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Festival means detours around downtown
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Heres what the Dawson County Sheriffs Department wants you to know about this weekends Moonshine Festival:

Expect detours if youre coming to the festival, and

If you dont plan to attend, its better to stay away from the area.

For those familiar with previous years of the Moonshine Festival, there are some changes to this years detours.

The big difference is that Academy Avenue is going to be closed from Highway 9 to 53 East, said Sgt. Greg Rowan with the sheriffs department. Coming from Forsyth County (on Hwy. 9), the first barricade is at Hwy. 9 S. and Perimeter Road. Thats new, weve never done that before.

Rowan did say that people who live north of that point on the road will be allowed to pass the barricade to go home. They will have to give their address to the deputies on duty, and then they will be allowed to pass as long as they live off of Hwy. 9, he explained.

Also new this year are that the roads will remain closed overnight on Saturday, Oct. 27. Essentially, the downtown area will be closed down, Rowan said. The streets will be closed beginning 6 a.m. this Saturday, and will re-open around 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28.

Expect heavy congestion, said Lt. Ray Goodie. Also, look out for pedestrians. Both Goodie and Rowan stressed the importance of looking out for pedestrians, because people will be crossing the roads at various locations.

The main turnoff points are as follows:

Coming from Hwy. 53 W. Vehicles heading to Ga. 400 will make a right turn at W. 3rd Street, and then a left onto Howard Avenue. That will take you back to Hwy. 9, Rowan said.

Coming from Amicalola Falls (on Shoal Creek Road) Vehicles will be able to travel up to Tucker Avenue, and then take a detour in front of Dawson County Detention Center.

Coming from Hwy. 9 S. A barricade will be set up at Perimeter Road, which will take vehicles over to Hwy. 53.

Vehicles coming into town from Ga. 400 on Hwy. 53 will be able to come directly to the three-way stop where Hwy. 53 meets Hwy. 9 N. They will be able to turn left into downtown Dawsonville, but will be immediately detoured back onto Hwy. 53.

Goodie and Rowan stressed that all detours will be clearly marked with signs, and that deputies will be posted in multiple locations to assist motorists. There is also a separate detour for commercial trucks, which will be marked as well.

We want everyone to have a good time, Rowan said. The deputies are out there to help. Just be careful.

And if you dont have plans to come to the Moonshine Festival, stay away from the downtown area, Goodie added. That will help to ease the congestion.