published Friday, October 19th, 2012

Ketner's Mill leads fall festivals

  • photo
    At the Alabama Gourd Festival, all crafts must be made of gourds. Gourd-art demonstrations are part of the festival fun in Cullman, Ala.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The third Saturday of October means two things to Tennesseans: It's Vols-Bama game day or a trip to Ketner's Mill Country Fair is on tap.

The 36th annual Ketner's Mill fair is Saturday and Sunday in the Sequatchie Valley. The circa-1824 mill situated on the banks of the Sequatchie River makes a picturesque backdrop for more than 100 craftsmen and 20 food vendors' booths.

The aroma of hamburgers grilling and popping kettle corn wafts across the grounds while visitors shop or pull up a bench to take in performances of local musicians and cloggers.

Besides shopping, Ketner's offers lots of old-fashioned family fun: hayrides, tours of the old mill, canoeing the Sequatchie and a petting zoo. It's not uncommon to find dads and sons lined up along the riverbank below the mill, skipping rocks across the water.

* A few miles further west up I-24, the huge Webb School show also is taking place Saturday and Sunday. What began as a fundraiser for the school in Bell Buckle, Tenn., has grown to one of the biggest arts and crafts shows in the state with more than 500 exhibitors. Booths spill over from the campus into downtown Bell Buckle; shuttles transport visitors between locations.

* Festivalgoers might want to combine their trip home down I-24 Saturday night with a stop in Sewanee, Tenn., where the Sewanee Angel Festival will get under way at 7 p.m.

The festival is sponsored by the Sewanee Business Alliance to raise funds for the new Sewanee Angel Park in downtown Sewanee.

According to Ed Hawkins of the alliance, the park is being built by private funds from local businesses and the community. So far, $60,000 has been raised; $40,000 is still needed.

Local businesses The Blue Chair Cafe, Sewanee Sweets and Julia's will sell food to festivalgoers. Members of the Sewanee Arts and Crafts Association will display their work. Hawkins said visitors will be entertained by Ashley Cleveland of Nashville, a three-time Grammy Award winner and two-time Dove Award winner. Also performing in the park's new music pavilion will be Towson Engsberg & Friends, a blues and cover band.

* Another scenic day trip is a drive to Mentone, Ala., where the annual Colorfest takes places Saturday and Sunday. According to Harriet O'Rear, 75 juried exhibitors will be showing fine art and crafts at locations throughout downtown Mentone and each day will be filled with free musical entertainment.

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.


Alabama Gourd Festival: Cullman Civic Center, Cullman, Ala., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), $3 ages 13 and older; all crafts made of gourds.

Angel Festival: Downtown Sewanee, Tenn., 7-11 p.m. CDT Saturday, free, music, food and craft vendors. Sponsored by Sewanee Business Alliance to benefit new park. 866-334-2954.

Cleveland Apple Festival: Downtown Cleveland, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Two-day pass $6 adults, $4 children; one-day ticket $4 adults, $3 children.

Colorfest: Downtown Mentone, Ala., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, free. 706-398-0858.

Ellijay Apple Festival: Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St., Ellijay, Ga., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $5 ages 11 and older.

Fall Festival: Davis Elementary School, 5491 Georgia Highway 301, Trenton, Ga., 4-8 p.m. Saturday. 706-657-2815.

Fall Hoedown: Vogel State Park, Highway 19/129S, Blairsville, Ga., noon-8 p.m., free; 2 p.m. cakewalk, 4:30 p.m. hayrides, 5 p.m. chili supper sale and 8 p.m. storytelling around bonfire. 706-745-2628.

Gordon County Antique Engine/Tractor Club Show: Cherokee Capital Fairgrounds, Highway 53 spur west, Calhoun, Ga., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today-Saturday, free admission. Pinto beans and cornbread dinner Saturday at 11 a.m. to benefit club's scholarship fund. 706-629-7227.

Ivy Academy Fall Festival: Ivy Academy, 8443 Dayton Pike, Soddy-Daisy, 7-10 p.m. today, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free admission, fee for parking and game tickets. School carnival with games, food vendors, search for Big Foot at The Inhabited Forest. 596-9017.

Ketner's Mill Country Arts Fair: Powell's Crossroads, between state highways 27 and 28 near Whitwell, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, $5 ages 13 and older.

Missionary Ridge Neighborhood Festival: Old fire hall on corner of South Seminole and South Crest roads, 2-6 p.m. Saturday, food, activities, Bragg Wagg dog fashion parade, wine tasting, live music. 622-5006.

North Georgia Ag Fair: North Georgia Fairgrounds, Dalton, Ga., $6 adults, $3 children. Gates open 5 p.m. today and Monday-Oct. 26; 3 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, 12:30 p.m. Oct. 27. Drew Exposition midway, three shows daily of divers swimming with sharks, karaoke contest, AWA wrestling, ride-athon. 706-278-1712.

Webb School Arts and Crafts Show: Webb School campus on Highway 82 and downtown Bell Buckle, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), 500 exhibitors. 931-389-9663.


Fall Festival: Soddy United Methodist Church, 255 Depot St., Soddy-Daisy, 6-8 p.m., free. 332-1148.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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