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Annual Bear on the Square festival celebrates all things Appalachia

POSTED: April 14, 2011 1:30 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Crispus Atticks, left, belts out a song along with Richard Giadrosich on Sunday afternoon in downtown Dahlonega during the final day of the annual Bear on the Square festival in April 2010.

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The hills of Dahlonega will be alive with music this weekend during the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival.

The 15th annual event is a celebration of "old-time, bluegrass and gospel music from the Southern Appalachian region."

Activities will be centered around Hancock Park, at the intersection of North Park and Warwick streets in downtown Dahlonega.

Officially, Bear on the Square is Saturday and Sunday, but there are a number of pre-festival activities that will take place on Friday.

Beginning at 5 p.m. tomorrow, items will be available for viewing for the live country auction, which will begin at 7 p.m. And for the first time, there also will be a silent auction.

The auctions, which will be held at Hancock, will feature items like pottery, paintings and wood carvings.

Festival organizers have also pulled together a selection of master classes. The hands-on classes will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday on the campus of North Georgia College & State University and will be taught by master musicians. Tuition is $25 for adults or $15 for students and current SouthEastern Bluegrass Association members.

Visual artists will descend on the festival as well. The Mountain Marketplace around the downtown Dahlonega square will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday featuring items like traditional crafts, jewelry and even book-binding.

There also will be a number of children’s activities available throughout the duration of the festival. At 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Chestatee Regional Library will be hosting a free, teddy bear picnic at the Park Place Hotel Plaza, 27 South Park St.

Food vendors will be serving up items like barbecue, kettle corn, fried candy bars, seafood tacos, pretzels and shaved ice.

A variety of musicians will be gracing the main stage at Bear on the Square, including the Buzzard Mountain Boys with Barefoot Creek, Red June, The Curtis Jones Band and Curley Maple. At 11 a.m. Sunday, Glenda Pender will be leading a morning, gospel jam.

Admission to the main stage tent area is $20 Saturday and $15 Sunday afternoon — Sunday morning is free. Children younger than 12 are also admitted to the area for free.



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