A medley of fall flavors will greet visitors to festivals this weekend, with apples highlighted in Collegedale, Tennessee, and pumpkins adding spice in Ringgold, Georgia. Meanwhile in Hiwassee, Georgia, vendors are concentrating on the triple pleasures of brew, stew and barbecue.
The three events are among 11 seasonal shows happening or recurring in the Chattanooga area or within a day-trip drive over the next few days.
At the Collegedale Apple Festival, debuting this year, nearly 155 arts, crafts, commercial and food vendors will be set up in and around the open-air pavilion at the Collegedale Commons. This is the second of three seasonal shows produced by Touch the Sky Events & Promotions. The Fall Market, with 111 vendors, drew "8,000 people in seven hours," said company owner Shannon Wright.
Mercier Orchards from Blue Ridge, Georgia, will have a selection of apples for sale, and other vendors will have apple-themed products. Wright said she expects the vendors selling caramel apple funnel cakes and apple cider floats to be a big hit. The floats, made with apple cider, vanilla ice cream and caramel, are "so amazing," she said. "They're worth every calorie."
Likewise, the Pumpkin & Spice Craft Show at the Colonnade in Ringgold has reached vendor capacity, though organizer Kim Krause of K&S Hospitality Events said she might squeeze in a few late-comers for an outdoor space if they sign up before midnight Thursday.
"Right now, I'm at 52 [vendors], so it's going to be a wide variety," she said earlier this week, adding that more than half will be set up outside to accommodate social-distancing guidelines inside the venue's banquet hall.
Krause said most of the vendors specialize in handmade crafts, with a seasonal emphasis on fall and Christmas merchandise. Except for one notable exception, there will be no food vendors at this event, as they are coming en masse to Krause's Sunflower Craft & Vendor Show on Nov. 14.
The exception is The Bread Lady, who is known to regulars of the Ooltewah and Collegedale farmers' markets for her sweet and savory sourdough creations.
"She's bringing a bunch of pumpkin breads and stuff like that," Krause said.
At the Appalachian Brew, Que & Stew Festival in Hiwassee, nearly 50 craft breweries from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama will tap into their best brews during the daylong festival. The ticket provides unlimited tastings. Area restaurants will have food available, regional artists and crafters will set up shop, and Appalachian and Americana musicians will entertain.
The Chattanooga Audubon Society will suspend its free weekly concert series, Music @ The Acres, on Saturday for the first of three ticketed events this season. The Historic Walk Through Native American Life spans a 500-year timeline, from 1400 to 1800, to immerse visitors in the daily tasks of life and other practices that defined tribal culture. Presenters include Gina "Tyhiska" Torres, James "Bo Standing Oak" Ellison, Kathy "Sparrow/Hawk" Ellison, DaWoud Mujahid and Michelle Neubel. The intergenerational program is designed for children (7 and older) through adults.
To jump-start your weekend, consider Thursday's Bird & Barn Sale, benefiting Project Free 2 Fly in Cleveland. Hailey Johnston, founder and CEO of the nonprofit organization, said "all the [coronavirus] precautions are in place to be compliant" with the latest advisories from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
"We're spreading more outside this year to allow for more social distancing," she said. "And we have some new vendors to mix it up. We're excited about that as well."
Among the longtime favorites are The DW Designs, a Knoxville-based company that specializes in state pride apparel, including Tennessee flag and college team designs, and Emotion Made Visible, a Chattanooga jewelry designer.
Returning food purveyors include a specialty coffee truck and cakes from Chattanooga's Acropolis Grill. Fork and Spoon, a restaurant that opened in Cleveland last November, will offer its palatable portions.
"We're excited about being able to support these other small businesses," said Johnston.
Project Free 2 Fly funnels its proceeds into programs that support women transitioning from recovery to sustainability. A main focus is teaching them how to sew, and some of the participants' creations will be among the merchandise for sale at the fundraiser. The event opens with a preview party Wednesday night with early shopping privileges.
Email Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Festival Schedule
- Bird & Barn Sale: Black Fox Farms, 2724 Varnell Road, Cleveland, Tenn. Vendors selling handcrafted goods, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; $10 general admission, $25 premium ticket includes limited-edition gift and more than $100 in vendor coupons. Opens with VIP preview party, 6-9 p.m. Wednesday; $40 admission (good for return visit Thursday). Benefits Project Free 2 Fly. https://projectfree2fly.com/
- Appalachian Brew, Que & Stew Festival: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee, Ga. Beer from 25 craft breweries, arts and crafts, music, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $35 if purchased online in advance, $40 at gate. www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com
- Collegedale Apple Festival: Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive. Food, crafts, kids activities, commercial vendors, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. https://www.touchtheskyevents.com/
- Pumpkin & Spice Craft Show: Colonnade, 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga. Vendor market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. https://www.kssouthernhospitalityevents.com/
- Chiaha Harvest Fair: Rome, Ga. The fair has been canceled, but an artist marketplace is available at https://www.facebook.com/ChiahaHarvest/ (click on Groups).
OCT. 24-NOV. 20
- Fall at Audubon Acres: 900 N. Sanctuary Road. Chattanooga Audubon Society events include Historic Walk Through Native American Life (A.D. 1400-1800), 1-5 p.m. Oct. 24, $10; Meet Our Wild Ambassadors with Juniper Russo of For Fox Sake Wildlife Rescue, 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1, $7.50; Walker Farm Pioneer Days, hands-on historical demonstrations geared to elementary-age students and families, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (with timed entry) Nov. 18-20, $7.50; and Music @ The Acres, 1-4 p.m. Saturdays (except Oct. 24), free. https://www.chattanoogaaudubon.org/
THROUGH OCT. 25
- Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair: Convention Center, 234 Historic Nature Trail, traffic light No. 8 on Gatlinburg Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tenn. Handmade products, artisan demonstrations, music, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $10 adults. https://craftsmenfair.com/october-fair/
THROUGH OCT. 31
* Fun on the Farm: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St. Pumpkin patch, scarecrow contest, produce in the farm store. Scarecrows may be viewed daily. Pumpkin picking 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays, noon-6 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays. Pumpkin carving 1-3 p.m. Oct. 24 with registration. www.crabtreefarms.org
- Harvest of Art: ArtCrafters Gallery (new location), 1356 Market St., Dayton, Tenn. Show and sale of latest works of Dayton Arts League members; gallery open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Meet the artists 1-3 p.m. Oct. 24. Free. 423-775-1401, 423-775-5122
- Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights: Dollywood, 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Features artistic sculptures, elaborate fall scenes, artisans, seasonal food, entertainment. $79 ages 10-61, discounts for younger and older guests. www.dollywood.com
- Haunted Museum Virtual Storytelling Festival: Tennessee State Museum, 1000 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., Nashville. Kid-friendly virtual events Fridays and Saturdays in October, plus bonus session from Memphis on Oct. 28. This weekend’s events include storytelling about Tennessee’s famed Bell Witch. Spooky Scavenger Hunt for in-person visitors. https://tnmuseum.org/VirtualHauntedMuseum