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Taking a shine to local history
Dawsonvilles Moonshine Festival celebrates roots of stock-car racing
A variety of vintage cars on display at the 2009 edition of the annual Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville.

Mountain Moonshine Festival

When: Oct. 21-23

Where: Downtown Dawsonville square

How much: Free to attend

More info:

Dawson County has a rich and colorful history when it comes to making moonshine and not getting caught. "Shining" was a way of life for some in North Georgia from the time of prohibition and during the Great Depression.

Dawsonville will hold its 44th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival this weekend, a celebration of heritage, history and the fall season.

Dawson County is recognized as the birthplace of NASCAR racing, which began with the muscled-up cars and savvy driving skills needed to transport homemade whiskey to other destinations and avoid the law.

On Friday, a Moonshine Run road race is scheduled for 9 a.m. and a Cruise-In with live music follows at 5 p.m.

Festivities will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday with entertainment, food, crafts and more. At 9 a.m., a parade will include NASCAR Champion and grand marshal Rex White.

Visitors can expect to see classic race, moonshining and revenue cars on display. Drivers will entertain with stories of races and chases.

The new Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery will open in time to provide thirsty visitors with a taste of the famous "white lightning."

Other highlights of the festival will include a swap meet, live entertainment, kids’ activities and vintage race car displays through the weekend. Dennis Gage, host of "SPEED" channel’s "My Classic Car" will be taping a future episode during Sunday’s car show.

The festival will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Friday through Sunday. Events will take place in and around the downtown square, which will be closed to traffic during the festival.

The festival is free to the public. Proceeds from paid events go to KARE for Kids, Inc., a Dawson County nonprofit organization providing for Dawson County children.

For more information, visit