You wouldn't know it by the temperature, but the first day of fall fell on Wednesday. Maybe we'll see evidence of it by November. Anyway, with the fall comes festivals, and we've got some good ones almost upon us.

For those looking for something to do next weekend, the Big Pig Jig in Vienna is Sept. 30- Oct. 1. This barbecue event is huge, and for Food Network devotees, it has been featured and played numerous times in the past few months. It's not just barbecue, as there is an entire festival attached to it with a parade and entertainment as well. The winner also gets to compete with the big boys at the Memphis in May barbecue cookoff, so the competition is pretty heated.

You should make plans the following weekend to be in Hahira for the Honey Bee Festival. Events are scheduled throughout the week, culminating in the two-day arts and crafts festival and the parade on Saturday, Oct. 8. If you enjoy small-town atmospheres, fun festival food, entertainment, and Shriners, then Hahira is the place for you to bee!

Business Roundup

I had it confirmed this week that the Goodwill store is relocating from downtown to the shopping center on St. Augustine by the new Hobby Lobby and Tractor Supply Co., but they're a few months away from opening there.

It looks like downtown Valdosta won't be lonely for long, though, as I've been told there are two nightclubs and four restaurants all in various stages of development, in addition to a possible new fitness center. With the restaurants, I've heard the range is from a pizza place in the old Sportsmans Club to the new fine dining establishment beside Covington's that is being worked on in earnest.

Another work in progress is the new Mr. B's on Lee Street that used to be a bowling alley. The building is being renovated from the inside out, and will be a welcome addition to the area.

The former home of the recent doughnut shop on North Ashley Street near downtown was being demolished this week, but I've heard no plans for its future yet.

We have a new trucking company in town, Epes Transport, which opened a satellite center in Valdosta this week off Exit 11 and will be hiring 20 to 30 new drivers from the area.

I had an inquiry again this week about the possibility of a grocery store in Camelot Crossing on North Valdosta Road. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any movement on it, although it seems like an ideal location based on the number of times I've been asked about it. There's certainly a great deal of land on North Valdosta Road that was just auctioned off, so I can't imagine that someone won't step up to the plate soon.

That's it for this week, but if you have something to add, please let me know!

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