Living at the Lake is not all about fishing and golfing. Through the years the area has developed some small, but charming venues for the arts. Eatonton, Greensboro, and Madison have all transformed historic school buildings to house performance centers. My husband grew up in Eatonton, and remembers sitting in the elementary school auditorium as a child. Saturday night we will be sitting in that same auditorium to hear a performance from the classic Lettermen! Of course the building is now known as The Plaza Arts Center. It is the scene of locally produced plays, regional performances of the arts, and even concerts, with space for dancing, in the front yard each summer! We are looking forward to reliving our younger days as we reminisce to the sounds of “The Way You Look Tonight”, “Theme from a Summer Place”, and “Shangri-La”. The trio has been making its romantic close harmony love ballads for over 50 years, under the leadership of founder Tony Butala. Call and see if any tickets are left! Plaza Arts
The Lake Oconee area has ample representation of some of America’s talented authors. Although author Joel Chandler Harris wrote his beloved Uncle Remus stories in Atlanta, his early life was spent near Eatonton at the Turnwold Plantation where he got the inspiration for the tales. The statue above is still in downtown Eatonton, as is the Uncle Remus Museum. Turnwold Plantation is visible on Old Phoenix Road.
Author Alice Walker also was born in Eatonton. She later became famous as the prize-winning writer of the novel The Color Purple. Her childhood home is no longer standing, but the family church is under renovation, and one can see it on the Alice Walker Driving Tour. Find details for viewing the roots of these famous authors here.
People who choose to celebrate The Running of the Kentucky Derby in the Lake Oconee area usually do so at one of the many private parties held in homes. Bets are made, hats are worn by the ladies, and of course appropriate food and drink is served. One yearly party we attend is hosted by a couple who are Louisville natives, and who have celebrated the Derby with a party every year for the past 40 years. They serve the real Mint Juleps in silver cups, made the traditional way. Last year the Harbor Club Ladies League had a luncheon Derby celebration at one of the lakeside homes in this community. Being in on the planning, I set out to create a Mint Julep that was a little more ladylike, and didn’t feature bourbon. I was inspired by cocktails I had sampled in Charleston that featured sweet tea flavored vodka. Everyone loved the Harbor Club Mint Julep, so I am sharing the recipe on this page.
Harbor Club Mint Julep
2 oz sweet tea vodka
2 oz lemonade
½ oz simple syrup
½ oz of peppermint schnapps
Serve over crushed ice, garnished with sprig of mint