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3 festivals to hit in April in Northeast Georgia
Bears, fried chicken and EDM
John Stockard of Dahlonega joins in a jam on the square in downtown Dahlonega with his custom washtub bass during the annual Bear on the Square festival. - photo by Scott Rogers

What better way to shake off the winter blues than enjoying the great outdoors with some local markets and festivals?

From listening to the folksy twang of a dulcimer to DJs spinning dance music, and even enjoying some fabulous food while browsing handmade crafts, the month of April has a lineup of happenings that anyone can enjoy.

Bear on the Square Mountain Festival

When: April 20-22

Where: Dahlonega square, Dahlonega

How much: Festival entry is free, $5 auction entry fee

Celebrating 22 years, the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival returns April 20 through 22 on the Dahlonega square.

Always a hit, music will fill the square on all three days. Kick back and listen to some fine fiddle, country and bluegrass tunes. Have your own acoustic instrument? You’re invited to bring it for some sidewalk jam sessions.

Plenty of local craft makers will have items on sale and on display in the marketplace, including jewelry, photography, painting, drawing, pottery, woodworking and more. Leading up to the festival, live and silent auctions are set for 5 p.m. Friday night, April 20.

Sets At Sunset

When: 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. April 28

Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville

How much: $30 general admission; must be 18 or older

Love dance music and festivals but hate driving to Atlanta or beyond? You’re in luck, because Sets At Sunset is bringing the party to Lake Lanier Olympic Park on April 28.

Next month, Sets At Sunset focuses on the house, techno and trance subcategories. This year, the Olympic Park has partnered with Do Not Sit On the Furniture, a nightclub based out of Miami, Fla., for the artist showcase.

There will be food trucks and other vendors in addition to a revamped waterfront with yoga sessions, inflatables and boat rentals. A stream of the festival with movable virtual reality 360 cameras will be available online for those who can’t make it.

Spring Chicken Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28

Where: Gainesville square

How much: Festival entry is free, $5 “cluck card” will get you 10 samples of chicken

It’s almost time for the one and only, Gainesville: the Spring Chicken Festival.

The main event consists of a cook-off with two divisions — Professional and Backyard Bar-B-Q — and prizes will be awarded in both categories. The Grand Champion will receive $1,000 and get to take home the coveted “Chicken City Cup” for a year.

In addition to the cook-off, the event will feature live entertainment, a kid’s zone and a "Re-Hatched" art market with items made from recycled and repurposed materials.

Regional events