Over the Edge at SunTrust Bank Building is one of the many adventure sports offered at this year's RiverRocks festival, October 2 - 12.PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED
There are some notable changes among the 80 listings in today's Times Free Press guide to fall festivals and fairs.
The 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Chickamauga has produced four new September events that are one-chance-only opportunities. The South will rise again in Fort Oglethorpe and Chickamauga, Ga., over the weekends of Sept. 14-15 and 20-21 as more than 10,000 re-enactors and 30,000 spectators are expected for the anniversary commemoration.
The Nillie Bipper Arts and Crafts Festival is calling it a day in Cleveland, Tenn., and won't return this year after a 45-year run. Spokesman John Simmons says decreasing attendance and increasing difficulty in finding volunteers to staff it led to the decision.
The Appalachian Celtic Festival and Highland Games is moving its heritage festival from Labor Day weekend to Sept. 21, and Benton Arts and Heritage Day is consolidating its events from two days to one on Oct. 26.
Hodgepodge, a 40-year tradition on Signal Mountain, also is changing its dates. When Hodgepodge began, its organizers chose the first Friday and Saturday of October so it would be the first festival of each fall season. The fact that it's now lodged squarely in the middle of the fall festival schedule is evidence on how festivals have grown in popularity. But after seeing its Friday attendance decline over the past three years, organizers decided to move Hodgepodge to the first Saturday and Sunday in October. And that's not its only new feature.
"We are adding a Marketplace this year, opening it to a limited amount of vendors who will have work that's more gift item than handmade," says Barb Storm, executive director of the Mountain Arts Community Center.
Hodgepodge as the center's largest fundraiser of the year, she says, annually drawing between 1,500 to 2,000 shoppers.
"We are also adding an entertainment stage, more food vendors and expanding our children's activities," she adds.
Keep the festival guide handy as a good resource for family fun in coming weeks. All 80 events in today's guide are within a two-hour drive of Chattanooga, many in scenic outdoor settings.
Contact staff writer Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
SAVE THE DATE FESTIVAL CALENDAR
Ocoee Fest: Adventures Unlimited, 522 Highway 42, Ocoee, Tenn., noon-11:45 p.m. today, $20-$25; whitewater activities, music, beer-tasting. 706-391-0999.
Pioneer Days: Sam Smith Park at Milam Farm, 1155 Douthit Ferry Road, Cartersville, Ga., noon-11 p.m. today, noon-10 p.m. Monday, $5 ages 13 and older, $20 unlimited carnival rides. Take Exit 288 off Interstate 75 onto Highway 113 South, head west through Cartersville about 3 miles. Left onto Douthit Ferry, through traffic light to four-way stop. 800-733-2280.
Mule Day: Ider Park, 183 Sweet Gum Road and Highway 75, Ider, Ala., car show registration 8 a.m.-noon Monday, $20 entry; parade 9:30 a.m., mule pull at 10:30 a.m., mule and horse show at 11 a.m., draft horse pull at 1 p.m., gospel singing 10 a.m.-4 p.m., more. $2 ages 6 and older. 256-657-4184.
Running Water Powwow: Ridge Ferry Park, 393 Riverside Parkway, Rome, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today, $7 ages 13 and older, free for children 12 and under or ages 65 and older; Cherokee Homecoming and Ripe Corn Festival features Grand Entry at 1 p.m. 706-509-8119.
Celebrate Your Heritage Festival: 451 Lakeview Drive, Exit 322/Peavine Road off Interstate 40, Fairfield Glade,Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday (CDT); culture-fest event with vendors inside and on grounds, sponsored by Art Guild at Fairfield Glade. 931-707-7104.
Civil War 150th Anniversary Event: Sponsored by Martin David House Foundation, 58 Hog Jowl Road, Chickamauga, Ga., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, free, but donations taken; Confederate re-enactors camp, interpretive programs, Civil War music, house tours. 423-774-6784
Fall Festival: Apison Baptist Church, 11127 Old East Brainerd Road, Apison, Tenn., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free. 236-4291.
Fall Plant Sale and Festival: Crabtree Farms, 1000 E. 30th St., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free; plant sale, workshops, music, crafts, children's activities. 423-493-9155.
Fried Green Tomato Festival: Niota Depot on Main Street, Niota, Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free. niota-tn.org.
Memories on Mulberry: Courthouse lawn, Highway 11, Loudon, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, free; held in conjunction with Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival and Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention at Legion Field in Loudon. 865-458-6433.
