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Museum marks 10 years

POSTED: May 23, 2012 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

DJ Wight of Dahlonega takes a look at the Chase Elliott exhibit at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

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The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame is celebrating 10 years with festivities on Saturday.

The event includes a car show, a swap meet, arts and crafts, a driver autograph session and live music by band Garage 71.

"Since this is the 10th anniversary we decided to host a celebration with live music and activities," said Gordon Pirkle, hall of fame board member. "It's going to be a fun day of viewing cars."

One of the highlights of the event will be the announcement of five new hall of fame inductees from a list of 15 semifinalists at 11 a.m.

Breakfast will be served from 8 to 10 a.m. and lunch will be available as well, according to volunteers.

Event attendees will also be able to tour the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery, located adjacent to the museum, to learn about moonshine ingredients and brewing methods.

Pirkle is excited for the celebration and hopes the community comes out to support the museum.

"I think this is a landmark for the organization," he said. "In a bad economy it was hard opening, but now we are getting lots of visitors and are basically self-sufficient. We appreciate the city for helping us get here."

Since the recession began, many museums across the country have suffered with less government support and fewer ticket-buyers visiting, Pirkle said.

"According to most museums it's a miracle that we held on in this day and time," he said.

The museum has actually seen an increase in guests since September when the museum began charging visitors.

"Since beginning to charge, attendance has almost doubled," Pirkle said.

Museum entry costs $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for children (age 7-13.)

Pirkle hopes the timing of the weekend's festivities, only two days before Memorial Day, will bring out more visitors.

"Memorial Day is a perfect weekend for a show. We are hoping to make this an annual thing," he said.

Rain dates for the event are Sunday or Monday. For more information, call (706) 216-7223 or visit

Recognized by the state legislature as the official home of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, the museum recognizes prominent members of Georgia's racing heritage. It is located at 415 Hwy. 53 East in Dawsonville.



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