Right about this time every year, hundreds of thru-hiker hopefuls make their way down south to begin their journeys along the Appalachian Trail. To celebrate these admirable adventurers, Mountain Crossings in Blairsville, Ga., is hosting a Thru-Hiker Kickoff Party in their honor this Saturday, February 28. Whether you’re trail-bound or not, this bash is for you — anyone can join in on the fun of thru-hiker season. Live music, local food, Mountain Crossings gear, exclusive raffles, kids’ activities, and plenty more to give spring a worthy welcome. The fun begins at 1 p.m., Saturday afternoon, with activities running through the evening.While each one of the afternoon’s events will make your day at the Thru-Hiker Kickoff a blast, this raffle might top the list. For just $10 a ticket, you could walk away with quality gear from Big Agnes, Granite Gear, American Backcountry, Salewa, Mountain Hardwear, and other brands. All proceeds will go toward a project commemorating the Appalachian Trail and Civil Conservation Corps – a donation perfectly suited to this celebration! Tickets can be purchased either at the Blairsville-Union County Chambers of Commerce or through the mail to Mountain Crossings (12471 Gainesville Hwy, Blairsville GA, 30512).From the raffle to the food or the sales to the face-painting, the Thru-Hiker Kickoff has something for every outdoor enthusiast. Mountain Crossings is also excited to host the Nashville band Raven and Red to pump out the best bluegrass tunes to accompany the fun. Let this big spring celebration help you ring in the season, for backyard explorers and hikers alike!