This week's fairs and festivals are spaced around the region, requiring short drives that make good day-trips.
• If you are looking for a variety of well-made crafts, take I-75 South to the Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain Park. More than 400 exhibitors well be set up in the meadow on the park grounds.
Be advised: It's a lot of walking, but well worth it. Yellow Daisy veterans know to bring a rolling cart in which to haul their purchases. There is a children's corner with activities for the kids, but it still makes for a very long day for small children.
• The 34th annual Mountaineer Folk Festival at Fall Creek Falls State Park gets under way tonight at 6:30 with the official cannon fire opening. Jam sessions with several bands and a square dance will follow until 10 p.m. (all times are Central). Music, storytelling and events such as animal calling and wood splitting will take place on two stages Saturday and Sunday, and a Kidz Korner will keep the wee ones entertained.
• Fine art in an outdoor setting can be found at the White Oak Craft Fair in Woodbury, Tenn. The work of 75 artisans will be displayed along the banks of the East Fork Stones River, which is near the sponsoring Arts Center of Cannon County.
• If you're in the mood for old-fashioned fun, check out either of this weekend's county fairs. Folks will vie for satin ribbons ranging from the Fairest of the Fair sash to blue-ribbon honors in the agriculture and home exhibits.
Polk County's fair will include a talent contest, Pretty Baby Contest, karaoke, bluegrass music and livestock shows, according to president Joyce Stafford. Senior Citizen night is Wednesday, when they'll be entertained by a gospel music caravan.
Before Bledsoe opens its fair gates on Tuesday, its Fairest of the Fair pageants will crown winners Saturday night at Bledsoe County High School.
Tuesday, special recognition will be given all emergency services personnel in Bledsoe County in commemoration of 9/11. Wednesday's senior adult day starts at 10 a.m. Its $5 admission includes lunch.
There will be races for all ages riding anything from lawn mowers to tricycles.
In addition to having fun, though, Bledsoe fair president John Swafford said the fair committee tries to give back to the community that supports it.
"On Thursday at 6 p.m. (CDT), we're starting a new auctioneering competition. All the money raised by the auctioneers will go to scholarships for students at Bledsoe County High School," said Swafford.
Also, anyone who brings in canned food for donation will receive $1 off the gate admission. Anyone purchasing one of the fair's T-shirts will also receive the dollar discount.
FESTIVALS THIS WEEKEND
Bledsoe County Fair: Bledsoe County Community Complex, Deacon Road, Pikeville, Tenn., gates open 6 p.m. Tuesday-Sept. 14, 10 a.m. Sept. 15 (all times Central). Admission $3 nightly, except Wednesday when $1; additional fee for James Gang Amusements rides. 423-447-2852.
Fall Festival: Apison Baptist Church, 11127 Old East Brainerd Road, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, free, music by The BondServants quartet. 236-4291.
Fried Green Tomato Festival: Niota Depot on Main Street, Niota, Tenn., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free. www.niota-tn.org.
Memories on Mulberry: Courthouse lawn, Highway 11, Loudon, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, free. Held in conjunction with Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival at Legion Field in Loudon. 865-988-0967.
Mountaineer Days Festival: Tracy City, Tenn., 8 a.m.-11 p.m. CDT Saturday, $2. 931-592-2277.
Mountaineer Folk Festival: Fall Creek Falls State Park, 10821 Park Road, Pikeville, Tenn., 7-10 p.m. today, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), $3 per day, $6 weekend pass. 881-5709.
Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair: Pine Log United Methodist Church campground, Rydal, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $3 ages 12 and up. Juried arts and crafts fair in historic camp-meeting site. Take Exit 293 off I-75, take Highway 411 north eight miles to Pine Log UMC, turn left by Exxon station. 800-733-2280.
Polk County Fair: Benton Showbarn, Benton, Tenn., gates open 6 p.m. Monday-Sept. 14, 11 a.m. Sept. 15, free, $20 unlimited rides for Paradise Amusements. 423-338-8648.
Yellow Daisy Festival: Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, $10 per vehicle. Outdoor show with 400 vendors. festivals.stonemountainpark.com.
White Oak Crafts Fair: The Arts Center of Cannon County, 1424 John Bragg Highway, Woodbury, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (times Central), free, arts and crafts show on banks of East Fork Stones River. 615-563-2787.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...