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 t 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.
Prater’s Mill Historic Site
is now owned by the people of Whitfield County but continues to be operated and maintained by thePrater’s Mill Foundation
. As a non-profit volunteer group, the foundation relies heavily on the revenue from the annual Country Fair. This is our primary fundraising event. All donations and proceeds from the fair go back into site maintenance and day to day operations. The mission of the foundation is to protect, preserve and present the heritage of the Prater’s Mill Site for future generations
. For more information call 706-694-MILL
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. Pat Bryant with many of her 12 grandchildren sing and play instruments – including dulcimer on the front porch of the mill.
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. 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. Pony rides and face painting are always at the top of kids’ to-do list.
Demonstrations include blacksmithing, quilting, weaving and woodcarving. “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.
is $7.00 cash per person per day for adults; children 12 and under, free; military with ID, free; parking & shuttle service, free. If you don’t have cash, we now have a card option. Text PMTIX to 44321 on your smartphone to purchase advance online tickets
($7.50). Visitors are urged to dress casually & wear comfortable shoes.
The Prater’s Mill Country Fair is sponsored by the Prater’s Mill Foundation, a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to historic preservation and education. Nearly 40 civic clubs, churches and schools also participate in the community event.
We encourage you to become a Member or Volunteer to help during the fair.