Mountaineer Folk Festival: Fall Creek Falls Nature Center, 10821 Park Road, Pikeville, Tenn., 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times CDT), $3 per day, $6 weekend pass. 423-881-5709.
Pine Log Arts and Crafts Fair: Pine Log United Methodist Church campground, Rydal, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $3 ages 12 and up; juried arts and crafts fair in historic camp meeting site. Exit 293 off Interstate 75, take Highway 411 north eight miles to Pine Log UMC, turn left by Exxon station. 800-733-2280.
Rail Fest: Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's Grand Junction Station, 4119 Cromwell Road, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $20 admission; train rides, petting zoo, children's activities and railroad display, $25 train excursion ticket. tvrail.com.
Yellow Daisy Festival: Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, $10 per vehicle; outdoor show with 400 vendors. stonemountainpark.com.
Tennessee State Fair: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Tuesday (all times CDT), advance tickets $6 online; at the gate $8 adults, $6 ages 3-18 or over 55; $2 discount with any nonwinning Tennessee lottery ticket. tnstatefair.org.
Arts Festival at Rose Lawn: Historic Rose Lawn mansion and museum, 224 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, free admission to arts and crafts show, $5 admission to tour home. Take Exit 288 off Interstate 75, go west 2.5 miles into downtown Cartersville, cross railroad, at second light turn right onto Bartow, at four-way stop turn left onto Cherokee Avenue. 800-733-2280.
Battle of Chickamauga Festival: Barnhardt Circle Polo Field, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, free; food and craft vendors, activities sponsored by Fort Oglethorpe Tourism Association and 6th Cavalry Museum. 706-861-2860.
Civil War 150th Anniversary Events: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, free but ticketed program; follow military timeline of 1860-1864 with living history demonstrations, artillery firings, period music and children's activities. Get tickets in advance at park website: nps.gov/chch/planyourvisit/civil-war-timeline-and-special-programs.htm.
Cowpea Festival and Cook-off: Charleston City Park, Worth Street, Charleston, Tenn., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, $5 admission includes tastes of dishes in cowpea cookoff, $5 parking. cowpeafestival.com.
Mountain Music & Arts Festival: Vogel State Park, Blairsville, Ga., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, $5 admission and $5 parking. 706-745-2628.
Plein Aire Festival: The Arts Center, 420 W. Main St., Blue Ridge, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Sunday, free. 706-632-2144.
White Oak Crafts Fair: The Arts Center of Cannon County, 1424 John Bragg Highway, Woodbury, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (all times CDT), free; arts and crafts show on banks of East Fork Stones River. 615-563-2787.
SEPT. 12-22, SEPT. 26-OCT. 27
Oktoberfest: Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, Ga., 6-10:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 p.m.-midnight Friday, 1 p.m.-midnight Saturday, 1-7 p.m. Sunday, $8 Monday-Friday, $9 Saturday, free on Sunday; annual celebration of German food, music and dance. 706-878-1908.
SEPT. 14-OCT. 31
Old McDonald's Farm Fall Festival: McDonald Farm, 16705 Coulterville Road, Sale Creek, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. each Saturday, noon-7 p.m. each Sunday and Halloween; open Tuesday-Friday by appointment for school field trips, $12 ages 3 and older, pumpkins an additional charge; weekend farm fun for the family includes hay maze, wagon rides, farm activities. 423-531-CORN.
Appalachian Celtic Festival and Highland Games: Ringgold Municipal Recreation Facility, 288 Emberson Drive, Ringgold, Ga., 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, $5 adults, $3 children ages 6-12. appalachiancelticconnection.org.
Blue Gray Alliance: McLemore's Cove at Mountain Cove Farms, Chickamauga, Ga. Battle of Chickamauga re-enactment Saturday afternoon with Longstreet's Breakthrough followed by Cleburn's Night Assault; Sunday's battle re-enacts the Snodgrass Hill battle; speaker's tent, sutlers, period church service Sunday morning; anniversary festival and barbecue 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday at Gordon Lee Mansion, $5 adults, $1 children. friendsofthegordonleemansion.org.
Boom Days Heritage Celebration: City Park, Fort Payne, Ala., Saturday, 8 a.m. 5K run and Kiwanis pancake breakfast, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. festival, free admission, small fee for children's activities wristband, $10 rock'n'roll show at 8 p.m. in DeKalb Theatre. 256-845-1524.
