Update, Sept. 30: The Dawsonville City Council upheld permitting for the 53rd annual Mountain Moonshine Festival at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Original story: Unanswered questions regarding the 53rd annual Mountain Moonshine Festival have caused the Dawsonville City Council to call a special meeting to “reconsider the conditions” of the festival’s permit.
At a city council meeting held on Monday, Sept. 21, City Manager Bob Bolz told council members that he recently met with K.A.R.E. for Kids representative Tiffany Buchan and Chief Deputy Greg Rowan of the Dawson County Sheriff’s Department to discuss the upcoming festival, which was granted a permit by the council on Sept. 10.
According to Bolz, two areas of confusion arose during the meeting regarding the closure of Hwy. 53 and whether or not the moonshine parade will be taking place this year.
“Our main reason for our meeting with Greg was to ascertain their feelings about Highway 53,” Bolz said. “According to Greg, he did not say he wanted it to be closed. He did say that he had some concerns if pedestrians were crossing it. But after he discussed it he thinks [Hwy. 53] and [Hwy. 9] both need to remain open.”
Keeping large city roadways open was a request the city originally made as a condition of approving the permit, but at the last council meeting, both Mayor Mike Eason and the council members said that, depending on the number of vendors participating in the festival, closing Hwy. 53 could remain an option.
Bolz said that he talked to Buchan regarding numbers of vendors and that as of Monday, Sept. 21 there were 59 two-day vendors and 33 three-day vendors signed up to participate in the festival.
The other question raised during Bolz’s meeting with Buchan and Rowan was whether the moonshine parade would still be happening this year due to COVID-19 precautions.
"He also mentioned the parade, and we did not realize the parade was on,” Bolz said. “So that was news to us.”
In light of these unresolved issues, council member John Walden made a motion to call a special meeting to “reconsider the conditions of the permit” for the Moonshine Festival.
Council members unanimously approved holding a specially called meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 4 p.m.
Also during the meeting, the council approved a resolution disuniting Dawsonville as a Bee City USA, approved Cody Dinsmore’s appointment to the Board of Directors for the Dawsonville History Museum, and renewed the city’s solid waste collection contract with Red Oak Sanitation.
This story originally published in the Dawson County News.