Let’s face it. Fall festival season won’t be the same this year.
The pandemic is flowing into the approaching cooler months, causing large crowd-drawing events to shut down in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The city of Cumming decided last month it will not hold its annual Cumming Country Fair & Festival, saying that it is not viable given the state of the coronavirus pandemic in Georgia and the event’s large attendance numbers.
“This was, of course, a very tough decision to make because we know how much the Cumming Country Fair & Festival is loved by our community,” Mayor Troy Brumbalow said in a statement. “But given the ongoing public health situation surrounding COVID-19, we simply could not in good conscience hold this large-scale event this year.”
Other events are still happening. Check out the guide below to find where you can take your family this fall.
Helen has also put the brakes on its annual Oktoberfest event, which would’ve celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The alpine town plans to postpone the event to 2021.
The Greater Area Helen Chamber of Commerce made the announcement Friday, July 24, in a press release, expressing that the choice was an “extremely difficult decision.”
“Despite our wishes and best efforts, we do not believe we would be able to provide an appropriate 50th anniversary celebration for our visitors and still maintain required safety protocols,” the release stated. “It would not be possible for the Festhalle experience this year to come close to what we are known for or what is expected.”
The 66th annual Gold Rush Days Festival is still up in the air for October. The event’s board of directors plans to announce its final decision by Tuesday, Sept. 15.
But while many places have tapped out for the season, others have held firmly to their pumpkins and crafts to carry on their festivals for another year.
To stop you from showing up to a nonexistent shindig, here is a list of fall festivals and event cancelations around Northeast Georgia.
Mule Camp Market
Gainesville’s beloved Mule Camp Market is one of many festivals not coming to Northeast Georgia this year. Matt Smith, Gainesville Jaycees executive board member, said the city of Gainesville denied the permit request for the event.
“This will be the first time since 1993 that we haven’t had a Mule Camp Market in Gainesville,” Smith said. “I think we did a pretty good job of putting enhanced safety and sanitary measures in place, but the city wasn’t comfortable permitting it.”
Organized by the Gainesville Jaycees, Smith said the event uses its sponsorships and vendor fees to support the community service group’s Empty Stocking Fund, which provides Christmas gifts each year to around 250 children in need throughout Hall County.
-Cumming Country Fair & Festival
-Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival, Gainesville
-Mule Camp Market, Gainesville
-Big Red Apple Festival, Cornelia
-Chattahoochee Mountain Fair, Clarkesville
-Snake Day, Elachee Nature Science Center, Gainesville
Adult Only Fall Fest at Warbington Farms
Adults will be taking over the Family Fun Park at Warbington Farms at 6:30 p.m., Sept. 12. This Adults-Only Fall Fest is a great opportunity to experience the farm without kids. Bills Grills on Wheels Food Truck will be on-site serving up food.
Pre-sold Tickets are $15 per person and $20 at the gate. Tickets will include admission to the Fun Park, Corn Maze, Hayride, Petting Zoo, and Ax Throwing. Guests must be 21 or older to purchase tickets.
This event is outdoors with plenty of space to socially distance.
Warbington Farms is at 5555 Crow Road, Cumming, 30041.
More information: www.warbingtonfarms.com.
House of Four Scythes Haunted Attraction
The House of Four Scythes is an all new haunted house attraction debuting for the 2020 Halloween season, presented by the City of Cumming. This nonprofit event is produced by the team that created the Cumming Scare Fair event for 2019, and proceeds will again benefit the American Cancer Society Relay for Life.
Every community has a house of legend, a place that spawns lore as dark as its shrouded history. It’s the place that the children instinctively fear, and that the adults whisper about in hushed circles.
Here stands such a house, a brooding sentinel behind gated walls that may exist both to keep strangers out, and to keep strangeness in. This once elegant estate now serves as a refuge to darkness, playing host to all manner of wicked deeds and denizens. The malevolent energy here breathes life into the structure itself, and bleeds its inky presence out into the surrounding landscape.
Where: House of Four Scythes is in downtown Cumming, in Horton Hall in the Cumming Fairgrounds. 235 Castleberry Road, Cumming, 30040. Parking is free in the fairgrounds parking lot.
When: Oct. 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24, 30 and 31.
Contact: Call 678-341-0920, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Facebook page at Four Scythes Haunted Attraction, Instagram at Four Scythes Haunted House, or online at www.fourscytheshaunt.com.
Jaemor Corn Maze
This event also provides hayrides, farm slides, a petting zoo, pumpkin train and many other family-friendly activities.
When: Oct. 5-23: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 1-7 p.m. Sunday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, and 1-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8
Where: Jaemor Farms, 5340 Cornelia Highway, Alto
Tickets: $14 per person
More info: jaemorfarms.com
Braselton Antique & Artisan Festival
Running 18 years strong, Braselton Antique & Artisan Festival will showcase a plethora of items including antiques, furniture, artwork and other handcrafted pieces. The free event will include live music and eight food trucks for people to purchase alcoholic beverages, meals and desserts.
When: Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 25
Where: Braselton Park, 115 Harrison St., Braselton
How much: Free
More info: vintagemarkets.net
Mountain Moonshine Festival
This year’s Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville is still slated for the fall; however, the nature of the event is still up in the air. Dawson County News, a sister publication of the FCN, reported on Aug. 18 that the event would be held in one of three ways: a normal, full-fledged Moonshine Festival, a downsized version or a fundraiser only involving K.A.R.E. for Kids selling T-shirts and gathering donations for its organization.
Dawson City Council members are expected to make a final decision on the festival during a meeting at 4 p.m., Sept. 10.
More info: kareforkids.org.