Dancing Goats FolkFest this Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Ellijay is a chance to celebrate and preserve the cultural traditions of North Georgia.
Self-taught artists new and known will showcase true folk art – the first-born art of Appalachia. Alongside all the “pretties,” old-time music and storytelling will help to bring our history and traditions to life.
Dancing Goats FolkFest will pay homage the old Saturday-go-to-town days and have the atmosphere of a mountain shindig. The celebration will be located on North Church Street and the adjoining boardwalk, one of the little mountain town’s newest gathering places. You might hear dulcimers on one end of the street and a banjo on the other end. Look for paintings, pottery, whirligigs, art cars, good food. Parking, admission, and children’s art activities will be free.
North Georgia’s first settlers often created art out of necessity from natural materials – road signs, milk churns, church furniture, wooden bowls. The need to create took them beyond craft and brought the same joy to their lives that art brings to us today. Artistic skills were often passed down from one generation to the next, but there have always been artists who developed their gifts without help. Their work reflects their own or the area’s history and culture, but it is really born of a personal need to create.
We know our history through the oral and musical traditions of our culture, taught to each generation long before reading and writing became popular or necessary. Still, storytelling and music are the best ways to understand the history that grounds us.
Even though profit is not a motive for this gathering, organizers hope to help fund a downtown art project for children. The Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce and several other organizations and businesses are joining in.