Jayhawk Festival Will Dish Up Music, Art, Food, Kids' Fun to Benefit LMJC Child Advocacy Center

Walker County singer/songwriter Vic Burgess has been playing gigs around the tri-state area for 20 years, and as such he’s organized a few musical events in his day. This time he’s doing something more ambitious. His upcoming “Jayhawk Festival” on Saturday, Aug. 5, a benefit for the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, will be a combined music and art gala, with festivities for the kiddies thrown in as well.

“I wanted to do something like Fenster Fest,” said Burgess in a telephone interview on Thursday. “I don’t know if I’ve hit it this year but that’s what I’m striving for.”

The local music scene is Burgess’s stomping ground, and he’s already assembled an extensive lineup of bands for Jayhawk, which will take place at the Pigeon Mountain Grill, at 18381 Highway 193 on Lookout Mountain. But he stressed that he’s still got plenty of room for artists and craftspeople. He’ll take painters, sculptors, fabric artists, carvers, handmade furniture crafters--“Anything that’s creative,” said Burgess. “It’s just a place where people who are trying to sell their art can sell it.”

Those interested in showing or selllng at the festival are urged to email, call or text, Connectionsburgess@gmail.com; (706) 331-2116.

Another sector of festival participants Burgess would love to hear from is sponsors. “The Advocacy Center serves Walker, Dade, Chatooga and Catoosa, but all my sponsors are from Walker right now,” said Burgess.

The Children’s Advocacy Center provides services for child-abuse victims and their families in the northwest Georgia area, including Dade. It tries to ease the way for child victims, limiting the number of times they are interviewed and the distance they have to travel by coordinating among the various medical, mental health and law enforcement agencies. The Center works closely with the Dade Sheriff’s and Trenton Police departments as well as the District Attorney’s office and juvenile courts.

Any Dade companies willing to help the center through a festival sponsorship for Jayhawk are also encouraged to contact Burgess as outlined above.

Vic Burgess (left) performs with drummer Randy Brown.

Burgess is familiar with the CAC through his day job as a youth advocate and mentor who works with older children through the courts and various juvenile and social service agencies. He decided to organize this fundraiser for the Center in memory of his father, Jay Burgess, who died of cancer in December.

“My daddy was named Jay, and he’s from Kansas,” said Burgess. (“Jayhawk” is the nickname for a native Kansan.) “Daddy loved kids, and I wanted to do something in his honor.”

Burgess himself will be performing at the festival, both with his band Exlaws and the duo act Kidd/Shaw. “I play rock tinged with country, I guess,” said Burgess. He likes to perform his own songs but plays some covers as well. “The point of cover songs is to do something people know,” he said.

Other acts on the schedule are Mic Harrison & The High Score, Tommy Womack,

Sweet Ga Brown, Small Town Rumour, Bob Carty, Un Amigo and too many others to list here.

“Acoustic people will play on the porch and then we’ve got the pavilion down there where the bands will play,” said Burgess. “I’ve got it scheduled where the acoustic people will play between the bands.”

Burgess expressed gratitude to The Pigeon Mountain Grill for the use of its two performance areas. The Grill will also be providing all food at Jayhawk.

Planet Readers may recognize this charming rural farm-to-table eatery-cum-roadhouse from a January article in this space. At the Grill, owners Carl and Susan Cofer sell local craft beers as well as barbecue and hamburgers made from the Longhorn cattle they raise at their nearby farm. The beef is grass-fed and the Grill’s ribs have won awards.

Here’s a link to The Planet’s article about The Pigeon Mountain Grill:


So Jayhawk will offer plenty of fun for the over-21 crowd, but Burgess figured since this was a benefit for children it might be appropriate to include some activities for the younger set. Accordingly he’s lined up bounce houses, balloon animals and face painting.

There will be donation stations throughout to benefit the Child Advocacy Center, but Burgess wanted to make it clear that all the fun and games are free of charge.

“I don’t want to set prices for people,” he said. “If you’ve got it, give it. If you don’t, go ahead and let the kids play. The same will go for the face-painting and balloons.”

Jayhawk will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, and continue through 8 p.m. The Pigeon Grill is located at the junction of highways 193 and 341, locally called Davis Crossroads.

For more information, readers may contact Vic Burgess as indicated above, or visit the event URL at


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