Fairs & Festivals


October 5-15
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 Brothers Osborne, Granger Smith, Trace Adkins, Chris Janson and more. georgianationalfair.com

October 7-8
Cotton Pickin’ Fair
Gay, Georgia
Return to 1910 where the 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. $5-$8; children under 6 free. cpfair.org

October 11-22
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 ZZ Top, Chris Young, TobyMac, Keith Sweat, Brothers Osborne and Sabrina Carpenter. Admission varies per night. $5 cash parking. scstatefair.org 

October 13-22
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 14-15
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 20-29
Western Carolina State Fair
Aiken’s features two midways and more than 40 rides along with family shows, horticulture exhibits and arts and crafts. Live entertainment includes a free opening concert with William Michael Morgan, a master hypnotist, alligator show, demolition derby and professional bull riding. Free parking. westerncarolinastatefair.com

October 27-29
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 2-12
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, 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 30-October 1
Fort Gordon Fall Festival
Barton Field
Festival includes food, drinks, live music, dancing, carnival rides, vendor village, activities, Friday night Oktoberfest and Saturday 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 3-14
Westobou Festival
Various venues
Visual and performing arts festival features a lineup that includes Jazz À La Française, Hillary-Marie, Balkan Quartet, Blue Hair, Tracing Shadows and more. Various venues, schedules and costs. westobou.org

October 6-8
Fall Fest
Elijah Clark State Park, Lincolnton
Activities kick off with a Friday night family movie night. Saturday activities include hayrides, bouncy house, archery, pumpkin bowling, mini golf, apple bobbing and bingo. $1-$5 plus $5 parking. (706) 359-3458, gastateparks.org

October 7
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. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (706) 556-0043, harlemga.org

Family Fall Festival
Mistletoe State Park, Appling
Festival features hayrides, crafts, hikes, games, storytelling, programs and family fun. $10 per vehicle (includes parking). 3-9 p.m. (706) 541-0321, gastateparks.org

October 12-15
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

October 21
CSRA Wine & Culinary Festival
West Lake Country Club
Festival features more than 150 wines and various imported beers for sampling, tapas from area restaurants, silent auction and live jazz music by Matthew Whittington & A Step Up. Must be 21 or older and show photo ID. 1-4 p.m. $50. csrawinefestival.com

Festivals – Regional

September 28-October 8
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 28-October 29
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. Admission $8 Mon.-Fri. and $10 Sat. Admission is free on Sun. (800) 858-8027, helenga.org

September 29-October 29
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

October 4-8
St. Simons Island Food + Spirits Festival
St. Simons Island
Five-day festival celebrates coastal cuisine, wine, beer, spirits and entertainment. Includes oyster roast, food and drink tastings, farmers and artisans market, chef’s showdown, celebrity chef cooking demonstration, Pier Crawl and some of the South’s best pitmasters. Ticket prices vary. (843) 812-5802, ssifoodandspirits.com

October 5-7
Albino Skunk Music Festival
Three-day acoustic music festival in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains features nearly 20 bands including Alexa Rose, Yellow Feather, Balsam Range, Sugarcane Jane, The Meadows Brothers and Whiskey Shivers. Includes food vendors, craft beers, handmade crafts, farmers market and Kiddieland. Bring chairs and coolers; camping available. $20 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 5-8
Tybee Island Pirate Fest
Tybee Island
Tybee transforms into a lively pirate village, celebrating the colorful seafaring history of the Georgia coast. Festival includes live music, petting zoo and special kid zone, carnival, parade, fireworks, market and costume contests. $12-$15; weekend pass $25. tybeepiratefest.com

October 6-7
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. Food and beverage tickets $1. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. downtownbeaufort.com

October 6-9
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
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. No pets. $7 admission; children 10 and under free. Food and drink tickets $1. Shelter Cove Community Park. islandreccenter.org

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.-8:30 p.m. Supervised kids’ activities are provided free from 12:30-3 p.m. $8-$15; children under 12 free. Sandy Creek Park. northgeorgiafolkfestival.org 

Atlanta Grilled Cheese Festival
Atlanta restaurants will be serving bites of grilled cheese and frosty brews. Event includes live music, contests and additional activities. Must be 21 or older with a photo ID to attend. Noon-6 p.m. $14. atlantagrilledcheese.com

October 13-21
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival
Nine days of arts and crafts, country music, gospel music, mountain arts demonstrations, helicopter rides and Pioneer Village. Performers include The Bellamy Brothers, Brenda Lee, Ricky Scaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Mountain Heart, Herman’s Hermits and more. $12 adults; children under 12 free. Free parking. (706) 896-4191, georgiamountainfairgrounds.com

October 14-15
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. chalktoberfest.com

October 15
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 $5, kids 12 and under free. ccprc.com

October 14-15, 21-22
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 20-22
Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival
Festival includes seafood, arts and crafts, carnival rides, fireworks and nearly 20 nationally known musical and dance acts including 38 Special, Jerrod Niemann, Line Dance Fever, Guns4Hire, Justin Dukes and more. J.F. Gregory Park Pavilion. Admission $5-$10; children under 5 free. goseafoodfestival.com.

October 21-22
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 27-November 5
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 and discounts available. Children under 12 free. hhiconcours.com 

October 27-29
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 Island and in Habersham. $50 per tour. (843) 379-3331, historicbeaufort.org

October 28-November 4
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 29
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, dance and family entertainment. Monterey Square. Free admission. Food tickets available for purchase. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. savannah.com