Summer music series ‘enchants’ visitors in Hiawassee
Grab a lawn chair and prepare to be enchanted in Hiawassee, with this year’s lineup of musicians to perform at the weekly Enchanted Music on the Square.
In its 18th year, Enchanted Music on the Square provides an evening of free musical entertainment each Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 8 p.m. Food and beverages will be sold on site.
Mardi White, widow of Eugene Jakel, said Enchanted Music on the Square was the idea of her husband and JoAnne Leone, who was tourism director in 2000.
“They started it simply because they thought Hiawassee should have some music, and it would bring the town some life and joy,” White said. They formed a nonprofit group called OTM, which means both “Over the Mountain” and “On the Map,” because they hoped the musical event would put Hiawassee on the map, White said.
This year, Hiawassee’s mayor Liz Ordiales led the city in securing a grant from the Georgia Council for the Arts to help pay for the event.
"Music on the Square is a fantastic tradition in our town,” Ordiales said. “Year after year, the crowds have grown and so has the local talent performing. We welcome many visitors to the square every Saturday night as well as providing great entertainment for our local residents. This is a true labor of love by Mardi White and her team. We look forward to some fun times on the square this Summer!"’
White said attendance is usually between 100 and 200, sometimes more. In the past there hasn’t been a rain venue, but this year, with the additional grant money, the Hiawassee Civic Center, 67 Lakeview Circle, will be used in case of rain for “the majority of the concerts,” White said.
Enchanted Music on the Square, 6:30-8 p.m., Saturdays
May 26, Holman Autry
June 2, the Baumann Family
June 9, John C. Campbell Cloggers
June 16, Bliss & the Boys
June 23, Mark Shane
June 30, Gnarly Fingers
July 7, Midnight Express
July 14, Kurt Thomas
July 21, Rocket
July 28, Alex Key and the Locksmiths
Aug. 4, Bill Rinaldo/Paul Constantine
Aug. 11, Ron Schott, saxophone
Aug. 18, Dixie Tornados
Aug. 25, Southern Journey Big Band
Sept. 1, Paradise 56