Music and art themes of weekend festivals
Art in the Park in Blue Ridge and Finster Fest also on tap
Festival f ans know Memorial Day weekend means it’s time for the 1890’ s Day Jamboree in Ringgold, Ga.
This street festival in downtown Ringgold annually brings thousands of people i nto the North Georgia town of about 3,600. It’s a free, family- friendly event that’s been held for more than 40 years. In addition to 100 food and craft vendors, there is live music on three stages, dance and fiddle contests, a beauty pageant, a parade and car show.
The fun starts Friday night, May 26, when gospel acts perform from 6 to 10 p.m. on three stages around town. The 1890’s Day Pageant also begins at 6 p.m. on the Ringgold Depot stage. Anyone interested in competing must register between 3 and 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Saturday’s Jamboree opens with a dance and fiddle contest on the Courthouse Stage at 9: 30 a. m., which continues throughout the day. A parade through downtown Ringgold steps off at 11 a.m.
One of the most popular events, the Jamboree’s car show, will again take place at Ringgold First Baptist Church’s parking lot, 7611 Nashville St. There’s no fee for car owners to register for the show. Registration begins at 9 a.m.; judging for the Top 5 takes place at 1 p.m. The event includes a cruise-in from 1 to 5 p.m.
The jamboree will close Saturday night with a fireworks show after the last musical act.
› If you’re more in the mood for a fine-art festival, take a day-trip to Blue Ridge, Ga., where Art in the Park will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 27-28, in the scenic town’s City Park. It’s held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, rain or shine.
Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association, this show features more than 170 artists displaying fine art and fine crafts.
Last year, Blue Ridge was recognized as one of the Top 10 Fine Craft Towns in America by American Craft Week. This festival is a fundraiser for the association’s efforts to provide arts opportunities for area residents.
› If it’s folk art you’re in search of, head to Finster Fest for Saturday and Sunday’s celebration of artist Howard Finster and his extraordinary art environment, Paradise Garden, three miles north of Summerville, Ga. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Finster Fest features the work of just over 50 artists, most of them self-taught, who will exhibit paintings, found- object sculpture, pottery, garden art, furnishings made of reclaimed wood, mosaic glass angels, handmade guitars, fiber art, paper pulp sculpture, embroidery, blacksmithing and whirligigs.
Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden is located at 200 N. Lewis St. Admission is $5. Proceeds help fund the operation of Paradise Garden. For more information: 706-808-0800.
Three stages of music are set up around Ringgold, Ga., during 1890’s Day Jamboree, which starts Friday night, May 26, and continues Saturday, May 27.