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Venue will spotlight bluegrass
Sawnee Mountain Music adds outdoor concert area
Sawnee WEB 1
Frances Mooney stands in front of a large, open area in front of the Pickin’ Porch, a new venue area at Sawnee Mountain Music on Dahlonega Hwy. - photo by Jim Dean

At a glance

• Sawnee Mountain Music’s Pickin’ Porch bluegrass festival will be 2-11 p.m. Saturday at the store’s outdoor venue, 1540 Dahlonega Hwy. Admission is $20 for adults; children under 12 are free. Those attending should bring lawn chairs.

• Anyone interested in renting out the outdoor area should call Frances Mooney at (770) 887-7635 or (770) 715-8270.

Pickers and grinners will soon have a new area for bluegrass performances.

Frances Mooney, owner of Sawnee Mountain Music on Dahlonega Highway, said the store will use a new outdoor area Saturday.

The music store, which has been open for almost 30 years, will play host to its first all-day bluegrass festival on the store’s new “Pickin’ Porch,” she said.

The area was recently constructed for concerts and other outdoor events. It has an “Old West” feel, Mooney said. 

“Our goal is to have a good outdoor facility for family gatherings and fun,” she said.

She said the porch, which faces a large, grassy area for seating, was the site of her son’s wedding earlier this month.

“My son, Mark Mundy, and his new wife, Terri Jones-Mundy, wanted to do a Western wedding, so this was perfect for that,” Mooney said. “[The bride’s maids] wore old saloon girl outfits. It was a lot of fun.”

Saturday’s bluegrass festival will run from 2-11 p.m. and will feature four bluegrass groups.

“I looked around and tried to get some of the best groups in Georgia,” Mooney said.

The bands include Skip Grounds & Ramblin’ Grass, Barbwire Bluegrass, The East Dixie Boys and Mooney’s own band, Frances Mooney and Fontanna Sunset.

The new outdoor area also includes a meat smoker and other cooking equipment.

Mooney said barbecue and other “down home” concessions will be available for purchase Saturday.

Keeping with the venue’s Old West theme, Mooney said she’s encouraging anyone attending the festival to wear Western attire like blue jeans, cowboy hats and boots.

“We’ll have prizes for the best dressed man and woman,” she said.

Mooney said it likely will be the first of many outdoor concerts at Sawnee Mountain Music.

“This will be the only one this year because the weather’s about to get cold, but we plan to do at least two or three each spring,” she said.

Mooney also hopes to rent out the Pickin’ Porch and grounds for events like weddings and children’s birthday parties.

“If someone wants a Western or country-themed event, this is the perfect venue,” she said.