FESTIVALS THIS WEEKEND
• Celebrate Your Heritage Festival: 451 Lakeview Drive, Exit 322/Peavine Road off Interstate 40, Fairfield Glade,Tenn., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT Saturday; 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 Davis 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, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, free. 423-236-4291.
• 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.
• Railfest: 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, 500 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.
Cultural heritage celebrations in unusual settings -- antebellum farm, Methodist church camp and two train depots -- highlight the first big weekend of fall fairs and festivals for the season.
• Events observing the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Chickamauga include a heritage festival at the Martin Davis farm in Chickamauga, Ga., near where the Battle of Davis' Crossroads took place. According to Chris McKeever, director of the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe, the 37th Tennessee Confederate Volunteer Infantry will set up camp complete with rifle firings and interpretive programs Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8. The house will be open for tours, and themed entertainment will be performances of Civil War music.
• Musicians from across the Southeast are gathering in Loudon, Tenn., Saturday, Sept. 7, for the annual Smoky Mountain Fiddlers Convention. The town is gearing up for an influx of about 3,000 visitors, says Clayton Pangle, executive director of the Loudon County Visitors Bureau. Between acts, visitors can browse the Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival at Legion Field or Memories on Mulberry antique show on the courthouse lawn.
"On Saturday, we'll have daylong competitions that narrow down competitors until the finals Saturday night. Total competition prizes this year total $5,500," says Pangle.
"A new feature this year is a liar's contest," he adds. "This is an outgrowth of a little table of guys at Mark's Diner in downtown Loudon. They had a table where they would tell tall tales. They named it the Liar's Table. It grew to the point a fellow said they should make a festival event of it."
• Find family fun closer to home at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, where Railfest is on track for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 7-8.
Railfest includes live entertainment, children's activities, operating model railroad displays, magic shows at 11 a.m. both days by Mike Edwards and -- of course -- train rides at the Cromwell Road depot.
Saturday's music tunes up at 10 a.m. with Savannah Roberts, followed by Dana Rogers at noon, then Lone Mountain Band from 2 to 5 p.m. Jazz is on tap Sunday, beginning with Scenic City Jazz Band at 10 a.m., Smooth Flight Jazz Mix at noon and Mason Dixieland Line from 2 to 5 p.m.
The museum's regular Missionary Ridge Local train will be making six runs on Saturday, five on Sunday during Railfest. However, an excursion train to Cleveland, Tenn., is also an option for festivalgoers. It's hosted by Norfolk Southern as part of its 21st Century Steam program. Two departure times are offered each day: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $45, which includes admission and train ticket. Seating is limited, so advance ticket purchase is encouraged.
Two-day admission to Railfest is $20 adults, $15 children. Free parking is available on-site.
Contact 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 ...