Fireworks under the Gold Dome

Stepakoff, Gov. Nathan Deal and State Sen. Jim Butterworth

 KSU professor’s debut novel honored at daylong Georgia Capitol event During a daylong…

Georgia (Feb 11, 2011)

 KSU professor’s debut novel honored at daylong Georgia Capitol event

During a daylong celebration at the state Capitol, the Georgia Legislature passed resolutions in both chambers declaring Feb. 10 as Toccoa-Stephens County Fireworks over Toccoa Day, recognizing  the  attention Kennesaw State professor Jeffrey Stepakoff’s novel by that title has brought the town, county and state. 

“A Fireworks over Toccoa Day inspired by this amazing book is worthy of recognition by this body,” the House resolution  introduced by Rep. Michael Harden of Toccoa read. State Sen. Jim Butterworth of Clarkesville introduced a similar resolution the Senate.

 Coordinated by the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, the day’s events featured a legislative orientation and briefing, proclamations, lunch and photo sessions with state officials. Signed copies of Stepakoff’s “Fireworks over Toccoa” were placed on legislators’ chamber desks in both the House and Senate, compliments of publisher St. Martin’s Press.  More than 150 political and business leaders, residents and students from Toccoa and Stephens County participated in the celebration.

 “I am so flattered that my work is being recognized by our state legislators,” said Stepakoff, assistant professor of film and television writing. “It is truly an honor.”

 Stepakoff’s novel is a coming-of-age love story set in the small North Georgia town during World War II. It has been compared to “The Bridges of Madison County,” a popular book that was later made into a movie. Translated into four languages so far, “Fireworks over Toccoa”  has been widely reviewed and critically acclaimed since its April 2010 release.  A paperback edition was released in February.

“Toccoa is such a wonderful community with a remarkable history,” said Stepakoff, a veteran film and television writer whose credits include The Wonder Years, Sisters, Major Dad, Disney's Tarzan, and Dawson's Creek. “I'm thrilled that the book is helping to remind people of the great contributions the city has made to our state, and to introduce people to the city. Toccoa is the Cherokee word for beautiful — and it really is!” 

-- Sabbaye McGriff 


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit