Scarecrow in the garden

Scarecrows in the Garden

A strange wet summer dissolved into autumn as coronavirus concerns closed down most fall festivals around Lake Lanier and its mountain headwaters. However, folks looking for a chance to celebrate the changing of the season still have options to socialize in a few outdoor gatherings around the lake.

Here’s a brief look:

  • Wine in the Woodlands, 5-8 p.m. Fri. & Sat. through Nov. 1, Gainesville Garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Attendees can sip wine, beer, or soda in this evening soiree amongst fall blooms and whimsical scarecrows. The event offered every Friday and Saturday this month gives visitors the opportunity to see hay-stuffed creations presented by local organizations in the annual Scarecrows in the Garden contest. Guests can also pre-order meals from Gainesville’s 2-Dog Restaurant and dine al fresco in the Ivester Amphitheatre or event lawn. The menu lists charcuterie and hummus platters, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. Guests are welcome to bring chairs and/or blankets for seating. Spikes, stakes, or other ground-penetrating objects are not permitted. No outside food or beverages are allowed. The Garden Bar offers drinks by card purchases only. Last call is 7:30 p.m. Masks are required in indoor areas, including restrooms, by all guests over age 2. Info:, 404-888-4760.
  • Food Truck Saturday Social, 2-7 p.m. Oct. 17, Lake Lanier Olympic Park. LLOP officials switched gears this year from the former German-themed Laketoberfest to a more family-friendly fall harvest celebration. Following up on summer’s successful Food Truck Fridays, which drew around 800 TGIF celebrants, the event rolls in with six food trucks, three dessert wagons, and two beer and wine vendors. LLOP special event manager Eric Larsen said the venue’s wide expanse at the lakeside plaza and grandstands provides plenty of room for social distancing. Local band, Ted & Johnny, will crank out tunes near the awards circle by the lake rather than on the plaza. The event is free. Bring cash or card for food and drink purchases. Tables seating six can be reserved for $35. Info:, LLOP Facebook page, or 855-536-1996.
  • 53rd Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, Oct. 23-25, Dawsonville. One of the region’s oldest festivals survives a year that saw most fests fall away. The Moonshine Run parade, car show, swap meet, craft market, games, and music are still on. The tribute to fast cars and fast times rooted in running white lightnin’ during Prohibition draws thousands to Dawsonville. The fun motors up at 10 a.m. Oct. 23 when a parade of vintage cars departs on a round-trip run to R.M. Distillers in Dillard. Parking $10. Festival vendors set up at and near the Dawsonville Municipal Complex on Ga. 53 E. Info: 706 265-6278.
  • Concert, Movie Nights on Town Green, Braselton. While many lake area cities canceled downtown activities, Braselton has not. On Oct 16 the Town Green hosts a concert by ’60s inspired Village Vixons, accompanied by food trucks and drink tents from 7-10 p.m. Then on the night of Oct. 24, families and friends can recline on lawn chairs and blankets for a movie under the stars, 7-10 p.m. Info:

See Lakeside’s Outdoor Calendar for additional October activities.