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Tea Parties gain steam
Rally Saturday in Talking Rock
Tea party
Participants gather at the Georgia Capitol on Monday to welcome the Tea Party Express. - photo by Submitted
If there’s a Tea Party event nearby, chances are Forsyth County resident Stella Lohmann will be there.

Monday night, Lohmann was one of about 500 people who gathered at the steps of the Georgia Capitol to welcome the Tea Party Express buses as they rolled into Atlanta.

“It was like a campfire celebration of music, speeches and patriotism,” Lohmann said.

Dubbed the Count-down to Judgment Day, the Tea Party Express is touring the nation one year before the November 2010 elections.

According to the organization’s Web site, “at each stop, the tour will highlight some of the worst offenders in Congress who have voted for higher spending, higher taxes and government intervention in the lives of American families and businesses.”

Lohmann said many in attendance signed a copy of “The American Patriot’s Bible,” edited by Dr. Richard Lee, founding pastor of First Redeemer Church in Forsyth County.

The book, Lohmann said, was “a gift to those on the Tea Party Express bus.”

“What was different about this Tea Party compared to the others on the Georgia Capitol steps were the tributes to the troops and references to God and country,” she said.

Monday’s event isn’t the only one aimed at promoting the conservative movement.

A rally sponsored by the TEA Party of Gilmer County is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday in downtown Talking Rock.

Margaret Williamson, event organizer and member of TEA, or Taxed Enough Already, said the gathering is a chance for “voters to be heard.”

Politicians and candidates from across Georgia have been invited “to come and listen to what their constituents have to say, rather than us listen to them,” Williamson said.

Keynote speaker Virginia Galloway, state director for the Georgia Chapter of Americans for Prosperity, plans to attend the 515 Corridor Rally, named for the highway stretching from Woodstock to Blairsville.

Talking Rock was chosen as the meeting place because it is midway between the two cities, said Williamson, adding that the invitation has been extended to folks from Dalton to Dawsonville and surrounding areas.

Frank Reddy of the FCN regional staff contributed to this report.