Autumn brings about many different reasons to celebrate. That’s why Georgia hosts so many unique and extremely fun fall festivals each and every year. Just because summer is over, doesn’t mean there aren’t tons of reasons to keep the party going. Take a look at these special, one-of-a-kind fall festivals in Georgia that will surely make this season memorable.
1. Georgia Apple Festival—Ellijay
October 8th - 9th, October 15th - 16th: Ellijay, Georgia is the state’s “Apple Capital” and every year they host their famed Apple Festival where visitors and residents gather to celebrate the delicious fruit. This festival has been held every single year since 1971, and continues to get better with each passing year.
2. Chili Cook-Off & Fall Festival—Madison
October 8th: Madison’s 12th Annual Chili Cook Off is here and you do not want to miss this. Chili teams compete to see who has the best chili in the city, and guess who gets to taste the entries? You! Sampling starts at 12:30 sharp, so make sure you’re there, and make sure you’re hungry.
3. Alpharetta Scarecrow Harvest—Alpharetta
October 1st: This annual event is always one of the best of the fall season. The streets of Alpharetta will be lined with scarecrows, all made by Alpharetta residents and visitors. See which scarecrow wins this year, plus bring the whole family for cornhole, hay rides, face painting, festival food and more.
4. Heritage Days Festival—Talking Rock
October 15th-October 16th: Georgia’s third smallest town throws a huge fall celebration every year. Vendors and guests from all over the state come to Talking Rock in order to participate in this delicious and exciting two-day festival.
5. Taste of Atlanta—Atlanta
October 21st-October 23rd: This fall festival is always one that draws huge crowds and even bigger flavor. If you love beer, food, wine or cocktails, then this is the festival for you. Food lovers in Atlanta unite every year to feature the most creative and coveted neighborhood dishes from chefs all over the country.
6. Georgia Shrimp and Grits Festival—Jekyll Island
September 16th-18th: Can you really pass up a festival dedicated to shrimp and grits? I think not. This coastal festival presented by Southern Living features of 100 arts and craft vendors, live music, craft beers, and of course, the most delicious southern dishes around.
September 8th-October 30th: The quaint Alpine village of Helen throws an insane Oktoberfest celebration each and every year. In fact, this year is the 46th annual fest, and it promises to be their greatest yet. Learn how to waltz and polka, while drinking refreshing German beers and eating some classic German dishes.
8. Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival—Kennesaw State University
October 21st-October 22nd: Combining amazingly colorful hot air balloons with a Halloween celebration has never been more fun. Plan to dress up for this annual event, because there will be a costume contest boasting big prizes! There will also be live music, food, and some insane decorations throughout the stadium.
9. Gold Rush Days Festival—Dahlonega
October 15th-October 16th: The third weekend in October means that Gold Rush Days Festival is back. Thousands of people flock to the town in order to see the fall foliage and celebrate the season in a big way. It’s a perfect family festival, with outdoor activities, a parade, a fashion show, and even a gold panning contest.
10. Big Red Apple Festival—Cornelia
October 8th: The 25th annual Big Red Apple Festival is back and better than ever! The fall festival fun has taken over the streets of Cornelia with tons of activities and events, perfect for the whole family. Snack on some delicious reds all while checking out what this charming town has to offer.
11. Savannah Food and Wine Festival—Savannah
November 7th-November 13th: Savannah’s famed food and wine festival is back for the best year yet. Not only can you taste some of the best dishes from Savannah’s culinary geniuses, but you can also sip on the most craveable cocktails this city has to offer. It’s one of the best weekends Savannah has to share with residents and guests.
12. Blairsville Sorghum Festival—Blairsville
October 8th & October 9th + October 15th & October 16th: For more than 40 years, Blairsville has been hosting a festival unlike any other. You’ll find activities such as biscuit eating, square dancing, pole climbing, log sawing, horseshoe throwing, sorghum mill grinding and cooking with sorghum, just to name a few. This fall festival is worth experiencing at least once.
13. Duluth Fall Festival—Duluth
September 24th-September 25th: One of Georgia’s biggest fall festivals is in Duluth. This huge fest brings in over 100,000 visitors a year in order to truly experience all the vendors, food booths, and exciting activities. What’s even cooler, is that all the proceeds from this festival go toward improving the beautiful historic downtown Duluth.