December 15, 2018
The 5 Best Festivals in North Georgia
By: Ginevra Boyes
As 2018 comes to a close, it’s time to break out your calendars and start planning out the new year. North Georgia is filled with countless incredible events and festivals happening year round. No matter the season, we can guarantee there will be something worthwhile going on. From beer festivals to holiday celebrations, here are the top festivals happening this year in North Georgia.
1. Helen Oktoberfest
Helen’s Oktoberfest is the grandaddy of local festivals. Our charming, Bavarian-style alpine town is one of the best places in the South to take part in this beloved German tradition. The longest running Oktoberfest in the region, Helen’s Oktoberfest is a lively and authentic celebration of Bavarian culture and cuisine. Within Helen’s Festhalle in the Alpine Village, you’ll find German-inspired music, food, polka dancing, and of course, lots and lots of tasty beer. The festival starts in September and lasts until the end of October. Don’t forget to bring your lederhosen.
2. Georgia Mountain Fall Festival
The Georgia Mountain Fall Festival takes place October 12th-20th at the Fairgrounds in Hiawassee. This exciting 9-day festival is jam-packed with all sorts of events, performances, and exhibitions, including live music, arts & crafts vendors, a flower show, and so much more. The crown jewel of the festival is the annual Georgia State Fiddling Convention, where musicians of all ages gather to compete in various music competitions in the hopes of being named Georgia Mountain Fiddle King. Kids can visit the Pioneer Village, where they’ll find an authentic mercantile store, smokehouse, log home, and old one-room school. They can also participate in “old ways” demonstrations to learn more about daily life in Georgia’s past.
3. Mountain Country Christmas
Also held at the Fairgrounds, Mountain Country Christmas is the best holiday festival in North Georgia. Over the course of this incredible Christmas celebration, you can beautiful light displays, caroling, arts & crafts, live music, a petting zoo, 5K run, and a visit from Santa. Their weekend performances are a great chance to see your favorite Christmas songs sung by some of the region’s finest singers.
The crowning jewel of the holiday season in Helen is, of course, the annual Christkindlmarkt, held the first Saturday and Sunday of December. Inspired by authentic German yuletide markets, this unmissable local event is the perfect place to stock up on one-of-a-kind homemade Christmas gifts and decorations and stuff your face with a tasty assortment of savory and sweet foods, drinks, and candied treats for sale. This beloved local tradition is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit in no time.
5. Spring Bierfest
Think of Spring Bierfest as Oktoberfest Part II. Every April, beer tastings are held at Helen’s Festhalle, where you can sample delicious local, craft, and international beers from noon until 4 o’clock. At 6:00 pm, head back to Festhalle for good food, traditional German music and dancing, and of course, more beer.
Planning a trip to Helen, Georgia? Book a stay at the Sylvan Valley Lodge, a one-of-a-kind bed & breakfast winery located at the good of gorgeous Yonah Mountain.