Save the date for 2011 fall festivals

Save the date for 2011 fall festivals

September 4th, 2011 by Susan Pierce in Life Entertainment

Visitors to the Hamilton County Fair can interact with a variety of farm animals.

There is a notable new addition in the fall festival lineup this season that boasts a theme as Southern as grits. The Fried Green Tomato Festival is being launched by folks in Niota, Tenn., on Saturday in an effort to save their town's historic train depot.

"It's the oldest standing depot in the state of Tennessee, built in 1854," said Frances Powers, fundraising chairman.

In addition to a green-tomato frying contest, Powers said each food vendor has to prepare some type of green-tomato dish.

"We'll have pies, cakes and barbecue -- all with fried green tomatoes either served in them, on them or with them," she said.

As nonprofits face stiffer challenges to meet their budgets, they are increasingly turning to festivals such as this to raise funds. Seeming bulletproof to economic downswings, festival crowds continue to grow.

"People in each community care about their towns. They want to give people a reason to come out, celebrate what is unique about their area and remind them of where they come from," said Cindy Milligan, tourism director of the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association.

At Hale's Bar Marina, the annual Fall Color Cruise is evolving into an alcohol-free, bluegrass/gospel festival this year, said Leanna Francis, reservationist at Hale's Bar Marina in Guild, Tenn. Francis said a recent fire at the marina that destroyed six floating cabins will not postpone the festival's opening on Oct. 29.

Here is our guide to 68 events, all within a day-trip's drive.


* Arts in the Park: Veterans Park, Apison Pike at Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, Collegedale, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free.

* Great Whitwell Labor Day Celebration: City Park, Whitwell, Tenn., opens with 9 a.m. parade, free. Closing ceremonies include fireworks, 8:45 p.m. (all times Central); $5 ages 11 and up, $3 seniors. 423-658-5151.

* Labor Day at the Post: Barnhardt Circle, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; free admission, $10 wristband for activities. 706-861-2860.

* Red Clay Arts and Crafts Show: Red Clay State Park, Cleveland, Tenn., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $2 per person or $5 per carload. 423-505-9404.

SEPT. 9-11

* Fried Green Tomato Festival: Niota Train Depot, 201 E. Main St., Niota, Tenn., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; free admission, $5 pancake breakfast 6:30 a.m. Saturday. 423-887-5297.

* Memories on Mulberry Antique Show: Highway 11, Loudon, Tenn., courthouse lawn, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; free; held in conjunction with annual Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention at Legion Field in Loudon. 865-458-9020.

* Mountaineer Days Festival: Depot Street in downtown Tracy City, Tenn., 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; $2 ages 11 and up. 931-592-8558.

* Mountaineer Folk Festival: Fall Creek Falls Nature Center, Pikeville, Tenn., 7-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); free. 800-250-8611.

* Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair: Pine Log United Methodist church campground, Rydal, Ga., I-75 Exit 293, Highway 411 north eight miles to Pine Log UMC; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; $3 ages 13 and up. 770-607-5350.

* Plein Aire Festival: Blue Ridge, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday; art competition and showcase sponsored by Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association. 706-632-2144.

* Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival: Loudon, Tenn., Legion Field, Highway 11; held in conjunction with Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention; gates open 6 p.m. Friday; $15 ages 13 and up. 865-988-0967.

* Spring City Arts and Crafts Fair: Depot lawn, Front Street, Spring City, Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; free.

* Yellow Daisy Festival: Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday; more than 400 craftsmen; $10 per vehicle.

SEPT. 9-18

* Tennessee State Fair: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, 5-10 p.m. opening day, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. Sundays, 5-10 p.m. Monday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday, 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday (all times Central); gate admission $8 adults ages 13-54, $5 children 3-12 and senior adults ages 55 or older; wristbands with gate and unlimited midway rides are $25 weekdays, $30 Saturdays and Sundays; Motor Sports Weekend Sept. 9-10 with auto race and demolition derby.

SEPT. 16-18

* Arts Festival at Rose Lawn: Rose Lawn Museum, 224 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville, Ga., I-75 Exit 288, west 2.5 miles into Cartersville, cross railroad, at second light turn right onto Bartow, at four-way stop turn left onto Cherokee; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; juried show on grounds of Rose Lawn; free, $4 tours of Victorian mansion.

