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Dawsonville City Council approves permit for Moonshine Festival
Moonshine preview pic
Festival-goers gather for the parade at the 49th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville. - photo by Allie Dean

The 54th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival is moving ahead full steam, after receiving final approval for its permit by the Dawsonville City Council this week. 

The board voted 3-1, with Council Member John Walden opposed, to approve the yearly festival’s permit at the council’s regular meeting held on Monday, Aug. 2. 

K.A.R.E. for Kids personnel have been working with the Dawsonville Food Lion management to figure out details of parking and what spaces in the store’s parking lot can be used, according to  K.A.R.E. for Kids Executive Director Tiffany Buchan. Buchan said that Food Lion management has been agreeable to working with the organization during the festival. 

“We met with him and he was absolutely a pleasure; as a matter of fact he never even said one thing about that parking lot being a problem, not one thing,” Buchan said. 

But without an official agreement between the city and Food Lion, Walden said that he had concerns with approving the permit. 

“I would like to see if we can wait until the next meeting so that we can get something from Food Lion, especially in writing, to cover all aspects,” Walden said. “And that everybody is in accordance with the way everything is laid out.” 

Council Member Mark French spoke up in favor of approving the permit regardless of whether the council receives an agreement in writing. 

“I hate to hold these folks up because they’ve been working on this for quite some time and they’ve gone above and beyond what we’ve asked of anyone else to the best of my knowledge,” French said. “It’s not as though this is a new event, we’re all pretty familiar.” 

Buchan added K.A.R.E. for Kids will leave a roped off area of parking spaces for Food Lion employees. She also said that they are working on placing ATMs outside of the Dawson County Board of Education building and may seek alternate bathroom facilities, rather than having festival attendees go into Food Lion.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on July 1 to allow K.A.R.E. for Kids to use county-owned parking during the festival. 

The festival is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22-24.