The time is nigh to celebrate the end of a long hot summer with banjo pickin’, buck dancin’, corn husk dolls, fried apple pies, corn mazes and funnel cakes. Yep, it’s fall festival season around Lake Lanier and in the mountains up yonder in North Georgia. Here’s a round-up of festivals, corn mazes, and harvest celebrations this fall:
52nd Oktoberfest, Helen. Sept. 6-11, 15-18, 22-25; Sept. 29-Oct. 30; 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.
Clermont Days. 4-8 p.m. Sept. 16, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 17, Downtown Clermont/Clermont Park. 10 a.m. Saturday parade, food, vendors, cake walk, kids’ activities, music, 9 p.m. fireworks. www.clermontga.com/clermont-days.
Latino Fest, Gainesville. Celebration of Latino food, music, art and culture, 2-9 p.m. Sept. 17, Midland Greenway, 682 Grove St. 678-750-0254
Hurricane Shoals Arts in the Park, Maysville. Sept. 17 & 18, hours to be announced. Arts, crafts, living history village, kids’ activities, music, and more. www.hurricaneshoalspark.org.
Mountain Music Festival, Blairsville. All day Sept. 24, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Live music, pickin’ porch, family fun. www.gastateparks.org, 706-245-2628.
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. 22, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $6 admission. www.gastateparks.org, 706-878-1077.
Flowery Branch Fall Festival. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 1, Main Street, Downtown Flowery Branch. Crafts, children’s activities, food vendors. www.troop-228.com.
Foxfire Mountaineer Festival, Clayton. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct.1, 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. $8, free to ages 5 and younger. www.foxfire.org.
Indian Summer Festival, Suches. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 1-2, Woody Gap School (smallest public school in Georgia), 2331 Ga. 60. Crafts, food, music, and square dance 8 p.m. Oct. 2 at community center. $5 adults, $2 children 7-12, free to children 6 and younger. www.suches.com, 706-747-2401.
Cumming Country Fair & Festival. Oct. 6-16, 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; free hours available; additional fee for ride tickets; $5 parking. www.cummingfair.squarespace.com.
Mule Camp Market, Gainesville. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 9, Midland Greenway, 682 Grove St. Free Friday night concert, plus more live music, food, carnival rides, and art jamboree. www.gainesvillejaycees.org, 770-532-7714.
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival, Hiawassee. Crafts and exhibits, food and music, Oct. 7-15, 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.
53rd Annual Sorghum Festival, Blairsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 8-9, 15-16, Meeks Park, 11 Pool Lane. Vintage mule-run sorghum mill, sorghum “biskits,” crafts, mountain music, dancing, pioneer demonstrations, biskit eating contest, and old timey games. $5 ages 13 and older; free to ages 12 and younger. See website for schedule. www.blairsvillesorghumfestival.com, 706-745-2272.
51st Georgia Apple Festival, Ellijay. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays Oct. 8 & 9, 15 & 16, Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St. Apple treats, crafts, demonstrations, music. No pets or firearms allowed. $10, free to children 12 and younger. www.georgiaapplefestival.org, 706-636-4500.
Gold Rush Days, Dahlonega. 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Oct. 15 & 16, 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.
17th Annual Gainesville Chicken Festival. Fifteen-plus teams compete in chicken cook-off, plus kids’ zone, live music and more, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 22, Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Rd. $6 wristband for 10 chicken samples. Cook teams apply online. www.exploregainesville.org, 770-531-2664.
55th Annual Mountain Moonshine Car Show/Festival, Dawsonville. Oct. 21-23, Dawsonville Municipal Complex, 415 Hwy. 53 E. Huge car show, parade, moonshine still, free moonshine samples, crafts, games, kids’ rides, music, and more. See website for updated information. www.kareforkids.org. 706-216-5273.
Vogel’s Fall Festival, Blairsville. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 29, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Food trucks, live music, crafts, cake walks, duck races, storytelling, hayrides, bonfires. $5. www.gastateparks.org, 706-745-2628.
Corn mazes and harvest celebrations
Uncle Shucks Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch, Dawsonville. Sept. 14-Nov. 13. 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. Corn maze, pumpkin patch, gem mining, kids’ activities, wagon rides, bonfire and more. Haunted maze Sept. 30 and weekends in October. 125 Bannister Rd. $15-$25, free to children 4 and younger. www.uncleshucks.com, 770-772-6223.
Buford Corn Maze. Sept. 3-Nov. 13. 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.
Jaemor Farms 15th Annual Corn Maze, Alto. Sept. 10-Nov. 6. Weekends only in Sept.: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun. Oct. hours: Daily Oct. 1-23, 28 & 29, 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. 5, 1-6 p.m. Nov. 6. 5340 Cornelia Hwy, Ga. 365. $15 ages 3 and older. Farm extravaganza with hayrides, apple cannon, pumpkin train, farm games, duck race, and more. No pets. www.jaemorfarms.com, 770-869-3999.
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, hours to be determined. 7170 Jot Em Down Rd, www.kinseyfamilyfarm.com, 770-887-6028.
Burt’s Farm, Dawsonville. Pumpkins galore, hayrides, pumpkin pies and seasonal decorations greet patrons at the Burt family farm near Amicalola Falls. Pumpkin patch & store 9 a.m.-6 p.m. through Oct. 31, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 1-10. Hayrides 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends through Sept. 15; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily Sept. 15-Oct. 31. See website for Nov. hayride info. Burts Farm Rd. No pets or firearms. www.burtsfarm.com. 706 265-3701.