Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bear On The Square Festival's Mountain Marketplace Has Prestigious Sponsor in John C. Campbell Folk School

The Mountain Marketplace, traditionally a key element of the annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival in Dahlonega, has gained additional prestige by obtaining the famed John C. Campbell Folk School as Marketplace Sponsor.

The upcoming 13th annual festival, scheduled Friday through Sunday, April 17-19, will not only benefit from the addition of the John C. Campbell Folk School name to its lineup of major sponsors, but its Mountain Marketplace, which will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., will have a John C. Campbell Folk School section along North Park Street.

In this area will be a tent where the work of the the folk school's demonstrating artists as well as work from the school's Craft Gallery will be available for purchase. Those artists from the folk school who will be demonstrating their work include Jan Stansell, basketry; Helen Gibson, woodcarving; Kim Joris, wall pieces made from recycled and salvaged items; Rob Withrow, clay; and Elmer Roush and Lynda Metcalfe, blacksmithing.

In addition, several John C. Campbell Folk School dance teams will perform throughout the day on Saturday only at the plaza in front of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Visitors Center on South Park Street. Dance groups will include the John C. Campbell Folk School Cloggers, the Rural Felicity Garland, Stix in the Mud Border Morris, Black Socks Rapper Sword, Rogue Rapper Sword, and Dame�s Rocket Northwest Clog Morris.

The John C. Campbell Folk School, located in Brasstown, N. C., offers week-long and weekend classes year round in traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, music, dance, cooking, gardening, writing and photography. Visitors are encouraged to stop by the 300-acre campus to visit the studios, tour the History Center where 20th Century Appalachia is on display, and browse through the Craft Shop, which features the juried work of over 300 artists. The campus also hosts a concert series with some of the finest regional and national acts performing old-time, bluegrass, folk and Celtic music, as well as community Contra dances. More information is available at

From an overall standpoint, the Bear on the Square Mountain Marketplace will once again be made up of a remarkable collection of one-of-a-kind, handmade art and crafts. Held around the Historic Public Square in Dahlonega, it is once again presenting the juried work from an impressive group of top quality artists.

This year, there will be some 30 artists, including several who are new to the Bear on the Square Marketplace. Groups which will have Marketplace booths include Spectrum, the art club at North Georgia College and State University, which will be exhibiting student and faculty work; the SouthEastern Bluegrass Association (SEBA); the North Georgia Foothills Dulcimer Association (NGFDA), and the Weekend Goldminers. The Handspinner's Guild, which has previously had its exhibit in Hancock Park, will move to the Marketplace this year and will demonstrate all weekend.

Other booths will contain a wide selection of work from painters, furniture makers, musical instrument makers, potters, quilt makers, and woodturners, plus a selection of gourds, jewelry, whirligigs, crocheted tablecloths, handmade soaps and lotions, natural honey products, photography, and baskets, and exhibits from major sponsors of the festival.

A description of other Bear on the Square major events; schedules of things to see and do including Mainstage Tent music performances, the popular Gospel Jam, a street dance, family activities, and music workshops; biographical information and photos of the music headliners, and listings of all participating artists and festival sponsors can be found at

This year's Bear on the Square festivities will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Friday afternoon with jamming around the Historic Public Square by local and visiting musicians, and this will continue day and night throughout the weekend.

Friday night, the annual Live Country Auction featuring extensive Appalachian folk art and crafts from many of the Marketplace artists and specialty items from Dahlonega shops and restaurants, will be held in a large tent in Hancock Park. Well known North Georgia folk artist Billy Roper, the festival's Heritage Sponsor, is donating three paintings and a marble sculpture to this year's auction. Attendees will enjoy music from the Georgia Mudcats prior to the start of bidding.

Performances by the Mainstage music headliners will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the large tent in Hancock Park with the lineup including the Claire Lynch Band, The Freight Hoppers, Beverly Smith and Carl Jones, The Dappled Grays, Curtis Jones and Friends, the Packway Handle Band, and other acts.

Bear on the Square Mountain Festival, Inc., which stages the festival each year, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit cultural arts organization with the mission of preserving and celebrating the culture of the Southern Appalachians through the presentation of music, traditional craft, and folkways. Tax deductible donations are welcome and can be sent to P.O. Box 338, Dahlonega, GA 30533.

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