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If you’re a fan of old-time, bluegrass and gospel music from the Southern Appalachian region, the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, Ga., will be the place to be (held in April). Check the web site at www.bearonthesquare.org for listings of the extensive events, performers, and activities.
HemlockFest, hosted by the Lumpkin Coalition, is an annual festival held the first full weekend in November. The Festival and the proceeds from the festival are used to increase public awareness of Eastern and Carolina hemlock tree problems and to provide financial support for Area Colleges and Universities in their efforts to save the Hemlocks. www.hemlockfest.org
The North Georgia Folk Festival will be held annually in October at Sandy Creek Park in Athens, Georgia. This fun-filled, family-friendly day in the park offers children’s activities, traditional arts and crafts demonstration and sales, and good food all day long from 11:00 until 6. Music goes until 9:00 and features 14 acts on two stages. www.athensfolk.org/festival
A five day mountaintop gathering of musicians and friends with contests, concerts, workshops, square dances, camping and a hymn-sing. West Virginia masters are presented to an audience of more than 3000 musicians and string band music lovers from around the world. Over the history of this festival, more than 20 foreign countries and 48 of the 50 states have been represented, with many returning year after year to this much-loved festival. www.wvculture.org/stringband
Started in 1924, the Fiddler’s Grove Ole Time Fiddlers and Bluegrass Festival claims to be the oldest continuously run festival of its type in North America. This Annual Festival is held at Fiddler’s Grove Campground, Union Grove, North Carolina. See www.fiddlersgrove.com for information and to sign up for band competitions.
Eno River Festival is held in Durham, NC in July. This festival has its roots in a (successful) effort to save the river from being dammed. It features local musical talent, of which there is aplenty in that area of the country, wonderful food selections, crafts, dance and other activities, all of which have an environmental or cultural connection to the Eno River. www.enoriver.org
The Leaf (Lake Eden Arts Festival) is a mountain music and crafts festival. In Spring and Fall at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC. See www.theleaf.com.
Merlefest is a bluegrass and roots music festival in Wilkesboro, NC, held at the Wilkes Community College campus during the last weekend of April annually over 4 days (Thursday through Sunday). Music includes traditional and progressive bluegrass, Appalachian, Zydeco, Celtic, Blues and more. See www.Merlefest.org.