Fairs & Festivals


October 1-2
Cotton Pickin’ Fair
Gay, Georgia
A 1910 farmhouse, cotton gin and cotton warehouse are the backdrop for 21st-century fun. Designated a Top 20 Event from Southeast Tourism Society, the festival features artisans, musicians, antique specialists, cloggers, homemade Southern food and wares. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. $7-$8 adults, $5 children 7-12, under 6 free. cpfair.org

October 6-16
Georgia National Fair
Perry, Georgia
Designated a Top 50 Fair in North America by Amusement Business magazine and one of the Best 202 Things About the South by Southern Living. Includes midway, horse shows, agricultural and livestock competitions, live entertainment and fireworks. Musical guests include The Band Perry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Blues Traveler, Boyz ll Men, Old Dominion and more. georgianationalfair.com 

October 8-9
Prater’s Mill Country Fair
Dalton, Georgia
Featured in the National Geographic Map Guide to Appalachia, this is one of the Southeast’s largest festivals. Includes live music, Southern food, living history exhibits and handmade arts and crafts that celebrate Appalachian traditions. Tour the operating gristmill, country store, Shugart Cotton Gin and Westbrook Barn. Gates open at 9 a.m. $7 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Free parking. pratersmill.org 

October 12-23
South Carolina State Fair
Entertainment includes midway games, more than 70 fair rides, free stage shows, flower shows, sand sculpture show, petting zoo, craft demos and NASCAR night. Concert headliners include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Alabama, Aloe Blacc, Dustin Lynch, For King & Country and Kirk Franklin. Admission varies per night. $5 cash parking. scstatefair.org 

October 14-23
Georgia-Carolina State Fair
Downtown Augusta
Augusta Exchange Club’s downtown fair on Hale Street features midway rides, carnival shows, livestock and artisan exhibits and attractions from James E. Strates Shows. Opens 5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and noon Sat.-Sun. (706) 722-0202, georgiacarolinastatefair.com 

October 20-29
Western Carolina State Fair
Aiken’s fair features two midways and more than 40 rides along with family shows, horticulture exhibits and arts and crafts. Live entertainment includes a demolition derby, master hypnotist, acrobats, Sea Lion Splash, petting zoo, Ackmonsters chainsaw art, horse show and professional bull riding. westerncarolinastatefair.com

October 21-23
Country Living Fair
Stone Mountain
Home décor fair features more than 200 booths of folk art, antiques, furniture and other handcrafted goods. Includes cooking demonstrations, decorating and crafting seminars, a general store and gourmet harvest market. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $13 and up. Children under 16 free if accompanied by an adult. 1(866) 500-3247, stonemountainpark.com

November 3-13
Columbia County Fair
Columbia County Fairgrounds
Sponsored by the Merchants Association of Columbia County, this area favorite features rides and attractions from the world-famous Drew Expositions. Includes a demolition derby, bull riding show, motorcycle stunt show, magician, human cannonball, Sea Lion Splash, chainsaw artist, UGA Dance Team, live music, agricultural and community exhibits, talent shows, petting zoo and food court. Nightly admission specials; children under 3 free. Free parking. columbiacountyfair.net



September 28-October 2
Westobou Festival
Five-day celebration of the visual and performing arts features Sharon Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks and art by Jowita Wyszomirska and Matt Toole. Various venues, schedules and costs. westoboufestival.com

September 30-October 1
Fort Gordon Oktoberfest
Barton Field
Oktoberfest includes German food, beer, wine, live music every night, dancing, carnival rides and Fall Flea Market. Fri. 3-10 p.m. and Sat. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Ages 16 and older must show ID at the Fort Gordon entrance; drivers must show registration and insurance. (706) 791-4300, fortgordon.com/events 

October 1
Oliver Hardy Festival
Downtown Harlem
Festival celebrates Harlem’s native son. Includes 10 a.m. parade, Laurel and Hardy impersonators, Laurel and Hardy films, arts and crafts, food vendors, live entertainment and more. Free. No pets. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (706) 556-0043, harlemga.org

