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Join the rush for gold again in Dahlonega
Annual festival includes entertainment, arts & crafts and parade
Artist James E. Stanley works on a piece in his booth at last year's annual Gold Rush Days fall festival in Dahlonega.

Gold Rush Days

When: Oct. 20-21. Craft and food booths open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. both days; Saturday, King & Queen Coronation, 2 p.m.; parade, 3 p.m.; concert on the Main Stage, Dahlonega Visitor Center, 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: Dahlonega downtown square

More info:

Years before gold was discovered in California, the nation’s first big rush for the shiny metal descended upon Dahlonega.

The annual Gold Rush Days festival Oct. 20-21 celebrates the town’s 1828 discovery with a weekend full of arts, crafts, music, food, children’s activities, a parade, contests and a chance to pan for gold.

More than 300 art and craft exhibitors will gather around the down square and Historic District, with some 200,000 visitors expected. The event has been voted one of the top 20 events in the southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Contests include a fashion show, gold panning contest, wheelbarrow race, King and Queen Coronation, hog calling, buck dancing, cross-cut saw competition and wrist wrestling.

Parade registration is $20, and runs from noon to 2 p.m. in front of the Sheriff’s Office.

The downtown stage will include gospel singing, clogging and other live entertainment. The Gold Rush Days concert, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash,” is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Holly Theater, 69 W. Main St.; tickets are $20.

In addition, there will be activities for children and a Gold Rush 5K road race beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday at North Georgia College & State University’s Memorial Hall.

Proceeds from the festival supports scholarships for Lumpkin County students and the Empty Stocking Fund.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit