april 25, 26 & 27


The large crowds attending Dahlonega’s Bear on the Square Mountain Festival come each year to the Georgia Mountain foothills town expecting to be entertained by the better known activities, including the constant jamming by visiting and local musicians, the Friday night Auction, and the MainStage Tent musical performances and Artist Marketplace on Saturdays and Sundays.

There are a large number of other less publicized activities during this festival, which will be taking place the fourth weekend of April around Dahlonega’s Historic Public Square.

This will be the town’s 18th annual celebration of the Southern Appalachian culture, including music, art and folkways, and each activity is designed to contribute to this festival theme.

On Friday, April 25, there will be pre-festival activities, including the start of jamming around the square, as well as the auction that night.

Activities scheduled both Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27, are the MainStage Tent musical performances by bluegrass and old-time music performers; the juried Artist Marketplace, which will have 68 booths, a section of demonstrating artists from the John C. Campbell Folk School, and a Luthier’s Row with the work of six skilled, regional instrument makers; storytelling by members of the Southern Order of Storytellers; dance exhibitions by dance teams from the John C. Campbell Folk School; free workshops, jams and demonstrations on subjects as varied as a Penny Whistle Workshop, Yodeling Basics, and the History of Appalachian Music; and a wide selection of children’s activities throughout the festival.

Saturday only events include a two-hour tribute by his friends to Zak McConnell, the accomplished young Dahlonega musician who died late last year; an Open Mic, and an Old-Time Mountain Dance. Sunday only events will be the highly popular Gospel Jam and Master Classes for musicians.

There is no charge for admission to the festival. For more details about the event, including the complete lineup of performers and artists, schedules, locations of activities, and updates between now and the event, visit www.bearonthesquare.org.

Jimmy Booth

Jimmy Booth

Lifelong Georgia resident Jimmy Booth, who was a longtime Atlanta area journalist and public relations consultant, moved in fall of 2006 from Peachtree City, Ga., to Dahlonega, Ga. He and his wife Margo have become involved with several Dahlonega-based not-for-profit cultural arts and historical organizations working to keep alive the traditional mountain music, art and folkways which are a vital part of the area's heritage. Jimmy graduated from Emory University, where he served as editor of The Emory Wheel. During his journalistic career, he worked as publisher or editor of several Georgia weekly and small daily newspapers, and he was a section editor for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Now officially retired, he handles publicity for some of the events and organizations in the Dahlonega area.