Dec. 4, 2015
                 Tifton, Georgia

         (478) 227-7126


This is the biggest weekend in Tifton! This year  there are zip lines, ice skating, carnival rides, pony rides, live  entertainment, shopping, dining, vendors, and more -- and they are all free, thanks to local sponsors

The 17th Annual Hometown Holiday Christmas Celebration is in Downtown Tifton. The Christmas Parade begins at 5 p.m. and kicks off the downtown evening activities on Saturday.

The latest addition to this years celebration is 400 feet of zip lines -- one of the longest zip lines that's available. The downtown streets will also be full of two ice skating rinks, ferris wheel rides, various carnival rides, four stages of live entertainment and fireworks.

There are various activities all weekend, including the Mayor's Motorcade Christmas Musical at 6 p.m. today, Friday, at the Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts

Before the parade Saturday, there are a Rotary Club Breakfast with Santa and a Kiwanis Run for the Kids. For a full detailed schedule, Click Here!

Brumby & White Christmas Tree Farm in  Tift County for the ninth year is joining Christmas tree farmers  across the country to provide Christmas trees to military families in need through the "Trees for Troops" program.
Guardsmen and volunteers load Christmas trees Thursday.                   WALB-TV photo
Brumby & White has committed to providing  170 trees to military families around Georgia. On  Thursday, Dec. 3, volunteers, farm employees and National Guard soldiers from Tifton and Cordele gathered to cut, bale, tag and load the trees. 

Even  Santa showed up along with Brig. Gen. Joe JarrardGeorgia's adjutant general.

"We're having the happy experience of donating 170 trees to the Georgia Army National Guard," said Mike Brumby, co-owner of Brumby & White Christmas Tree Farm on Chula-Brookfield Road. The trees will be donated to military families in 22 Georgia counties.

Local residents and organizations also made donations to buy some of the trees for the military families, signing special cards attached to the trees.

The Trees for Troops program hopes to deliver 18,000 farm-grown Christmas trees to military families across the nation this year.


Tifton Grapevine

Every community has a restaurant, diner or coffee shop where folks have gathered for years. Those places become part of the patchwork of the town, intertwined with fond memories. It is where families and friends celebrate birthdays and milestones; where kids come following baseball games; where shy teenagers on a date meet to share a slice of pie and a smile; where families join for Sunday dinner after church and to meet their friends; where civic groups gather for food and fellowship.

Shoney's restaurant in Tifton is such a place. Since 1969, generations of local folks have come through the doors. But come this Sunday, those doors will close forever.

The closure should not be a real surprise. Tifton has changed a lot since Shoney's first opened, and there are scores of other places to meet and eat in the Friendly City these days. Business in recent years was not what it used to be.

When the news broke this week, some folks took to Facebook to reminisce.

"There is a time and place for everything, so guess Shoney's time is up and will remain in our memories of fun times after games and choral concerts and theatre productions, etc.," wrote Lena Ingram. "Guess I am getting old, but sometimes I just don't like progress. I would love to eat at the old Holiday Inn just one more time and have Boo Stafford come sit down with me and visit a spell. Shoney's and Holiday Inn were once considered progress, and some of us go back so far to remember the Alpine." 

Winkie  Wright added: " A trip down memory lane; add the Varsity. W e have such good memories of a   Tifton  that is forever gone."

Brenda Callaway wrote that "Shoney's was my Sunday night ... after-church 'courting place.' " She added: "Hats off to the Hunt family for many good years of good food, good service and their contributions to the community."

The late John Hunt opened Shoney's in 1969 after initially being rebuffed by the parent company. Hunt's son, Dallas Hunt, t old The Tifton Gazette a few years ago that after Shoney's refused to open a restaurant in Tifton, his father "got in his car and drove to their home office in Charleston, W.Va., and told them that they needed to be in Tifton. When they said no, that didn't work for him so he took it on himself. He was the first  Shoney's  franchisee."

Hunt's JH Services later opened more restaurants in the region, including a Shoney's in Ashburn that will remain open, says Hunt's widow, Julie E. Hunt She says Shoney's "has been our family," and with the impending closing, "we're sad about it." But she adds that after 46 years of serving families and friends, Tifton's Shoney's is tired and ready to retire

"Thank you to our many, many customers through the years," Hunt says. "We hope you too will remember (Shoney's) with fondness."

And many of us certainly will. In some ways, it is fitting that Shoney's will darken during the same year that longtime hostess  Maxie  Spivey passed. She had become synonymous with Shoney's, and the place never quite seemed the same without her. 

Julie Hunt says there is no specific time on Sunday when Shoney's will close, but it will be in the afternoon. And with the closing, Tifton goes through another transition. We can understand it; we can accept it; but we don't have to like it.


Dwight and Johnny Dunn were honored Monday night, Nov. 30, as the Tift  County Farmers of the Year at the Tifton-Tift County Chamber of  Commerce's annual Agriculture Appreciation Banquet

The event is  sponsored by Lasseter Tractor. Pictured from left are state Rep. Clay  Pirkle, Chamber President Brian Marlowe, Dwight Dunn, Johnny Dunn, state Sen.  Greg Kirk, Tift County Extension Coordinator Scott Carlson and Chamber  Chairman Dr. Joe West

More than 150 people attended the dinner at the  Tift County Multipurpose Livestock Building.
Brumby & White
    'Choose & Cut'        Since 1980
        Christmas Tree Farm 
We Have 3,750 Trees ... Find Your Perfect Christmas Tree! 

Leyland Cypress     Virginia Pine    Fraser Fir   Blue Cedar
Carolina Sapphire     Red Cedar    Blue Ice     Naylors Blue
Trees Range from 4 to 18 feet  ~  Starting at $25 

Spike Stands (holds trees straight). 
All trees drilled for spike stands and water intake.
Cut your own or we cut it for you.

     All trees blown out & shaken; all trees baled; 
all trees loaded/secured for you in your car or truck at no charge.

Monday-Friday:  Noon - 5:30 p.m. (or Dark)
Saturday: 10 a.m. - Dark
Sunday: 1 p.m. - Dark 
229 382-7515 or 229 382-3072
808 Chula-Brookfield Road
(1/2 mile east of Highway 125/Tift Ave or 3.5 miles east I-75 Exit 69)


Tift County's 4-H Poultry Judging team is again national champions

The team of senior Karen Ouano, juniors Nicole Taylor and Justin Harper, and recently graduated Caroline Dunn emerged victorious at the national competition recently in Louisville, Ky.

Tift County won consecutive national championships in 2010 and 2011, and again in 2013. This year's victory is particularly rewarding considering the limited poultry background of three of the four team members. The knowledge and experience the team attained during the year came from practice sessions and 4-H competitions.

The Tift County team last year had a disappointing finish. Tift finished third in the state, which didn't allow the team to compete at the national level. That served as motivation for this year's team of Georgia 4-Hers.


Literacy Volunteers of Tifton-Tift County will receive website design services valued at $500, thanks to the agency's participation in #GivingTuesday, a global day for giving back, which was Dec.1.

According to, there is a day for giving thanks and two for getting deals, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On Tuesday, Dec. 1, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students in 71 countries came together to give and  celebrate generosity.

And give, they did! The fourth annual online celebration of generosity raised a record $117.6 million from nearly 700,000 donors. There were 1.3 million social media mentions related to #GivingTuesday. The hashtag enables tracking the number of mentions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Bonnie Sayles, executive director of the local nonprofit Literacy Volunteers, won three prizes from, an online donor platform, for using social media to promote the day of giving. 

"I saw that they were giving away five prizes valued at up to $500 to those who would use the symbol @GiveGab and make their case," said Sayles. "I posted that Literacy Volunteers is a small nonprofit with no full-time employees, using volunteer tutors to help individuals improve their basic reading and math skills or prepare for GED tests or learn English. I asked for their help and received an email saying they had seen my posts."

