Sep. 23—What do Big Wheels, apples and mulch have in common? They'll all be topics of discussion at fall festivals in and around Chattanooga this weekend.
Big Wheel races are among an array of family activities as the city of East Ridge celebrates its centennial on Saturday with 90 vendors, six bands and five breweries offering concessions and entertainment.
Mulch is a mainstay at the Fall Garden Festival, also Saturday. Master Gardeners of Hamilton County planned the fall event after the success of a spring show in May.
It will feature "a variety of vendors with plants [trees, shrubs and perennials], hand-crafted foods and yard art, along with Master Gardener demos and exhibits plus fun activities for children," said the group's president, Suzanne Ford. "People can learn about bees, bluebirds, composting, fall vegetables, grow buckets, herbs, mulching, native plants and pollinators, rain barrels, raised beds and trees."
The show is also meant to take the sting out of the cancellation of the Hamilton County Fair, which would have been this weekend, Ford said.
Chattanooga Market's Apple Festival is Sunday at First Horizon Pavilion. This ode to apples promises produce straight from the tree, as well as cakes, pies, jellies, even candles made from the fruit.
Here's a look around the region.
SEPT. 23-OCT. 3
— North Georgia State Fair: Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta, Ga. Carnival, live music, petting barns, flower shows, blue-ribbon competitions, plus lumberjack show, Jurassic Kingdom and alligator show among new attractions, 4-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays, 12:30-10 p.m. Sundays. $10 gate admission ages 11 and up; ride tickets cost extra. www.northgeorgiastatefair.com
— Mistletoe Merchants: Farm Bureau Expo Center, 945 E. Baddour Parkway, Lebanon, Tenn. More than 100 merchants, silent auction, door prizes, plus special shopping opportunities (Cupcakes & Cocktails, Muffins & Mimosas) with ticket upgrade, 9 a.m.-8 p.m, Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $10 one day, $18 three days. www.midsouthmediagroup.com
SEPT. 24-OCT. 30
— Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights: Dollywood, 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd., Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Artistic sculptures, elaborate fall scenes, artisans, seasonal food, entertainment. $79 ages 10-61, discounts for younger and older guests. www.dollywood.com
— Blue Ribbon Country Fair: Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center, 123 Cromwell Drive, Townsend, Tenn. Hog calling, rooster crowing and greased pig contests, Lodge ladies skillet throw, woodworking, blacksmithing, flint knapping, hearth cooking and agricultural exhibits, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $10 adults, $8 ages 60 and up, $7 children 6-17. gsmheritagecenter.org
— East Ridge Centennial: Camp Jordan Park, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway. Community birthday party with music, beer garden, arts and crafts marketplace, history walk, food trucks, family activities, fireworks finale 10 a.m.-9 p.m. eastridge100.com
— Fall Garden Festival: Hamilton County Extension, 6183 Adamson Circle. Master Gardeners of Hamilton County present exhibits and demos, kids activities, plant vendors, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $5 (free for children under 12); free parking. mghc.org
— Show & Sell: Rock Spring United Methodist Church, 3477 Peavine Road, Rock Spring, Ga., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Arts and crafts booth, food trucks, tractor show, kids zone, pony rides, live music, quilt raffle, quilt display in the sanctuary, free hay rides. Free admission and parking. 706-810-8199
— Walker County Ag Festival: Walker County Ag Center, 10052 N. Highway 27, Rock Spring, Ga. Vendor booths, livestock shows, beekeeping both, cooking class, soap making demonstration, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. walkercountyagfestival.com
— Dancing Goats Folk Fest: 518 River St., Ellijay, Ga. Juried folk art show, crafts, mountain music, storytelling, traditional foods, goat beauty pageants, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. dancinggoatsfolkfest.com
— Homesteads Apple Festival: Cumberland Homestead Tower and Museum, 96 Highway 68, Crossville, Tenn. More than 100 craft booths, live music, fried apple pies, antique tractors, storytelling, quilts, weaving, basket making, woodcarving, jewelry makers, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday (all times Central), rain or shine. $5 admission ages 11 and up, good both days and includes free tour of Homesteads Tower Museum. cumberlandcountytn.gov
— Ride the Rails Festival: Historic L&N Depot, 150 Railroad Ave., Mineral Bluff, Ga. Tri-State Model Railroaders fundraiser with 5-mile ride to Murphy Junction and back, railroad hand cars, model railroad exhibit, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. both days. Motor car, $13 adults, $6 ages 2-17; hand car, $2 per person; mini hand car, free. www.tsmri.org
— Riverfest Arts and Crafts Festival: Etowah River Park, 600 Brown Industrial Parkway, Canton, Ga. Over 150 arts and crafts vendors, live music, children's area, scarecrow display, food concessions, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $5 ages 11 and up. serviceleague.net/fundraisers/riverfest
— Sandy Springs Artsapalooza Arts Festival: 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs, Ga. Outdoor festival includes children's play area, local musicians, interactive art stations, up to 150 artists and crafters, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. sandyspringsartsapalooza.com
SEPT. 25-OCT 31
— Fall Festival: Mayfield Farm Park, 257 state Highway 307, Athens, Tenn. Corn maze, pumpkin patch, zip lines, Thursday-Sunday plus daily Oct. 11-17; fireworks Fridays in October; Haunted Trail designated nights in October. $14.95 online, $16.95 at gate all visitors ages 2 and up; season passes available. www.mayfieldfarmpark.com/fall-festival
— Fun on the Farm: Guthrie Farms, 490 County Road 67, Riceville, Tenn. Corn maze, hay rides to pumpkin patch, animal petting barn, bounce pad, games, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m. Sundays. $15 ages 3 and up. guthriepumpkinfarm.com
— Apple Festival: First Horizon Pavilion, 1826 Carter St. Apples, apple edibles, plus candles and other products made with apples, family activities, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Music by Redd & William at 12:30 p.m. and Lon Eldridge at 2 p.m. Free. chattanoogamarket.com