Sunday, August 22, 2010

Save the Date: Fall Festivals are Lining Up!



In addition to great opportunities for parties, fall also brings another one of my favorite things- an outpouring of fall festivals. The candy apples, rows of bright orange pumpkins, stacked hay bails and friendly Southerners offering their handmade goods for purchase= so much fun! My favorite way to spend an autumn Saturday is rummaging through little stands within quaint festivals, like Ellijay, GA’s famous Apple Festival held the second and third weekend of every October. Ellijay’s downtown also features numerous antique shops full of trash-to-treasure finds and you can pop in after the festival. And I’m never afraid to strike up some negotiations with the vendors. A little bartering makes it even better!

Before I go into a listing of a few of the best fall festival hotspots so that you and yours can “Save the Date”, I want to offer a few tips on what to shop for whether it be at a local antique shop or a fall festival stand:

-Look for items that have true character. Don’t be fooled into buying items that were on clearance at Hobby Lobby. And don’t be afraid to ask more about the item. One of my favorite recent finds was a set of 6 hand-crocheted linen handkerchiefs. I put them away and plan on monogramming each for my sister-in-law’s bridesmaid’s luncheon next September. Look for unique and special items that you just can’t duplicate.

-Think like a collector and don’t get stuck buying random pieces that you’ll never use. If you see some fabulous vintage glass bottles, think in terms of a grouping, and try to purchase 3 or 5 of the bottles in varying heights and colors. This way you’ve created a grouping or collection.

-Thrifty is nifty. Picking up beautiful and unique items at festivals and antique stores can give your home a more customized look on a budget, without looking like every item came from Ikea and Target. Look for chairs and pieces of furniture that can easily be re-painted or re-covered. You can also find some handmade furniture priced right. One of my favorite Chattanooga Market vendors is kountrykupboards.com. Get creative!

Here are two of my favorite Fall Festivals:

The Apple Festival
October 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th
www.georgiaapplefestival.org

The Country Living Fair
October 22nd-24th
Look for more informatiom coming soon on www.countryliving.com

Check out www.southfest.com for a listing of other great shows by state.

Did I miss a festival that you love to attend? Do you have a hidden antique spot that we all need to visit? Let me know in the comments section.
*Thanks to Country Living for the great photos!

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