The Big Shanty festival was a little closer to home. We live in the town of Kennesaw (which is a Cherokee word for burial ground). Kennesaw was previously known as Big Shanty, because it used to be a Big Shanty town built on the railroad.
The town was the beginning point of the famous Great Locomotive Chase of 1862 during the Civil War.
The General was a steam train that ran between Atlanta and Chattanooga (home of the Moon Pie). In 1862 members of the Union army snuck into Marietta (just down the road) and then on to Big Shanty where they waited for the General to arrive. Once the passengers and crew had exited the train the raiders hijacked the train and headed north toward Chattanooga. As they went along they tore out telegraph lines and damaged bridges in an effort to disrupt the rail link. The Confederates gave chase and eventually got their own train, the Union guys in the General ran out of water which makes it difficult to do the steam part of a steam train and were captured.
Now days the General lives in a Smithsonian affiliated museum in downtown Kennesaw (Big Shanty). What all of this has to do with the Big Shanty festival I am not sure – but I hope you enjoyed the history lesson.
The festival was held in downtown Kennesaw and consisted of a parade complete with School marching bands and some business and community group floats.
As these groups went past, we were showered with lollies (candy), not sure why but obviously a tradition – we scored quite well.
As this is an election year there were also candidates who are running for District Attorney or County Judge etc, etc walking along kissing babies and shaking hands and giving out more candy. After they had come up to and gone through the hand shaking process and asking for our vote SWTTM took delight in telling them we could not vote any way so they were really wasting their time – most took it well.
We wandered around the trade displays and craft displays and soaked up the cultural experience that the festival was.
PS – we haven’t visited the museum or actually seen the General yet, I guess that will be for a future post.