So many festivals ... so little time.
With 14 fairs and festivals this weekend, and only two days' time to pack them in, this weekend's events call for some prioritization and route mapping from festivalgoers.
» Ketner's Mill Country Fair is marking its 40th anniversary this weekend. It's reached that milestone because it has built a reputation for quality arts and crafts in a beautiful locale.
More than 150 artists and 20 food vendors will be spaced around the grounds of the historic mill Saturday and Sunday. While parents shop, kids can be entertained by pickers and cloggers on the entertainment stage, mule-pulled wagon rides or just skipping rocks across the millstream.
» If you're headed up I-24 to Ketner's Mill, might as well stretch that drive to include a side trip to Bell Buckle, Tenn., where the annual Webb School Arts and Crafts Fair will be held. This show has several hundred vendors — so many that they spill over from the school campus into downtown Bell Buckle. A hay ride shuttles visitors between sites.
» Cleveland, Tenn.'s Apple Festival is a two-day community block party around the courthouse square on North Ocoee Street. There is entertainment on the hour from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday that includes Scenic City Ramblers, Just Us Girls, Grayson Russell, Stan Beaver and Trail Head bike giveaways at 5 p.m. each day.
No apple festival would be complete without a baking contest, and Cleveland Apple Festival holds a contest searching for the best homemade apple dessert. Entries are judged Saturday from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and winners announced at 2 p.m. First-place comes with a $50 gift certificate, but it's bragging rights for a year that's the real prize.
» Ellijay, Ga., hosts its 46th annual Georgia Apple Festival this weekend. In addition to two dozen apple varieties from which to choose, this fair hosts 300 vendors with handmade items. The fun kicks off Saturday at 10 a.m. in downtown Ellijay with a parade.
» Arts and crafts vendors at Mentone, Ala.'s Colorfest are positioned along the overlook in Mentone's scenic Brow Park, offering sweeping views of the valley for a bird's-eye view of fall color.
Colorfest is Saturday and Sunday, but the weekend will kick off with music by Jerry and Pixie Bloom at 6:30 p.m. CDT in the town square on Friday night. Warm yourself around the fire pit, enjoy chili and cornbread while listening to their music.
About 70 craftsmen will be exhibiting, and there will be musical acts on the hour in Brow Park pavilion.
New this year is the Kids Stop with free games for children. Pet owners and their dogs are invited to dress in their favorite costumes and strut in the Paws for the Cause Pet Parade at 2 p.m. Saturday. There will be awards for best costumes, pet-owner look-alikes, best pet trick and more.
— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce
› North Georgia Agricultural Fair: 500 Legion Drive, Dalton, Ga., gates open weekdays at 5 p.m., 11 a.m. Saturday and 12:30 p.m. Sunday, $2-$6; 69th annual agricultural fair with carnival rides, crafts, horses, wrestling, music. 706-278-1712.
› Black Bear Festival: City Park, 1400 N. Third Ave., Chatsworth, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $2 ages 11 and older; classic car show, craft and food vendors. www.exploregeorgia.org.
› CCC Fall Festival: Collegedale Community Church, 9305 Four Corners Place, 3-6 p.m. Sunday, free, community festival with vendor booths, pony rides, music, contests, food. 423-396-5464.
› Cleveland Apple Festival: Bradley County Courthouse Square, 155 N. Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday, $5 adults, $4 senior adults and children ages 4-12, $20 family pass for two adults and up to four children; craft and food vendors, music, free kids’ zone. www.clevelandapplefestival.org.
› Colorfest: Brow Park, Lake Street at East River Road, Mentone, Ala., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), free; 5K, boat tours, children’s area, craft and food vendors. MentoneColorfest@gmail.com.
› Craft Show and Chili Cook-Off: Society of St. Vincent de Paul, 501 S. Moore Road, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free admission. 423-501-1915.
› Days of Yesteryear: 17900 Highway 127, Dunlap, Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), free; food and craft vendors, kids’ contests, hay rides, tractor Olympics, tractor pulls. 423-554-3276.
› Fall Festival: Ashland Terrace Christian Church, 915 Ashland Terrace, 4-7:30 p.m. Sunday, chili cook-off with pony rides, petting zoo, inflatables and cake auction to benefit Cambodian missions. 423-875-2861.
› Georgia Apple Festival: Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St., Ellijay, Ga., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $5 ages 11 and older; 46th annual fair with 300 vendors, car show in Civic Center on Saturday. www.georgiaapplefestival.org.
› Gold Rush Days: Downtown Dahlonega, Ga., 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, free; 300 vendors in festival sponsored by Dahlonega Jaycees. www.dahlonegajaycees.com.
› Ketner’s Mill Country Fair: Ketner’s Mill, between Tennessee Highways 27 and 28 near Whitwell, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, $7 ages 13 and older; 100 craft and food vendors, music, hayrides, tours of operational 1882 mill. www.ketnersmill.org.
› Oktoberfest: Knights of Columbus Fairgrounds, 2892 U.S. 70, Crossville, Tenn., 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday (all times Central), $7.50 ages 14 and older; German food, Bavarian bands, beer and dancing. www.crossvilleoktoberfest.com.
› Summerville Oktoberfest: Summerville, Ga., Depot, East Washington Street, noon-7 p.m. Saturday, free, come dressed in German attire for food, music, beer. 706-859-0900.
› Webb School/Bell Buckle Arts and Crafts Fair: Webb School and downtown Bell Buckle, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), free, catch hay-ride shuttle at Webb School to more crafters in downtown Bell Buckle. 931-389-9663.