The first weekend of the fall festival season offers nine day trips to venues within two hours of Chattanooga.
Top picks this weekend:
• Yellow Daisy Festival at Stone Mountain in Atlanta, a great show for the diversity of its 400 crafters. Lots of walking involved. The up side? That funnel cake won’t cause calorie anxiety.
• The Battle of Tunnel Hill, a Civil War reenactment in North Georgia, is marking its 150th anniversary. If you’ve never witnessed a re-enactment, this anniversary trip is worth the drive.
• Railfest at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-see for train lovers of all ages. There are trains at the TVRM as well as the nearby Norfolk Southern line. You can ride a train (Missionary Ridge Local), or watch a train at the model railroad display. For the kids there are magic shows, a moon walk, coloring pages, petting zoo and a blacksmith demonstration. A special Railfest excursion on the Chickamauga Turn will be offered Saturday to Chickamauga, Ga., and back. Tickets for this 6-hour train ride include admission to Railfest.
FESTIVALS SEPT. 4-7
• Bledsoe County Fair: Bledsoe County Community Complex, Highway 127 at South Main Street, Pikeville, Tenn. Saturday, Sept. 6, to Sunday, Sept. 14. Admission Tuesday, Thursday and Friday is $3, Wednesday’s Family Night is free, Saturdays $5 ages 11 and older, Sundays $5. Carnival rides start at 6 p.m. www.facebook.com/Bledsoe-County-Fair.
• Mountaineer Folk Festival: Fall Creek Falls State Park, 10821 Park Road, Pikeville, Tenn., opens 6:30 p.m. Friday with square dance and jam session, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), $3 per person per day. 423-881-5708.
• Battle of Tunnel Hill Reenactment: Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel, 215 Clisby Austin Road, Tunnel Hill, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, campsites open, battle begins at 2 p.m. each day, $10 ages 13 and older, reenactment marks 150th anniversary of Civil War’s Battle of Tunnel Hill. 706-271-8478.
• Marion County Fair: Jasper, Tenn. Gates open at 5 p.m Tuesday, Sept. 9-Friday, Sept. 12; 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13 (all times Central). Fair entrance $3 adults, $2 students, additional $5 for rodeo or mud race admission. Mud run entry fee $20 for two passes through 125 feet of mud for fastest time.
• Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair: Pine Log United Methodist Church campgrounds, Highway 411, Rydal, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $3 ages 12 and older. 770-607-5350.
• Polk County Fair: The Showbarn, Highway 411, Benton, Tenn. Monday, Sept. 8- Saturday, Sept. 13. 423-715-3975.
• Railfest: Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, $20 ages 13 and older, $15 ages 12 and younger. 423-894-8028.
• Yellow Daisy Festival: Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today, Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, free admission, $10 parking. stonemountainpark.com/events/yellow-daisy-festival.
• Tennessee State Fair: Tennessee state fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, gates open at 5 p.m. Sept. 5 and Sept. 10-12; 10 a.m. Sept. 6 and Sept. 13, noon Sept. 7 and Sept. 14, 8:30 a.m. Sept. 8-9, closes 10 p.m. nightly (all times Central); $8 adults, $6 ages 3-18, $25 ride wristbands Monday-Friday, $30 Saturday-Sunday. tnstatefair.org.
— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce
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 ...