It’s that time of year again when the streets are filled with local artisans and the air is filled with the sounds of revving engines. It can only mean that the annual Mountain Moonshine Festival is back in its 52nd year this weekend.
More than 300 vendors have signed up to line the streets of downtown Dawsonville for this year’s festival, and two stages will feature local talent throughout Saturday and Sunday.
The Castleberry Stage, located at Grace Presbyterian Church, will feature the Tribes of Judah, South Rock, Highridge and Cure My Enemy, as well as local singers and musicians from north Georgia. The Finish Line stage, in the grassy area adjacent to the Pool Room, will feature performances from local musicians as well as the Dahlonega Gymnastics Hugs Team.
This year the Swap Meet is also returning to the festival. Due to construction on Main Street Park behind Food Lion last fall, the swap meet was cancelled at the 2018 festival, but the much-anticipated meet is back for antique car enthusiasts to enjoy. It will be located at the front entrance of Dawson County Junior High School facing Allen Street near the city hall.
There will be several road closures this weekend due to festival activities that motorists should be mindful of when travelling through Dawsonville.
On Friday morning beginning at 5 a.m., Allen Street will be closed for the swap meet and car show.
On Friday afternoon Hwy. 53 near Jack Heard Road will be closed to keep traffic from entering the vendor areas.
The annual parade, headed by the Grand Marshal, short-track racing legend Bud Lunsford, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday with opening ceremonies immediately following at 9:30 a.m. on the Castleberry Stage.
Public parking is $10 with several lots located around the historic downtown. A free shuttle service provided by K.A.R.E. for Kids will take festival-goers to and from the parking lots to the festivities.
The festival will be open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 26 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27.
K.A.R.E. for Kids hosts the festival each year as a fundraiser to help the 501(c)3 give Dawson County children Christmas presents and other assistance throughout the year.
See the festival guide inside this week’s paper for more information on the festival, including the entertainment and events schedules and a parking map.