Dahlonega's award-winning Bear on the Square Mountain Festival is a yearly celebration of the Southern Appalachian culture, including music, art and folkways. Dahlonega is a picturesque town in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains, and this year's event, which will be the 19th annual, will be held, rain or shine, in and around the town's Historic Square during the third weekend in April.
Bear on the Square is a lively weekend of music and art beginning with pre-festival activities, including jamming on the square and a Country Auction, on Friday, April 18, 2015. Saturday and Sunday's busy schedule includes free admission, on-stage performances by well known bluegrass and old-time musicians; a juried Artists Marketplace featuring mountain crafts; more jamming on the square; free music workshops/demonstrations; storytelling; an Acoustic Open Mic event; Master Classes for string musicians; a Gospel Jam; an old-time mountain dance; kids activities; and more. Admission is free to all festival events, including the MainStage musical performances and the Artists Marketplace. The only exception is a small registration fee for Sunday's Master Classes.
Bear on the Square was named the SouthEastern Bluegrass Association "Music Venue of the Year" in 2014. The National Storytelling Network has awarded Bear on the Square the designation as this year's Southeastern Regional Spotlight for Storytelling.
The festival is produced each year by Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, Inc., composed of a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving the culture of the Southern Appalachian region. The annual festival receives its funding from sponsorships, fees for artists booth and food vendor spaces, proceeds from the Friends of Bear program, and the sale of festival merchandise. More information about the festival and its activities can be found on this website.