Click here or on the above image for the JeepFest guide, where you can find a full schedule of events, coupons for local businesse and more.
The annual Sheriff’s JeepFest this week will follow the same formula as previous years and attendance is expected to rise again.
As of Monday, more than 1,300 Jeep owners had registered for the Thursday through Sunday event. Founder of the event Sheriff Donnie Craig said they had 1,300 pre-registered and if the pattern from previous years holds, that number will double with on-site registration for the four-day event – meaning 2,600 Jeepers and families are expected here.
JeepFest, now in its 9th year, has grown a consistent 10 percent every year since 2016 when 2,000 Jeep owners registered. The first year of JeepFest was a single morning trail ride with fewer than 150 Jeeps.
Last year, organizers made significant changes to parking and trails, allowing the event to go much smoother, eliminating many of the traffic headaches from previous years. Craig said they are sticking with the same plan but have added some new trails to further spread out the traffic. They have also changed the obstacle course and will host more vendors.
The event is free for spectators.
“We welcome everyone to come out,” Craig said. “You don’t have to own a Jeep to enjoy watching people crawl and climb [in their Jeeps] in the obstacle course and to visit all the vendors.”
Homebase is located on Highway 53 in Marble Hill. Cove Road makes a great detour for people who normally use that route and want to avoid the crowds.
A couple of events to be aware of:
Thursday: Night Ride, leaving from Homebase at dark, will include several hundred vehicles.
On Friday, the Show-n-Shine and concert is planned again for downtown Jasper with Jeeps beginning to line up at 5 p.m. Look for road closings throughout downtown. Jacob Bryant will headline the concert which begins at 7 p.m.
The sheriff points out that working through the Sheriff’s Foundation, the event provides a major source of funds to community groups that benefit youth. In a personal Facebook message posted earlier this week, the sheriff stated, “As the JeepFest weekend quickly approaches us, I can’t help but sit here quietly and reflect on how blessed I am to know, and be surrounded by, so many selfless servants in our community that make events and causes like this not only happen, but succeed to a level I never imagined.”
Craig thanked volunteers and posted a list of the key donations provided by the Sheriff’s Foundation over the past years, which total more than $600,000. [It should be noted the first two years the event was sponsored by the Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes and the funds collected then are not included.]
See a schedule of weekend events on Page ***. The JeepFest Trail Guide which contains complete event information can be found by searching for this article at pickensprogress.com.
Sheriff’s Foundation Donations
Georgia Sheriffs' Youth Homes: $107,949;
The Joy House : $113,000;
ACES Youth Home: $35,000;
Angels on Horseback: $17,200;
Community Benevolence: $11,826;
Boys & Girls Clubs of North Georgia: $35,000;
BOE Attendance Scholarships: $7,500;
CARES For Pickens County:
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta: $20,000;
Jasper Youth Sports Association: $ 7,000;
Toys for Tots Pickens County GA: $12,000;
Kali Shay Quinton Memorial Foundation: $6,000;
North Georgia Pregnancy Center: $6,000;
Pickens Community Service Club: $10,000;
Pickens County S.A.F.E.: $13,000;
Pickens County REACH Program: $10,000;
Pickens County Special Olympics: $26,000;
Pickens Sheriff’s Explorers:
Pleasant Hill Christian Church Foster Child Program: $5,000;
Prevent Child Abuse Pickens
Talking Rock First Baptist
Christmas for Kids:
Christmas “Shop with the Sheriff” for Kids: