May 17, 2013

Saturday packed with local events

Charles Oliver

— No one can say there’s nothing to do in Dalton. At least not this Saturday.

“We have a lot going on downtown,” said Downtown Dalton Development Authority Marketing Director Veronica French.

Events include the downtown market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with local farmers selling fresh fruits and vegetables and local craftsmen selling their wares.

“That takes place where the old City Park School used to be, and if it rains we move to the Whitfield County parking garage,” French said. The market is every Saturday, May through August.

Dalton celebrates National Train Day on Saturday at the old Dalton Freight Depot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We’ll have live music by (local bluegrass band) Spatial Effects. The Crescent City train car will be open for people to look inside,” French said.

The freight depot will also host the Dixie Jewels Insulator Club swap meet from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Many insulators, both glass and porcelain, will be available for sale or trade, and collectors from seven to 10 states are expected. The event is open to the public, and admission is free. Club members will be available to appraise insulators that people bring to the event.

The Dalton Civil War 150th Commission is hosting “Home Life in Civil War Dalton,” a self-guided driving tour of five historic sites with each featuring living history demonstrations. The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Demonstrations will be repeated all day, so the sites can be visited in any order.

The sites include the Dalton Depot restaurant (telegraph machine), the Blunt House (quilting), the Hamilton House (medical instruments), the Clisby Austin House (blacksmithing) and Prater’s Mill (grist milling).

Also at Prater’s Mill, if you have a story of how your family survived the Civil War on the home front you are asked to tell it to Martha Locke and Melissa Burchfield, members of the Drewry R. Smith Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The stories will be shared with the Appalachian Regional Commission and American Heritage magazine.

Other exhibits that will be at Prater’s Mill include kerosene lanterns in the country store, family stories (Tut McFarland in period dress), an architect’s tour of the mill (Bruce Jennings), horse-drawn plows, cotton gin and barn tours, and cornmeal for sale. Civil War-era artifacts will be on display. Admission is free, but donations are requested for mill tours.

Prater’s Mill will also host the Peachtree Antique Tractor and Engine Club show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. In addition to vintage and historic tractors, the show will feature clogging and live music, kids’ activities and a hay ride, homemade ice cream and other food, as well as a swap meet.

And Performing Arts Unlimited holds its 29th annual Dance and Gymnastics Recital at the trade center at 2 and 7 p.m. The shows are open to the public and free.