Posted by Marcie Hambrick, DAHLONEGA, GA -- On the third weekend of every October, when thousands of leaf watchers come through town to see the fall colors, Gold Rush Days are held in the town square next the Dahlonega Gold Museum. The festival celebrates Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold and even features a gold panning competition.
Many of the activities are geared toward children, such as pony rides, bubble fun, and a climbing wall. Additionally, the youngest competitor in the World Gold Panning Championship was only seven years old this year. Musicians performed in both scheduled and impromptu concerts. The Appalachian traditional use of instruments such as banjo, guitar, and even Cherokee flute reflected the varied culture in the area. Traditional Southern favorite foods, such as boiled peanuts and barbeque were everywhere.
The celebration of small town culture and history provides a great opportunity for local people and travelers to share a day of fun. It boosts the economy for local businesses and provides a greater sense of community for everybody.
Marcie Hambrick, MSW is a Doctoral student in Sociology at Georgia State University. She also teaches Sociology courses at Georgia Northwestern Technical College and is the Director of New Leaf Outreach Anger Management and Stress Solutions in Dalton, GA. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.