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Prater's Mill, Dalton
(4.2/5 based on 60 reviews on the web)
Prater’s Mill was built in the mid-19th century. It is located in Varnell, Georgia. Serving the city of Dalton as a working mill, it is now used as the center piece of country fair that showcases cultural history of Southern Appalachia. The country fair consists of mountain music, Southern foods, and living history exhibits and the handmade crafts and original art of 185 talented artists and artisans. Crafts include blacksmithing, spinning, quilting, rug hooking, woodcarving, and hand tufting.At the fair visitor’s take self-guided tours viewing the gristmill, the country store, Shugart Cotton Gin, and Westbrook Barn that has farm animals. Across from the mill, in 1898, the Prater’s store was built. It serves Southern meals that have, pinto beans, turnip greens and dried apple stack cake. Elsewhere throughout the festival are other specialties such as pit-cooked barbecue, apple cider, fried apple pies and churned ice cream. While at the fair, visitors enjoy canoeing on the Coahulla Creek, a walk down the nature trail and pony rides for children. Educational exhibits include a Civil War encampment, working antique engines and “Peacock Alley”, a clothesline display of hand-tufted bedspreads. Ongoing entertainment consists of on stage clogging, country bands, and gospel singers.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. Thirty-nine civic clubs, churches and schools also participate in the community event. The hours are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $7.00, children 12 and under are free. Visitors are urged to dress casually and wear comfortable shoes. Parking is free.HistoryPrater’s Mill is one of 70,000 properties on the National Register of Historic Places. Included in the list are all historic areas within the National Park System, over 2,200 National Historic Landmarks, and properties across the nation that have been nominated for the honor.
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  • My family has had gatherings here since I was a little girl. It's beautiful, peaceful and a wonderful place to have a family picnic or take the kids fishing. There's a covered pavillion with plenty of...  more »
  • Really enjoyed the Fall festival. Lot's of vendors and great food. Had some nice tractors and cars in the show. 
  • Our whole family spent the day at Prater's Mill last weekend. The parking was free, children 12 and under are free and adults only $7.00. The food was not ordinary fair food but homemade goodness!! We...  more »
  • The fall festival was an okay way to spend two hours, even though an hour was driving. Not a whole lot there and the vendors seem very repetitive despite a few stand outs. Food options are so-so and frequently run out of food at the festival. The location is very beautiful on a comfortable day, but their festival could be better.
  • The fall festival on the second full weekend of October is fun, but as the years progress it seems to be becoming less local and more inhabited by stalls from professional festival companies. It still retains a good bit of local charm and is worth a visit. The tractor show is fun, and the country cooking is always enjoyable.
  • Wasn't impressed. It use to be alot better!
  • A beautifully restored meal, they have the county fair there every year , I have been going since I was a child and I love it. It's been a part of people's livelihood and entertainment for over a century.
  • We went to a cool little festival down here. It was a pretty cool experience.