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Dec. 15, 2017
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Celebrate the season at fall festivals, local farms

By Jane Harrison
 
The shorelines of Lake Lanier and mountains of the headwaters brim with festivals and harvest rituals celebrating the season. Traditional fall festivals, many originating decades ago, invite tourists to experience the cultural heritage of area communities. The flavor, art, and music of fall are in the air. Find a festival, visit a farm, get lost in a corn maze to get in on the fun.
 
47th annual Oktoberfest, Helen. Through Oct. 29,  6-10:30 p.m. weekdays, 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., free Sundays. www.helenchamber.com, 706-878-1908.
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, and heritage village. $7 adults, free to ages 10 and younger; additional fee for ride tickets; $5 parking www.cummingfair.net.
Mule Camp Market, Gainesville. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct. 6-7, noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 8, Downtown Gainesville Square. Music, food, and art jamboree includes Friday night concert with beer and wine venders. www.gainesvillejaycees.org, 770-532-7714.
Gillsville Pottery Day, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 7, Downtown Gillsville, Ga. 52; kiln opening 9 a.m. Crocker Pottery, 6361 W. County Line Rd., Lula. 770-869-3160.
Woodland Ramble Arts & Craft Market, Gainesville. Nature themed art by local artists, food trucks, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 7, Gainesville Garden, Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweet Bay Dr. $8 adults, $5 children 3-12, free to children younger than 3 and garden members. www.atlantabg.org.
Foxfire Mountaineer Festival, Clayton. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Oct. 7, Rabun County Civic Center, 201 W. Savannah St. Traditional music, greased pig chases, greased pole climbing, log sawing, corn hole and shucking contests, and demonstrations of rail splitting, team plowing, and quilting. $5, free to ages 2 and younger. www.foxfire.org.
30th annual Big Red Apple Festival, Cornelia. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 7, downtown near the apple monument and depot. Crafts, hayrides, car show, music, kids’ zone. Free. www.corneliageorgia.org, 706 778-8585, ext. 280.
37th annual Georgia Marble Festival, Jasper. 10 a.m.-6  p.m. Oct. 7,  noon-6 p.m. Oct. 8, Lee Newton Park, 500 Stegall Dr. Crafts, food, music, marble sculpture contest, and Georgia Marble Company quarry tours. $5 adults, $3 children age 6-12, free to children 5 and younger, $3 veterans/seniors, $20 weekend pass. Extra for marble quarry tours, reservations recommended. No pets allowed. 706 692-5600, www.georgiamarblefestival.com.
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival, Hiawassee. Crafts and exhibits 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Fridays & Saturdays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 13-21, Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, 1311 Music Hall Rd. Big name country and blue grass performers, pioneer village, flower show and crafts exhibits, plus Oct. 20 & 21 Fiddlers’ Convention with fiddle, banjo, dobro, dulcimer, harmonica, mandolin, acoustic guitar and buck dancing contests. $12 includes music shows, children 12 and younger free. www.georgiamountainfairgrounds.com, 706 896-4191.
45th annual Sorghum Festival, Blairsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14-15, 21-22 Meeks Park, 11 Pool Ln. Vintage mule-run sorghum mill, sorghum “biskits,” crafts, mountain music, pioneer demonstrations, biskit eating contest, and old timey games, plus 8 p.m. Oct. 14 & 21 square dance at middle school gym. $4 ages 13 and older; free to ages 12 and younger. www.blairsvillesorghumfestival.com.
46th annual 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, crafts, demonstrations, music. No pets or firearms allowed. $5, free to children younger than 10. www.georgiaapplefestival.org, 706-636-4500.
Flowery Branch Fall Festival, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 14, Railroad/Main St. Arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, games, food. www.troop228.info.
• Fall Celebration Festival, Sautee Nacoochee. Learn to make candles, butter, and cider; compete in sack races; buy hand-made Appalachian products; eat fried pies and boiled peanuts; hear mountain music; tour first floor of historic mansion, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 14, Hardman Farm Historic Site, 143 Hwy. 17. $5 parking. www.gastateparks.org, 706-878-1077.
Chattahoochee Mountain Music Festival, Gainesville. Traditional mountain music, arts, crafts vendors, and food, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 21, Don Carter State Park, 5000 N. Browning Bridge Rd. $5 parking. www.gastateparks.org, 678-450-7726.
Gold Rush Days, Dahlonega. Oct. 21 & 22, hours to be determined, Public Square/Downtown Historic District. Crafts, food, plus panning for gold, hog calling, buck dancing, gospel singing, and blue grass music. www.dahlonega.org.
50th annual Mountain Moonshine Festival, Dawsonville. Oct. 27-19, Downtown Square and Dawsonville Municipal Complex, 415 Hwy. 53 E. Huge car show, moonshine still, free moonshine samples, crafts, games, kids’ rides, music, and more. Free. www.kareforkids.org. 706- 265-6278.
 
Corn Mazes and Harvest Celebrations
Jaemor Farms 12th annual Corn Maze, Alto. Through Nov. 5. Oct. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 1-7 p.m. Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Nov. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri-Sat, 1-6 p.m. Sun. 5340 Cornelia Hwy, Ga. 365. $3-$14. www.jaemorfarms.com, 770 869-3999.
Buford Corn Maze, through Nov. 12. Oct. 10 a.m.-midnight Fri. & Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon. & Wed, excluding Columbus Day; extended hours Oct. 30-31 for Haunted Forest; Nov. 6-10 p.m. Fri., Noon-10 p.m. Sat. & Sun. 4470 Bennett Rd. $15-$25. www.bufordcornmaze.com. 678-835-7198.
Uncle Shucks Corn Maze/Pumpkin Patch, Dawsonville. Through Nov. 19 Oct. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.-Thurs; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; haunted maze Fri.-Sat. only with additional haunt nights Oct. 29, 30, & 31. Nov. Fridays 4-10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.-10 p.m., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays.  4520 Hwy. 53 E. $11-$22. Special group pricing. www.uncleshucks.com, 770-772-6223.
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; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 1-10. Daily hayrides 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in Oct., weekends 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in Nov. Burts Farm Rd. Hayrides $6, free to children 2 and younger. No pets or firearms. www.burtsfarm.com. 706-265-3701.
Kinsey Family Farm, Gainesville/Cumming. Families plan a traditional fall pilgrimage for hayrides, fish and farm animal feedings, farm products (apples, pumpkins, fall decorations). Fall hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; $3 hayrides. 7170 Jot Em Down Rd, www.kinseyfamilyfarm.com, 770-887-6028.

Posted online 9/29/17
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