Blog entry

From The Dahlonega Nugget: My Bus Stop Buddies Have My Back In This Small Town


"You may have seen four or five old guys hanging out in front of the Fudge Factory on the Dahlonega square around 3 p.m. on weekdays and wondered 'what the heck are they doing?'  We like to call it the 'Men's Club,' but it's really just a group of dads, and some moms, waiting for their kids to get off the bus from Lumpkin County Elementary school. 

I started picking up my son in front of the Fudge Factory a few years ago, instead of at the end of my street.  The bus arrival time is highly inconsistent near my home on Crown mountain, as traffic, drop offs and other factors left me guessing as to when the bus would actually show up.  Sometimes I would sit at the end of my street for as many as 30 minutes.  And the fact I had to walk out of a huge hole and straight up a hill for nearly a quarter mile just to get to the bus stop made it an easy decision to drive to town and wait for the arrival of the bus at precisely 3:06 p.m. in front of the Fudge Factory.

What I didn't realize when I started picking him up there, however, was that the other dads (and moms) would become my allies when things like traffic, sleep or work get in the way.

The Men's Club, as I named it, consists of me, Rip, Tony, Jay and in the past, Vic and Chris.  One of the great things about the Club is that it allows me some serious adult interaction time every afternoon.  As a stay-at-home-dad with four kids, hanging out with some other adults who have kids and run very successful businesses is fun.  The other thing that I've come to realize is that we all have someone to get our back in case we're unable to make it to the bus stop before 3:06.

I can call Jay or Rip, and they can call me on a moment's notice, and we can grab the kids off the bus and make sure they get hooked up with their guardian, even if that person is stuck in traffic or having car trouble. 

Additionally, I'm pretty confident that if I didn't make it to the stop or connect with another parent, my kid could easily walk into any number of businesses and be taken care of until I arrived.  Sabrina at Spirits, the awesome employees at the Fudge Factory, Erin at Bourbon Street, Kathy at Cranberry Corners, Lee and Trish at the Back Porch Oyster Bar, Connie and Jim at Connie's Ice Cream, Deb at Shenanigan's, Chris at the Glass Blowing Shop, Jay at the General Store and Todd at Grateful Days would all welcome my son in  if he was in a bind.  And part of the reason I know all those folks is because of the time I spend on the square every weekday afternoon.

The fact I pick up my son on 'the square' in our quaint little town certainly has a 'Mayberry' feel, but having so many local friends that I know would take care of my child if I weren't able to make it is even more inspiring."

- Steve Alexander
Columnist, The Dahlonega Nugget

 

It's Dahlonega Gold Rush Time!

It's time for the weekend that makes it official fall has arrived!  Dahlonega Gold Rush Days is coming to town Saturday, October 17 and Sunday the 18th.  We'll be open early and staying late all weekend - come see us!  A dear customer shared some of her personal pictures, taken at Gold Rush in the 1950's.  There so fantastic, we've got to share them with you.  Enjoy!  And hope to see you at this year's event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Arrivals For Fall 2015!

Oh my goodness.  Your eyes are gonna love this post, your wallet is not!  We've got so many new, cute arrivals arriving daily.  Shawls, scarves, boot cuffs, knee socks, leg warmers and amazingly awesome cloche hats.  Oh yeah - and new leather + gemstone bracelets.  Be careful, don't drool on your computer keyboard!  We will not be adding these to our online store, if you see something you like, you can give us a call and we'll ship it to you.  Better yet, plan a visit to Dahlonega and come see us in person!

 

And these bracelets hold money!  How cool!

(Summer) Lovin' these Mona B. Bags!

Where are your travels taking you this summer?  Kranberry Kathy plans on taking at least one day a week off to visit nearby North Georgia spots...AND she just booked a trip to Vegas for this merchandise mart.  How exciting!  What bag will she be taking on her escapades?  A Mona B. tote, of course!

We heart this line because each purse features interesting fabrics on the interior and plenty of pockets for storage.  The variety of sizes are a plus too -   it's easy to find one that fits your needs!  There are even cute little wallets that could double as a casual clutch...

2015 Bear on the Square Festival Recap!

First off, everyone always asks the story of how Dahlonega's Bear on the Square Festival first started.  This year was the festival's 19th year.  Since this is Cranberry Corners' 20th year in the gift shop business, Kranberry Kathy was there to witness the invasion of the bears and the origin of this fantastic bluegrass festival...

You see, they were building the Wal-Mart, and the clearing of the land left 2 bears homeless, and...

