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.
• 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