The North Georgia Folk Festival isn’t just a fun annual event — for some attendees, it’s tradition. This year celebrates its 35th year running, and 12 acts took the stage while people sat on blankets and chairs listened to the variety of folk tunes on Saturday, Oct. 12 at Sandy Creek Park. As Jeremiah Stricklin of the band Oh Jeremiah pointed out, it’s for the counterculture folks, the ones who would rather be browsing handmade crafts and enjoying the day under tall pine trees than in a 90,000-person stadium. Ben Hertel has been coming to the festival since he was a sophomore in high school, where he learned to juggle and continues to do so every year he comes back. The intimate festival has become a treasure to pass down through generations, folks said, and it’s a nice reprieve from the bustle of everyday life.