Fairs & Festivals 2023


September 29-October 8
Georgia State Fair
This fair at Atlanta Motor Speedway includes midway rides, Circus Hollywood, Goat Island, Banana Derby, wolf show, petting zoo, pony rides and family activities. Admission $5-$10; children 4 and under free. Ride wristbands $25-$30. georgiastatefair.org

October 5-15
Georgia National Fair
Perry, Georgia
The largest fair in the Southeast is 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, roller coasters, horse shows, agricultural competitions, live entertainment and nightly fireworks. Concerts include Mark Chesnutt, Sidewalk Prophets, Lee Greenwood, Billy Ocean and more. Admission is $10-$15; ages 10 and under are free. Georgia National Fairgrounds. georgianationalfair.com

October 7-8
Cotton Fair
Gay, Georgia
Designated a Top 20 Event from Southeast Tourism Society, this craft festival features works from more than 350 artists, live music and entertainment, homemade Southern food and wares, antiques, magic theater, children’s activities and more. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $10-$15; children 10 and under are free. thecottonfair.com

October 11-22
South Carolina State Fair
Entertainment includes midway games, nearly 70 fair rides, the Princess Diana Exhibition, stage shows, flower shows, equine show, petting zoo, concerts and more. Admission $5-$20; ages 5 and under are free. $10 parking (credit card only). Stroller, wagon, wheelchair and scooter rentals available at the South Gate. scstatefair.org

October 13-22
Georgia-Carolina State Fair
Downtown Augusta
Augusta Exchange Club’s fair on Hale Street is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Fair includes midway rides, carnival shows, livestock, artisan exhibits and attractions from Strates Shows. Admission is $5-$20; unlimited rides are $25-$30. Ages 17 or under must be accompanied by an adult. georgiacarolinastatefair.com

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. Entertainment includes Pretty Bird Paradise, K9s in Flight, demolition derby, magician and more. $8-$10 admission; ages 10 and under free. All children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult 25 years or older to enter. There is a clear bag policy. Free parking. westerncarolinastatefair.com

October 14-15
Prater’s Mill Country Fair
Dalton, Georgia
Featured in the National Geographic Map Guide to Appalachia, the fair celebrates Appalachian-style food, music and handmade crafts by more than 165 artists and craftsmen. Activities include pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, antique tractors and cars, horse-drawn plows, country and bluegrass bands and home-style food at 25 food booths. Gates open at 9 a.m. $10 cash; ages 12 and under and military with ID are free. Parking and shuttle service are free. pratersmill.org

November 2-12
Columbia County Fair
Columbia County Fairgrounds
The Merchants Association of Columbia County fair features rides and attractions from Drew Expositions including midway, demolition derby, Sea Lion Splash, Banana Derby, dog show, magician, petting zoo, master chainsaw artist, nightly concerts and more. $10 admission; ages 5 and under are free. After 7 p.m., ages 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent. No backpacks. Free parking. columbiacountyfair.net

Local Festivals

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.-4 p.m. harlemmuseumandwelcomecenter.com

October 13
Aiken Music Fest
Highlands Event Center
Jamgrass band Big Sky Revival blends bluegrass, rock, funk and reggae. Special guest is She N She. Event includes food trucks and children’s activities. BYOB. 6-10 p.m. $15. aikenmusicfest.com

October 13-14
Fall Festival, Oktoberfest & Flea Market
Barton Field
Oktoberfest (Fri. night) features a keg tapping ceremony, German food and biergarten, live German music and entertainment and the Firefest BBQ Blaze Competition. Fall Flea Market (Sat.) includes Jeep Meet, children’s activities, pony rides, Vendor Village, German food, biergarten and live music and entertainment. 5-10 p.m. Admission is free; open to the public. No pets, coolers or large bags. gordon.armymwr.com

October 14
Evans Beer Fest
The Plaza
Sample more than 150 beers from local and regional craft breweries. Event features food, a souvenir glass and live music by country singer Cody Webb. 2-5 p.m. $50-$65. VIP $125. evansbeerfestcom

