Big Canoe is coming back – and we’re just getting started

By Teri Sawyer

Our recent Fourth of July weekend celebration brought craft beer, lots of great food, music and a watermelon-eating contest.

A stilt walker dressed as the Statue of Liberty and a barbershop quartet with their vocal harmonizing delighted folks. Children ran about, laughing and giving each other hugs, while parents and grandparents caught up.

Big Canoe feels like it’s coming back.

About 2,000 folks joined us for the Independence Day weekend family celebration—another 3,000 attended the fireworks display the next day. That joyous return to form was the result of the selfless teamwork of an army of volunteers.

A mom and daughter teamed up the day before the event to make every flower arrangement. Others hung garlands and patriotic drapery while everyone from ticket takers to bouncy-house attendants and traffic-control coordinators—100 volunteers in all—contributed in their own way.

The rest of 2021 promises to fill the calendar with many longstanding favorites along with new events we hope will become new family traditions. If you would like to volunteer to help or just want to know more about what’s planned, contact Teri Sawyer, 706-268-1092 or

Big Canoe events through December

• Outdoor Movie Night, July 31, approximately 8:30 p.m. Our featured movie will be “The Goonies,” screened behind the Canoe Lodge, with a DJ, pizza and popcorn added to the mix.

• Family Potluck on the Playfield, Aug. 21. Families can gather with their favorite dishes in hand. We will entertain the kids with bouncy houses, a DJ, old-fashioned backyard games and ice cream.

• Outdoor Movie Night with DJ, Aug. 28. Join us for a night of pizza and a classic movie. Location TBD.• Glow Night, Sept. 11. It is the perfect night to glow in the dark all across Big Canoe. Volleyball, black lights, glow-in-the-dark canoes and lots of after-dark fun await the whole family.

• Fun Run/Color Run 5K, Labor Day Weekend. The tradition continues with lots of family fun as you walk or run your way through these tree-lined streets with your neighbors. Steve Panetta at the Wellness Center can help get you signed up to participate in this year’s revelry. Info: 706-268-3441.

• Bike Parade, Sept. 4. Kids can decorate their bikes and parade them around the Playfield. Lots of prizes will be awarded in such categories as best matching outfit and best decorated.

• Outdoor Movie Night, Sept. 18. Join us for another night of pizza, a DJ and a classic movie. Location TBD.

• Public Safety Day on the Playfield, Sept. 25. Live music, bouncy houses, all the firetrucks and the tempting food items you can imagine will be part of this special day honoring our first responders.

• Mountain Twilight Concert on the Playfield, Sept. 26. Cherry, Cherry, a lively Neil Diamond tribute band, will transform the Playfield into a party. Bring your best party spread and your friends and neighbors to this free event. Set your chairs out early because this is a Big Canoe favorite.

• Oktoberfest, Oct. 9. This is Big Canoe’s most well-attended and longest-running event. While beer, great food, craft vendors and a polka band do take center stage, there is a lot to do for the whole family. We are keeping a few things secret so you can be surprised, but expect bouncy houses, huge slides, a man cave with the local college games streaming all day, wiener pong, beer stein races, ax throwing, a lederhosen costume contest and even a pie-throwing contest.

• Movie Night, Oct. 16. Join us for another night of pizza, a DJ and a classic movie. Location TBD.

• Trunk or Treat, Oct. 30. This isn’t just a trunk or treat event but the biggest tailgate party in Big Canoe. Along with decorations and candy, residents bring chili, hot dogs and their own personal party to this festival. Great music, a haunted hayride, a costume contest for all ages and a whole bunch of delighted kiddos await those who dare to attend.

• Christmas Drive-Through Lights Event and Santa’s Arrival, Nov. 27. The Village Core will be transformed into a winter wonderland as you drive through in the comfort and warmth of your car. You’ll be greeted with hot chocolate and a delicious treat before you wind your way through the Christmas scenery culminating with the arrival of Santa Claus in the Fire Station. This is an especially wonderful gift Big Canoe Public Safety gives to everyone in Big Canoe each year.

• “Polar Express” Night, Friday, Dec. 17. Kids and grandkids are invited to arrive in cozy pajamas to watch the movie “Polar Express” in the Mountains View Room at the clubhouse. Rumor has it that some great surprises await those who dare to hop aboard.

• Brunch with Santa at the clubhouse. Date TBD

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