Photo: Cory Bordonaro
In 1996, merchants of Dahlonega’s town square spotted a bear cub in the sycamore tree outside of Brad Walker’s pottery downtown studio. People supposed the animal had made its way up into the branches overnight, unable to descend once the sun set. Once the bear was safely returned to its home, locals decided the event called for celebration. So, in true Southern style, locals threw the cub a party, complete with artisans, fair fare, and plenty of boot-stomping tunes. Now, each spring, bluegrass and old time musicians flock to Bear on the Square festival to honor musical heritage of the Appalachian town.
This past weekend, banjo pickers, fiddle players, and dulcimer drummers congregated on the streets of the historic town center for two days of joyful jamming. John Grimm and Beverly Smith (two staples in the local music scene) showcased talent under the big tent along with acts like the Georgia Crackers out of Atlanta, Packway Handle Band from Athens, and Dahlonega locals, the Buzzard Mountain Boys.
Video: Cory Bordonaro