The fairground's main attraction is "Pioneer Village." Pioneer Village contains numerous exhibits and demonstrations such as beekeeping and blacksmithing. Most are housed in 19th century cabins and farm buildings. There is an agriculture museum with hundreds of old farm tools and implements on display as well as an impressive die cast collection. A wonderfully constructed and fully operational water wheel can be found by passing through both museum exhibit halls and exiting the back door.
One of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds' most popular features is Anderson Music Hall, a 2900 seat theater built for live music. The list of legends that have performed at the hall is impressive. While bluegrass and country are popular, you'll see a few classic rockers from time to time. This past July, the annual 10-day Georgia Mountain Fair featured performers such as Ronnie McDowell, Roy Clark, Clair Lynch, Joe Diffie, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, the brilliant Larkin Poe, and one of the best rock and roll bands ever to come out of the southeastern United States; the Atlanta Rhythm Section.
unique and desired feature of the Georgia Mountain
Fairgrounds is a set of two very nice campgrounds, one
on either side of highway 76. Altogether, the
campgrounds provide 189 camping and RV sites.
Approximately half the sites are paved. Water, electric,
and cable are available, but there are no sewer
connections. We have not yet (as of October 2011) camped
at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, but we have toured
the campgrounds. They are very nice. We have twice
camped at nearby
Mountain Resort when visiting Hiawassee, primarily
because they have full hookups. We have also camped at
Vogel State Park and over the mountain in Cleveland at
Gold n Gem Grubbin'.
The first task in planning this trip was to identify a good campground as a home base for our adventure. The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds feature two beautiful lakeside campgrounds, but we need full RV hookups for a four night stay, and the fairgrounds do not provide full RV hookups, After doing some research, I booked us a site at Enota Mountain Retreat, a place that qualifies as a PB&J Adventures destination in itself. We camped at Enota in the Winter of 2008 when it was very cold. We wanted to return when the weather was better.
We decided to visit the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival on Saturday. Admission was half price, and Ricky Skaggs was performing in the afternoon. We were a little worried about crowds when we first saw the parking lot. I really dislike crowds, especially when I'm trying to keep up with four kids. Much to our surprise, the fairgrounds didn't seem crowded at all. Because the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds are so large, crowds seem to dissipate soon after passing through the gate. Honestly, it's the first fairground I've visited in which I felt relaxed and wasn't anxious to leave. We were always surrounded by beautiful foliage and rustic architecture.
Soon after arriving at the fairgrounds, we were faced with the difficult but enjoyable task of choosing our lunch. The job proved to be more difficult than we'd anticipated. I think we ended-up purchasing food from 3-4 different food vendors. Lee Thomas and I had some exceptional clam chowder, and the others had hotdogs and various other yummy delicacies. Like the fairground, the food selection here is exceptional.
After eating, we wandered through a large variety artisan displays and exhibits. Rebecca and each of the kids got new pocket knives from the DirecTV booth, and we sampled honey at the beekeeper's association exhibit. We passed through the farm-life museum where the kids and I admired the massive collection of die- cast cars, trucks, and tractors. Rebecca and I had to explain some of the vintage equipment, tools, and kitchen appliances to the kids. As we exited the rear of the museum building, we discovered a large, fully functional wooden waterwheel. It has a strong resemblance to the one at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.
From there, we continued to explore the exhibits. There are many old buildings on display at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Many have been moved from other locations and reassembled here. There are numerous cabins, farm buildings, and an old one-room schoolhouse. Demonstrations of mountain farm life were happening all around. The kids were engaged the entire time, and were never bored.
time we'd seen the main part of the fairground, the first half of the
Ricky Skaggs concert was already past. We decided to head back to
Enota for the remainder of the afternoon instead. On the way back,
we stopped at Track Rock Gap to see some ancient Native American
petroglyphs carved into rocks there. Very interesting. More on that
later. For a detailed description of the fairgrounds including dozens of