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Event Series Event Series: Prater’s Mill Country Fair

The Prater’s Mill Country Fair, begun by volunteers in 1971 to raise funds to restore the dilapidated 1855 grist mill and surrounding buildings, has grown into a legendary celebration of Appalachian traditions.  This is an invitation-only show where nearly 200 talented artists and craftsmen must hand-make their items out of only natural materials.  We boast the best Southern food this side of Heaven, most prepared by local groups. 

At the fair, visitors take self-guided tours of Prater’s Mill viewing operating grist and Meadows mills and Shugart Cotton Gin. The 1898 Prater’s Store, Dr. Lacewell’s Office and Westbrook Barn which houses the Goodness-Smith Farm Collection, are also open and located across the road from the Mill.  On the ‘Store-Side’ visitors experience the inside of an old country store and can taste authentic Southern meals of chicken & dumplings, collard greens & cornbread cooked on a wood stove, view displays of antique tractors, cars, plows and more.  
In many minds, the highlight of the Fair is the food. In addition to the ‘store-side offerings, other regional favorites are served at various points on the festival grounds. These include delicacies such as John’s Family pit-cooked barbecue, Cochran Family fried pies, North Georgia apple cider, and even fresh-churned ice cream..  See Fair Program for complete list of food items and locations.
Continuous live entertainment on the main stage under the Saylors Pavilion features  Appalachian-style clogging exhibitions, country bands, and gospel singers. 
In addition to live entertainment, the fair boasts several activities such as “Little Texas” kid’s train ride and Petting Zoo adored by children and adults alike.  Pony rides and face painting are always at the top of kids’ to-do list. The whole family can experience a short hike down the Prater’s Mill Greenway which connects to the Norma Gordon Nature Trail then to the Eagle Trail.  
Demonstrations include blacksmithing, quilting, weaving, caning, woodcarving and more. Living History and other historic displays including plows, tractors and cares.  “Peacock Alley” and other displays of hand tufting chenille, the precursor to the famous machine tufted carpet industry of Dalton, are scattered throughout the grounds.

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