Need to Know: Big Shanty Festival 2012

Will you have a booth at this weekend's festival? Tell us in the comments.

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.
  Performance Schedule for Saturday, April 21 Depot Stage
 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

Depot Stage

City Hall Stage


Great Gig Dance

Country Classic Cloggers

12:00-12:30 PM

Little General Cloggers

City of Kennesaw

12:30-1:00 PM

Great Gig Dance

Kennesaw Mountain Cloggers

1:00-1:30 PM


Little General Cloggers

1:30-2:00 PM

Country Classic Cloggers


2:00-2:30 PM

City of Kennesaw


2:30-3:00 PM

Allatoona Jazz Band

Grace Community Church

3:00-3:30 PM

Kennesaw Mountain Cloggers

CK Dance Works

3:30-4:00 PM

Impact Dance

Roger Wilson

4:00-4:30 PM

Chainsaw Carving Auction

Roger Wilson

4:30-5:00 PM
Gaetana Pipia April 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Will your organization or business have a booth at the Big Shanty Festival? Will your dance troupe be performing? Introduce yourself in the comments, and we'll add the information.
trisha crawley April 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
If we rode our bikes tbere..is there a place to chain them up?
April Saine April 19, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Friends of Camp McDonald Park will be on the site of the Future Park! Please visit us and let us share with you the hidden beauty in historic, downtown Kennesaw!
Donna Espy-Rypel April 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Trisha - I think there is a bike rack near the depot or across at the Southern Museum...what a fun thing to do...hope you enjoy the festival!
Michael Everhart April 20, 2012 at 01:59 AM
great gig DANCE co, is proud to call Kennesaw our home and will be performing both Saturday and Sunday on the depot stage. Our performance times are 11:30am and 12:30pm on Saturday and 12:00pm and 1:00pm on Sunday. We will also be hosting a rehearsal for the flash mob on Friday night at 6:30pm.
Michael Everhart April 20, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Kennesaw's first ever Flash Mob will take place Saturday morning at the conclusion of the parade. There will be a "live" rehearsal friday at 6:30pm at great gig DANCE co. (www.greatgigdance.com for directions) with the choreographers. You can check out the event page at www.facebook.com/BigShantyFestival2012FlashMob/events We are expecting huge crowds and it will be tons of fun...something everyone should be a part of! We can't wait to see the reaction from all the people gathered to watch the parade see many hundreds get the groove on and PARTY ROCK THE HOUSE!
Dr. Steven Goeddeke April 20, 2012 at 01:35 PM
We are excited to announce that Eaton Chiropractic will be offering free posture examinations in front of our office for the entirety of the festival! Attendees of the Big Shanty festival will also have the opportunity to schedule for a complete evaluation, which includes x-rays if necessary, for only $25 (normally $150)! Make sure to stop by, get your free screening, and meet the docs!
Gaetana Pipia April 20, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Thanks for the info! We've updated the article from comments we've received here and on Facebook. Pass on this article to other festival participants as we'd like to continue gathering and sharing information in preparation for the weekend.
Gaetana Pipia April 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Parking will be available at Adams Park and Kennesaw First Baptist. Also, many businesses around the area will have lots that charge money for fundraisers for Cub Scouts, etc.
Brent Brock April 21, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Family Matters of North Cobb will have a kids zone in the parking lot of Eaton Chiropractic. Bring the kids by for a snow cone, games and picture with Elmo.
Michael Jacobs April 21, 2012 at 01:23 PM
What's the best thing you eat during the Big Shanty Festival? Let us know here, or come by the Patch tent and tell us.
Jim Bitner April 22, 2012 at 02:53 AM
The Kennesaw Generals 12U travel baseball team has a booth and is selling sports necklaces to help with their trip to Cooperstown in June. Please come out and support the players by buying a necklace or two! Our booth is in front of the museum....thanks to those who came by on Saturday and we look forward to seeing you on Sunday! Coach Jim Bitner
T&M Mobile Mechanics April 23, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Congratulations to Dave Butler - winner of our Free Tune Up from T&M Mobile Mechanics at the Big Shanty Festival! All other entries receive 10% off labor for their first repair as well! T&M Mobile Mechanics - "Why a Garage? Let us bring the Garage to you!"
Gaetana Pipia April 23, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Who attended the Big Shanty Festival? What a wonderful weekend! We'll have more stories, video and photos from the festival posted throughout today, so be sure to check back in with Patch.


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