Just when we need them most, the festivals that traditionally herald a changing of the season are dropping like autumn leaves. Many of the annual celebrations in Lake Lanier communities and nearby mountain towns are canceled due to coronavirus concerns this year. Normally tens of thousands of tourists flock to north Georgia for craft, music and food fests that pay tribute to the region’s cultural heritage. A few remained on schedule, but organizers advise prospective visitors to check websites for up-to-date information. Although festival pickings are slim, area farms still invite folks up for harvest celebrations, including corn mazes, hayrides, family fun and games.
Here’s a look at some options to get out this fall:
- Indian Summer Festival, Suches. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 3-4, Woody Gap School (smallest public school in Georgia), 2331 Ga. 60. Crafts, food, and music. $5 adults, $ children 7-12, free to children 6 and younger. suches.com. 706-747-2401.
- Mountain Farm Celebration, Sautee Nacoochee. Old fashioned country fair with pioneer skills and exhibits, traditional craft vendors, mountain music, old-timey games, plus first-floor tour of historic mansion, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 24, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $5, plus $5 parking. GaStateParks.org, 706-878-1077.
- 52nd Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, Dawsonville. Parade of moonshine and revenue cars 9 a.m. Oct. 24; festival Oct. 24-25, Dawsonville Municipal Complex, 415 Hwy. 53 E. Huge car show, parade, moonshine still, free moonshine samples, crafts, games, kids’ rides, music, and more. Parking $10. kareforkids.org. 706-265-6278.
- Vogel’s Fall Festival, Blairsville. Noon-8 p.m. Oct. 31, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Hayrides, food, cake walk, Halloween campsite decoration contest. $5. GaStateParks.org, 706-745-2628.
Canceled Festivals: Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival (Don Carter State Park, Gainesville), Clermont Days, Woodland Ramble (Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden), Cumming Country Fair & Festival (Cumming), Flowery Branch Fall Festival, Oktoberfest at the Fest Hall (Helen), Georgia Mountain Fall Festival (Hiawassee), Georgia Apple Festival (Ellijay), Georgia Marble Festival (Jasper), Foxfire Mountaineer Festival (Clayton), Sorghum Festival (Blairsville), Mountain Music Day Festival (Blairsville), Big Red Apple Festival (Cornelia), Mule Camp Market (Gainesville), Gold Rush (Dahlonega).
Corn Mazes and Harvest Celebrations
- Uncle Shucks Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch, Dawsonville. Thru Nov. 25. Sept. & Nov. hours: 4-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. October hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Haunted maze weekends in October. 125 Bannister Rd., Dawsonville. Also wagon rides and bonfire. $5-$22. UncleShucks.com, 770-772-6223.
- Buford Corn Maze. Thru Nov. 15. Sept. & Nov. hours 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sun, plus 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Labor Day, Sept. 7; Oct. hours: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. See website for Haunted Forest and Halloween week hours. 4470 Bennett Rd. $15-$25. Also hayrides, kids’ farm fun, pony rides, farm animals. BufordCornMaze.com. 678-835-7198.
- Jaemor Farms 14th Annual Corn Maze, Alto. Oct. hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 1-7 p.m. Sun. Nov. hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 7, 1-7 p.m. Nov. 8. 5340 Cornelia Hwy, Ga.365. $14-$16. Also hayrides, apple cannon, pumpkin train, farm games, duck race. JaemorFarms.com, 770-869-3999.
- Kinsey Family Farm, Gainesville/Cumming. Families plan a traditional fall pilgrimage for hayrides, fish and farm animal feedings, farm products (apples, pumpkins, fall decorations). Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. $3 hayrides. 7170 Jot Em Down Rd, KinseyFamilyFarm.com, 770 887-6028.
- Burt’s Farm, Dawsonville. Pumpkins galore, scenic hayrides, pumpkin pies and seasonal decorations greet patrons at the Burt family farm near Amicalola Falls. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Nov. 10. See website for Nov. hours. Daily hayrides to be announced. Burts Farm Rd. Hayrides $6, free to children 2 and younger. No pets or firearms. BurtsFarm.com. 706 265-3701.
