Friday was the opening day for the Bear on the Square Festival in Dahlonega, GA. Early arrivals set up tents and chairs and broke out their instruments in preparation for a weekend of music and fun. Palate teasing aromas drifted through as food vendors set up shop in anticipation of the expected crowds. The weather was beautiful through the afternoon with occasional wind gusts joining in the fun as tents threatened , “I’ll Fly Away”. The weather deteriorated into the evening with severe weather warnings, thunderstorms and heavy rains beginning around 7 or 8 o’clock. Tornadoes were reported farther south but as of 7 a.m. Saturday, I have not heard of any damage in the immediate area. The severe weather is expected to clear the area by starting time Saturday morning at 10 a. m. It may create some sloppy conditions and delayed openings but the festival should be able to continue, with cool temperatures forecast throughout the day.
Opening day was scheduled with a series of Master Classes taught on campus at the NGCSU. Meanwhile, pickers and observers drifted about the square, listening, playing, renewing friendships and making new acquaintances. Musicians, young and old, participated in the rollicking, foot stomping, toe-tapping music of America. Old favorites and new hot licks were played on guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, autoharp, dulcimer and harmonica. Bystanders joined in enthusiastically on the vocals as old favorites echoed around the square.
Bring your jacket and your chair and come join the fun. The festival runs through Sunday afternoon and the weather should be great.