After the hottest summer we’ve had in years — maybe ever — the cool, crisp air of autumn will be a welcome relief. Take advantage of the change of seasons by getting outside and enjoying some of the fall festivals and Halloween activities in Acworth and Kennesaw, as well as in neighboring towns in Cobb County and north Georgia. Celebrate the season of colorful leaves, pumpkins and apples by attending local autumn events or driving a little farther north for a fun day trip in September, October and November.
Pizza, Pints & Pigskins
Sept. 9, noon-10 p.m.
Logan Farm Park, 4405 Cherokee St.
Pizzerias from across Cobb County will compete for People’s Choice, Judges’ Choice and Most Creative awards. Besides pizza, the event will feature a kids’ zone, televised football games, a Georgia Grown Member Gift Market, a beer garden and live music, including concerts from 5-9:30 p.m. Admission is free. 770-423-1330, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Taste of Acworth
Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Main Street downtown
This event will include more than 150 booths from local restaurants and businesses, a live entertainment stage, inflatables, a Georgia Grown Member Village and a beer garden. Admission is free. Restaurants will be offering food samples, ranging from $1 to $10. 770-423-1330, www.acworthbusiness.org.
2023 Acworth Halloween JamBOOree
Oct. 21, 3-7 p.m.
Logan Farm Park, 4405 Cherokee St.
There will be games, rides, food, music and a costume contest for the kids on the large field in front of the playground. bit.ly/3OQ5vRr, 770-917-1234.
Acworth Craft Beer and Wine Fest
Nov. 4, 1-5 p.m.
Logan Farm Park, 4405 Cherokee St.
Participants can sample more than 100 craft beers and 25 wines and enjoy live music, food and college football on big screens. This event is for ages 21 and older; no babies, kids or pets will be allowed. Tickets are $40 in advance and $55 the day of the event. www.acworthbeerwinefest.com.
Oct. 7, 4-9 p.m.
Swift-Cantrell Park 3140 Old 41 Highway
Kennesaw Parks and Recreation will transform Swift-Cantrell into Spook-Central Park for its annual fall festival. Activities at the free event include a candy trail, a scavenger hunt, crafts, field games, music and a showing of “Hotel Transylvania” (PG) on a giant inflatable screen after sundown. Costume contests for all ages also will take place every 30 minutes, and prizes will be awarded to three winners in each time frame. Concessions will be available for purchase beginning at 3 p.m. www.kennesaw-ga.gov/parks-and-recreation, 770-422-9714.
Taste of Kennesaw
Nov. 4, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Main Street downtown
The event, which benefits five local charities, will feature samples from more than 20 Kennesaw and Cobb County restaurants, as well as live music, local entertainment, the Georgia Grown Member Village, a beer garden and children’s activities, including a rock wall, inflatable slides and bounces. Admission is free, and food samples will range from $1 to $10. 770-423-1330,
Taste of Smyrna
Sept. 16, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Near the Village Green downtown
The Taste of Smyrna Festival of Delectable will offer guests samples from more than 20 Smyrna restaurants for $1 to $5, as well as a beer garden, live music and entertainment, and a kids’ zone with interactive inflatables. Admission is free. 770-423-1330, email@example.com.
2023 North Georgia State Fair
Sept. 21-Oct. 1, Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Fridays, 4 p.m.-midnight; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sundays, 12:30-10 p.m.
Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road Marietta
The 91st fair features more than 35 rides and carnival games, food, two petting zoos with barnyard and exotic animals, flower shows, noncommercial exhibits, local entertainment, pig races, the Master of the Chainsaw artist and the Human Cannonball. New this year is Sea Lion Splash, Max Power, Jurassic Kingdom, Ready Go Dog Show and the Sub-Zero ride. Fair admission also will include the Piccolo Zoppe Boutique Circus Sept. 21-24, Demolition Derby Sept. 25 and 28, Full-Throttle Monster Trucks Sept. 26-27 and the American Bull Riders Tour Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Admission is $10. Ages 10 and younger are free. Parking is $5. 770-423-1330, 770-528-8989, www.northgeorgiastatefair.com.
Chalktoberfest Craft Beer Festival 2023
Oct. 14-15, Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Marietta Square
Enjoy an afternoon of watching more than 85 professional chalk artists transform the streets, listening to live music from local entertainers and sampling more than 120 craft beers
and 25 wines. This annual free event also includes food trucks, an artisan market and a chalk-art competition. All proceeds benefit the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art.