October 21
Camellia City Festival
Downtown Thomson
Family friendly festival features more than 100 vendors. Includes food, live music, crafters, artists, health and wellness services, jewelry, book signings, Pink Ribbon Community Walk and more. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. Bring chairs or blankets. thomsonmcduffiechamber.com

Flannel Fest – A 90s Outfield Music Festival
SRP Park
Festival lineup includes Black Daze, the Ultimate Soundgarden Tribute; Rooster, a Tribute to Alice in Chains; and Corduroy, the Pearl Jam experience. 1 p.m. $30 in advance, $35 day of event. Children 3 and under are free. VIP tickets $75-$100. greenjacketsbaseball.com

Out-of-Town Festivals

September 7-October 30
Oktoberfest in Alpine Helen
America’s longest-running Oktoberfest features German music, food, polka dancing, horse-drawn carriage rides, homemade fudge and more in a Bavarian-style village. German-style bands from around the world perform in the Helen Festhalle. Open seven days a week. Admission is $10 Mon.-Thurs., $12 Fri. and Sat. Free on Sun. Ages 6-12 half price; 5 and under are free. Active and retired military are free with valid military ID. helenga.org

September 16-October 29
Pumpkin Festival
Stone Mountain
Festival includes pumpkin patch, games, shows, dance-along party parade, trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, pie-eating contest, popular storybook characters, fall-themed outdoor lights display, pumpkin laser show and after-dark parade. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri., Sat. and Sun. Laser show begins 9:30 p.m. Sat. stonemountainpark.com

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. mojafestival.com

September 30
Palmetto Peanut Boil 
Festival features a boiled peanut competition, live music, food and beverage vendors and kids’ entertainment. Admission is free. Leashed pets are welcome. Noon-6 p.m. Devine Street. animalmission.org

October 5-7
Savannah Greek Festival
Three-day celebration of Greek food, music and heritage features homemade Greek foods and desserts, Greek dancing and music, church tours, marketplace and more. St. Paul’s Hellenic Center. Admission is $5 per day; children under 12 are free. savannahgreekfest.com

Albino Skunk Music Festival
Three-day acoustic music festival in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains features nearly 20 bands, food vendors, craft beers, handmade crafts, farmers market, Kiddieland and DeTour de Skunk charity bicycle ride. Bring chairs and coolers; tent and RV camping also available. 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 musical instruments. No pets or glass containers. Plum Hollow Farm. Gates open noon. One-day pass is $65, Fri./Sat. pass is $80 and three-day pass is $100. 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 kicks off Thurs. with the Buccaneer Ball featuring grub, grog, pirates, wenches, music and dancing. Entertainment Fri. and Sat. includes live music, petting zoo, kids’ zone, carnival, parade, fireworks, market and costume contests. tybeepiratefest.com

October 6-7
Beaufort Shrimp Festival
Festival features shrimp dishes from local and regional restaurants, food and beverage vendors, contests, live music, 5K walk/run, arts and crafts market and children’s area. Fri. noon-6 p.m. and Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free. Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. beaufortshrimpfestival.com

October 6-14
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival
Nine days of arts and crafts, country music, gospel music, mountain arts demonstrations, Pioneer Village, midway rides and more. Concert lineup includes Mark Chesnutt, Jo Dee Messina, Diamond Rio, Shenandoah and more. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Parking is free. georgiamountainfairgrounds.com

October 7
Outdoor cookout features a baseball stadium filled with 450 cooks and more than 250 EGGs cranking food. Includes food sampling, cooking demos, live music, kid zone, craft beer tastings, marching band and more. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. $75; children 12 and under are free. Advance tickets required. Coolray Field. biggreenegg.com

October 8
Latin American Festival
Celebrate the sights and sounds of the Latin and Caribbean cultures through merengue, reggaeton, bachata and salsa music; folkloric artwork and crafts; and authentic Latin American and Caribbean foods. Noon-5 p.m. North Charleston Wannamaker County Park. Adults $10; students and military with ID $5; kids 12 and under are free. No pets. ccprc.com

October 11
Hilton Head
Sample wines and enjoy hors d’oeuvres as wine distributors from across the Lowcountry showcase their Italian varietals with an emphasis on zinfandels. Held at the Shore House at the Omni Oceanfront. 5:30-8 p.m. $30. iachh.org

October 20-22
Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival
Richmond Hill
One of the largest seafood festivals in the Southeast includes seafood, arts and crafts, amusement rides, fireworks and live music from John Michael Montgomery, Deana Carter, Warren Zeiders, Maggie Baugh and more. Admission $8-$35; children under 5 free until 5 p.m. J.F. Gregory Park Pavilion. goseafoodfestival.com.

Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Stone Mountain
Scottish heritage festival includes traditional highland games, Scottish music and dancing, sheepdog and falconry shows, Tartan museum and more at Stone Mountain Park. smhg.org

October 14-15
The Marietta Cobb Museum of Art event features 86 internationally recognized chalk artists, live music, food trucks, artisan market, 40 breweries with more than 120 craft beers and more than 20 wines. Held in the downtown square 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free admission. chalktoberfest.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. $10 adults; children 12 and under free. Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. georgiaapplefestival.org

October 14-22
Historic Bluffton Arts and Seafood Festival
Week-long event features locally harvested seafood, Lowcountry cuisine and area art. Streetfest on Oct. 21 and 22 includes a juried fine art show featuring more than 100 artists from 10 different states, food from premier restaurants and caterers and live music and entertainment. blufftonartsandseafoodfestival.org

October 20-21
Gold Rush Days Festival
See fall colors peaking and celebrate Dahlonega’s 1828 discovery of gold. Festival in the town square includes kid 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. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. Free admission.

October 20-22
Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival
Richmond Hill
One of the largest seafood festivals in the Southeast includes seafood, arts and crafts, amusement rides, fireworks and live music from John Michael Montgomery, Deana Carter, Warren Zeiders, Maggie Baugh and more. Admission $8-$35; children under 5 free until 5 p.m. J.F. Gregory Park Pavilion. goseafoodfestival.com.

Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Stone Mountain
Scottish heritage festival includes traditional highland games, Scottish music and dancing, sheepdog and falconry shows, Tartan museum and more at Stone Mountain Park. smhg.org

October 21
Italian Heritage Festival
Hilton Head
Festival includes Italian food and wine, cooking demonstrations, grape stomping, pizza-eating contest, games, live entertainment and more. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $6; children under 10 are free. Bring lawn chairs. No pets. Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn. iachh.org

October 21-22
Fall Festival of Houses and Gardens
Visitors can explore a selection of private homes, gardens and plantations normally not open to the public. Sat. tour features homes on the Point and in historic downtown Beaufort. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $65-$75. Sun. tour and Southern brunch features a secluded farmstead and former plantation. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $130-$150. historicbeaufort.org

October 21-28
Savannah Film Festival
Eight-day film festival showcases award-winning filmmakers, directors, actors and actresses. Includes screenings ranging from major international productions to student-created shorts, workshops, panels, lectures and receptions. Various venues and prices. filmfest.scad.edu

October 28-November 5
Charleston Beer Week
Local breweries and brewpubs are the primary focus for the week, but regional and national brands are featured as well. Events include food pairings, a golf tournament, guided kayak tour, Lowcountry boil, yard pong tournament and disc golf tournament. charlestonbeerweek.com

November 2-5
Native American Festival & Pow-Wow
Stone Mountain
Event is the largest Native American gathering in Georgia and a Southeastern Tourism Top 20 event. Learn about Native American culture through dance and drum competitions, music, craft demonstrations, cooking samples and storytelling activities. Stone Mountain Park. stonemountainpark.com

Jekyll Island Shrimp & Grits Festival
Jekyll Island
Festival features samples of shrimp and grits, shrimp boat tours, live entertainment, cook-off, craft brew tasting, cooking demonstrations, book signings, artist market and kids’ zone. Historic District. jekyllisland.com

November 3-4
Hilton Head
Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance
Hilton Head and Savannah
Automotive and motorsports festival features vintage cars and racecars and major international names in automotive collecting and racing. Multiple-day passes and discounts available. Port Royal Golf Club. hhiconcours.com