"Hey Bonnie," said Alyssa Ravenelle with, " We've seen you all over social media today promoting your nonprofit and your Giving Tuesday campaign to the world -- so we've got some news!  First, we're definitely sending you a #GivingTeesDay shirt. Second, we'd like to award you one of the consulting prizes!"

Sayles chose p rofessional services  from StrateComm for use toward custom graphic and web design, website maintenance services, search engine optimization a nd PPC Marketing for the Literacy Volunteers organization. 

By posting numerous "unselfies," Sayles was one of only two nonprofit representatives that won gift baskets from Cabot Creamery, valued at $25, and Literacy Volunteers received several other matching donations through GiveGab. 

"It was exciting to be a part of a such a huge global initiative," said Sayles. 

Literacy Volunteers was one of 163 nonprofits participating through


The Tiftarea YMCA is hosting a free basic bike maintenance workshop on Tuesday, Dec. 8, between 6:15 and 7 p.mblue-bike.jpg

The basics will be  demonstrated, including fixing flat tires and cleaning chains. There will be  some bikes on hand to demonstrate, but you are encouraged to bring your own  bicycle

Additional bike maintenance issues will be discussed, depending on  folks' interest and questions.

The workshop will be in the TRMC Community Event Center directly next to the YMCA entrance on Carpenter Road.
BRIGHTON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN! This week, the Interstate 75 Brighton Road Exit 66 was closed for bridge replacement The interchange is being reconstructed with new exit and entrance ramps and a new bridge. Traffic is being detoured as the old bridge is removed and the new bridge is built. The Ga. Department of Transportation says c onstruction  is expected to take at least 11 months. Meanwhile, n orthbound and southbound traffic on I-75 will take Exit 64 (U.S. 41/state Route 7) to 20 th Street. Depending on the destination (east or west of the Brighton Road bridge), traffic will be detoured onto SR 125 or U.S. 41/SR 7. ... BACK THE RED! That's the rallying cry begun by  Tifton firefighter Capt. Tim Cooper to recognize all firefighters. " Back the Red" T-Shirts and decals are being sold to help smaller fire departments to start smoke-detector programs and as  a way to say thank you to all firefighters.


Before Tifton's Hometown Holiday Christmas parade gets underway on Saturday, Dec. 5, Santa will be at the Tifton-Tift County Public Library at 4 p.m. in the Adult Multipurpose Room for the annual "Storytime with Santa."


Santa will be bringing along a few friends from his workshop to help tell holiday stories, including "Raggedy Ann and Andy." Hear Christmas classics from the toys' point of view! Kids can also make a few toy paper ornaments of their own.

Other holiday programs are scheduled this month at the public library. When kids are out of school for Christmas, they can visit the library for the annual Santa's Workshop on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 21 and 22, from 3-5:00 p.m. Kids of all ages can make gifts of jewelry, food, ornaments and customized cards for family and friends. All ages are welcome.

The library also has a regular Community Storytime for kids ages 2 to 5, with caregivers, on Thursdays at 10 a.m. through December, featuring storytimes about holiday cookies, gift giving and Christmas trees .

If kids need something to do during the long holiday break, the library ' s various kits may be checked out. The library recently added Wee Read Lapsit Storytime Kits for kids from 6 to 24 months to be used with their caretakers. Themes include Baby Yoga, Colors, Numbers, Baby Signing, Getting Dressed and more. Each kit contains three or four books, a toy/manipulative to help reinforce the theme, and usually some songs. 

For slightly older kids, there is Family Literacy Bags , geared toward ages 3 to 6. Each of these kits includes four books and printed materials for the kids to keep. For kids aged 7 and up, engage their minds with Family Science Kits, such as   Solar Energy Robots, Pizza Fractions, Wind Power, Climate & Weather , and several engineering-oriented kits. Each kit contains four books and includes materials that allows for experiments and exploration.

