Eight generations of the Hughes family have farmed on Flat Top Mountain in Soddy-Daisy. This year, they're hoping to harvest visitors as they open up Flat Top Mountain Farm to agritainment.
Their venture into agricultural entertainment will include a corn maze and pumpkin patch, open every weekend through October. They're growing nine varieties of pumpkins this season, with colors that range from orange to blue. A family-friendly haunted corn maze will be added on select nights in October.
"Our farm will bring lots of sweet memories for your family as you wander through the zinnia and sunflower fields, take a hayride to the pumpkin patch and get lost in the 8-acre corn maze," said Kerry Hughes-Dishman.
Her parents, Terry and Diane Hughes, are the "face" of the farm, Hughes-Dishman said, but it's a family affair. She and her sister Tera Byard, their husbands Derrick Dishman and Ben Byard and the younger couples' seven children all work — or have chores to do — on the farm.
With Old McDonald's Farm in Sale Creek closed to agritourism, pending the sale of McDonald Farm, the Hugheses decided it was time to make their move.
"We've talked about this for a few years, and we thought if we're going to do it, this is the year," said Tera Byard.
The farm also will have a market set up in the barn selling local honey, baked goods from Chatta-Cakes, kettle corn from the Popcorn Pantry and sheep milk soap from a farm in Pikeville, Tennessee.
Also opening this weekend is Grandaddy's Farm in Franklin County, Tennessee. Two McMinn County agritainment businesses, Mayfield Farm Park and Guthrie Farms, are set to open next weekend.
The Harvest Celebration on the Mountain at Flat Top Mountain Farm is among 16 festivals beginning or continuing this weekend. All are within a two-hour drive of Chattanooga.
THROUGH SEPT. 18
— Northwest Georgia Regional Fair: Cherokee Capital Fairgrounds, 1060 Liberty Road SW, Calhoun, Georgia. Nightly concerts, livestock and blue-ribbon shows, school band performances, petting zoo and carnival midway. Gates open at 5 p.m. daily. $25 unlimited carnival rides. nwgafair.com
THROUGH SEPT. 19
— Tennessee Valley Fair: Chilhowee Park, 3301 E. Magnolia Ave., Knoxville. Showcase of East Tennessee heritage and agriculture, plus carnival midway, tractor/truck pulls, demolition derby, rodeo, ax throwing, circus acts, tractor show, beer garden, nightly concerts and fireworks, 5-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday. $12 adults, $9 seniors 65+ and children 6-11; $10 parking; carnival and concerts cost extra. tnvalleyfair.org
THROUGH NOV. 7
— Oktoberfest: Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss St., Helen, Georgia. Multiple weeks of traditional music, dancing, food and beer, Thursday-Sunday in September, daily Sept. 30-Nov. 7; doors open at 6 p.m. during the week, 1 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Opens with parade through downtown at noon Sept. 11. $8 during the week, $10 Saturdays, free on Sundays. helenchamber.com
— Annual Fall Sale: Fairview United Methodist Church, 2112 McFarland Ave., Rossville, Georgia. Flea market, household and Christmas items, clothes and toys, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday and Saturday, rain or shine. Proceeds benefit local church missions. 706-866-9827
— Boom Days Heritage Celebration: Downtown Fort Payne, Alabama. (main stage at 201 Fifth St. NE). Music, art and heritage activities, with arts, crafts and food vendors, Depot Museum tours, authors, disc dogs, wine tasting, starting at 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday (all times Central). boomdays.com
— Fall Heritage Festival: Downtown Cowan, Tennessee. Arts and crafts, 5-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times Central). Fireworks at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Free admission and parking. fallheritagefestival.info
— Sunflower Stables Barn Sale & Market: Collegedale Commons, 4950 Swinyar Drive. Upscale, vintage-inspired market with more than 45 vendors selling antiques, handmade crafts, boutique clothing, jewelry, pottery, produce, baked goods, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (third day is new this year). Free admission. bit.ly/barn-sale-market
SEPT. 17-OCT. 31
— 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. $10 ages 4 and up. Family-friendly haunted maze Fridays and Saturdays in October, $15. Facebook.com/flattopfarmTN
— Blue & Grey BBQ: Gordon Lee Mansion, 217 Cove Road, Chickamauga, Georgia. Barbecue contest, plus food, craft and novelty vendors, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission; $5 to tour the mansion, completed in 1847. friendsofthegordonleemansion.org
— Heritage Day: Marsh House Museum, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Georgia. Heritage crafts and arts, vintage yard sale, old-time bake sale using family recipes, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Festival will be scaled back to allow for social distancing; masks must be worn inside. Free admission; $5 for tours of the historic house, circa 1836. marshhouseoflafayette.org
— Valley Fest: Chattanooga Valley Church of the Nazarene, 2853 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, Georgia. Craft fair, food vendors and car show hosted by the church and Chattanooga Valley Lions Club with music by Rightpath Bluegrass, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Facebook.com/Events
— Arts Festival at Rose Lawn: Rose Lawn Mansion, 234 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville, Georgia. Fine art and heritage crafts, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission to festival, $7 to tour historic mansion. bit.ly/rose-lawn-arts
— Crush Festival: Cartecay Vineyards, 5704 Clear Creek Road, Ellijay, Georgia. Grape stomping, live music, wine tastings, vineyard tours, arts, crafts and food vendors, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 12:30-6 p.m. Sunday. $20 in advance, $25 day of festival. cartecayvineyards.com
— Festival!: Creative Arts Guild, 520 W. Waugh St., Dalton, Georgia. 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-Sunday; free admission. Opens with preview party and Taste of Dalton, 7 p.m. Friday; $55 ticket. www.creativeartsguild.org
SEPT. 18, 21-25
— Fall Plant Sale & Festival: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St. Sale of sustainably grown vegetable, fruit, herb and flower starts for fall garden and seeds for vegetables best sown directly, plus music, arts and crafts vendors, food and children's activities, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Leftover plants will be inventoried and uploaded for online sales Tuesday; order pickups start Thursday. crabtreefarms.org
SEPT. 18-OCT. 30
— Grandaddy's Farm: 454 Highland Ridge Road, Estill Springs, Tennessee. 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. Activity area $13 ages 3 and up; season passes available. grandaddysfarm.com
Contact Lisa Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6281.