This annual festival began in efforts to recount the story of Gordon County’s two great old string bands in the 1920s, the Georgia Yellow Hammers and the Baxters. The Harris Arts Center initiated a festival featuring the rich array of talented old-time musicians in Georgia and other southern states.

The first festival, in 2007, brought to the stage of the Harris Arts Center the Carolina Chocolate Drops, who were just winning national acclaim. With them, or following in later years, were the New North Georgia Buggy Riders, Red Mountain Band, Skillet Lickers II, Jake Leg Stompers, Little Country Giants, Georgia Crackers, New Binkley Brothers, Norman and Nancy Blake, James Bryan, the Appalachian Ensemble, Dom Flemons, Downhill Strugglers, and other popular performers of old-time music. After entertaining on Friday night, many of these artists returned Saturday to compete in the Gordon County Fiddlers’ Convention.

The Georgia House of Representatives, in 2018, named the event Georgia’s Official String Band Festival.

Ticket prices and dates can be found on our calendar of events.