Oct. 21, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Glover Park at Marietta Square
The annual festival includes the HarvestFest Arts and Crafts Show; a pie-eating contest for ages 6 and older, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Touch-A-Truck, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Scarecrows in the Square, all day; costume contest for all ages as well as pets, 2-3 p.m.; and Halloween Happenings kids’ festival for ages 12 and younger, 1-5 p.m. 770-794-5601, www.mariettaga.gov/1258/Harvest-Fest.
Smyrna Crafts and Drafts Festival
Oct. 28-29, Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
2800 King St., downtown Smyrna
The Smyrna Crafts and Drafts Festival — formerly the Fall Jonquil Festival — will feature more than 150 arts and crafts booths, 12 food booths, an entertainment stage, a children’s section, a puppet show, big-screen TVs for all the big games and a beer garden featuring a variety of craft beers. Admission is free. 770-423-1330.
Sept. 7-10, 14-17, 21-24 and Sept. 28-Oct. 29, weekdays, 6-10:30 p.m.; Fridays, 6 p.m.-midnight; Saturdays, 1 p.m.-midnight; Sundays, 1-7 p.m.
Helen Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse
Take part in one of the longest-running Oktoberfests in the country and enjoy German beer, bratwurst, German-style bands, polka dances and a parade during the 53rd annual celebration. Admission for adults is $10 weekdays, $12 Fridays and Saturdays, and free on Sundays and for active and retired military. Kids 6-12 are half price, and younger than 6 are free. www.helenchamber.com/oktoberfest.
Sept. 23, 24 and 30 and Oct. 1-30, September, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; October, Wednesdays-Fridays, 2:30-6 p.m., and Saturdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Pettit Creek Farms, 337 Cassville Road Cartersville
The annual festival includes unlimited access to the corn maze, hayride, petting zoo and more. Visit the website for admission information. https://pettitcreekfarms.com/pumpkin-fest-2.
Georgia Mountain Fall Festival
Oct. 6-14, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee
The annual fall festival at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds is home to arts and crafts, fair food, educational demonstrations, carnival rides, games and daily concerts. One-day admission is $6 for the arts and crafts festival, $16 for the festival and concert; kids 12 and younger and parking are free. https://bit.ly/3TzESAE.
Georgia Marble Festival
Oct. 7-8, Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lee Newton Park, Jasper
There will be live entertainment, a parade, a kids’ zone, arts and crafts, quarry tours, chainsaw carving and more. www.georgia marble festival.com.
2023 Taste and Brews Fall Festival
Oct. 14-15, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. each day
Etowah River Park, Canton
Sample Southern-style barbecue and Cajun cuisine, enjoy live music and a kids’ zone, and a variety of arts and crafts and a farmers market. Admission is free. www.tasteandbrews.com.
Blairsville Sorghum Festival
Oct. 14-15 and 21-22, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. each day
Meeks Park, 490 Meeks Park Road
Visit this annual festival to find sorghum syrup, arts and crafts, a parade, cloggers, demonstrations, games, activities and live music. Admission is $5; free for ages 12 and younger. https://blairsvillesorghumfestival.com/.
North Georgia Fair
North Georgia Ag Fairgrounds, 500 Legion Drive, Dalton
Enjoy rides, games, food, entertainment and agricultural exhibits at this 75th annual fall fair. Visit the website for times. www.northgafair.com.
Appalachian Brew, Que and Stew Festival
Oct. 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, 1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee
The 2023 Appalachian Brew, Que and Stew Festival brings together more than 60 craft breweries from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. There also will be food from area restaurants, regional arts and crafts, lots of Appalachian and Americana music and a beer garden. Advance tickets are $50; gate admission is $55.
2023 Gold Rush Days
Oct. 21-22, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day
Dahlonega Public Square and Historic District
Join the thousands of visitors who flock to this festival each year to celebrate Dahlonega’s discovery of gold in 1828 and to see the fall colors peaking. More than 200 arts and crafts exhibitors and food vendors will be on hand for the 69th annual event, which also includes the Gold Rush Days Parade Saturday at 3 p.m. https://goldrushdaysfestival.com/.
Old Clarkesville Market Holiday Show
Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Habersham County Fairgrounds Pavilion, 4235 Toccoa Highway Clarkesville
Visit the market to find handmade arts and crafts, home decor and food vendors. And enjoy live entertainment and have photos taken with Santa. Admission is free. https://oldclarkesvillemarketcraftshows.com/.
Georgia Apple Festival
Oct. 14-15 and 21-22, Saturdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds, 1729 S. Main St.
The 52nd annual festival will feature arts and crafts booths, food vendors, live music, on-site demonstrations, a parade, a classic car show and, of course, apples. Admission is $10; children 12
and younger are admitted free. www.georgiaapplefestival.org.