An expected 60,000 to 70,000 visitors will fill the streets of downtown Kennesaw this weekend for the city's 36th annual Big Shanty Festival.
Festivities will include an opening parade, a , food vendors, more than 250 booths featuring homemade crafts, and live entertainment on two stages.
The Big Shanty Festival is a collaborative effort between the city, the Kennesaw Business Association, JRM Management and an extensive team of individuals, businesses and organizations. This year's festival is presented by Superior Plumbing.
As one of north Georgia's largest events, the Big Shanty Festival has grown since its humble beginnings in 1975.
According to Robert Jones of the Kennesaw Historical Society, the event was originally called Trade Days and started out as a small local festival that promoted businesses in the downtown area. The first event included a total of 36 booths.
In contrast, last year's event had an estimated attendance of 50,000 people with an economic impact of more than $800,000,
"The Big Shanty Festival has always been linked to the rich Civil War heritage of Kennesaw, with the Big Shanty Museum, now the , being a central part of the festival," said Jones.
The museum, which recently celebrated the and houses the , will be open throughout the weekend and feature a Civil War encampment.
For a taste of what the Big Shanty Festival has to offer, check out our photo galleries from last year's and Also, be sure to stop by and say hello. Patch will have a booth set up on both days.
Hours: The festival kicks off with a parade Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Festival hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Directions: Downtown Kennesaw. Heading north on 1-75, take Exit #273 Wade Green Road, turn left, then follow approximately two miles.
Road Closures: Beginning Friday at 6 p.m., Cherokee Street will close from Main Street to Big Shanty; J.O. Stephenson will close from Main to Dallas; Watts Drive will close from Dallas to Main; and Lewis will close from Dallas to Main. For parade set-up on Saturday, Main will be closed from Lewis to Summer starting at 6 a.m. Streets along the parade route will be closed from 9 to 10:30 a.m. All streets re-open at 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Parking: Parking will be available at and . Also, many businesses around the area will provide their lots for a small fee in order to raise funds for Cub Scouts and other causes.
Admission to the festival is free.
Will your organization or business have a booth at the festival? Will your dance troupe be performing? Introduce yourself in the comments, and we'll add the information below.
Here are just some of the things you can expect at the 2012 Big Shanty Festival.
- A kick-off parade will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The parade features floats and marchers with more than 2,000 kids representing every sport association and school in the area, plus pageant winners and Allatoona, Kennesaw Mountain and North Cobb High School bands. The parade starts at and continues down Main Street through downtown Kennesaw.
- Kennesaw will have its first flash mob immediately following the parade. for a video of the choreography from and more information on how to participate.
- Great Gig Dance Co will also be performing both Saturday and Sunday on the Depot stage. Performance times are 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
- Burnt Hickory Brewery, a nano-brewery that recently opened at 2260 Moon Station Ct Suite 210 in Kennesaw, will give tours and tastings on Saturday. The brewery will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For $8, visitors will receive a glass, keychain and four 4-ounce samples. The brewery will have Big Shanty Graham Cracker Stout on tap.
- Civil War reenactors will be camped out at the Southern Museum.
- will have a booth providing face painting.
- Friends of Camp McDonald Park will be on the site of the future park. Community members are encouraged to visit the site and share in the hidden beauty of historic downtown Kennesaw.
- will have a booth in front of on Main Street. You can stop by to register for the
- Eaton Chiropractic will be offering free posture examinations in front of their office for the entirety of the festival. Attendees of the Big Shanty Festival will also be able to schedule a complete evaluation, which includes x-rays if necessary, for $25 (normally $150).
- will be in booth S-54 and will be offering free makeup, temporary hair color and temporary tattoos for the kids. Coupons can be found in the Festival Guide.
- Hurricane Wilson & The Kennesaw Mountain Boys will perform on the City Hall stage on Sunday at 4 p.m.
City Hall Stage
Time Chalker Elementary/Palmer Middle Kennesaw Dance Troupe 10:00-10:30 AM Bullard Elementary Pickett’s Mill Elementary 10:30-11:00 AM Baker Elementary Northstar Kids 11:00-11:30 AM Great Gig Dance Pine Mountain Middle 11:30-12:00 NOON Kennesaw Dance Troupe ==================== 12:00-12:30 PM Great Gig Dance
McCall Primary 12:30-1:00 PM Big Shanty Elementary McClure Middle Jazz 1:00-1:30 PM ETO Anne-Trembly Dance 1:30-2:00 PM Kennesaw Elementary Little General Cloggers 2:00-2:30 PM Local Motion ETO 2:30-3:00 PM Barber Middle School Dance Impact Dance 3:00-3:30 PM Little General Cloggers Local Motion 3:30-4:00 PM Mt. Paran Christian School Kennesaw Charter School Zumba 4:00-4:30 PM Chainsaw Carving Auction TLC Dance 4:30-5:00 PM City of Kennesaw Kennesaw Square Dealers 5:00-5:30 PM Kennesaw Charter School Cheer Brookwood Christian 5:30-6:00 PM
Performance Schedule for Sunday, April 22
City Hall StageTime
Great Gig Dance
Country Classic Cloggers12:00-12:30 PM
Little General Cloggers
City of Kennesaw12:30-1:00 PM
Great Gig Dance
Kennesaw Mountain Cloggers1:00-1:30 PM
Little General Cloggers1:30-2:00 PM
Country Classic Cloggers
City of Kennesaw
Allatoona Jazz Band
Grace Community Church3:00-3:30 PM
Kennesaw Mountain Cloggers
CK Dance Works3:30-4:00 PM
Roger Wilson4:00-4:30 PM
Chainsaw Carving Auction
Roger Wilson4:30-5:00 PM