appearances by celebrities and friends. All proceeds from the one-night-only event will be donated to support the relief efforts in the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

"The struggle faced by Puerto Rican residents since their island was ravaged by Hurricane Maria is terribly heartbreaking and has left many feeling hopeless and helpless," Ms. Johansson said. "It is a great privilege to be able to participate in whatever way I can, to provide some relief to those that are struggling to access even the most basic of human needs in the aftermath of this disastrous event. Please help me and my co-stars in coming together for an extraordinary, one-time-only evening to raise lifesaving funds for a devastated island and to help celebrate the true meaning of community with this unique reading of a great American classic."

“The idea was presented by Ms. Johansson, who is currently in Atlanta filming the next Avengers movie, and we immediately asked how we could help,” said John Gore, owner of The John Gore Organization. “We couldn’t be happier to support our friend, Scarlett, and her co-stars in producing this evening for such a worthy cause.”

Tickets to this exclusive one-night only event go on sale Monday, October 23 at 10 a.m. EST and can be purchased online at FoxTheatre.org/OurTown, by phone at 855-285-8499, or in person at the Fox Theatre Box Office. Tickets start at $89 and a limited number of VIP packages, which include premium seating in the orchestra pit or on stage, a post-performance meet-and-greet opportunity, a commemorative lanyard and a signed poster will be available starting at $500.

Set in the idyllic village of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, Our Town is a glimpse into the American experience of small town life that captures the universal experience of being alive, falling in love and facing death. Its 1938 original production earned a Pulitzer Prize for drama and the 1989 Broadway production garnered the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

The Hurricane Maria Community Relief & Recovery Fund will be housed at the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and funds will be used to support immediate relief, recovery and equitable rebuilding in Puerto Rico for low-income communities of color hit hardest by the storm. The fund will support organizations working on the frontlines with these communities.

The John Gore Organization (JGO) is the leading developer, producer, distributor and marketer of Broadway theatre worldwide. Under the leadership of 11-time Tony winning producer and owner John Gore, its family of companies includes Broadway Across America, Broadway.com, The Broadway Channel, BroadwayBox.com and Group Sales Box Office. Its productions span Broadway, Off Broadway, London's West End, Japan, Canada and 44 domestic markets. It has won Tonys in every producing category as well as numerous other Drama League, Drama Desk and Olivier awards.

Broadway in Atlanta is Atlanta’s leading theatrical presenter and producer of Broadway since 1981. For more than 35 years, more than 5.5 million theatergoers have experienced over 300 Broadway in Atlanta productions. Broadway in Atlanta is a member of the Broadway Across America (BAA) network and part of The John Gore Organization family of companies. BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring productions in North America, operating in 44 markets. Current and past productions include The Band’s Visit, Beautiful, Cats, Chicago, Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls, On Your Feet! and The Producers. 

The Fox Theatre is one of Atlanta’s premier venues for live entertainment and declared a “Top Stop of the Decade” by Venues Today Magazine. Listed as #1 non-residency venue worldwide for the decade by Billboard Magazine, the Fox most recently won 2017’s “Theatre of the Year” by the International Entertainment Buyers Association. With 4,665 seat theatre, the Fox hosts 250 performances a year, from rock concerts to Broadway, ballets, comedy and movies, attracting 500,000 visitors per year. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, the Fox Theatre stands today as a fiercely protected landmark and a nationally acclaimed theater and is celebrating its 88th year.

Click to buy tickets.

Join Us for GET UP Atlanta

   

B98.5 Supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and B98.5 is partnering with Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta for GET UP Atlanta!   

Visit KomenAtlanta.org to get more info, sign up to pledge 8 hours of physical activity in October, then record your hours of exercise and share your progress. 

Why 8? Everyday in Atlanta, 7 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and one will die. Puts things into perspective, don’t you think?

Friends and family are invited to sponsor or become involved in the fitness program themselves, which has an entry fee of $35. 

The challenge runs through the month of October and has a goal to raise $40,000 for Komen Atlanta. 

Every day in Atlanta, seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one will die. 

Komen Atlanta works to educate the community about the importance of early detection and provides thousands of free breast health services each year to ensure that every woman has access to everything she needs to detect and survive breast cancer.    

On October 23, a special celebration will be held at the Monday Night Brewing Garage located at 933 Lee St. SW. Entry to the celebration is free for Get Up Atlanta participants and $30 for non-participants.

  

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