IF YOU GO
* What: Beersheba Springs Arts and Crafts Festival
* When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. CDT today; 10 a.m. -5 p.m. CDT Sunday, Aug. 25
* Where: Beersheba Springs United Methodist Assembly Grounds, 55 Hege Ave. (off Highway 56), Beersheba Springs, Tenn.
* Admission: Free
* Phone: 931-692-3733
From Chattanooga, take Interstate 24 West toward Nashville. Take Exit 127 for U.S. 64/Tennessee 50 toward Pelham/Winchester. Keep left to take the Tennessee 50 East ramp toward Altamont. Turn left onto Tennessee 50 East. Turn left onto Main Street/Tennessee 56. Follow Tennessee 56 to Beersheba Springs. Turn left onto Duhlgren Avenue and right onto Hege Avenue.
COMING SEPT. 1
The Times Free Press' annual guide to fall festivals and craft shows will be published in the Sept. 1 Life section. If you want to be included, email your information by Monday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The arrival of the annual Beersheba Springs Arts and Crafts Festival signals that the fall festival season is almost upon us.
The 47th annual Beersheba Springs festival will be today and Sunday on the historic United Methodist Assembly grounds in Grundy County, Tenn. The property, the site of a 19th-century resort, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
"We had 15,000 come through last fall," festival spokeswoman Fran Holt said. "We have people showing up at 8 a.m., two hours before the gates open."
Holt said there will be more than 130 exhibitors -- one coming from as far as Colorado -- with a variety of arts and crafts to display and sell. Among the two dozen new vendors this year is an exhibit by llama farmers from Tullahoma, Tenn., who sell wool yarn they make. She said their booth includes slides depicting the yarn-making process, which she believes festivalgoers will find interesting.
"Handmade or home-produced" is the Beersheba policy, and Holt said she makes every effort to police that criterion, even asking vendors to leave in years past if they were found bringing in manufactured items.
In addition to hot meals served in the old hotel's dining room, food vendors will be at the site. Several new concessionaires are making their debut.
Shoppers driving up to Grundy County today might want to make a day of it by staying for the 7 p.m. CDT entertainment. This year's program is a musical comedy featuring local citizens.
All proceeds from the festival are returned to the community. Money raised helps fill food baskets for needy families as well as benefiting the Beersheba Springs library, rescue squad and community center; the Grundy County Center for Exceptional Citizens and North Elementary School.
Regulars should note that the festival has new hours this year, closing an hour earlier on Sunday.
Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
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 ...