* Creative Arts Guild's Festival: Creative Arts Guild, 520 W. Waugh St., Dalton, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; free admission to arts and crafts show; $10 adults, $5 students to Francine Reed concert 7 p.m. Saturday. 706-278-0168.

* Foothills Country Fair: Tri-State Exhibition Center, Cleveland, Tenn., 4-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; beauty pageant 5:30 p.m. Oct. 15; $5 daily or $10 weekend pin.

* Polly Crockett Festival: Downtown Cowan, Tenn., opens 9 a.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. Sunday (all times Central), free. 931-967-6788.

SEPT. 22-OCT. 30

* Oktoberfest: Helen, Ga., festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, Ga., 6-10:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 6-11:30 p.m. Fridays, 1-11:30 p.m. Saturdays, 1-7 p.m. Sundays; $7 weekdays, $8 Saturdays, free on Sundays; German music, food, drink and dancing.

SEPT. 23-25

* Balloons & Tunes Festival: Thacker Drive, Rock Spring, Ga., 5-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; free admission Friday, $10 adults, $5 children Saturday. 706-375-7702.

* Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival: Downtown Dandridge, Tenn., begins 8:30 a.m. Saturday with bagpipe competition, day of activities and nonstop entertainment; all vendors have Scottish or Irish theme in food and wares; free.

* Hamilton County Fair: Chester Frost Park, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $6 adults, $4 ages 3-12 includes admission and bus fare to site.

* Homesteads Apple Festival: Homesteads Tower Museum and School grounds, junction of highways 127 and 68 in Crossville, Tenn., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); $1. 931-707-9476.

* National Muscadine Festival: Downtown Sweetwater, Tenn., noon-5 p.m. Friday, all day Saturday; free admission, $50 for Black Tie and Blue Jeans dinner 7 p.m. Friday. 423-337-6979.

* Oktoberfest: Chattanooga Market, First Tennessee Pavilion, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; free.

* Rock Spring Show and Sell: Rock Spring United Methodist Church, Highway 95 at Peavine Road, Rock Spring, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; free. 706-764-1404.

* Summer's Last Kiss: Hiawassee, Ga., town square, Main Street, Hiawassee, Ga., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. 706-896-4966.

* TACA Fall Craft Fair: Centennial Park, Nashville, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); fine art show sponsored by Tennessee Association of Craft Artists; free.

SEPT. 28-OCT. 29

* Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, closed Thursdays; $57.25 ages 12-59, $46 ages 4-11, $53.90 ages 60 and up.

SEPT. 30-OCT. 2

* Autumn Children's Festival: Tennessee Riverpark, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday; free admission, carnival tickets are 50 cents to $3, benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chattanooga. 423-778-4300.

* Autumn on the Farm: Sunrise Farm on Sand Mountain, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, noon -6 p.m. Sunday; $6 ages 13 and up, crafts, gospel music, food by Dade County nonprofits. 423-544-0034.

* Craft Show: Boynton Church of God, 1956 Three Notch Road, Ringgold, Ga., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; free. 706-935-6972.

* Culture Fest: First Tennessee Pavilion during Chattanooga Market, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; sponsored by Arts & Education Council; free.

* Grape Stomp: Georgia Winery, 6469 Battlefield Parkway, Ringgold, Ga., noon-4 p.m.; $10. 706-937-9463.

* Great Locomotive Chase Festival: Downtown Adairsville, Ga., I-75 Exit 306, west on Highway 140 through light, then left onto Main Street, travel one mile to downtown square; 8 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday; $3 ages 7 and up. 770-773-3451, ext. 26.

* Heritage Day: Marsh House, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. 423-718-9918.

* Mountain Homecoming and Civil War Events: Monteagle, Tenn., pavilion, 16 Dixie Lee Ave., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday (all times Central); free.

* One Bridge Arts Festival: Winder Binder Gallery, 40 Frazier Ave., noon-9 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday; free. 423-413-8999.

* Nillie Bipper Creative Arts Festival: Tri-State Exhibition Center, Cleveland, Tenn., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $5 ages 13-59, $3 ages 60 and up. 423-476-4831.

* Sewanee Arts and Crafts Fair: Shoup Park on campus of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CDT; free. 931-598-9059.

