Friends remember slain hiker with festival Saturday

LAWRENCEVILLE - Meredith Emerson is still in the hearts and minds of those who will walk two miles in her memory Saturday.

Right to Hike, the nonprofit group founded in Emerson's memory, will return to the area in which the Gwinnett woman went missing on New Year's Day 2008 for the first-ever Union County Remembrance Walk and Festival.

Emerson was hiking a trail in Union County with her dog Ella when she was abducted and later killed.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday with a moment of silence, a song dedicated to Emerson and a statement from Emerson's family. As walkers take the two-mile trek, a festival will open with live entertainment, craft vendors, food and drinks and activities for kids. A softball tournament, home run derby and cornhole games are also planned, and pets are welcome.

Funds raised through contributions of sponsors and donations by participants will benefit Right to Hike, the Blairsville Chapter of the Red Cross, the Blairsville Humane Society and Union County Search and Rescue.

For more information on the Remembrance Walk and Festival, visit www.righttohikeinc.com.

SideBar: If you go

· What: Remembrance Walk and Festival

· When: 10 a.m. Saturday

· Where: Meeks Park, 601 Meeks Park Road in Blairsville

· Cost: By donation

· For more information: Visit www.righttohikeinc.com