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Festival rocks Dawsonville

Thousands gather for suds, music

POSTED: August 27, 2014 4:00 a.m.
Michele Hester Dawson Community News/

Across the Wide vocalist Jody Abernathy signs autographs during a meet-and-greet with the band.

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A new, local tradition continued to brew over the weekend during the second annual Dawsonville Music and Beer Festival.

Proceeds from the event benefited Camp Southern Ground, area musician Zac Brown's program for kids with autism and ADHD, and the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

Organizer Donavan Hyder, owner of Castleberry Ale House in Forsyth County, called the festival a success.

"It's fun, it's local music," he said. "They're all good musicians ... they start drawing crowds. And the reason we started the festival is so they can get exposure and play in a bigger crowd and the bands can get seen."

The event was also a hit with fans, according to Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan.

"I thought it went great," he said. "It was a great crowd, much larger than we had last year. The music was excellent and the weather was fine.

"I talked to a lot of people that came and everybody thought it was a great event."

Grogan added that he was pleased to see more families and children this year.

"I think people have a misconception about what goes on, but it's really a good event," he said. "I think anyone would enjoy coming, just to hear the music."

Darlene Davis of Cumming certainly did.

"Oh, this is so much fun," she said. "We're having a great time."

Davis was wearing her "The Wrong Crowd" song shirt in support of Across the Wide, one of three bands who performed Friday night.

"I've been following Mark [Mundy] and Jody [Abernathy] around since I was about 21 years old," she said. "... They're just awesome and I just love them. Whether they are playing their own music or someone else's, they're still awesome."

Abernathy, lead vocalist for Across the Wide, said he enjoyed seeing a lot of friends at the festival.

"I tell everybody this. I moved [to Dawsonville] a year ago after my divorce and it's been like what I would equate moving to Mayberry," he said. "I mean honestly, everybody up here has taken me in.

"I don't think I'll ever move from here, and I don't mean from Dawsonville. I mean from right here in this downtown area. I love it. I love living here and getting to play for everybody."



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