Blue Ridge, incorporated on October 24, 1887, is the county seat of Fannin County. The city is named for the southern reach of the Appalachian Mountain Range that stretches into Fannin County. A number of events are held in Blue Ridge, including the Arts in the Park Festival, a Labor Day Barbecue and a Mountain Harvest Sale at the Blue Ridge State Farmer's Market. Blue Ridge is the starting point of the excursion train, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, at the Historic Train Depot and Red Caboose Visitors Center. More than 17,000 people visit Blue Ridge to ride the train and shop in all the antique and specialty stores. Blue Ridge participates in the Better Hometown Program run by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. This community development program is a public-private partnership intended to revitalize small communities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000. These cities have access to technical assistance and fiscal resources designed to stimulate downtown revitalization. According to 2000 Census, the City of Blue Ridge had a population of 1,210 persons. Between 1990 and 2000, the city experienced a population decrease of -9.4%, compared to the state growth during this period of 26.4%
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