- Scarecrows in the Garden, Gainesville. Scarecrows created by local artists and organizations appear throughout the woodland garden, garden hours through Nov. 1, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. Garden admission. Atlanta Botanical Garden-Gainesville, 404-888-4760.
- Trillium Trek Half Marathon/5K, Gainesville. Challenging trail runs/walks 8/8:30 a.m. Oct. 3, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Dr. Limited to 50 participants each. $60/$30. Register by Sept. 14. No spectators, family members, or guests. Elachee.com, RunnersFit.com
- Indian Summer Barbecue & Pie Sale, Suches. Festival scaled back to pie and barbecue sale, Oct. 3-4, Woody Gap School (smallest public school in Georgia), 2331 Ga. 60. Suches.com. 706-747-2401.
- Soggy Doggy Pool Party, Gainesville. Dogs frolic in splash zone, 1-2:30 p.m. dogs up to 35 pounds, 2:45-4:14 p.m. 36-70 pounds, 4:30-67 p.m. more than 70 pounds, Oct. 4, Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, 1545 Community Way. Proof of rabies vaccination required. $10 per dog. www.gainesville.org.
- Gesture Drawing in the Garden, Gainesville. Draw with pastels and charcoal to capture movement of fall flowers in bloom, 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 6, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $69, $64 members. Register by Oct. 2. ABG – Gainesville Calendar, 404-888-4760.
- Landscape Painting with Palette Knife, Gainesville. Create paintings with palette knife and acrylics, 9-11 a.m. Oct. 8 & 9, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $79, members $74. Register by Oct. 2. www.atlantabg.org, 404-888-4760.
- Photography Basics, Gainesville. Learn basic photography using any camera to shoot pictures in garden, 9 a.m.-noon Oct. 15, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $89, $84 members. Register by Oct. 12. www.atlantabg.org, 404-888-4760.
- Concert on the Green, Braselton. Vintage Vixons perform, plus food trucks and drink tents, 7-10 p.m. Oct. 16, Town Green, Downtown Braselton. www.braselton.net.
- Indoor Triathlon, Gainesville. 10-minute swim, 30-minute spin, 20-minute treadmill, various times, Oct. 17, J.A. Walters Family YMCA, 2455 YMCA Dr. $25-$45. Register in advance. Limit five per heat. www.active.com., 770-297-9622.
- Running Scared 5K/13K, Dawsonville. 8:30 a.m. Oct. 17, Rock Creek Park, 445 Martin Rd. $25-$30. www.fivestarntp.com.
- Food Truck Saturday Social, Gainesville. Food and dessert trucks, drink tents, live music, 2-7 p.m. Oct. 17, Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Rd. Free. Purchase food and drink. $35 reserved tables available. www.lakelanierolympicvenue.org, 855-536-1996.
- Hollywood at Hardman, Sautee Nacoochee. Evening at the historic farm with showing of movie “I’d Club the Highest Mountain,” filmed in Sautee Nacoochee Valley, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Oct. 17, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. Limit 50, register in advance. Free. Donations accepted, www.eventbrite.com.
- Nocturnal Night Hike, Mountain City. Hike to learn about nocturnal animals, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17, Black Rock Mountain State Park, 3805 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy. $5. 706-746-2141, www.gastateparks.org.
- Pumpkin Dash, Gainesville. Find a numbered pumpkin, decorate it and take it home, 6 p.m. Oct. 20, Frances Meadows Aquatic Center, 1545 Community Way. $10. Register by Oct. 16. www.gainesville.org.
- 52nd Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, Dawsonville. Huge car show, parade, moonshine still, free moonshine samples, crafts, games, kids’ rides, music, and more , 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 23-25, Dawsonville Municipal Complex, 415 Hwy. 53 E. Moonshine Run rolling car show departs from Bearden’s Funeral Home in Dawsonville at 10 a.m., traveling to R.M. Distillers in Dillard and back to Dawsonville.
- So You Think You Can Run Fun Run/5K, Flowery Branch. 9/9:30 a.m. Oct. 24, Aqualand Marina, 6800 Lights Ferry Rd. $15-$30. www.active.com.
- Movie Under the Stars, Braselton. Bring lawn chairs and blankets for movie on the lawn, 7-10 p.m. Oct. 24, Town Green, Downtown Braselton. www.braselton.net.
