Sharon Sims was the first woman to join the Red Hat Society and form a Red Hat Chapter in Georgia, the Red Hat Classics of Augusta. After attending a convention in another state, she sent an Email to the then-54 GA chapters seeking someone to organize a state-wide convention of our own. Seventeen Queens responded, but only one stepped forward to organize it.
That someone was Helen Naismith, Queen of the Mountain Laurel Ladies of Hiawassee. She felt the ladies would enjoy visiting her beautiful alpine village in the North Georgia mountains during the fall season. Joined by Sha Sims and Lee Tittle, Queen of the Red Hat Mamas, she set about the task of establishing not a convention per se, but a weekend of fun-filled activities. She named the event the George Red Hat Jubilee, having attended Queen Elizabeth's Silver Jubilee celebration.
The first GA Jubilee was held in Sept. 2003 at the rustic Chatuge Lodge high on a ridge overlooking the sparkling waters of Lake Chatuge's 7,500 acres bordering GA and NC. That first weekend included dinner on the terrace provided by the Culinary Dept at No. GA Technical School, High Tea, PJ breakfast, pontoon boat rides on the lake, and a private Oktoberfest in Helen. One of the highlights of the evening was doing the Chicken Dance to music by the German Oompah Band.
The weekend was so successful that the ladies voted to have one the next year, and the next, and the next. As a result, the Jubilee was established as an on-going annual event: Jubilee '04 was held in Marietta chaired by Jeanne Tucker, '05 in Savannah chaired by Nancy Ponder, '06 Callaway Gardens chaired by Helen Naismith, '07 Athens chaired by Janice Poulnot, '08 Savannah again, co-hosted with RHS Hatquarters, '09 Stone Mountain tri-chaired by Claudia Tatum, Pat Guy and Carolyn McGee, '10 Helen chaired by Beth Schilling.
Following 2010 a non-profit corporation was formed and Jubilees were then chaired by the Jubilee Council. We are approaching our anniversary, celebrating ten years of fun and friendship with our of Red Hat Sisters. Today the Georgia Jubilee is hailed as one of the most popular Red Hat events in the country.
Although this is a Georgia sponsored event, we invite all Red Hatters from anywhere in the world to join us for a week-end of fun, frolic and warm friendship.