If you visit downtown Newnan on their monthly Market Day, you will find vendors selling all kinds of local goods to the tune of acoustic music played by local musicians.
This October marks the 11th year for “Pickin’ on the Square,” after a group of local musicians asked to join Market Days in 2008.
Wayne Dye, Rena Walker and Art Arace came up with the idea for acoustic musicians to play music on the courthouse square. They thought it would be a good idea to play the first Saturday of every month, which coincides with Market Day, according to Arace.
Arace contacted Main Street Newnan for approval, and Walker and Dye pulled together their musical friends. Dye, Walker and Arace played together the first Saturday of October in 2008 for Market Day shoppers, with other friends that joined in.
They played bluegrass, country and gospel music and loved it, according to Arace.
However, in November of 2008, the courthouse renovation project began. So, the group played on the corner across from what used to be Scott’s Bookstore, now Vinylyte Records, in downtown.
After trying different locations on the square, they decided to settle in front of Genelle’s Beauty Shop. The spot was shady, and, “Genelle and her husband Jimmy were nice,” said Arace.
The pickers were recently featured in the Georgia Public Broadcasting series “Hometown Georgia” episode about Newnan that aired Oct. 24.
Although many musicians have come and gone, two that were there from the start and are still playing are Dye and Banks Glover, according to Arace.
“As soon as I heard about it, I had to do it,” Glover said.
“Even today, the first Saturday of every month, Market Day shoppers can enjoy a hardy group of musicians playing bluegrass, country and gospel music in front of Genelle’s Beauty Shop,” Arace said.
Glover said the group is such that if someone bought a guitar and wanted to learn how to play it, they would teach them.
“To make music is a wonderful thing,” Glover said.
Any musician is welcome to join the group when they play at Market Days. Pickin’ on the Square takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.