...either smelling the food cooking on the square or needing to purchase a few gifts - both cubs ran toward the square!  Once arriving, they climbed a tree to scope out where to start shopping.  This alarmed the people of the town, so professionals were called in to tranquilize the pair.  People stood at the base of the tree with huge tarps, and as each fell asleep, they were caught by the folks below.  Tagged, then released - both bears were last tracked in North Carolina.  So what do 2 bears on the square have to do with starting a bluegrass festival?  Nothing!  It's just that the people of Dahlonega love music and a good excuse to throw a party.  Hence, the birth of the annual Bear on the Square festival!

Each festival starts with the Friday night charity auction.  Check out Kranberry Kathy and daughter Shelley doing their best Vanna White impersonation while displaying a Billy Roper painting...

Proceeds from the auction (and festival) benefit the Dahlonega Pick 'n Bow program, and the $5 dinner catered by Shenanigans before the auction is always a delicious place to catch up with friends. 

Saturday's forecast called for sun and Sunday's called for rain...so the crowds were out in force for the first day of the festival.  That's why this guy, Farmer Jim from The Buzzard Mountain Boys, kept takin' a load off at Cranberry Corners...

Here's a buckdancer from the John C. Campbell Fok School struttin' her stuff on Saturday...

...and an impromptu jam on the square!

 

Kranberry Kathy...doing her best impression of a face jug.  Close, but no cigar!

Catching up with Cranberry Corners jewelry and accessory designer, Lee Johnson.  She had a booth on the square...

Day 2 of the festival called for rain, but that did not hamper the spirit or attendance at Sunday morning's gospel hour!  Glenda Pender emceed, and a house band accompanied professional and amateur performers who each did 1 song.  This year Kranberry's daughter, accompanied by Jason Kenney, surprised her mom with an impromptu attempt at Miss Loretta Lynn's 'God Makes No Mistakes'...

The rain really started to pour after the Gospel hour, and unfortunately most of the artist market and food court was forced to pack up and go home.  However, the square's pickers and grinners retreated indoors - and the big tent continued to jam right on throgh the festival finale...a set by local favorite Jason Kenney...

Despite the rain, the festival was deemed a success.  Cheers to the next year's Bear on the Square Festival, which will be April 16th and 17th, 2016.  The event's 20th ANNIVERSARY!  See you there!

 

WIN One of Our New Cloche Hats!

We're so excited about these new 1920's style cloche hats arriving in-store next week...that we're giving one away!  How do you win?

1. Read this blog post (check!)

2. Decide which of the 3 new styles and which color is your favorite.

3. Click here to view a post featuring the hats on facebook - leave a comment on the photo of your favorite hat style ; tell us which color you'd love to win.

That's it!  The winner doesn't have to be a Dahlonega resident - we'll ship anywhere within the US.  Winner will be announced on the day we receive the hats so enter asap!  We know they're coming sometime before April 15th, but they could arrive sooner... 

When we spotted these cloches in Las Vegas at a merchandise mart, we had to have them.  If you're fans of Downton Abbey then you'll understand why...

We're in love with the clothing they wear on the show!  Our new hats remind us of something they'd sport to a...tea?  A garden party?  Accompanying the boys on a dove hunt?

Good Luck!

 

Hey Dahlonega - Ready for Spring Festivals Season?

This past weekend, our historic town square and the Yahoola Trails Conservancy hosted the 2015 Appalachian Trailfest - and yes!  The weather held out.  This annual event celebrates the beginning of spring, the designation of Dahlonega as an AT Trail community, and our connection with the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail...   

The photo above shows what a wonderful day it was to kick off spring.  See the shadows?  They mean the sun's out!  In addition to arts and crafts, this year's event featured a silent auction, lots of live music and a food, beer and wine garden...

It's Back to School Time in Dahlonega...

 

Where has the summer gone?  It's already time for youngins' around Dahlonega to head back to school.  Before we know it, the holidays will be upon us - but until then...we're soaking up the last few days of summer.  The weather in the North Georgia Mountains has been amazing this season.  Hopefully the fall will be just as incredible!  

 

Father's Day in Dahlonega...

Father's Day is Sunday, June 15th.  Do you have your Pop's gift yet?  If you're shopping in Dahlonega between now and then, be sure to stop by Cranberry Corners.  Of course we'll have greeting cards - and fun inexpensive items like fishing and golf ornaments.  If your Dad or Husband is an outdoors man, then how about a Tula straw hat?  They are super comfortable and breathable on hot Summer days.  Perfect for fishermen, gardeners, and hikers!

 

Dahlonega's 2014 Bear on the Square Festival...a big success!

Many locals will tell you, Dahlonega's Bear on the Square festival is one of their favorite festivals of the year.  Held this past April 26th and 27th, click here to see a few of our favorite memories from the 2 day event.  The weather was perfect, the music was wonderful!