Festival 2013: Creative Arts Guild, 520 W. Waugh St., Dalton, Ga., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, free. 706-278-0168.
Go!Fest: Chattanooga Zoo, 1254 E. Third St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; free day at the zoo for people of all ages and abilities. gofestchattanooga.org.
Homestead Apple Festival: Grounds of Homestead Tower Museum, junction of Highways 127 and 68, four miles south of Crossville, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday (all times CDT), $5 adults and $3 children on Saturday, $3 for everyone Sunday. 931-456-9663.
Polly Crockett Festival: Tennessee Avenue in Cowan, Tenn., noon-6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, free admission but nominal charges to register for contests. 931-967-6788.
DeKalb County VFW Agricultural Fair: VFW Fairgrounds, 100 18th St., Fort Payne, Ala., gates open at 5 p.m. daily, variety of special ticket pricings for admission and midway rides. 256-845-4752.
Church Festival: New Heights Baptist Church, 158 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free. nhbcringgold.com
Hamilton County Fair: Chester Frost Park, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, catch shuttles at either Northgate Mall or Middle Valley Recreation Center, shuttle fare of $6 adults, $4 children ages 3-12 includes entry fee to fair. hamiltontn.gov/fair.
National Muscadine Festival: Tsali Notch Vineyard in Sweetwater, Tenn., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, downtown Sweetwater, 7-10 p.m. Friday, free, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Duck Park in downtown Sweetwater, free, $5 Kids Zone armband, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, Battle of the Bands, Duck Park, free. nationalmuscadinefestival.com.
Rock Spring Show & Sell Craft Fair: Rock Spring United Methodist Church, corner of Highway 95 and Peavine Road, Rock Spring, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free. 309-7249.
TACA Fall Craft Fair: Centennial Park, 2600 West End Ave., Nashville, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday (all times CDT), free admission; sponsored by Tennessee Association of Craft Artists. 615-736-7600.
RiverRocks: Twelve-day outdoor festival with events of hiking, biking, bouldering, canoeing, kayaking, others to celebrate area's natural beauty. New this year: 10 Adventure Sports Games; complete list of events and registration information at RiverRocksChattanooga.com.
OCT. 2-NOV. 2
Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration: Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, closed Thursdays; one-day ticket: $57 ages 12-59, $52 ages 60 and older, $45 ages 4-11. dollywood.com.
Autumn Children's Festival: Tennessee Riverpark, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday, free admission, activities require tickets that are 50 cents to $3. Benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga. 443-7800.
Boynton Craft Show: Boynton Church of God, 1956 Three Notch Road, Ringgold, Ga., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, free. 706-935-6972.
CultureFest: Chattanooga Market, First Tennessee Pavilion, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, free; music, food and dancing presented by ethnic communities of Chattanooga. chattanoogamarket.com
Fall Festival: John C. Campbell Folk School, 1 Folk School Road, Brasstown, N.C., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, $5 adults, $3 ages 12-17; 4oth anniversary show with more than 200 crafters. 828-837-2775.
Great Locomotive Chase Festival: Downtown Adairsville, Ga., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, $3 ages 6 and older, free on Sunday. Exit 306 off Interstate 75, then west on Highway 140 through traffic light, left onto Main to downtown square. 800-733-2280.
Heritage Day Festival: Marsh House, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free admission; tours of historic house, food and craft vendors. 706-638-5187.
Hodgepodge: Signal Mountain Town Hall, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, $5 adults, $3 ages 12-16; benefits Mountain Arts Community Center. 402-9960.
Monteagle Homecoming and Civil War Days: 16 Dixie Ave., Monteagle, Tenn., 10 a.m. until dark Saturday, free. 931-924-5353.
OCT. 5-6, 12-13, 19-20, 26-27
Rocktoberfest: Rock City Gardens, Lookout Mountain, noon-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through October; Rock City square transformed with German food, music and dance, free with regular park admission. seerockcity.com/rocktoberfest.
Craftsmen's Fair: Gatlinburg Convention Center, 920 Parkway, Gatlinburg, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $6 ages 13 and older. 865-436-7479.
Bake and Craft Sale: Cloud Springs Baptist Church, 210 Cloud Springs Road, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; benefits Golden Agers Group. 706-866-0164.
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. georgiaapplefestival.org.
Fall Bazaar: First United Methodist Church, 3425 Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free admission; craft show, soup-and-sandwich lunch for purchase. 423-476-4504.
Fall Craft Fair: Front Street on the depot lawn, Spring City, Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free. springcitychamberofcommerce.com.
