Prater's Mill Country Fair

October 12th & 13th, 2019

Experience Prater's Mill Country Fair in 2.5 Minutes

Signup to Volunteer

it is more than just a mill

You can meet new friends, have fun and sustain the history of your community. We need volunteers to help in our office, help us maintain the grounds and especially to help do the many jobs to produce the show. Choose tasks and time slots to your liking. 

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We periodically send out news/events letters. We don’t bombard your email monthly not even 10 times a year. And then only on the area(s) of interest you have selected. Click here to get on the list.

Buy Advance Tickets

Use Bank Account or Card

Buy advanced ticket online starting in mid September. Save time at the gate. No cash required. Print or Display receipt on smart phone for entry.

2018 Fair Exhibitor/ Entertainment Program

2019 coming late September

Virtual fair program: includes; exhibit map, entertainment schedule, exhibitor and food  listings by category. Compatible with your smart phone. Download print version.

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About the 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 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 the Prater’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.
 

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.

Plan Your Visit

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.  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.
 
Adult admission is $7.00 cash per person per day; children 12 and under, free; military with ID, free; parking & shuttle service, free.  No cash?  Text PMTIX to 44321 to pay in line, on line or purchase tickets in advance . Visitors are urged to dress casually & wear comfortable shoes.

Getting there

Prater’s Mill is located at 5845 Highway 2, (Dalton, GA 30721) 10 miles Northeast of Dalton and about 30 miles south of Chattanooga, TN. Note: some Navagation systems still use 500 Prater’s Mill Road, Dalton GA 30721


I-75 exit 341 (Tunnel Hill – Varnell). Take  Highway 201 North 4.5 miles, then turn right on Georgia Highway 2 (at the Dollar General) and continue 2.6 miles to Prater’s Mill.  For Prater’s Mill Country Fair – follow the signs.


GPS:: Lat. 34.89.525  Lon. -84.92.011

Go to Directions Page HERE

Free Parking

All Parking at Prater’s Mill is free. The Prater’s Mill Traffic Control will direct you off the road and into the closest available lot where the Boy Scouts will take over and get you into the closest available space. The reverse will happen to get you back out and on your way.  We’ve be doing this for 4 decades, Trust that we know what we are doing. If everyone follows the signs and directors no-one will NOT get blocked in and the process will move quickly. We often park vehicles nose to tail BUT we leave driveways on each end to pull or back out. Please do not stop the vehicle to ask questions in line.  Why not? – the reason you had to wait to park is because the people in front of you did.  Follow signs & directions. Ask questions once parked

Our parking lots are hayfields, so this is not a trip to the mall.  Where you want to go may look just fine, however, it could be too soft, deep mud, a ditch, sink hole, two foot rock, or who knows what that’s not visible.  Follow the signs and directions for best results.

RVs and buses park up on the hill.  DO NOT ENTER the regular car lots with anything longer that 22 foot.

Handicapped

Free Shuttle & Handicap Parking

Handicapped? Reserved handicap parking in the Main Lot in the section next to the Blue Bus Stop where lift equipped buses shuttle from flat ground to flat ground.  Display permit or say ‘handicapped tag’ on the road & in the lot and follow the handicapped signage.

Free shuttle buses run constantly from the fair to designated stops in each lot. Each stop has its own color.  Remember the color to get back to the same stop.  Buses cannot drop off or pick up outside of these designated stops for safety and logistics reasons.

On the Grounds

Once upon a time Prater’s Mill and Dalton Rock shared an owner, so most of our exhibit space is gravel. High heels and small, thin wheeled strollers will find the terrain difficult at best.  Casual dress, comfortable shoes and wagons are the best way to go.

FOOD: for a more interesting, higher quality show, we do not duplicate food items. However, all food exhibitors may prepare Breakfast, Brewed Tea, Regular Coffee,  Lemonade, Limeade and offer bottles of Dasani® water, Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Sprite®, Dr, Pepper® and 4 flavors of Powerade®.  These 20 oz. screw-top, recyclable, plastic bottles sell at $2.00 each.

FIREARMS, observe the laws and ordinances of Whitfield County and the Sate of Georgia pertaining to public events.  Alcohol is not permitted. 

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Pets Allowed

PETS ADMITTED FREE.  Pets should be on leash & on good behavior, crowd, child and pet friendly. Owners must clean up after & control pets.  Georgia DOT will ONLY allow service animals on the shuttle busses.  To keep our historic park pet friendly,  ALL owners must take full responsibility for their pet and it’s actions. Letting us know if  your fellow owners are not adhering to policy by alerting a Volunteer (booth #025).

Complimentary clean up bags available at each ticket booth. On the first sign that your pet may be having issues with the crowd, small children, or other pets, please take steps to resolve and remove pet from situation and if needed removed from the grounds.  Otherwise  both you and your pet will be escorted out immediately. 

PET POLICY

• DOT regulations prohibit pets on shuttle buses.
• All pets must be on a leash and under control at all times.
• Pet should be acclimated to kids, crowds and pets.
• Property damage is the responsibility of owner.
• Service animals only on shuttle.
• Pet owners must clean up after their pets.
• Clean up bag(s) must be visible and with your dog.
• Young children should not walk pets.
• No pets allowed in restrooms or Port-o-lets
• Do not leave your pets unattended at any time.