- Fast Pace 5K/10K, Cumming. Races start 8 a.m. Oct. 31, shuttle to start 7-7:45 a.m., Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd. $20-$25. www.active.com.
- Vogel Fall Festival, Blairsville. Hayrides, food, cake walk, Halloween campsite decoration contest, noon-8 p.m. Oct. 31, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. $5. www.gastateparks.org, 706-745-2628.
- Trunk or Treat for Halloween, Tallulah Falls. Visitors decorate cars and hand out treats to kids, plus kids’ activities, prizes for cars and costumes, 7-9 p.m. Oct. 31, Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Dr. $5 parking. 706-754-7981, www.gastateparks.org.
- Fall in the Garden with Mixed Media, Gainesville. Create fall pictures on art paper with colored pencils and water colors, 9-11 a.m. Nov. 3 & 4, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $79, $74 members. Register by Oct. 30. www.atlantabg.org, 404-888-4760.
Note: See www.gastateparks.org/DonCarter for events at Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier.
- First Visit Tour, Helen. Van tour to covered bridge, Duke’s Creek, and cottages, 10-11:30 a.m. first Saturdays through Dec., Smithgall Woods State Park, 61 Tsalaki Trl. $5 parking. 706-878-3087, GaStateParks.org.
- Farm Animal Fun Days, Sautee Nacoochee. Learn about livestock kept on historic farm, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 12, Oct. 24, & Nov. 7, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $6 per person, $5 parking. GaStateParks.org, 706-878-1077.
- Emory Jones Book Signing, Sautee Nacoochee. Author of “Distant Voices: The Story of the Nacoochee Valley Indian Mound,” reads excepts from new book “the Valley Where They Danced;” includes tour at historic farm, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $7-$12, free to children 5 and younger, $5 parking. GaStateParks.org, 706-878-1077.
- Wine in the Woodlands, Gainesville. Explore the Garden with beer, wine or soda from Garden bar. Light bites not available, but guests may pre-order dinner from 2 Dog Restaurant and dine outdoors in Ivester Amphitheatre or Event Lawn. Bring chairs or blankets. 5-8 p.m. weekends through Nov. 1, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. Garden admission, plus card purchases for drinks. www.atlantabg.org, 404-888-4760.
- Scavenger Hunts, Storybook Time, Musical Fun, Trolly Fun, Gainesville. Children and family activities, various times through October, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. Garden admission. www.atlantabg.org, 404-888-4760.
- Gainesville Square Farmers Market. Local fruits, vegetables, crafts, food, music, Downtown Gainesville Square, 2:30-6:30 p.m. Fridays through Oct. 2. www.hallfarmers.org.
- Cumming Farmers Market. Local farmers sell fresh produce, Wednesdays and Saturdays, Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd. www.cummingfair.squarespace.com.
- Braselton Summer Farmers Market. 4-7 p.m. Fridays, Downtown Braselton, 9924 Davis St. www.braselton.net.
- Original Hall County Farmers Market, Gainesville. Local produce, crafts, flowers, 2:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays, 734 E. Crescent Dr. www.hallcountyfarmersmarket.org.
- Flowery Branch Farmers Market. Farm produce, crafts, baked goods, natural health products, 3 p.m. Thursdays, Flowery Branch Depot, 5302 Railroad Ave. www.flowerybranchga.org.
Other area events
- Elachee Virtual Science Night – Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1 – features environmental education and discussion, a program best suited for adults. Free. Virtual event website: www.elachee.org. Info: 770-535-1976.
- Annual Quilt Show – Oct. 1-22 – Dawsonville – Bowen Center for the Arts, 334 Highway 9N, Dawsonville. The Bowen is a safe and wide-open gallery that follows COVID guidelines. Bring friends and family to view more than 80 quilts and share memories with joy and laughter. Free admission. Quilt Raffle. Tickets: bowenarts.org. Info: 706-216-2787.
- The Winery Comedy Tour – Oct. 3 – at Accent Cellars, 6:30-8:15 p.m., at 215 Auraria Rd., Dahlonega. Nationally recognized comedians travel the country tasting local wine and making new fans in this new comedy circuit that brings comedy to folks for a fraction of what comedy clubs demand. The comedy tour takes top comedians who you’ve seen on TV and sends them out on the road to perform at wineries throughout the country. Presented by Herron Entertainment LLC, which is committed to giving 20 percent of profits to help end human trafficking. Info: 706-867-0123.
