Dozens of strummers from across Georgia will travel to Mistletoe State Park this weekend for the annual Mountain Dulcimer Jam.
Held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Mountain Dulcimer Jam is pretty self-explanatory: performers meet with their mountain dulcimers, seat themselves and just start strumming whatever tune strikes their fancy.
Mountain dulcimers are four-stringed, fretted instruments of various shapes and sizes. The instrument is played while seated and resting on the performer's lap.
"The mountain dulcimer is one of only two instruments (the other being the autoharp) that is truly American. Created in America," said Margaret Ertz, who has co-organized the jam with her husband, Richard, since its inception four years ago.
"You can play anything with it: gospel music, Celtic music, traditional English ballads, really anything. Some people like to play Beatles music. There is one woman who plays 'Here Comes the Sun' and it will knock you out it's so good."
Ertz said that several mountain dulcimer players will travel to Mistletoe for the weekend to jam and camp. Saturday's jam is open to the public so nonplayers can have a chance to hear the instruments, ask questions and test them out.
The jam is free to attend, but the park will charge $2 per vehicle for parking. There also will be no concessions. People planning to attend should pack a picnic lunch.
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