The Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival is returning for two days of live jazz performances, wine tastings and embracing the local arts.
Presented by the nonprofit, Chestatee Artists, the free event will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 15, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 16. It will take place in downtown Dahlonega.
Last year, the outdoor event was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, the festival took on a virtual format and featured local artists and musicians.
Letty Rayneri, festival director, said vendors’ booths will be spaced out by 5 to 6 feet to provide ample room for both merchants and attendees. She noted that the event serves as Chestatee Artists’ only fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from raffles, silent auction and other activities will go toward the nonprofit’s art education and programs.
“It’s a way for everyone to enjoy themselves after this long quarantine,” Rayneri said. “Plus, to support our efforts in supporting the arts.”
The wine garden — which opens 11 a.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday — will have three different tents for tastings. People can receive up to eight tasting tickets for 1-ounce samples and a festival wine glass for $20.
Those who want to drink an additional glass of their favorite selection can do so for $8. People who don’t want to do a tasting can buy a glass of wine for $10. Attendees will also be able to purchase wine by the bottle.
The participating wineries include Etowah Meadery, Habersham Winery, Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery, Kaya Vineyard & Winery and its sister property, Twisted Wine Garden. This year will also feature craft beer from The Dahlonega Brewery. People can buy a 16-ounce serving for $8.
Attendees will be able to grab their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the weekend’s jazz concerts from 1-5 p.m. both days, in Hancock Park.
Saturday’s entertainment lineup starts with Curtis and Kim Jones, followed by Bob Bakert with the Bill Hart Band, and the Gainesville Jazz Jam group. Sunday’s performances, in consecutive order, include Carolyn Ross and Retro Gumbo; Tommie Macon and the Gentle Men of Jazz; the Bill Hart Band; and the Dahlonega Festival Jam Band.
From noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, the Visitors Center Gazebo will feature jazz by University of North Georgia’s music instructors.
People will have the chance to purchase raffle tickets at a booth in Hancock Park to receive a StreetMaster Series Martin Guitar. The winning ticket will be drawn at the 2022 Bear on the Square Mountain Festival. Chestatee Artists will use funds raised from the raffle toward teaching fourth through 12th graders “the musical skills to preserve and promote the music of the region.”
Mask-wearing will not be required; however, the event will provide face coverings for those who want them.
For more information, visit dahlonega.org.