Currahee Military Weekend begins Oct. 3

  • There are many activities scheduled for Currahee Military Weekend.
    There are many activities scheduled for Currahee Military Weekend.
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    The Stephens County Historical Society is preparing for the upcoming Currahee Military Weekend which starts on Thursday, Oct. 3.  
    This annual weekend is a joint event with Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Toccoa, each entity offering events of interest to our local community and visitors from around the globe.  
    What started as a reunion for the men that trained at Camp Toccoa during World War II is now open to World War II veterans, their families and the general public.
    The weekend kicks off Oct. 3, with a Joe Gransden: Night at the Ritz performance.
    Gransden’s talents have been describe this way by actor/director Clint Eastwood: “Joe is a young man with an old soul and a classic voice. He is a great new talent with a wonderful sense of humor to boot. And don't forget, he plays a hell of a trumpet!"
    There will be a book signing on Friday, Oct. 4, this event has books of interest for everyone. Featured author will be Robert “Bob” Wheeler, a World War II survivor of the Los Banos (in the Phillippines) internment prison camp. Wheeler is also this year’s keynote banquet speaker.
    As a young boy Wheeler and his family were captives of the Japanese for three  years. On the day they were to be executed, they were rescued by the 511th with the  11th Airborne.  
    The 511th was the third regiment to train at Camp Toccoa during the war. This rescue is still considered one of the most successful rescue missions of all time.
    The airborne troopers liberated 2,147 captives who still consider the 511th as their “angels on earth.”
    The Chamber of Commerce will host the USO Dance at Reflections at The Links at Lake Toccoa.  
    You may purchase tickets at the Chamber office or at the door on Friday night.  
    The Currahee Challenge, 3 Miles Up and 3 Miles Down will be held on Saturday morning at Currahee Mountain. Register online with www.active.com.
    Saturday, Oct. 4 kicks off downtown with breakfast hosted by VFW Post 4346 on Savannah Street. The event starts at 7 a.m. and continues to 10 a.m. Purchase tickets at the door.
    American Legion Post 104 will once register and orchestrate participants for the Veterans Parade that will start on Doyle Street at 1 p.m.
    If your group or organization would like to participate in the parade, contact the historical society office at 706-282-5055 or contact@toccoahistory.com for a registration form.
    The historical society welcomes back several World War II living historians, re-enactors and encampments that will be set up on Friday and Saturday around the historic courthouse.  
    The public is welcome to see their collections and camp displays.  The re-enactors will also be a part of the parade and will have a re-enactment immediately following the parade in downtown Toccoa.
    One of the most enjoyed events is the banquet on Saturday night.
     This event will be at Reflections at The Links at Lake Toccoa.  Tickets may be purchased online, at www.toccoahistory.com/2019-cmw or the museum gift shop at 160 North Alexander St.
    The closing event, also open to the public, is a tribute and memorial to the men who did not make it home after the war.  
    The program will be at the pavilion at Camp Toccoa at Currahee at 8:30 a.m.  Sunday, Oct. 6 at Camp Toccoa at Currahee where the history of the “Toccoa Men” begins.
    For more information or to volunteer to help with the weekend events, call 706-282-5055.