At least 104 vendors are confirmed for the Fall Market at Collegedale Commons on Saturday, just shy of the organizer's goal for one of the first arts-and-crafts events of the 2020 fall festival season.
"I was shooting for 110," said Shannon Wright, owner of Touch the Sky Events & Promotions. "I may still get there. People always wait till the last minute."
Part of the reluctance may be due to uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, which has cut back the number of festivals in the tri-state region to about a third of the number scheduled last year. Wright said she is confident the Fall Market can take place safely. Founders' Hall Pavilion will be open air for this event, with 10-foot aisles for the 44 vendors who will be set up inside. Remaining vendors will be set up outside around the commons. Hand sanitizer will be available at every booth, and masks are encouraged.
"They're not mandated because it's considered an outdoor market," Wright said.
The array of merchandise will include pottery and paintings, jewelry, boutique clothing, soaps and lotions, wood signs, candles, elderberry products, muscadine juice, birdhouses, high-end knives, Tupperware, pet accessories, hemp products and CBD oil. Other vendors will present home-improvement services, such as windows, siding and gutters. Another specializes in posture. Another will bring a petting zoo. Some dealers will offer homemade face masks and all-natural cleaning products, both of extra importance these days.
Food vendors will have barbecue, ice cream floats, shaved ice, hot dogs, bratwurst, popcorn, cotton candy and caramel apples, a staple of the season.
"That's one thing that my shows are are known for," Wright said. "They always bring in a huge variety of all types of vendors. It's like a huge shopping mall — everything you can possibly think of. If you don't find something to buy at my shows, you don't need anything."
Wright also is planning the Collegedale Apple Festival on Oct. 24 and the Mistletoe Market Holiday Craft Show on Dec. 12, both at the Collegedale Commons.
AT A GLANCE
Note: All take place Saturday, Sept. 12.
* Crafts at the Colonnade: 264 Catoosa Circle, Ringgold, Ga. Vendor market, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. https://www.kssouthernhospitalityevents.com/
* Fall Market: Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive. Art, craft, specialty product and food vendors, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. https://touchtheskyevents.com
* Nine Lakes Wine Festival: Melton Lake Park, 697 Melton Lake Drive, Oak Ridge, Tenn. Six wineries hosting open-air market featuring Tennessee wines not available in stores (no tastings due to COVID-19 restrictions), artisan vendors, food trucks, 3-7 p.m.; VIP entrance at 2 p.m. Portion of proceeds benefits United Way of Anderson County. $10 ticket includes souvenir glass; advance online purchase recommended. www.NineLakesWineFestival.com
Elsewhere this weekend, Kim Krause of K&S Southern Hospitality Events will present Crafts at the Colonnade in Ringgold, Georgia. She, too, has other events planned this season, including the Pumpkin & Spice Craft Show on Oct. 24 at the Colonnade and the newly announced Sunflower Craft & Vendor Show on Nov. 14 at the Amphitheater near the Colonnade.
Day-trippers might consider the Nine Lakes Wine Festival in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Billed as "a farmers market for wine," the festival will have no wine tastings this year because of coronavirus concerns, but visitors will have access to several Tennessee wines not available in stores. Six wineries in the area are hosting the event, and another seven wineries are taking part. Attendees are urged to purchase the $10 admission tickets online in advance. Social distancing may limit the number of tickets sold at the gate.
Email Lisa Denton at email@example.com.