October 7-9
Fall Fest
Elijah Clark State Park, Lincolnton
Activities include Friday night movie night, Saturday Fall Fest, hayride, bouncy house, archery, pumpkin bowling, mini golf, hayrides, scarecrow craft, apple bobbing and cake walk. $3-$20 depending upon activities plus $5 parking. (706) 359-3458, gastateparks.org 

October 8
Family Fall Festival
Mistletoe State Park, Appling
Festival features old-fashioned games, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, snake program, nature hike, apple bobbing, marshmallow roasting, corn husk doll making, music and storytelling. $2 hayrides. $10 per vehicle (includes parking). 3:30-9 p.m. (706) 541-0321, gastateparks.org 

October 13-16
Augusta Greek Festival
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Festival features Greek dancing, cuisine and pastries, a Loukoumades Eating Competition and nightly music and entertainment by A Night in Athens. Thurs. 4-9 p.m.; Fri. and Sat.11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Corner of 10th and Greene streets. Free admission. (706) 724-1087, holytrinityaugusta.org

Festivals – Regional

September 29-October 9
MOJA Arts Festival
Celebration of African-American and Caribbean arts includes classical music, dance, gospel concert, jazz concert, poetry, R&B, storytelling, theater, visual arts and ethnic food. (843) 724-7305, mojafestival.com, charlestonarts.org

September 30
Atlanta Cheese Festival
Sample artisan cheeses and specialty foods from 100 producers, watch cooking demonstrations and listen to bluegrass music at Atlanta Botanical Garden. 5-10 p.m. $35. VIP $75. atlantacheesefestival.com

September 30-October 1
Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Festival features shrimp dishes from local restaurants, food and beverage vendors, contests, live music, 5K walk/run, arts and crafts market and children’s area. Free admission. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. downtownbeaufort.com

September 30-October 30
Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival
Entertainment includes attractions, games, shows, dance-along party parade, trick or treat scavenger hunt, pie-eating contest and pumpkin patch. Fri. and Sun. 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday laser show begins 8 p.m. (770) 498-5690, stonemountainpark.com

Through October 30
Oktoberfest in Alpine Helen
America’s longest-running Oktoberfest features German music, German food and drinks, polka dancing, horse-drawn carriage rides, homemade fudge and shopping in a Bavarian-style village. Open seven days a week. (800) 858-8027, helenga.org

October 1
Burgers & Brews Festival
Hilton Head
Local restaurants cook beef, chicken, pork and seafood slider burgers to compete for your vote. Festival includes a beer garden, football game viewing area with big screen television, live music and Kid Zone. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. $6 admission; children 10 and under free. Food and drink tickets $1. Shelter Cove Community Park. islandreccenter.org

October 2
Latin American Festival
Celebrate the sights and sounds of the Latin world with live salsa and merengue music, authentic food and crafts. Noon-6 p.m. North Charleston Wannamaker County Park. Adults $10, students and military with ID $5, kids 12 and under free. ccprc.com

October 5-9
St. Simons Island Food + Spirits Festival
St. Simons Island
Five-day festival celebrates coastal cuisine, wine, beer, spirits and entertainment. Includes Oyster Roast and SPIRITual Brunch; Festival Wine Cruise; BBQ Pro-Am with Davis Love III, PGA Tour pros and some of the South’s best pitmasters; Tastings Under the Oaks food and drink tastings; farmers and artisans market and chef’s showdown; celebrity chef cooking demonstration; and Pier Crawl and Village Stroll new “Sip & Stir” tent. Ticket prices vary. (843) 812-5802, ssifoodandspirits.com

October 6-8
Albino Skunk Music Festival
Three-day acoustic music festival in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains features the Bottle Rockets, Danny Barnes, Dylan LeBlanc, Girls, Guns & Glory, The Applebutter Express and other performers. Includes food vendors, craft beers, handmade crafts, farmers market and Kiddieland. Bring chairs and coolers; camping available. $18 and up. The Skunk Farm. albinoskunk.com

Moonshiners Reunion & Mountain Music Festival
Authentic Appalachian folk festival in South Carolina includes live bands, arts and crafts,
camping and all-night picking sessions. Bring lawn seating, tents, RVs and instruments. No pets or glass. No manufacturing, distribution or selling of alcohol at this venue. Plum Hollow Farm. Gates open Thurs. at noon, Fri. 6 p.m. and Sat. 1 p.m. One-day ticket is $30, Fri./Sat. pass is $55 and three-day pass is $75. (864) 680-0225, moonshiners.com. 

