Look for the Ketner's Mill Country Arts & Crafts Fair, a fixture in the Chattanooga area's fall festival lineup since 1977, to be back in full force this weekend. Like many events, Ketner's was called off last year during the coronavirus pandemic, but Frank McDonald, who produces the festival in Whitwell, Tennessee, said this year is different.
"We felt like there were enough vaccinations and the safety of being outdoors had been studied to feel safe doing it," he said.
McDonald said a few accommodations have been made for visitors to feel safe roaming the grounds, where 130 vendors will be offering handcrafted merchandise, concessionaires will provide food and two stages will host local and regional musicians.
"We erased some booths and spread things out," he said. "And we're relying on lots of fresh air."
McDonald is a great-great-grandson of original owner Alexander "Pappy" Ketner, who bought the current mill site in 1868. He said he favors "the working parts" of the festival, which include the signature grist mill and a sorghum operation. Those nods to the past "tug at my heartstrings," he said.
As a practical matter, McDonald said, the fair could be an answer to supply-chain bottlenecks delaying the availability of mass merchandise.
"We take care of our entire Christmas list up here," he said. "It's the biggest relief when this is over and you've done all your shopping."
Festivalgoers will find similar shopping opportunities at other festivals this weekend, with stops possible in Cleveland, Dayton and Crossville, Tenn., as well as Mentone and Decatur, Alabama. In Georgia, two festivals are in their final weekend. Other events around the region will remain on the calendar through the end of the month.
NEW THIS WEEKEND
* Cleveland Apple Festival: Bradley County Courthouse Square, 155 N. Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn. Arts and crafts, specialty vendors, apple dessert contest, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday. One-day pass $7 adults, $5 seniors/children 3-12; family pass (two adults, up to four children) $25 (cash only). clevelandapplefestival.org
* Colorfest: Brow Park, North Cool Street, Mentone, Ala. Seventy-five artists and crafters, local musicians, children's area, gourmet foods, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central). mapamentone.com/colorfest2021
* Harvest of Art: Rhea County Welcome Center, 107 Main St., Dayton, Tenn. Fine art show and sale by Dayton Arts League, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Pastel portrait artist Jane Campbell on site 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 423-775-5122, 423-315-1132.
* Ketner's Mill Country Arts & Crafts Fair: 658 Ketner Mill Lane, Whitwell, Tenn. Arts and crafts displays and demonstrations, Southern foods, live music, family activities, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday (all times Eastern). $7 (cash only) ages 13 and older. ketnersmill.org
* Oktoberfest: 2892 Highway 70 E, Crossville, Tenn. Knights of Columbus sponsors traditional music and dancing, imported and domestic beverages, 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Food served 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. (all times Central). crossvilleoktoberfest.com
* River Clay Fine Arts Festival: City Hall, 402 Lee St. NE, Decatur, Ala. Juried fine arts, demonstrations, musical performances, children's activities, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central). $5 weekend pass ages 13 and up. Arts Patron Preview Party, 5-9 p.m. Oct. 15; $50 ticket includes weekend admission. riverclay.org
* Fall Festival: Mayfield Farm Park, 257 state Highway 307, Athens, Tenn. Corn maze, pumpkin patch, zip lines, Thursday-Sunday, through Oct. 31; fireworks Fridays in October; Haunted Trail opens Saturday. $14.95 online, $16.95 at gate. mayfieldfarmpark.com
* Fun on the Farm: Guthrie Farms, 490 County Road 67, Riceville, Tenn. Corn maze, hayrides to pumpkin patch, animal petting barn, bounce pad, games, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 31. $15 ages 3 and up. guthriepumpkinfarm.com
* Gatlinburg Craftsmen's Fair: Convention Center, 234 Historic Nature Trail, traffic light No. 8 on Gatlinburg Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tenn. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Oct. 24. Exhibit and demonstrations by 200-plus crafters, music at noon and 3 p.m. daily. $10, adults (unlimited returns). craftsmenfair.com/october-fair
* Georgia Apple Festival: Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St., Ellijay, Ga. More than 300 arts and crafts vendors, demonstrations, parade, antique car show, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (final weekend). $5 ages 10 and older; civic and school groups handle parking with requested donation. georgiaapplefestival.org
* Georgia Mountain Fall Festival: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee. Arts and crafts vendors, holiday favorites cooking contest, music, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. through Saturday. $12 day pass includes Friday concerts by Neal McCoy at 2 and 7 p.m.; separate ticket required ($35-$45) for Saturday finale concert by Ronnie Milsap and Mark Wills at 7 p.m. georgiamountainfairgrounds.com
* Grandaddy's Farm: 454 Highland Ridge Road, Estill Springs, Tenn. Pumpkin patch, hayrides, pig races, animal corral, fall market, noon-6 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, noon-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, through Oct. 30. Activity area $13 ages 3 and up. grandaddysfarm.com
* Harvest Celebration on the Mountain: Flat Top Mountain Farm, 13100 Jones Gap Road, Soddy-Daisy. Corn maze and pumpkin patch, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, through Oct. 31. $10 ages 4 and up. Family friendly haunted maze Fridays and Saturdays in October, $15. Facebook.com/flattopfarmTN
* Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights: Dollywood, 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Artistic sculptures, elaborate fall scenes, artisans, seasonal food, entertainment, through Oct. 30. $79 ages 10-61. dollywood.com
* Oktoberfest: Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss St., Helen, Ga. Traditional music, dancing, food and beer, daily through Nov. 7; doors open at 6 p.m. during the week, 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $8 during the week, $10 Saturdays, free on Sundays. helenchamber.com
* The River Maze: 1371 Highway 64, Ocoee, Tenn. Corn and hay mazes, pumpkin patch, cow train, zip lines, 4-8 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturdays, 1-8 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 31. $8-$14 depending on activities. therivermaze.com
* Rocktoberfest: Rock City Gardens, 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Ga. German music, food, specialty beer, Birds of Prey shows, costumed characters, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in October. $26.95 adults, $14.95 children 3-12. Reserved timed-entry tickets required. seerockcity.com
* Rotary Club Craft Fair: Patriot Park, 186 Old Mill Ave., Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Handmade arts and crafts show, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, through Oct. 30. Free admission and parking; free-will donations distributed to local charities. mypigeonforge.com
* Scarecrows in the Garden: Atlanta Botanical Garden, 345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. See scarecrows created by artists, crafters, youth groups and businesses, 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, through Oct. 31 (last entry at 8 p.m.; closed Mondays. $22.95 adults, $19.95 (ages 3-12) weekdays; $2 more on weekends; timed tickets required. atlantabg.org
* Scarecrows on the Farm: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St. Vote on a favorite scarecrow built by community supporters, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, through Oct. 30. Free admission. Pumpkin carving, 10 a.m.-noon Oct. 16, 23; $16 fee includes one pumpkin, carving knife to use and outdoor space you don't have to clean up; additional pumpkins $10; may bring additional carving tools from home; registration required. crabtreefarms.org
Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281.