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Know before you go: Yellow Daisy Festival, September 10-13

Pretty! Yellow Daisy Festival Shoppers checked out a tent at the 2007 festival. AJC file photo

Pretty and simple though it sounds, the Yellow Daisy Festival is a huge event. Pretty, indeed, but not simple. Some 200,000 people will come to Stone Mountain Park to see and buy the wares of more than 500 crafters from around the United States. This is the 41st year for the show, and admission is free, so it draws shoppers from far away, too.

There’s some good news to add: for the first time, festival organizers made a program that lists artists’ names and booth numbers, plus space to take notes.

Here’s what else you should know before you go! As always,  tips and ideas from experienced Yellow Daisy Festival-goers and questions from newbies are welcome in the comments section!

Prepare a shopping list: First, the arts and crafts categories — accessories, artist’s prints, artwork, clothing, clay functional (like ceramics and pottery) and clay nonfunctional (decorative pieces), dolls, fabric, fiber, floral, food, furniture, games and toys, glass, herbal, leather, metal, musical, paper, plans, wood-finished, wood unfinished. There’s also a catch-all “miscellaneous” category that includes everything from holiday items to granite dog bowls to bread dough. The fine arts category includes drawings, jewelry, sculpture, paintings, photography and mixed media. Here are some shopping tips created by the park.

Go early: The festival doesn’t open till 10 a.m., but shoppers and a lot of sellers will be there by 7 a.m. Just beware, there’s a hard-core garage-saler mentality to this festival. Thursday and Friday afternoons tend to have the smallest crowd, and parking is a little easier. Saturday and Sunday? Exactly what you’d expect a 500-some crafter festival to look like on a beautiful weekend.

How to get there: If you haven’t been to Stone Mountain Park, don’t try to find it using an online mapping system. It rarely works. Instead, follow the written directions provided by Stone Mountain or check out the map to the park. The park is a pretty big place, about 3,200 acres, so check out this park map before you go, too. Parking costs $10 for one day, or $35 for a yearlong pass. MARTA does not go directly to the park, but Route 120 drops off in the city of Stone Mountain, about a 1/2 mile from the park’s West Gate, not too far from the festival once you’re inside. Some nearby hotels provide transportation right to the park, too, so out-of-towners might ask before driving in.

What to bring: Comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen are must-haves. It’s a big place, and while the crafters might be under tents, you won’t be. Sellers accept a variety of payments, so come prepared with cash, credit card and checks. You can pick up a free biodegradable shopping bag at the festival, or bring your own. Some shoppers come prepared with wagons and shopping carts, too. There’s more info about general park policies on Stone Mountain Park’s FAQ page.

What to eat: Although your parking pass allows you to come and go during the day, it’s probably not worth leaving the festival grounds to eat unless you’re done for the day. You can bring your own food — no coolers! — or try the coffee, sandwiches, barbecue, ice cream, pizza and Chick-fil-A on-site, along with all the usual fair food and homemade desserts by the Stone Mountain Women’s Club. Here’s a list of restaurants inside the park; some won’t be open Thursday, but most will open up for the weekend.

For non-shoppers: If you’re not into shopping or handmade goodies, this is not the best fall festival for you. But, if you happen to be hauling some less-enthusiastic members of the family to Stone Mountain, here are a few options to keep them amused.

  • Kids might enjoy the festival’s Children’s Corner, which features the Backyard Circus at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The children’s area also includes an inflatable obstacle course, coloring mural and face painting. This is not a daycare, so don’t expect to drop the kids and go.
  • The “Men’s Den” is outfitted with recliners and TVs showing football.
  • The Yellow Daisy Festival Flower Show will run this weekend, too, 4-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m. Sunday at the Stone Mountain Park Marina.

Want to go? The Yellow Daisy Festival runs 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 10-11, 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 13. The festival is free — parking is $10 for one day, or $35 for an annual pass. Stone Mountain Park Special Events Meadow, U.S. 78 East, Exit 8. 770-498-5690, www.stonemountainpark.com.

17 comments Add your comment

Natalie

November 4th, 2009
6:36 pm

This year at the Yellow Daisy festival they had a vendor that was to the left as you first walked in that was selling animal yard art made out of scrap metals and propane tanks. Can anyone tell me who that was or where I could find them online?

Leighanne

September 15th, 2009
10:35 am

I live out of state but i am from Atlanta and i went last year and bought some things from a man that personalized name plaques for kids rooms, bullitien boards for kids rooms, and yard signs and stuff like that. I didn’t get to go this year but I know he said he does it all year round and will accept orders. I didn’t know if someone knew him and had some info or knows where i could possibly find it..i’ve been trying to find the vendor list and can’t find it…

Lissa

September 13th, 2009
3:36 am

Disappointment filled the air when we got to the Festival this year no little plastic bags where handed out to us just like in the past.

[...] wrote earlier this week about what to know before you go to the Yellow Daisy Festival. Now that I’ve wandered the grounds of Stone Mountain Park myself, I have a few things to [...]

Ashley K

September 12th, 2009
7:21 pm

Yellow Daisy is SO MUCH FUN!! The vendors are friendly, the festival designers try to vary the content and mix up the pattern, so there’s not too much of any one category (although it is heavy on the jewelry this year) in any one area. There are Venus flytraps, pirate maps, firestarters, dursy and other semi-precious or artistically rendered earrings, art metal glass, pendants, necklaces, paintings, chairs, step stools, kids clothes, dress-up, fairy wings, yard art, mirrors, metal work, birdhouses, weather vanes . . . . Watch for “Ashley & Mom” next year- our shirts match (they’ve got big daisies on them) and the vendors know us. If you want to know the best, best-priced, friendliest vendors- find us; we know them! (And they know us!) ;0)

Jerri P

September 12th, 2009
10:09 am

Well – is it fun?

Debbie Roberts

September 10th, 2009
4:39 pm

I got a vendor list and booth space number on a pdf brochure from my “newsletter” from Stone Mountain Park. Sorry, I don’t have it with me, but I found it last week. None of that info was sent to me by Yellow Daisy, although that would have been nice,..it was an accident finding it.

Mayan Rose

September 10th, 2009
2:49 pm

Jamie Gumbrecht

September 10th, 2009
12:23 am

AH, there isn’t a list of vendors or map that I can link to online, but as I said above, this is the first year there will be a program that lists vendor names and locations. They’ll be available at the festival!

AH

September 9th, 2009
8:25 pm

what about a freakin’ list of the vendors and a map?