SEPT. 30-OCT. 9

* River Rocks: More than 90 outdoors events at Chattanooga-area sites on the Tennessee River and surrounding mountains, plus hot-air balloons. 423-265-0771.

OCT. 1-30

* Rocktoberfest: Rock City Gardens on Lookout Mountain, noon-5 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday in October; German food and music; free with regular admission of $18.95 adults, $10.95 ages 3-12.

OCT. 6-23

* Craftsmen's Fair: Gatlinburg Convention Center, Gatlinburg, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays; $6 ages 13 and up. 865-436-7479.

OCT. 7-9

* Arts and Craft Bazaar: First United Methodist Church, 3425 N. Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday and Saturday; free. 423-476-4504.

* Fall Arts in the Park: Blue Ridge, Ga., downtown park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $5. 706-632-2144.

* Fall Festival: First Christian Church, 650 McCallie Ave., noon-4 p.m.; benefits Brown Academy Elementary School.

* Fun Day in the Park: Joe Stock Park, LaFayette, Ga., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; sponsored by Kensington Church of God; free. 706-931-1414.

* 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 up, $2 parking benefits Boy Scouts.

* Hodgepodge: Signal Mountain Community Center, Signal Mountain, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; new this year: Kids Korner; $5 Friday, $2 Saturday.

* New Salem Mountain Festival: New Salem Community Center, 12477 Highway 136, on Lookout Mountain between Trenton and LaFayette, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; $5 ages 12 and up. 706-398-1988.

* Oktoberfest: Knights of Columbus fairgrounds, 2892 Highway 70 East, 3 miles east of Crossville, Tenn., 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday; German food, music; $7.50.

* Prater's Mill Country Fair: Historic Prater's Mill, 5845 Highway 2, Dalton, Ga., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; $5 ages 13 and up.

* Pumpkintown: Downtown Athens, Tenn., 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday; free.

OCT. 7-15

* Georgia Mountain Fall Festival: 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee, Ga., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday; daily music concerts, fiddlers convention. 706-896-4191.

OCT. 14-15

* Alabama Gourd Festival: Cullman Civic Center, 510 Fifth St., Cullman, Ala., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); all crafts and musical instruments made of gourds; $3 ages 13 and up.

* Cleveland Apple Festival: Downtown Cleveland, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday; $4 adults, $3 ages 3-12 and senior citizens.

* 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 up, $2 parking benefits Boy Scouts.

* Gold Rush Days: Dahlonega, Ga., time TBA; more than 300 crafters; free. 706-864-3513.

* Ketner's Mill Country Fair: Ketner's Mill, between highways 27 and 28 near Whitwell, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday; $5 ages 13 and up.

* Webb School Arts and Crafts Festival: Webb School campus, Highway 82, Bell Buckle, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); 500 booths on campus and in town.

OCT. 21-23

* Church Craft-Bake Sale: Cloud Springs Baptist Church, 210 Cloud Springs Road, Fort Oglethorpe, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; free. 706-866-0164.

OCT. 28-30

* Benton Arts and Heritage Days: Downtown Benton, Tenn., courthouse square, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday; free. 423-338-5733.

* Community Fall Festival: NHC Healthcare, 1425 McFarland Ave., noon-4 p.m. Saturday; free. 706-861-0863.

* Fall Color Bluegrass Festival: Hale's Bar Marina, Guild, Tenn., noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; free. 423-942-9000.

* Trunk or Treat: Brainerd United Methodist Church, 4315 Brainerd Road, 4-7 p.m. Saturday; free food, candy and games, children must be accompanied by an adult. 423-698-6951.

NOV. 4-6

* Fall Festival: Belvoir Christian Academy, 800 Belvoir Ave., 10 a.m.-3 p.m., free admission; $5 lunch, tickets and games additional fee. 423-622-3755.

NOV. 11-13

* Christmas Village: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday (all times Central); four buildings full of craft and gift vendors; $10 ages 10 and up.

* Normal-Palooza: Normal Park Museum Magnet School upper school, 1219 W. Mississippi Ave., time TBA Saturday; free. 423-209-5912.

NOV. 17-19

* YMCA Christmas Village: Chattanooga Convention Center, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday; $5 each day.