Every October the quiet, peaceful area around Prater's Mill hosts the annual Prater's Mill Country Fair. Situated on the banks of the Coahulla Creek, it is the perfect place to host the fair's 46th anniversary, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 14, and Sunday, Oct. 15.
The fair was begun in 1971 with the help of volunteers to raise funds for the preservation of the old mill. The fair continues to be a favorite of the locals as a place to visit with friends and experience the sights and sounds of a country fair. At the fair, visitors can take self-guided tours of the operating gristmill, the country store, Shugart Cotton Gin, Westbrook Barn, and 1898 Prater's Store. Nearly 200 artists and craftsmen will sell their crafts. Look for live demonstrations by the blacksmiths, quilters, weavers, and woodcarvers.
The stage area hosts continuous entertainment including mountain-style clogging and country/bluegrass and gospel music during the fair. Cory Hansird will be the emcee for all main stage activities.
While at the fair, don't miss out on some good southern cooking. Barbecue, chicken and dumplings, beans and cornbread are just some of the items for sale. Don't forget the homemade ice cream, the fried pies, or funnel cakes.
Across the street, "the spit and shine" of the antique automobiles, antique workhorses (tractors), and a hand-tufted bedspreads display will attract visitors.
Fair hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $7; children 12 and under enter free. There is no charge for parking. Visitors are urged to dress casually and wear comfortable shoes.
Prater's Mill is located on Ga. Highway 2, about 10 miles northeast of Dalton and 30 miles south of Chattanooga, Tenn. Take I-75 to the Tunnel Hill-Varnell Exit #341, drive north 4.5 miles to the intersection with Ga. Highway 2 at Varnell, turn right and continue 2.6 miles to the mill.
For more information or to inquire about sponsorship and volunteer opportunities call 706-694-MILL (6455) or visit the website PratersMill.org.