The 35th annual festival is set for Saturday and Sunday and will include 240 artists. It also may attract up to 35,000 people to its namesake park off Cartersville Highway, said longtime organizer Dee McClain of Paulding Festivals Inc.
The company has helped bring together sponsors and vendors for the event on the weekend after Labor Day annually since it began.
The festival will feature a mix of artists and craft makers, and 20 food concessions booths hosted by Paulding County non-profit groups.
“We do not accept any commercial vendors,” McClain said.
The company rents the park for one week and pays the county one-fifth of the gate receipts, McClain said.
She said the event is basically the same each year, though she works to make some changes for regular patrons by inviting vendors who offer different crafts each year.
This is its third location in its history, though it has operated in Paulding Meadows since the county government purchased the park property in 1986, McClain said.
The company formed in 1979 and began organizing festivals the following year at the Raccoon Creek Music Park site in north Paulding. The inaugural event featured 35 vendors and attracted about 2,000.
It then moved to the Hunt’s Meadows festival area on Atlanta Highway where it operated annually until 1986, when it moved to its current location after the county govern.
“Last year we had more than 35,000 visitors. This figure has been consistent the last few years – sometimes more, some less. When it rains, it is much less,” she said.
Its nonprofit sponsoring organizations also have changed over the years, and now include Dallas Woman’s Club, Paulding County Rotary Club, Paulding County Chamber of Commerce, a Paulding County High School math teachers group, Paulding 4-H Club, the 773 Scouters Association representing area Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts and band booster clubs from Paulding County, East Paulding, Hiram and South Paulding high schools, McClain said.
Vendors pay $100 per booth which the company uses to produce the show, she said.
Each sponsoring group sends workers to help produce the event, she said.
“Our sponsoring organizations share equally in the gate receipts. This is their ‘pay’ for helping to produce the festival,” she said.
A variety of musical artists are scheduled to appear, including four high schools’ marching bands Saturday morning beginning at 9.
Advance tickets can be purchased from sponsoring organizations and the libraries for $2, she said.
Admission at the gate is $3. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Each event in the children’s area includes its own fee.
Parking is free. No pets will be allowed in the park during festival hours.
If you go:
When: Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Earl Duncan Park at Paulding Meadows, 724 Paulding Meadows Drive (off Cartersville Highway) in Dallas
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