City of Winder, GA - Winder City Hall: 25 East Midland Avenue, Winder, GA 30680 | Phone: 770.867.3106



You might wonder where the name "Jug Tavern" comes from. A lot of people have asked. The City of Winder has a long, rich and cool history.

The first name of the area was Snodon, given by the Creek Indians hundreds of years ago. After white settlers established homes and farms here decades before the Civil War, they changed the name from Snodon to The Jug, and ten years later, Jug Tavern. The name "Jug Tavern" is known to have come from the double log cabin that served as a rest stop for travelers between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Georgia coast. The "tavern" had achieved fame for the unusual practice of drinking whiskey from a pottery jug thrown over one's shoulder. The practice was a departure from the traditional beverages served in glassware in other roadside taverns.

Interesting Fact: The Town of Jug Tavern, at the time of its origin, extended into three counties: Jackson, Walton and Gwinnett, and the three-county intersection was smack dab in the middle of downtown. A story is told about a time when two men were fighting near the county intersection. The one man was standing in one county, shot the other man who was standing in another county, but dropped dead over into the third county. Jurisdictional problems surely arose from this event.


Interesting Fact: In mid-1864 during the Civil War, the Battle of Jug Tavern was fought, and approximately 250 Federals were killed or captured, and was marked as the final event of the Federal fiasco known as the Stoneman Raid. After the Civil War, and as population grew, Jug Tavern was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly in 1884.

During the next couple of decades, the city began to achieve prominence with the construction of railroads. Ten years after the arrival of the first Georgia, Carolina and North Railroad Passenger Train, the Town of Jug Tavern was again renamed to the City of Winder after the general manager of the Seaboard Railway, Mr. John H. Winder.


Interesting Fact: The last mayor of Jug Tavern, and the first mayor of Winder was H.S. Segars. 

Much like the city in which it's held, the Jug Tavern Festival has had different names, too.

The Chautauqua Festival was held in the fall season, and created to celebrate the Native American history in our area. Chautauqua was hosted by the Main Street Winder program and Downtown Development, but in 2008, the Chautauqua Festival ended. In 2010, city employees wanted to bring a new type of event to Winder - a BBQ cook-off, and started the Jug Tavern Festival & BBQ Cook-Off. From 2010 until 2014, the cook-off took place at Jug Tavern Park and helped to put the festival on the map. In 2015, the festival was renamed, again, to the Jug Tavern Festival, and added events such as Cornhole Tournaments, Bed Races, and added national headline artists to the entertainment lineup.

Now in it's 9th year (2018), the Jug Tavern Festival (JTF) brings thousands of visitors each year to Winder, Georgia, and is known for its live music, Cornhole Tournaments, the JTF Car Show hosted by the Dixie Cruisers, and more. Jug Tavern also has more than 60 arts and crafts vendors, informational booths, kids activities, games, inflatables, great food vendors and BBQ prepared and served from several professional cook teams.

The JTF Cornhole Tournaments are hosted by Greg Howard, Founder and CEO of Cornhole Life, and gives cash prizes and custom-made moonshine jug trophies. Tournaments will be held on both Friday and Saturday throughout the festival.

As always, admission is free.

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