When Beersheba Springs Arts and Crafts Festival opens its gates at the Beersheba Springs Assembly Grounds, that's the annual sign that fall festival season is right around the corner.
That granddaddy of fall festivals anchors a weekend of five events that also double as fundraisers for a variety of nonprofits. Following is a rundown of what's on tap.
BATTLE BELOW THE CLOUDS
» Where: Ruby Falls, 1720 S. Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain
» When: 6 a.m. grilling begins, 5 p.m. awards presented, Saturday, Aug. 25
» Admission: Free for cookoff spectators, Ruby Falls tickets $11.95-$19.95
» For more information: 423-821-2544
"Meat up" for a cause when the fourth Battle Below the Clouds barbecue cook-off is held at Ruby Falls to benefit Lana's Love, a nonprofit that provides fun activities for local children with pediatric cancer and their families.
This contest pits 20 teams of backyard smokers and amateur grillmasters in competitions for Best Ribs, Best Pulled Pork and Grand Champion titles. And, of course, bragging rights.
While the teams are manning their grills, spectators will be entertained with bluegrass music by Chattanooga Pickers and the Bluetastics, along with games for kids. Barbecue will be available for purchase.
Arrive early enough to see the spectacular underground cavern and waterfall before winners are announced at 5 p.m.
BEERSHEBA SPRINGS ARTS AND CRAFTS FESTIVAL
» Where: Beersheba Springs Assembly Grounds, 58 Hege Ave., Beersheba Springs, Tennessee
» When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26 (all times Central)
» Admission: Free
» For more information: 1-931-692-3852
This weekend, 175 exhibitors from several states will display their original handwork in the 52nd annual Beersheba Springs festival. Beersheba is one crafts show that has stayed true to its founding principle that only handmade, original work will be accepted.
There will be the expected food concessions sold on the assembly grounds, but this event also offers a hot meal in the Assembly's hotel dining room.
All proceeds from this crafts show go right back into the Beersheba Springs community. Donations are made to the Beersheba Springs Library, Beersheba Springs Rescue Squad, Grundy County Center for Exceptional Citizens, North Elementary School, the community center and food baskets for shut-ins.
CUMBERLAND COUNTY FAIR
» Where: Cumberland County Community Complex, 34 Music Road, Crossville, Tennessee
» When: 10 a.m. exhibit buildings open, 5 p.m. midway opens, Monday-Friday; noon Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27-Sept. 2 (all times Central).
» Admission: $5 ages 6 and older per night
» For more information: 931-484-9454
"Put a Little Ag in Your Culture" is the theme for this 72nd fair. Belle City Amusements will provide the thrill rides. Area residents will bring the blue-ribbon entries.
There will be gospel music, Family Farm Olympics, beef show and a Three Dog Night tribute band on Saturday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.
Proceeds from this fair will help fund next year's event and provide agricultural scholarships for 4-H or Future Farmers of America students.
GRUNDY COUNTY FAIR
» Where: Gruetli-Laager Recreation Park, 615 Volunteer Park Drive, Gruetli-Laager, Tennessee
» When: Gates open noon CDT Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 23-25
» Admission: Free admission, $5 parking donation; midway unlimited-ride armbands $20
» For more information: 931-743-0531
The 85th Grundy County Fair opened Aug. 20, but there are still three days remaining to catch singing acts such as Marisa McKaye, Cody Haddock, Kenny Stinsen Bluegrass Band and Mary Katherine Williams, an "American Idol" semifinalist who just signed with BAM Records in Nashville. Those acts will perform on Friday.
Saturday's entertainment includes a songwriters showcase, Macy Tabor, Travis Humphrey, Last Rebel Band, Jesse Rose, who sings with Carolina Rain, and Cody McCarver.
All proceeds raised through parking donations are given to local fire departments.
RAIL AND HOPS BREWERS FESTIVAL
» Where: Chattanooga Choo Choo gardens, 1400 Market St.
» When: 6-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25
» Admission: General admission $45 in advance, $50 at the gate; VIP with 5 p.m. admission is $90 in advance, $100 day of event
» For more information: www.eventbrite.com/e/rail-hops-brewers-festival-tickets-47511937484
Monica Kinsey was working with Big River Grille & Brewing Works when the idea for the Southern Brewers Festival was formed, and she was part of the team that helped get it started. Now at the Chattanooga Choo Choo — where her husband, Adam, is the general manager — she is working to create a smaller version of the festival there and felt the time was right after the Southern Brewers Festival announced earlier this year that it was not coming back.
"I enjoyed it and always thought of doing a smaller one, but I didn't want to step on toes," she says. "I respect what they did."
Rail and Hops Brewers Festival is set for Saturday in the Glenn Miller Gardens at the Choo Choo. Though it will take place the same weekend as its former big brother, it will be smaller in scale with fewer brewers, fewer beers, fewer hours and fewer big-name national touring acts on the music bill. Six popular local acts will perform, with things getting underway at 6 p.m. VIP ticketholders will be allowed in at 5 p.m.
"We want to focus on the craft beer with the music as an extra highlight," Kinsey says.
Proceeds will go to SoundCorps, the local nonprofit whose mission is to promote professionalism in the local music scene, another Kinsey passion. Performing will be Danimal Planet, Johnny Balik, Okinawa, Ashley & the X's, Caleb & the Gents, and Solar Moonshine.
"We tried to mix up the genres, and hopefully we'll have a great day and raise some money for the local music economy," Kinsey says.
More than 25 breweries and 50 beers are expected. Kinsey says the plan is to have a representative from each on hand to answer questions about each of the beers they brought. The admission price includes a souvenir glass mug and all beer samples. Food will be available for purchase.
Admission also includes entry to Regan's Place and Westbound Bar on Station Street for the after-party. A full cash bar will be available.
— Compiled by staff writers Barry Courter and Susan Pierce
Monday deadline for festival listings
The Times Free Press’ annual guide to fall fairs, festivals and arts and craft shows will be published in the Life section on Sunday, Sept. 2.
If your organization is sponsoring an event, we’d like to know. There’s no charge to be included in the guide.
Email your event’s name, location with address, day and hours, admission fee and contact number or web address to Susan Pierce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information must be received by Monday, Aug. 27.