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This Bear keeps getting bigger: Dahlonega fills for mountain festival
Visitors come for the music, but arts and crafts add flavor to annual event
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Sandra Smith of Loganville looks at snakes carved around walking sticks Saturday during Bear on the Square in downtown Dahlonega. Smith and her husband attended the event to play music with others and check out the crafts. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Bear on the Square

When: Sunday

Where: downtown Dahlonega

Cost: Free

More info: for a list of performers, visit www.bearonthesquare.org

DAHLONEGA — Now in it’s 21st year, Bear on the Square is even bigger and better. This year, the mountain festival added a Moonlight Jam allowing visitors to sing along to the bluegrass music.

The festivities will continue today.

In addition to multiple musical performers, the festival is a haven for art lovers. Most vendors offer some kind of art, but others have items like panjos (a banjo made out of a metal pan and wood) or other instruments.

Dixie Dreams Farm, based in Dixie in South Georgia, sold locally grown and environmentally friendly goods. Married couple Marian and Ted Jones have run the farm, created their goods and sold them for 10 years, and at festivals like Bear on the Square for the past four.

“We go to about 40 festivals a year,” Ted said.

He mostly takes care of the actual gardening side of the business. He also designed the rub recipes, which include  the herbs they grow. Most of the items on sale are available on their website, www.dixiedreamsfarms.com/shop.

“Teas are coming soon,” he said.

At the festival, the pleasant smells of their potted herbs like basil and sage wafted up and down the aisle.

Lavender scents are what first attracted visitors Thomas Bray and Alex Yates to their booth. Bray, 17, bought a lavender plant he plans to keep on his desk at work.

“It smells nice,” he said.

It was a first visit for Yates, 16, of Cumming.

“It’s been amazing,” she said.

She said their main goal is to produce items that are sustainable and won’t hurt the earth. Ted especially appreciates their patch of land in Dixie. Everything they sell is biodegradable.

“I live in paradise every day,” he said. “I get up every morning, I go fishing, work.”

“We love what we do,” Marian said.

When they first started, Marian said they originally chose what they would plant because deer don’t eat herbs.

They started off with five types of soap and have now grown to nearly triple that, as well as extra virgin olive oils, solid lotions, natural bug repellent and more.

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