Beloved by all, Bear on the Square celebrates its 22nd year with a Friday night shindig that sets the stage for two full days of traditional music, art, storytelling and folkways of the Appalachian Mountains. It's quite simply a truly fine time.

The energy and excitement of the event's first night gets the party started. This year the Bear organizing committee has something even more special planned. The story of how Bear on the Square got its name has its roots in basic happenstance and the rhythym of spring. A baby bear wandered onto the Square one spring day and the sheriff's office reported a "bear on the square".  It's almost as simple as that.

It could have been "bear in a tree", which wouldn't have had the same resonance at all, but the true charm of the story is the community's response to the alert. Instead of turning matters over to to those who might try to do the bear some harm, action taken was all about trying to rescue the bear in the safest way possible. That included a tranquilizers, a soft blanket and good aim on the catch.

Many of those who were there that day, and who have told that story countless times, are still in Dahlonega, retired or playing different roles in the community. Several of those will be on hand Friday night to share their part in the story with those in attendance -- and an extra special treat will be the first auction tem up for bid, which is a candid photo -- now nicely framed -- taken by Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard looking straight up the tree at the frightened cub.

Proceeds of the sale of all auction items helps support continuing Appalachian traditions and Bear on the Square. All auction items are listed here:

Be sure to mark your calendars for this special weekend in Dahlonega. The musical lineup for this year's is top notch, including renowned singer/songwriter Johanthan Byrd, Front Country, Dahlonega area favorite Ugly Cousin and an event absolutely not to be missed is Sunday morning's Gospel Jam.

For more information, visit or the Bear on the Square website directly