Fall Festival: First United Methodist Church, 3425 N Ocoee St., Cleveland, Tenn. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free. 423-476-4504.
Harvest of Art Show & Sale: Rhea County Welcome Center, 107 Main St. at Highway 27, Dayton, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, free; presented by Dayton Arts League. 423-775-5122.
New Salem Mountain Festival: New Salem Community Center, 12477 Highway 136, Lookout Mountain, Ga., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $5 ages 12 and older. 706-398-1988.
Oktoberfest: Knights of Columbus grounds, 2892 Highway 70 E., three miles east of Crossville, Tenn., 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday (all times CDT), $7.50 ages 15 and older per day. 931-707-7291.
Prater's Mill Country Fair: Prater's Mill, Highway 2, 10 miles north of Dalton, Ga., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, $7 ages 13 and older. 706-694-MILL (6455).
Pumpkintown: Downtown square, Athens, Tenn., 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday, free; contests, mutt strut, crafts on streets around square. pumpkintownfestival.com.
Quilt & Craft Show: Mount Olive Church of God, 3533 Harrison Pike, Cleveland, Tenn., 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, $3; Common Threads Quilt Guild sponsors quilt show with food and craft vendors. 423-472-4033.
Sewanee Arts and Crafts Fall Fair: Shoup Park on University Avenue, campus of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday CDT, free; 40 exhibitors. 931-598-9059.
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Hiawassee, Ga., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, $11 ages 10 and older, admission includes music shows, free parking. georgiamountainfairgrounds.com.
Alabama Gourd Festival: Cullman Civic Center, Cullman, Ala., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, $3 ages 13 and older; all crafts made of gourds. alabamagourdsociety.org.
Christmas Bazaar: Tasso United Methodist Church, 1106 Tasso Lane, Cleveland, Tenn., 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free admission, $5 lunch. 423-614-5318.
Cleveland Apple Festival: Downtown Cleveland, Tenn., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sunday. Two-day pass $6 adults, $4 children; one-day ticket $4 adults, $3 children. clevelandapplefestival.org.
Colorfest: Downtown Mentone, Ala., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times CDT), free. 706-634-3001.
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. georgiaapplefestival.org.
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. ketnersmill.org.
Oktoberfest: Chattanooga Market, First Tennessee Pavilion, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, free celebration of German food, music and dancing. chattanoogamarket.com
Webb School Arts and Crafts Show: Webb School campus, 319 Webb Road and downtown Bell Buckle, Tenn., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times CDT), 500 exhibitors. 931-389-9663.
Benton Arts and Heritage Day: Courthouse Square on Main Street, Benton, Tenn., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, free. 423-338-2818.
Fall Festival: Belvoir Christian Academy, 800 Belvoir Ave., Saturday, 8 a.m. rummage sale, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. festival of children's games and activities, $5 lunch plate, free admission, tickets and game armbands sold at door. 423-622-3755.
Canyon Fest: Little River Canyon Center, 4322 Little River Canyon Parkway, Fort Payne, Ala., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free. 256-782-5697.
Mountain Arts & Crafts Celebration: Cloudland Canyon State Park, 122 Cloudland Park Road, Rising Fawn, Ga., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, free; fundraiser sponsored by Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park. 706-406-3440.
Christmas Village Festival: Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, 2100 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, Ala., 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday, $10 adults, $4 ages 6-12; billed as "largest indoor arts and crafts show in the South with 3,000 exhibitors." christmasvillagefestival.com.
Gingerbread Shoppe: Christ United Methodist Church, corner of Morris Hill and East Brainerd roads, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free. 618-4519.
Normal-Palooza: Normal Park Museum Magnet School, upper school at corner of Dallas Road and Mississippi Avenue, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, free; street fair with arts, music, children's activities to raise funds for school. normalparkmuseummagnet.com.
Christmas Village: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, 500 Wedgewood Ave., Nashville, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday (all times CST). $10 ages 10 and older; 270 vendors in four buildings. christmasvillage.org.
Walker Farms Pioneer Days: Audubon Acres, 900 N. Sanctuary Road, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, $4 Audubon Society members, $5 nonmembers. 892-1499.
DEC. 7-8, 14-15, 21-22
Holiday Market: Chatttanooga Market event in Chattanooga Convention Center, 1100 Carter St., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays; average of 200 vendors per weekend. chattanoogamarket.com
-- Compiled by staff writer 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 ...