Weekend fall festivals in Chattanooga area put heritage, art, tacos front and center

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / The front entrance to the Marsh House Museum faces south. The Greek Revival mansion in LaFayette, Ga., has had work done to its grounds and the development of a strategic plan for its future. The historic location was photographed in 2021.

Two of Walker County, Georgia's oldest structures will be celebrated at festivals this weekend.

In Chickamauga, the Gordon-Lee Mansion, completed in 1847, will host the annual Blue & Grey BBQ, a contest said to be modeled on a feast of 1889 when veterans of both sides of the Civil War gathered to make peace. In LaFayette, the Marsh House, built in 1836 and now a museum, will be central to the heritage festival taking place on the lawn.

Meanwhile, a community festival is debuting on Highway 58. Tracy Bush, an organizer with event company Vonzara Inc., said by phone she expects the event will draw about 30 vendors to the sprawling parking lot outside Mount Canaan Church. Food and business vendors will be on site, and children can try out free inflatables and coloring stations, among other activities.

"It's small for now, but when it grows we'll pick up the whole parking lot," she said of the first-time event.

(READ MORE: Dogs, polo ponies, free fuel among weekend highlights in Chattanooga area)


Note: These are among the closest events to Chattanooga. See more options in the 2022 Fall Festival Guide.

-- Blue & Grey BBQ: Gordon Lee Mansion, 217 Cove Road, Chickamauga, Ga. Barbecue contest, plus food, craft and novelty vendors, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Free admission; $5 to tour the mansion. friendsofthegordonleemansion.org

  photo  Staff Photo / The Gordon Lee Mansion in Chickamauga, Ga., was photographed in 2013.

-- Boom Days Heritage Celebration: Downtown Fort Payne, Ala. (main stage at 201 Fifth St. NE). Music, art and heritage activities, with arts, crafts and food vendors, Depot Museum tours, train rides, model railroad, wine tasting, headliner concerts by Billy Dean and Joe Nichols, 9 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday; kickoff with music by Dad Company and Creedence Clearwater Revival tribute band Midnight Special 6-9:30 p.m. Friday (all times Central). boomdays.com

-- Celebration of the Nations: Market Park Pavilion, 106 S. Jackson St., Athens, Tenn. Multicultural festival featuring authentic food, cultural entertainment, children's area, marketplace, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. facebook.com/celebrationofthenations2019

-- Chattanooga Taco Festival: Camp Jordan, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway, East Ridge. Twenty-four food vendors, 100 merchandise and children's activity vendors, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Free admission and parking. 423-650-1388

-- Crush Festival: Cartecay Vineyards, 5704 Clear Creek Road, Ellijay, Ga. Grape stomping, wine tastings, vineyard tours, live music, arts, crafts and food vendors, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday. $20 in advance, $25 day of. cartecayvineyards.com

-- Fall Market: Bradley Square Mall, 200 Paul Huff Parkway, Cleveland, Tenn. Handcrafted items, home decor, local artistry, food trucks, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. shopbradleysquare.com

-- Fall Plant Sale & Festival: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St. Sale of fall garden and landscape starts, fruit trees and shrubs, with local artists and vendors, children's activities, live music, food trucks, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. crabtreefarms.org

-- Festival!: Creative Arts Guild, 520 W. Waugh St., Dalton, Ga. Outdoor art market, indoor patron exhibit, self-guided tours of sculpture garden, live performances, multicultural children's activities, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday; free admission. Opens with preview party and Taste of Dalton, 7 p.m. Friday; $55 ticket. creativeartsguild.org

-- Harvest Celebration on the Mountain: Flat Top Mountain Farm, 638 Cemetery Road, Soddy-Daisy. Corn maze with "Tennessee Road Trip" design, hay rides, pumpkin patch, fall flowers, through Oct. 30. Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $10 ages 4 and up. Facebook.com/flattopfarmTN

-- Heritage Day: Marsh House Museum, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga. Heritage bake sale, gift shop, vintage yard sale, arts and crafts, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free admission; $5 for tours of the historic house. marshhouseoflafayette.org

-- Highway 58 Community Festival: Mount Canaan Church, 4801 Highway 58. Includes food and business vendors, free inflatables and other children's activities, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. Register online for prizes. eventbrite.com

-- Sequatchie County Fair: 103 Heard St., Dunlap, Tenn. Quilt show, handicrafts and agriculture exhibits open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. through Saturday, Party Animals petting zoo through Saturday, Game Day by community organizations 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday (all times Central). Free admission. sequatchiecountyfair.com

-- Sunflower Stables Barn Sale & Market: Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive. Upscale, vintage-inspired market with 60 vendors selling antiques, handmade crafts, boutique clothing, jewelry, pottery, produce, baked goods, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. sunflowerstablesbarnsale@gmail.com

-- Valley Fest: Chattanooga Valley Church of the Nazarene, 2853 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, Ga. Craft fair, music, food vendors and car show hosted by the church and Chattanooga Valley Lions Club, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. 423-521-0861

-- Walker County Ag Festival: Walker County Ag Center, 10052 N. Highway 27, Rock Spring, Ga. Vendor booths, livestock shows, beekeeping class, quilting, cooking and wildflower arranging demos, free inflatables, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission. walkercountyagfestival.com