Trenton Runaround Special: Stuff to Do Around Dade in March!

This Thursday begins March, the first month of spring. No guarantees about the weather, of course, but this is the time of year the world begins opening back up after the more insular winter pleasures of hearth, home and Netflix. It's time to get out and do, and what Dade County has to offer in that department will be the subject of this special edition of

The Trenton Runaround!

​​​First permit The Planet to point out an opportunity for the dancin' fools of Dade: Next Thursday, March 8, is the second benefit square dance at Cloudland Canyon State Park, staged as a benefit for the park by the nonprofit Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park. The dance is in the state park's group shelter--follow the signs from the park's main entrance on Highway 136 East--and costs $8 for singles or $15 for couples. FOCCSP's Connie Ward said the group's first square dance, which took place Feb. 8, was a big hit with those who attended, but numbers could have been better.

"It was very fun, and a great group of people to get to know and dance with," commented Ms. Ward. "Unfortunately, we did not have a turnout to support the expense. We hope that we get a better crowd this month and will be inspired to continue."

During the busy season for the park, said Ms. Ward, the Friends group can rope in campers to help out with the expense-to-revenue ratio, but for the long haul, if the square dance is to be a viable monthly event, locals need to turn out with their dancin' shoes on! For more information on the dance, please contact Ms. Ward at (423) 802-7037

Speaking of Cloudland Canyon, the park and its contracted concessionnaires always offer a great lineup of outdoorsy things to do outside, on top of the mountain and down at the bottom in wildflower-rich Sitton's Gulch. The spring kicks off with a night hike this Friday, March 2, and there are also wildflower walks for those interested in the dainty ephemerals that have already started poking their petals through the forest leaf cover. See the canyon's event calendar at:

And here's something a little out of the ordinary: The Dade County Historical Society will be giving tours of the historical county courthouse at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 10.

Since the county opened its new courts facility in 2010, the old building has sat empty in the dead center of downtown Trenton, surrounded by a traffic circle and slightly raised on a promontory like a great abandoned shrine. The Dade Historical Society ran a fundraising campaign, soliciting donations to replace the windows, and a handicap-friendly elevator has been installed, but otherwise work on the courthouse has been slow and fitful, dependent on the availability of funds.

Are you one of the courthouse's "angels," donating time and/or cash to the renovation

process? Or one of the renovation's critics, calling out the county and city on the slowness of their progress? Either way, you might enjoy this rare opportunity to see inside the historic building! For more information, contact Dade's favorite local historian, Donna Street, at, or (706) 657-7305.

​​By the way, Ms. Street and the Historical Society are also already planning a hike to the ruins of the Sand Mountain coke ovens this fall. Dates to be announced--watch for notices!

Spring is also the most! wonderful! time! of! the! year! for gardeners who just can't wait to get our hands into mud! If you are uninitiated in the joys of dirt-rolling, why not start this year with a spring gardening class at the Dade County Ag Center?

The class will be next Tuesday, March 6, from 10 a.m.-noon at the Ag Center, which is the metal building in front of Dade Middle School. UGA Specialist Bob Westerfield will speak on getting started, preparing the soil, variety selection, and common issues. A class fee of $5 is due by March 5. For more information contact Katie Hammond at 706-657-4116 or


If you've got a little disposable income to burn, and would like to hob and nob with the bankin' and biz segments of Dade society, the Dade Chamber of Commerce invites you to its annual awards banquet on Saturday, March 17, from 6-8 p.m. at the Trenton Civics Center. Tickets are $20 and the costume theme is A Night at the Movies. Best-dressed movie stars will win costume prizes. Call the C of C at (404) 657-4488 for more information.

(Photo from a long-ago chamber banquet, of then-chamber president Butch Raper and the late Bill Lockhart, who won Citizen of the Year that spring of 2011.)

The first of the Dade County Public Library's popular lineup of children's events is Read to Lead on Saturday, March 24. Activities kick off at 10 a.m. and last until 1 p.m., some inside the library and others spilling out into the Trenton Town Square.

This event incorporates lots of fun and useful things for kids--everything from a petting zoo to free books, games and haircuts.

The famous entertainers of the Davis School Chorus will perform, and door prizes will be given away. But the highlight of the day is always when local leaders such as Dade County Executive Chairman Ted "The Boss" Rumley, Trenton Mayor Alex Case and other officials read to the young'uns. It's always a good time and besides, you won't know which ones read like Shakespearean actors and which stumble over big words like "Shakespearean" unless you attend!

That's what The Planet's got this time. You got something else? If we've left your event out, send it to and we'll put it on The Planet's Upcoming Events calendar, and perhaps also on this or some upcoming version of

The Trenton Runaround!

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