Fall Folklife Festival Highlights Variety of Seasonal Farm Demonstrations, Crafts, Foodways, Music, and Kid-friendly Activities Representing Traditions of the Southeast

Traditional crafts, Southern Foodways, and environmental sustainability are at the center of the Atlanta History Center's annual Fall Folklife Festival. On Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm, an assortment of scheduled and ongoing events designed to delight and educate every member of the family occurs throughout the Atlanta History Museum and on the History Center's Smith Family Farm. This festival marries the Southern ways of good food, local brews, great times, friends and family, and the joy of making memories during the first autumn weekend.   


The heart of the festival takes place at the Atlanta History Center's 1860s Smith Family Farm where practices of time-honored crafts and sustainable methods, such as field-to-table, were essentials of the antebellum lifestyle. Meet a variety of local artists dedicated to preserving and sharing traditional folk art techniques while adding a modern twist. Interactive opportunities engage festival-goers to try their hand at candle dipping, watch and discuss the artistry of metal to heat in the blacksmith shop, learn the art of natural dyeing, and discover the creativity and necessity of woodworking. 

For families with younger children, find amusement at the petting zoo located at the Smith Family Farm barnyard. The little ones are sure to smile as they discover the various friendly animals including a Miniature Scottish Highlander cow, donkey, horse, goat, pig, sheep, rooster, rabbit, and even an alpaca. In the front yard at Tullie Smith House meet local storyteller Betty Ann Wylie and listen to traditional Southern folktales spun for both the young and young at heart, while discovering the history behind them. 

Foodies are in for a treat. What festival would be complete without delicious local meals and refreshments? Indulge in tasty items available for purchase from some of Atlanta's favorite Food Truck vendors including Honeysuckle Gelato and Happy Belly Food Truck. And, for the adults, a choice of locally crafted beers available for purchase including Redbrick Hoplanta, Sweetwater GA Brown, and Monday Night  Fu Manbrew

Examine Southern Foodways with Atlanta's professional foodies and farmers as they discuss history and current culinary trends that focus on farm-to-table food practices and sustainability techniques. This years’ schedule includes guests such as author and popular foodie blogger Kevin West demonstrating practices of canning, pickling, and preserving from his new book Saving the Season.

Take home organic living tips to incorporate into your family's lifestyle. Scheduled demonstrations and discussions provide insights on subjects such as growing local gardens, seed fermentation, and other useful tips on environmental friendliness. Meet up with Slow Food Atlanta to learn about growing and selecting locally grown foods.

For nature lovers, explore fall plants and vibrant autumn leaves of our region; begin at the farm and journey to any one of the History Center's six Historic Gardens situated around the campus.

Enjoy live musical performances by Sourwood Honey and Peachtree Station. Sourwood Honey performs traditional sounds of the south incorporating folk, American and old time with a rotating medley of banjo, ukulele, banjukuitar, washboard and guitar. And, Peachtree Station plays sets of traditional and contemporary bluegrass with influences of newgrass, folk and rock.


Inside the Atlanta History Museum, guests may explore the award-winning exhibition, Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South. This exhibit illustrates aspects of “A Handmade Life”- pottery, woodwork, textiles, metalwork, and Foodways.   

For festival goers who enjoy short films and documentaries, meet at the theater to view a series of short films produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance. Each film is ten minutes long and featured titles include: Cured, Hot Wet Goobers, Cud, and The Rise of Southern Cheese

The Atlanta History Center's Fall Folklife Festival is supported by the Fulton County Arts Council, Publix, and Macy's. Promotional support provided by Green Olive Media. For more information, visit online at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Folklife. Admission to the festival is free to members and included in the price of general admission for nonmembers. Purchase tickets online and save at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Visit.          

Festival Highlights:

Times provided are subject to change. Please check AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Folklife for schedule additions and updates.

Ongoing Activities at Smith Family Farm:

  • Blacksmithing
  • Candle Dipping
  • Sachet Making
  • Natural Dyeing
  • Cornhusk Dolls  
  • Woodworking
  • Petting Zoo
  • Smokehouse demonstrations
  • Slow Food Atlanta – Learn more about growing and locally grown food


  • Storytelling - Tullie Smith House Front Yard; Betty Ann Wylie, a local storyteller, is a gentle Southern belle with a mischievous imp hidden deep inside who will bring these tales to life!
  • Slavery & Food - Slave Cabin at Smith Family Farm
  • Canning, Pickling, and Preserving – Smith Family Farm; Kevin West, author and popular foodie blogger demonstrates practices of canning, pickling, and preserving from his new book Saving the Season.


  • Sourwood Honey: Sourwood Honey takes no prisoners as they kick up some traditional old time tunes, tip their hats to incredible artists and end up creating a sound that borders folk, Americana and old time. Learn more at www.reverbnation.com/sourwoodhoney.
  • Peachtree Station: Peachtree Station performs traditional and contemporary bluegrass with influences of newgrass, folk and rock. With a foundation in traditional bluegrass, you are just as likely to hear progressive music from this talented group of musicians. Learn more at http://www.peachtreestation.net/.

Southern Foodways Alliance Short Films:

  • Cured: This short film by Joe York profiles Madisonville, Tennessee's world-renowned bacon and country ham producer Allan Benton.
  • Hot Wet Goobers: This short film by Joe York introduces the Hardy Family, of Hardy Farms in Hawkinsville, Georgia. They operate a family peanut farm, and are known all over South Georgia for their boiled green peanut stands. They only sell when green peanuts are in season, and the trick to their famous boiled peanuts--according to locals--is letting them sit in the brine for a good while to soak up salt.
  • CUD: This short film by Joe York introduces Will Harris of White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia, a cattle rancher with deep roots in the Deep South. He has rejected the corn-fed, feedlot cattle model in favor of raising grass-fed cattle. Will is no arriviste. The Harris family has raised cattle on the same Early County, Georgia farm for 5 generations.
  • The Rise of Southern Cheese: This short film by Joe York and Matthew Graves looks at artisanal cheese producers in the South.  It chronicles three makers of fine Southern cheeses:  Belle Chevre in Alabama, Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia, and Bonnie Blue Farm in Tennessee.

Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South Exhibition:

Self-guided Explorations; examine folk art traditions from the region since the beginning of the 19th century.   

Food For Sale:

  • Happy Belly Food Truck
  • Honeysuckle Gelato serving delicious rich and smooth, Southern-inspired gelato
  • Local craft beers available for purchase at cash bar



About Us

The Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum; two historic houses, 1928 Swan House and 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; Kenan Research Center; Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and the Goizueta Gardens, featuring 22 acres of gardens, walkways, paths and trails. In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta.