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Mountain Moonshine Festival this weekend in Dawsonville

DAWSONVILLE — The area’s unique and storied past will come alive this weekend as thousands converge in nearby Dawsonville for the 48th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival.

"If we have weather anything like we're seeing now, we're going to have a great weekend for the festival," said Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan.

The festival will run from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday in downtown Dawsonville, which is accessible by Hwys. 9 and 53.

An estimated 100,000 visitors are expected, with many pulling into the town as early as Friday morning to be a part of a Moonshine Run. The run travels through the north Georgia mountains, where moonshiners of yesteryear made their living hauling the illicit spirit.

"That's the only life we knew from the time we were little," said Roger Mincey, whose father, Vernon "Bug" Mincey, is among five legendary liquor makers being inducted Saturday morning into the Moonshiner's Hall of Fame.

The men will be celebrated during the festival's opening ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday on the stage in front of BK Sports. It follows a parade through downtown Dawsonville with legendary Georgia racer Ken Ragan serving as grand marshal.

There will be activities for the entire family, including more than 500 vendor booths, one of the largest displays of race cars and hot rods, a silent auction and live entertainment.