Currahee Military Weekend
With activities that begin on the first Friday of October each year and end Sunday afternoon, the city of Toccoa's Currahee Military Weekend celebrates the city’s legacy as the home of Camp Toccoa, the training camp that began as an experiment by Col. Robert F. Sink to take men straight out of civilian life and train them to be paratroopers.
This event started in 2001 as a reunion for the men who trained at Camp Toccoa during World War II. The weekend has grown to a community event open to the Veterans, their families and all who share interest in Camp Toccoa and WWII history.
Throngs of visitors crowd Toccoa’s downtown district and the exhibitions at the Toccoa-Stephens County Airport Saturday and line the streets for the annual parade.
The Currahee Military Weekend features World War II military reenactments in a staged military camp, weapons demonstrations, book signings by veterans, a parade through the downtown historic district, a hangar dance at the airport and a special banquet featuring key note speakers and veterans.
A highlight of the weekend is a six-mile race along the Colonel Sink Trail, the same trail used by the paratroopers as part of their training for combat. The common refrain is "Three Miles Up And Three Miles Down."
Other events include the annual Chamber of Commerce barbecue, memorabilia shows, the Chamber of Commerce Currahee Challenge, drill team demonstrations, an auctionand displays of vintage planes and military vehicles. The weekend concludes with a memorial service Sunday at Currahee Mountain.
The high point of all the Currahee Military Weekends is the return of the paratroopers who trained at Camp Toccoa and their families for the reunion to reminisce about their experiences with their friends who shared that time in their lives,
Proceeds from Stephens County Historical Society events go to support Currahee Military Museum and provide reunion events for WWII Camp Toccoa Veterans.
More than 17,000 others also took their oaths in Toccoa, before entering paratrooper training at Camp Toccoa. Only about 5,000 of those men completed the training. But those who made it through were the elite sent in June 1944 to Europe. One of the units, Easy Company of the 506th Paratroop Infantry Regiment, became one of the most storied units of World War II, the Band of Brothers.
The Stephen Ambrose book “Band of Brothers” and the HBO miniseries of the same name gave a boost to the effort to preserve and memorialize the history of Camp Toccoa and the feats of the men who trained there.
The Currahee Military Museum at the Toccoa train depot is the main fruit of that effort. It now draws about 20,000 visitors a year from around the world.