Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Dahlonega's Gold Rush Days

Saturday, October 18th, 2008 dawned a wee bit chilly, but the Georgia Traveler crew couldn't have been more excited to set out at 7 AM for the Northeast Georgia mountains. Our desitination: Dahlonega and the annual Gold Rush Days festival. Now, as excited as we were about the festival, the reason for great anticipation was the arrival of our new Sony HD cameras. Gold Rush days was our first shoot with the new technology and we were really looking forward to getting out there and starting the shooting for our 3rd season and our first in HIGH DEFINITION! Here you can see (L-R) Keely Muse, photographer Dan Hodlick, producer Jennifer Houston Wood, David Zelski and associate producer Sammy Jones. These next two shots are of photographer Mitchell Zastrow and Dan Hodlick showing off the new gear. For those that are interested, the cameras are Sony 335 XD Cams. That's the Dahlonega Courthouse Museum there in the background of the photo of Dan and this group shot. This is where we shot the open for the Gold Rush Days segment with Traveler co-hosts David Zelski, Phil Proctor and Keely Muse. Georgia's State Parks and Historic Sites operates the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site there in the old courthouse- and you can't miss it, it's in the middle of the square downtown. For more info about the museum, visit their website by clicking here. After the open was "on disc", our hosts split up to cover the festival, Keely heading for the arts and crafts vendors, David and Phil headed for activities and competitions. Wherever we went, it seemed that Traveler fans were never far away. We were so pleased and flattered to have folks come and tell us how much they enjoy the show. And we're always happy to take a few fan photos like these. David and Phil competed in the "wheelbarrow" contest- you can see their different approaches to the competition in these two photos!

The crowds for the Gold Rush Days grew as the day went on (and grew warmer). Soon it was time for the parade through the square. The North Georgia College and State University located in Dahlonega has a long military history. One of only six senior military colleges in the United States, the Corps of Cadets from the University were participants in the parade. For more information about North Georgia College and State University in Dahlonega, visit their website by clicking here. The Traveler crew was lucky enough to be able to view the parade from higher ground- the balcony above the visitor's center afforded an excellent view of the festivities below... and the rocking chairs provided an excellent place to rest for Phil and our associate producer, Sammy Jones. This next shot- also taken on the balcony- is one of my favorites. Segment producer Jennifer Houston Wood holding our first complete HD disc! The thrill of having our first HD footage could only be matched by the delectable goodies at Dahlonega's The Fudge Factory. If you've never had a "Dahlonega nugget" from the factory, you're missing out! Fresh, rich caramel- homemade with REAL butter and REAL cream- with your choice of pecans, almonds, cashews or peanuts and topped with your choice of dark, milk or white chocolate! What's not to love? For more about the Fudge Factory and all it has to offer, click here. And of course, it's more than just the nuggets- there is FUDGE! My personal favorite is the probably the Butter Brickle, but I'm awfully fond of the Maple Walnut too... humm, so hard to decide. There are many flavors to choose from and these folks don't mind helping you out with a sample. Enjoy and tell 'em Georgia Traveler sent you! Our crew certainly enjoyed our time in Dahlonega. Here's a group shot of the GPB staff that went that day. From left to right, that's me, executive producer Ashlie Wilson, photographer Mitch Zastrow, associate producer Sammy Jones, Keely Muse, Phil Proctor, David Zelski, photographer Dan Hodlick and producer Jenny Wood. You can see the fabulous segment, written and produced by Jenny and edited by the amazing Charlene Fisk tomorrow- Wednesday, November 4 at 7:30 PM on GPB. For more about the "Fall Colors Tour of Georgia" episode and to WATCH ONLINE, visit the Georgia Traveler website.

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