Bluegrass festival coming to Stone Mountain Village


• What: Blue GrassRoots Music and Arts Festival

• When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Stone Mountain Village, 891 Main St., Stone Mountain

• Cost: Free admission

• For more information: Visit www.stonemountain...

STONE MOUNTAIN -- On Saturday, every toe-tapping, banjo strumming, flatfoot dancing, bluegrass loving fan will be at the third annual Blue GrassRoots Music and Arts Festival in the Stone Mountain Village -- and that's not even half of the festivities for the day.

A few years ago, John Kelley and Jack Sartain wanted to start something that was old country and created a small music festival with approximately 450 people, including the musicians.

"We thought it was pretty successful," Sartain said. "We put it on again last year and we had 850 folks come out for the event. So, this year we thought we'd do something different."

The small bluegrass festival teamed up with the Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces to attract more people.

For 2012, there will be 85 artisans with arts and crafts, a couple hundred bluegrass players and an expectation of 3,000 additional attendees.

"What we want to do is have this festival on the last Saturday of every March," Sartain said. "Nothing else scheduled for us bluegrass lovers anywhere -- and we want to rival Bear on the Square in Dahlonega."

Take a look around anywhere in the village and you will find jam spots, where musicians come together to play off the cuff and instrument workshops, where artists can learn more about their musical tools.

Besides the music, there will also be "contra dancing" or country dancing, which is similar to square dancing, but different according to Sartain.

"It looks the same because it can have a couple to a hundred couples, but it has different moves," he said.

There will also be a kids area with pony rides and a petting zoo and art strolls with ART Station.

"We believe that the arts are an economic generator and we're beginning to prove that at the Stone Mountain Village," Sartain said. "We're praying for clear weather. It's going to be nice for sure."