October 6-9
Tybee Island Pirate Fest
Tybee Island
Tybee transforms into a lively pirate village, celebrating the colorful seafaring history of the Georgia coast. Festivities kicks off Thurs. with Buccaneer’s Ball at the Crab Shack (adults only; $40-$50). Festival includes live music, petting zoo, carnival, parade, fireworks, market and costume contests. tybeepiratefest.com

October 7-9
Oktoberfest on the River
German festival features live entertainment, beer garden, German-Southern cuisine, outdoor games, arts and crafts, wiener dog racing, bratwurst tasting and chicken dancing on River Street. Free. Fireworks begin at dark Fri. night. (912) 234-0295, riverstreetsavannah.com

October 7-15
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival
Nine days of arts and crafts, country music, gospel music, mountain arts demonstrations, helicopter rides and Pioneer Village. Performers include Aaron Tippin, Mickey Gilley, Phil Vassar, T.G. Sheppard, Herman’s Hermits and more. $12 adults; children under 12 free. Free parking. (706) 896-4191, georgiamountainfairgrounds.com

October 8
North Georgia Folk Festival
Music festival showcases several different types of music that have roots in the region, from bluegrass and gospel to traditional folk music. Includes arts and craft vendors, games, food, folk art and family entertainment. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sandy Creek Park admission: $2 ages 4-64. athensfolk.org

October 8-9
Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art
Chalk art and beer festival includes more than 100 craft beers, live music, food, children’s activities and chalk street paintings from local artists. Band lineup includes AIA Jimmy Buffett, the Paul Hand Band and more. chalktoberfest.com

October 8, 9, 15, 16
Georgia Apple Festival
Ellijay Fairgrounds
Festival features more than 300 arts vendors, craft demonstrations, classic auto show, 5K road race and parade. No pets. $5 adults, children 10 and under free. (706) 635-4500, georgiaapplefestival.org

October 14-16
Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival
Festival includes seafood, arts and crafts, carnival rides and nationally known musical acts. J.F. Gregory Park Pavilion. Admission $5-$10; children under 5 free. goseafoodfestival.com.

October 15-16
Gold Rush Days Festival
Festival in the town square includes children’s activities, fashion show, gold panning contest, wheelbarrow race, wrist wrestling, King and Queen coronation, hog calling contest, buck dancing contest, live music, parade and more than 300 exhibitors and food vendors. Sat. 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission. (706) 864-3513, dahlonega.org

October 22-29
Savannah Film Festival
Eight-day film festival showcases award-winning filmmakers, directors, actors and actresses. Includes screenings, workshops, panels, lectures and receptions. Various venues and prices. filmfest.scad.edu 

October 28-November 6
Hilton Head Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance
Hilton Head and Savannah
Ten-day automotive and motorsports festival features vintage cars and racecars and major international names in automotive collecting and racing. $13 and up; multiple-day passes available. Ages 12-18 receive 50 percent off general admission at the gate with valid student ID; active military receive 50 percent off general admission at the gate with active duty ID; children under 12 free. hhiconcours.com 

October 28-30
Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens
Visitors can explore a selection of private homes, gardens and plantations normally not open to the public. Sat. and Sun. tours include homes in the National Landmark Historic District. Sun. Kitchens & Cuisine tour includes chef’s tastings at five private homes on Cat, Distant and Lady’s islands. $50 per tour. (843) 379-3331, historicbeaufort.org

October 30
Shalom Y’all Jewish Food Festival
Food festival draws about 10,000 people each year and provides attendees with a taste of ethnic Jewish cuisine and family entertainment. Includes food, dance and family entertainment. Forsyth Park. Free admission. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. savannah.com