Farm at Rocky Top Gearing up for Inaugural ‘Hay Days’





Say “hey” to Lee County’s newest arts, crafts, food and fun festival as the Farm at Rocky Top prepares to welcome all to its inaugural Hay Days event, set for May 20 to 21.

Hay Days will host close to 100 vendors on the 339-acre farm, as well as food trucks, a Kids Corral, a “bubble barn” and classic games like tetherball and cornhole.

“Plan to stay a long time and enjoy the scenery, enjoy the vendors and we’ll have all kinds of foods and activities for the children, and adults as well,” said Jan Lawrence, owner of the Farm at Rocky Top and co-chair for Hay Days.

The rain-or-shine event will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Entry will cost $8 a person for everyone ages 3 and up, while children under 3 years old will be admitted for free. Parking will also be free. Attendees will be able to pay by cash or card at the gate.

According to Lawrence, the experience of opening the Farm at Rocky Top has been about bringing ideas to life and spreading joy to those who come to visit — whether it’s for a wedding, the pumpkin patch or a Country Christmas.

She and Carol Pridgen, who is also serving as co-chair of the event, said the idea for Hay Days was born a couple years ago and began to come to fruition last fall. The two have worked together for the pumpkin patch and have prior experience with other vendor festivals.

The two said they have enjoyed attending other local events and scouring the internet to find interesting and one-of-a-kind vendors. Lawrence and Pridgen have also been accepting vendor applications online and by mail. Hay Days is a juried event, they said, so the process is selective.

“We’ve had a tremendous response from it,” Lawrence said. “I didn’t realize there were so many vendors out there in this area. There’s such a passion.”

There will be several categories of vendors from as close as Opelika to as far as north Georgia. Some examples of vendor products are candles, honey, woodwork, textiles, boutique clothing, home décor, CBD products, watercolor paintings, baked goods and much more.

“I’m looking forward to meeting all the vendors,” Lawrence said.

“We’re excited for them to come in,” Pridgen added. 

The Kids Corral will feature plenty of activities for children to enjoy, from a petting zoo and pony rides to magicians, inflatables and train rides.

The Lee County Humane Society will also be there on Saturday for pet adoptions.

Those who like to take pictures will have several opportunities for that as well.

“We will have five photo-ops, and they will be placed around the festival grounds,” Lawrence said.

The photo-ops will also be part of a giveaway. Attendees who take photos at each of the five locations and then post them to Facebook will be entered to win $250. Several vendors have donated items for other giveaways as well, with many of those giveaways happening now.

Although this is the first year for Hay Days, Lawrence and Pridgen are already filled with ideas for new additions in the years to come. The two said they hope to incorporate live music, craft demonstrations and giving booths for attendees to donate or subscribe to different charities. They also hope to set up a vintage playground featuring the old triple slide from Opelika’s Municipal Park.

“We want this to grow,” Lawrence said.

“Our vision is a big thing because we don’t have anything like this, so to speak, that’s a two-day event in this general area,” Pridgen added. “… We’ve kind of got a full spectrum of everything.”

The Farm at Rocky Top is located at 2910 Lee Road 145 in Salem, just south of Opelika. For more information on the event, visit the farm’s Facebook page or go to


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