From hot wood-fire baked “biskits” to fried funnel cakes, sea lion tricks to a mule-powered cane mill, and bluegrass pickin’ to accordion squeezing, it’s all coming to festival grounds in the mountains, headwaters and nearby shores of Lake Lanier this fall. Here’s a sample of celebrations with something for everyone to have fun this season:
53rd Oktoberfest – Helen. Sept.7-10, 14-17, 21-24; Sept. 28-Oct. 29; 6:30-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs.; 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. $10 Mon.-Fri., $12 Sat., Fri. & Sat. $20; half price for children 6-12; free to children younger than 6; free to active/retired military with ID; free Sundays. www.helenchamber.com, 706-878-1619.
Clermont Days – 4-8 p.m. Sept. 15, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 16, downtown Clermont/Clermont Park. Vendors open 4 p.m., live music 7 p.m. Sept. 15; Sept. 16 activities include 9 a.m. opening ceremony, 10 a.m. parade, plus food, vendors, cake walk, kids’ activities, live music, 9 p.m. fireworks. www.clermontga.com.
Latino Festival – Gainesville. Celebration of Latino culture with art, music and food, 3-9 p.m. Sept. 16, Midland Greenway, 682 Grove St. www.latinofestgvl.org.
Mountain Music Festival – Blairsville. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 16, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Live bluegrass/Americana music, crafts, food trucks, pickin’ porch, family fun. www.gastateparks.org, 706-745-2628.
Hurricane Shoals Arts in the Park – Maysville. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 17 & 18, Hurricane Shoals Park, 416 Hurricane Shoals Rd. Arts, crafts, 5K run (8 a.m. Sept. 17), living history village, kids’ activities, bluegrass music, plus historic gristmill milling corn. www.hurricaneshoalspark.org.
Flowery Branch Fall Festival/Block Party – 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sept. 23, Main Street, Downtown Flowery Branch. Crafts, children’s activities, live music, food vendors. www.troop-228.com.
Lula Fall Festival – 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 30, Rafe Banks Park/Lula Ball Park, 5831 Athens St. Folk art, pottery, crafts, children’s activities, entertainment and more. www.cityoflula.com.
Cumming Country Fair & Festival – Oct. 5-15, 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, sea lion show, human cannonball, chainsaw carving, haunted attraction, and heritage village. $10 age 11 and older, free to ages 10 and younger; various free hours available; additional fee for ride tickets; $5 parking. www.cummingfair.squarespace.com.
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival – Hiawassee. Oct. 6-14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, 1311 Music Hall Rd. Big name country and blue grass performers, pioneer village, daredevil and cowboy circus, carnival rides, flower show and crafts exhibits. $6 arts & crafts ticket, $16 day pass includes concerts. No pets. www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com.
54th Annual Sorghum Festival – Blairsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 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. www.blairsvillesorghumfestival.com, 706-745-2272.
Foxfire Mountaineer Festival – Clayton. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct.7, Rabun County Civic Center, 201 W. Savannah St. Traditional music and crafts, greased pole climbing, sack racing, longest beard contest, crosscut saw contest, children’s activities, food, and demonstrations of rail splitting, team plowing, and quilting. $10, $5 ages 6-16, free to ages 5 and younger. www.foxfire.org.
Indian Summer Festival – Suches. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8, Woody Gap School (smallest public school in Georgia), 2331 Ga. 60. Crafts, food, music, and Saturday night dance at school gym at community center. $4 adults, $3 students, free to children 6 and younger; dance admission $6 in advance, $7 at the door. www.suches.com. 706-747-2401.
Mule Camp Market – Gainesville. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 13 & 14, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 15, Midland Greenway, 682 Grove St. Free Friday & Saturday night concert, plus more live music, food, carnival rides, and art jamboree. www.gainesvillejaycees.org, 770-532-7714.
52nd Georgia Apple Festival – Ellijay. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays Oct. 14 & 15, 21 & 22, Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St. Apple treats, food trucks, crafts, demonstrations, music. No pets or firearms. $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. 21 & 22, 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.
Mountain Farm Celebration – Sautee Nacoochee. Old fashioned country fair with pioneer skills and exhibits, traditional craft vendors, mountain music, biscuits baked in wood-fired antique stove, old timey games, plus first floor tour of historic mansion, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 21, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $8, free to children younger than 6. www.gastateparks.org, 706-878-1077.
18th Annual Gainesville Chicken Festival – Fifteen-plus teams compete in chicken cook-off, plus kids’ zone, recycled art market, live music and more, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 21, Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Rd. Purchase wristband for 10 chicken samples (cost to be determined). Cook teams apply on-line. Off-site parking with shuttle: Lanier Park, 675 White Sulpher Rd. Limited dock space and on-site parking. www.exploregainesville.org., 770-531-2664.
56th Annual Mountain Moonshine Car Show/Festival – Dawsonville. Oct. 27-29, Dawsonville Municipal Complex, 415 Hwy. 53 E. Huge car show, race car parade (9 a.m. Oct. 28), moonshine still, free moonshine samples, crafts, games, kids’ rides, music, and more. www.kareforkids.org, 706-216-5273.
Braselton Artisan Festival – 300 artisans with handmade products, live music, food trucks, noon-7 p.m. Oct. 27, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 28, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Oct. 29, Downtown Braselton, 115 Harrison St. www.explorebraselton.com.
Vogel’s Fall Festival – Blairsville. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 28, Vogel State Park, 405 Vogel State Park Rd. Food trucks, live music, crafts, cake walks, duck races, storytelling, hayrides, bonfires, cottage/tent decorating contest, trick or treat in campground, $5. www.gastateparks.org, 706-745-2628.
Corn Mazes and Harvest Celebrations
Uncle Shucks Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch – Dawsonville. Sept. 16-Nov. 12. 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 “Dark Rows” Trail Sept. 29 & 30, plus weekends in October. 125 Bannister Rd. $17-$27, free to children 4 and younger. www.uncleshucks.com, 770-772-6223.
Buford Corn Maze – Sept. 2-Nov. 12. 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.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. See website for Haunted Forest hours. 4470 Bennett Rd. $16.85-$29.95. Also hayrides, kids’ farm fun, pony rides, farm animals. www.bufordcornmaze.com. 678-835-7198.
Jaemor Farms 65th Annual Corn Maze – Alto. Traditionally held September-early November. Farm extravaganza with corn maze, hayrides, apple cannon, pumpkin train, farm games, duck race, and more. No pets. See website for dates and admission cost. 5340 Cornelia Hwy, Ga.365. www.jaemorfarms.com, 770-869-3999, 770-335-0999.
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, scenic 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 information. Burts Farm Rd. No pets or firearms. Hayrides $6.50 plus tax per person, free to children 2 and younger. www.burtspumpkinfarmgeorgia.com, 706-265-3701.