For information on activities offered by the Tifton-Tift County Public Library, call Victoria Horst, 229-386-7148 or email

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             a Glance 

  • Mayor's Motorcade Christmas Extravaganza, 7 p.m., Tift Theatre for the Performing Arts, Tifton
  • Breakfast with Santa, 8-11 a.m., Tift County Recreation Department, Tifton
  • Run For the Kids 5K, 2 p.m., 8th and Forrest streets, Tifton
  • Storytime with Santa, 4 p.m., Tifton-Tift County Public Library, Tifton
  • Downtown Tifton Christmas Parade, 5 p.m., 2nd Street and Magnolia to 8th and Love Avenue, Tifton
  • HOMETOWN HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION, immediately after parade, Downtown Tifton
  • Carriage Rides with Santa, 2-4 p.m., Annie's Place Gift Shoppe, Tifton
  • "The Crucible" play, 2 p.m., Performance Arts Center, Tift County High School, Tifton
  • Victorian Village by Candlelight, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Ga. Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, Tifton

In Memoriam

NOV. 24
Eunice Nell Ridings, 80, Nashville
Anthony Wayne Burrows, Atlanta

NOV. 25
Robert F. Young, 76, Adel
Alma Estelle Lewis, 96, Nashville

NOV. 26
Darrell David Dorminey, 85, Chula
Jonah Burgman "J.B." Woods Jr., 92, Tifton
Curtis Clyde Rutland, 76, Lenox
The Rev. Earl Shannon Buckholts, 89,  Tifton
Charles Grady Fulford, 81, Sylvester
Donald "Don" Aaron Morgan, 66, Leesburg
James Folsom, 86, Adel

NOV. 27
Lovie Elaine Blackwell, 65, Sylvester
Frances Sumner Fussell, 90, Fitzgerald
Jessie James Durrance, 75, Ray City

NOV. 28
Virginia Eason Hand, 95, Tifton
C. B. Braddy, 91, Sycamore
Donald Earl Covel Sr., 92, Adel
Jimmy Terrell Porter, 72, Nashville
James Ezekiel Sirmans, 64, Nashville

NOV. 29
James (Jimmy) House, 66, Omega
Debbie Love, 62, Sylvester
Matthew Eastman, 72, Fitzgerald
Michael C. Caley, 60, O cilla
Edward "Zeke" Revels, 61, Fitzgerald
Willie Dean Richardson, 81, Sylvester
Betty L. Hall, 84, Hahira

NOV. 30
David Alan Simmons Sr., 52, Ocilla
Beverly Sapp Barlow, 75, Rebecca

DEC. 1
Michael Lee Brown, Ashburn

DEC. 2
Ileene Exum Willis, 66, Tifton
Annie Laura Barnes Sanders, 88, Tifton
Terrence L. (Terry) Ellis Jr., 62, Tifton
Judy Reed Floyd, 67, Sycamore
Marvin Harold McCorvey, 88, Nashville

DEC. 3
Ola Juanita Willis Hand, 91, Tifton
Mary Elizabeth Griner Exum, 79, Tifton


  103 North Pebble Hill Drive, Tifton, GA
MLS #: R124521A

BRAND NEW HOME on 2.141 acres with pond. Great new subdivision that is just minutes from town, Highway 82 West, I-75, shopping, schools and hospital. Open floor plan, laminate floors, carpet and tile. Split-floor plan; den with cathedral ceilings; garage, kitchen overlooking den, breakfast area in kitchen, formal dining, utility room and patio. Buyer has $1,200 kitchen appliance allowance. Your own cypress pond, just in time for summer fishing, in the backyard; and there is also access to the backyard from the garage. Don't let this one get away!
    Dwana Coleman
                     Visit Us Online:

                            Call Us Today!   229-386-4222

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 Frank Sayles Jr. 
Editor & Publisher
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