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Welcome to Your Weekend: Fist pump for food!
Monastery Fall Fest/Health Fair, Chili Cookoff, Pink Pooch Parade and more this weekend
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Fist pump for food, the weekend is coming.

Local Events This Weekend:

Saturday, Oct. 4

Monastery Fall Festival and Health Fair
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Hwy 212 SW, Conyers; family friendly festivities including a petting zoo, hay rides, face art, arts and crafts, tree climbing, classic cars, music and live entertainment; free health screenings 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. including dental dermatologist/skin, Prostate/PSA, blood work, Ask a Medical Question/ Ask a Pharmacist;

Social Circle Friendship Festival
9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; 10th annual festival in historic downtown Social Circle; arts & crafts, food, kids entertainment;

Salem UMC Barbecue
11:15 a.m.-2:15 p.m.; Salem United Methodist, 3962 Salem Rd, Covington; $8 plates of barbecue; Brunswick stew for sale too; cakes, pies, desserts for sale; benefits church missions programs; 770-786-6027

Miller Lite Chili BBQ Cook-off
10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Ga. Int'l Horse Park, 996 Centennial Olympic Pkwy, Conyers; adults $10, children 12 and under are free; parking $5; proceeds benefit Camp Twin Lakes; live music; about 150 chili booths will provide free chili samples to public; BBQ teams also doing limited sampling; Samples start 11 a.m. first come first served;

Blessing of the Animals
2-4 p.m.; St. Simon's Episcopal, 155 Ga. Hwy 138 NE, Conyers; Blessing of the animals and bluegrass concert with The Donna Bopp Band; 770-483-3242

‘Fear the Woods' Zombie Paintball and Haunted Woods / Pumpkin Patch
Fear the Woods open 7 p.m. - midnight Fri-Sat, 7 p.m. - 11 p.m. Sunday, open Halloween Night; Yule Forest's Pumpkin Patch, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Mon - Fri, 10 a.m. -6 p.m. Sat - Sun; located at 3565 Ga. Hwy 155 N, Stockbridge. Stockbridge's newest zombie phenom is sure to thrill with a zombie paintball ride through the woods; A chilling haunted house and haunted trail await. You can also take hayrides, shoot a pumpkin cannon, be buried alive, and visit the frozen room, skinner shack, and swamp. By day, the family friendly Pumpkin Patch also offers a petting zoo, talking chicken show, science center, pirate ship, obstacle course, reptile house, and pioneer rabbit village. For more on the Pumpkin Patch, 770-944-9356, For more on Fear Woods, 770-954-9356,


Sunday, Oct. 5

Pink Pooch Parade
3 -6 p.m.; start and end at Olde Town Conyers Pavilion; $25 registration at The Pampered Puppy 953 South Main St., or contact, 770-712-7653, or go to


If you’ve ever scoured the grocery store for a plate of samples, then your dreams are about to come true. If you fancy yourself something of a food critic, you too may pump your fist in celebration. This weekend offers two fantastic food festivals in which you, the hungry masses, get to weigh in on a wide range of homemade products. Whether you’re a cheese fanatic or a BBQ and chili expert, there’s something to make your taste buds dance with glee. 

The lactose intolerant may want to look away. Fromage fiends assemble at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens this weekend for the 2nd Annual Atlanta Cheese Festival. For the discerning pallet, buy a VIP ticket that includes the opportunity to enjoy an engaging and delectable beer and cheese or wine and cheese pairing. Check out Murray’s Cheese Pairing 101 Class for tips you can use to boost your hostess skills on the home front. Take the power into your own hands with The Grilled Cheese Meltdown. This competition is, as you have so cleverly surmised, one big grilled cheese battle. Thirteen local eateries supply samples of their prized grilled cheese sandwiches for you to try out. You can cast your vote and stick around to see who is crowned the cheesy champ. Make sure to catch a cooking demonstration by cheese experts before you head to the Farmer’s Market style vendor’s area to purchase some edible souvenirs from the professionals who crafted it. Check out the official cheese festival website for tickets:

If you’re from the south, chances are the men in your family consider themselves kings of the backyard grill. To get a taste of local grill master’s culinary creations, head out to the Georgia International Horse Park for the 35th Annual Great Miller Lite Chili and BBQ Cook Off. Your ten dollar ticket gives you access to over a hundred and fifty booths boasting bold chili flavor. Empty your bowl and vote for your favorite hand crafted chili. BBQ pros will be lined up to let you taste their saucy treats, as well. All samples are on a first come first serve basis so make sure to get there at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday for maximum munching. Youngsters can entertain themselves in the designated “kid’s zone” while grownups can stroll up to the beer garden to make their adult beverage choices. The slate of talented musicians includes A1A The Original and Official Jimmy Buffet Tribute Show, Convoy, The Steel Magnolia’s Joshua Scott Jones, and Kristian Bush of Sugarland. Scout out the schedule beforehand so you can plan your day accordingly:

Here’s to full forks, gooey cheese, spicy chili, cold drinks, unexpected combinations, and all things impossibly delicious. Snack on.