Although I’ve lived in the area for almost 15 years, I made my first pilgrimage to the Cotton Pickin’ Fair in May. And I plan to return this weekend. The fair has been around a while, since 1972, and is one of the top 10 festivals in America, according to its website, www.cpfair.org.
Presented by The 1911 Society Ltd., a nonprofit organization supporting sustainable rural development, farm preservation and agritourism in Georgia, the fair is an antiques, arts and craft fair in Gay, Ga., that draws 300 exhibitors from the Southeast.
But it’s not just artisans selling their wares — it’s music, food and children’s entertainment, too.
Several wagons full of cotton, old tractors and sheds throughout the grounds add to the fair's appeal. And have fun watching the different demonstrations from a bygone era, like the women making yarn and thread with old-fashioned spinning wheels.
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I found out — the hard way — there is proper craft-fair etiquette for taking pictures. Ask first. Sometimes, unscrupulous folks take pictures of others’ ideas in order to copy and produce the items to sell themselves. It was a painful lesson — so if you do take a camera, ask the vendor if he or she has a problem with pictures.
The cost is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages 7 to 12 and free for children 6 and younger. Visit www.cpfair.org or www.facebook.com/thecottonpickinfair for directions and a festival preview.