After fall festivals in Lake Lanier’s headwater region and nearby mountain towns shut down last year, the seasonal celebrations appear to be back this year.
As of Lakeside News’ deadline, festivals as long-running as Ellijay’s Apple Festival and Helen’s Oktoberfest, both 50 years old, were back on track. Many others still planned to offer up homespun crafts, funnel cakes, live music and old-fashioned fun as summer fades into fall. Here’s a sample:
o 50th Oktoberfest, Helen. Sept.9-12, 16-19,23-26; Sept. 20-Nov. 2; weekdays 6-10:30 p.m., 6 p.m.-midnight Fridays, 1 p.m.-midnight Saturdays, 1 p.m.-7 p.m. Sundays, Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strauss. Bavarian-themed music, food, dancing, drinks. $8 Mon.-Fri., $10 Sat., half price for children 6-12; free to children younger than 6; free Sundays. www.helenchamber.com, 706-878-1619.
o Clermont Days. 4-8 p.m. Sept. 17, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 18, Downtown Clermont/Clermont Park. 10 a.m. Saturday parade, food, vendors, kids’ activities, live music, 9 p.m. fireworks. www.clermontdays.net.
o Latino Fest, Gainesville. Celebration of Latino food, music, art and culture, noon-9 p.m. Sept. 18, Downtown Gainesville Square, 301 Main St. www.gainesville.org.
o Hurricane Shoals Arts in the Park, Maysville. Sept. 18 & 19, hours to be announced. Arts, crafts, living history village, kids’ activities, music, and more. www.hurricaneshoalspark.org.
o 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. 2, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $6 admission. www.gastateparks.org, 706-878-1077.
o Foxfire Mountaineer Festival, Clayton. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 2, Rabun County Civic Center, 201 W. Savannah St. Traditional music and crafts, greased pole climbing, sack racing, log sawing, corn hole and shucking contests, and demonstrations of rail splitting, team plowing, and quilting. $5, free to ages 5 and younger. www.foxfire.org.
o Indian Summer Festival, Suches. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 2-3, Woody Gap School (smallest public school in Georgia), 2331 Ga. 60. Crafts, food, music, and square dance 8 p.m. Oct. 3 at community center. $5 adults, $2 children 7-12, free to children 6 and younger. www.suches.com, 706-747-2401.
o Cumming Country Fair & Festival. Oct. 7-17, 4-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 4 p.m.-midnight Fridays, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturdays; 12:30-9 p.m. Sundays; Cumming Fairgrounds, 235 Castleberry Rd. Carnival rides, live music, bull-riding, petting zoo, doggie sports, haunted attraction, and heritage village. $10 age 11 and older, free to ages 10 and younger; additional fee for ride tickets; $5 parking www.cummingfair.net. 770-781-3491.
o Mule Camp Market, Gainesville. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 8 & 9, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 10, Midtown Greenway, 682 Grove St. Music, food, carnival rides, and art jamboree. See website for updates. www.gainesvillejaycees.org, 770-532-7714.
o Georgia Mountain Fall Festival, Hiawassee. Crafts and exhibits, food and music, Oct. 8-16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, 1311 Music Hall Rd. Big name country and blue grass performers, pioneer village, daredevil and cowboy circus, flower show and crafts exhibits. $12 day pass includes concerts. No pets. www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com.
o 50th Annual Sorghum Festival, Blairsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 9-10, 16-17, Meeks Park, 11 Pool Lane. Vintage mule-run sorghum mill, sorghum “biskits,” crafts, mountain music, pioneer demonstrations, biskit eating contest, and old timey games plus 8 p.m. Oct. 9 & 16 square dance at location to be announced. $5 ages 13 and older; free to ages 12 and younger. www.blairsvillesorghumfestival.com.
o 50th Georgia Apple Festival, Ellijay. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays Oct. 9 & 10, 16 & 17, Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St. Apple treats, crafts, demonstrations, music. No pets or firearms allowed. $5, free to children younger than 10. www.georgiaapplefestival.org, 706-636-4500.
o Gold Rush Days, Dahlonega. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 16 & 17, Public Square/Downtown Historic District. Parade, crafts, food, plus panning for gold, hog calling, buck dancing, gospel singing, and blue grass music. www.goldrushdaysfestival.com.
o 51st Annual Mountain Moonshine Car Show/Festival, Dawsonville. Oct. 22-24, Dawsonville Municipal Complex, 415 Hwy. 53 E. Huge car show, parade, moonshine still, free moonshine samples, crafts, games, kids’ rides, and music. See website for updates. www.kareforkids.org. 706- 265-6278. 706-216-5273.
o Vogel’s Fall Festival, Blairsville. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 30 Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Hayrides, food, cake walk, Halloween campsite decoration contest. $5. www.gastateparks.org, 706-745-2628.
Corn Mazes and Harvest Celebrations
o Uncle Shucks Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch, Dawsonville. Sept. 14-Nov. 17. 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., 10a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Corn maze, pumpkin patch, gem mining, kids’ activities, wagon rides, bonfire and more. Haunted maze weekends in October. 125 Bannister Rd. $15-$25, free to children 4 and younger. www.uncleshucks.com, 770-772-6223.
o Buford Corn Maze, Sept. 4-Nov. 14. Sept.& Nov. hours 6-10 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.-Sun.; Labor Day 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; 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 hours. 4470 Bennett Rd. $16-$28. Also hayrides, kids’ farm fun, pony rides, farm animals. www.bufordcornmaze.com. 678-835-7198.
o Jaemor Farms 14th Annual Corn Maze, Alto. Sept. 11-Nov. 2. Weekends only in Sept.: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. Oct. hours: Daily Oct. 1-25, 30 & 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 1 -6 p.m. Sun. Nov. hours: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Nov. 6, 1-6 p.m. Nov. 7. 5340 Cornelia Hwy, Ga.365. $14 ages 3 and older. Farm extravaganza with hayrides, apple cannon, pumpkin train, farm games, duck race, and more. www.jaemorfarms.com, 770-869-3999, 770-335-0999.
o Kinsey Family Farm, Gainesville/Cumming. Families plan a traditional fall pilgrimage, for buying pumpkins, pumpkin baked goods, fall decorations, and farm products. Oct. 1-31, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-6 Sat. 7170 Jot Em Down Rd, www.kinseyfamilyfarm.com, 770-887-6028.
o 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 Oct. 31. See website for Nov. hours and hayride information. Burts Farm Rd. No pets or firearms. www.burtsfarm.com. (706) 265-3701.