Info: 770-534-6263; also galleries.brenau.ed
- Nov. 7 – Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, 8 p.m. Vincent has been awarded 19 IBMA Awards and is a seven-time Grammy nominee, winning the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2017. Tickets: $35-$45.
- Nov. 13 – The Man In Black, 8 p.m. With his striking resemblance, spot-on mannerisms and baritone voice, Shawn Barker embodies the character and spirit of Johnny Cash. Barker’s Tribute to Cash is an energetic recreation of an American music icon. Tickets: $35-45. Info:
Info: 770 945-6762
Chateau Elan Winery & Resort
Info: 678-425-0900 x41; www.chateauelan.com.
Clarkesville’s Historic Habersham Community Theater
Dahlonega’s Historic Holly Theatre
Info: 706-530-5162; www.hollytheater.com.
Forsyth Academy of Performing Arts
Gainesville Theatre Alliance
Info: 678-717-3624; blog.ung.edu/gta/performances
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds
- Oct. 2, 3 – The NE Georgia Mustang Club’s 47th Annual Mustang Show.
- Oct. 9-11, 16-18 – Fall Craft Show starts at 10 a.m. This two-weekend event will feature more than 80 arts and crafts vendors, food vendors and musicians playing throughout the fairgrounds. Admission: $5 per person, children 12 and under, free.
- Oct. 24 – Appalachian Brew, Stew & Que Festival, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., brings great craft breweries from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama, also food from area restaurants, regional arts & crafts and lots of Appalachian and Americana music. Tickets: $40 at gate or $35 in advance online. Info: www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com.
Habersham Community Theater
Interactive Neighborhood for Kids
- INK is now open, but some new rules apply.
Lake Lanier Islands/Margaritaville
North Atlanta Trade Center
Northeast Georgia History Center
- Each Wednesday, at 2 p.m., The Northeast Georgia History Center presents a livestream for the general public to enjoy via Facebook or YouTube Live. Each Friday, the facility presents special Member Livestreams for local and digital members. Digital membership is $3/month or $35/year for member livestreams and more. Check website for the upcoming October digital event calendar. Info: www.negahc.com.
- Oct. 15-Nov. 12 – 2020 Fellow Exhibition: Amanda Jane Burk and Drema Montgomery at the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Art at Piedmont College, Demorest. Burk and Montgomery are 2020-21 Art Department Fellows. n Oct. 29 – Cantabile, 5-6 p.m., the Conservatory’s 10-voice ensemble presents “From Byrd to the Beatles,” a musical journey through the UK from the 16th century to the 1960s.
- Nov. 3 – Piedmont Conservatory Strings, 7:30-8:30 p.m., perform under the direction of Heather Strachan. The group combines players from the community and local colleges.
Info: 706-894-4201, piedmont.edu/fa
Quinlan Arts Center
- Thru Oct. 3 – Fall Exhibition features artists Jill Haack (All That Glitters is Hope); Kathy Kitz (Perception & Elements); Celeste Porter (A Vision of Hope); Jason Bohannon (Captive Light); and Tannery Row Artists Colony (Imagine).
Resurgens Theatre Company
The North Georgia Shakespeare Festival
School Street Playhouse (formerly Cumming Playhouse)
Tannery Row Artist Colony
- Thru 12-Oct. 10 – Fall Juried Art Exhibition with an opening reception held 5-8 p.m. (According to its website, this is pending due to Covid-19. Check the website closer to the date to see the most recent information.)
Info: 770-904-0572; TanneryRowArtistColony.com.
University of North Georgia
- Oct. 2 – Cortos! Latin American Short Film Festival is a Zoom Webinar showcase offering UNG students and community members an inside look at current short films directed by up-and-coming Latin American filmmakers. All the shorts will feature English subtitles and vary between lengths of 10 to 15 minutes each. The event will feature a guest speaker before the films and Q&A moderators after the screening. Info: Ary Malaer, 678-717-3593; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voices of North Georgia
October 2020 Arts Page (links to PDF of Arts Council Ad)