As the leaves begin to change to beautiful golden, amber and crimson hues, this weekend is the perfect time to head to Dawsonville for our 46th Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival. The festival explores Dawson County’s history during Prohibition when running moonshine through the foothills of the Northeast Georgia Mountains was a way of life. The festival has fun for all ages from live entertainment to vintage cars to arts and crafts vendors, but here is a list of the top five things you won’t want to miss at the festival:
1. Meet the Moonshiners: Ever wondered if running ‘shine is still practiced? Folks around North Georgia will be happy to oblige you with many stories, but this Saturday, you have the opportunity to meet Mark and Jeff from the Discovery Channel’s Moonshiners. Saturday’s festivities will kick off at 9 a.m. with a parade of vintage, racing and moonshine cars with Mark and Jeff, both of whom are currently moonshining, serving as our Grand Marshalls.
2. Car Show: If you have a passion or curiosity for vintage, racing or moonshine cars, Dawsonville is where you need to be. In front of the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, home to Gober Sosebee’s record-setting racecar, you can view many unique cars and hear a little history, too. If you have a car to enter in the show, bring it on up! We welcome entries on the day of the event.
3. Sample Moonshine: After you have viewed the cars that originally ran white lightning through the hills of North Georgia, stop into the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery and taste the festival’s namesake. Of course, you must be 21 and over to taste, but visitors of all ages are invited to view the working (legal) still and learn about how moonshine is made.
4. See Confederate Railroad: With hits like “Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind” and “Queen of Memphis,” you will want to stay for Saturday evening to see Confederate Railroad. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy various live bands beginning at 4 p.m. with Georgia-grown band Confederate Railroad headlining around 8 p.m. Admission is only $5.
5. Unique Vendors: In Dawsonville, we still believe in a slower pace of life. Take time to wander through the multitude of vendor booths to see many unique crafts from copper stills to homemade candles and wreaths. With the smell of many goodies in the air, take a break and enjoy a funnel cake or roasted corn.
For more information, visit http://www.kareforkids.us/festival.html or call the Dawson County Office of Tourism Development at 706-265-6278.
Please share your festivals experience by using the #MoonshineFest hashtag on Twitter (www.twitter.com/VisitDawsonCo), Instagram (instagram.com/destinationdawsonville), and Facebook (facebook.com/destinationdawsonville).
Christie Haynes is the President of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development. She loves exploring Georgia back roads, sharing a passion for Southern history and culture, shooting sporting clays, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs.