October means its fall festival time, and what a wide range of events with live entertainment and local flavor are being planned throughout the state. From pirates to pumpkins, facejugs to folk arts, there are festivals to match just about everyone’s tastes. Here are a few you might not want to miss:
Stone Mountain Park’s 7th Annual Pumpkin Festival is now under way weekends through Oct. 31. Kid-centered entertainment and activities take place in a vast display that includes 4,000 pumpkins, 500 cornstalks, 500 hay bales and 35 fairy tale-themed scarecrows. New for 2009, the Pumpkin Festival brings Colleen and The Pesky Gnomes to the stage where children from the audience are the stars of the 25-minute show. Other activities include a pie-eating contest, a Trick or Treat Scavenger Hunt, costume contest and a Pumpkin Parade complete with life-size puppets. Admission to the Pumpkin Festival is included in the one-day Adventure Pass, which is $26 plus tax for adults and $21 plus tax for children 3-11. Guests can visit Kroger for best ticket prices. For more information on the festival or the park, call (770) 498-5690 or by visit www.stonemountainpark.com.
The 5th annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest takes place Oct. 9-10. It features a Pirate Victory Parade, fireworks, live entertainment with 10 bands, including The Marshall Tucker Band, costume contests, children’s activities and the Thieves Market filled with treasures, grog and grub. Admission to the oceanfront festival grounds is $10 per person for a weekend pass, children 12 and younger are free. For more information, call the Tybee Island Visitor Center at (800) 868-2322 or visit http://www.tybeepiratefest.com for the complete festival schedule.
On Saturday, Oct. 10, Sandy Creek Park in Athens plays host to the 25th annual North Georgia Folk Festival. The festival features a mix of traditional and modern folk blues and bluegrass music, playing non-stop noon - 9 p.m. There are also a variety of craft demonstrations including folk painting, furniture making, wood working and more. The festival also hosts a special kid’s program 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and younger. For more information, visit www.athensfolk.org.
Lovers of facejugs are likely to be enthralled at the Meaders Facejug Pottery Festival. Held in Cleveland on Oct. 10 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., the facejugs of 12 folk potters will be on display and for sale. The festival takes place on Tesnatee Gap Valley Road. For more information, visit www.meaderspottery.net.
For the sixth year in a row the Dixie Film Festival brings world-class film from around the world to Athens’ Carmike Theater. The festival has gained worldwide attention in its first five years for featuring high-quality films and filmmakers from 12 countries. The event runs Oct. 16-18, with a concluding awards presentation. Tickets are $10 per showing or $35 for an all-festival pass. A complete list of films and show times is available on the festival’s Web site, www.dixiefilmfest.com.
Geechee-Gullah culture is celebrated at the Cultural Day Festival on Sapelo Island from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 17. Storytelling, dancing, cultural demonstrations, food, arts and crafts are part of the event. Hog Hammock Historical District on Sapelo Island is the last intact island community of Geechee-Gullah people in Georgia. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children 6 to 12. For more information, call (912) 485-2197 or visit www.sapeloislandgeorgia.org.
The 10th annual Fall Winefest on Oct. 25 on the lawn of Ashford Manor in Athens will be a haven for food, drink and live music. Twenty-five local restaurants and eight wineries, package stores and breweries will provide samples of their products. Local favorites like Harry Bissett’s New Orleans Café, Last Resort, The National and Speakeasy will be catering the event. Festivalgoers can enjoy beverages from several local wineries, Five Points Bottle Shop, Terrapin Brewery and more. The festival also features a raffle, silent auction and live music. Tickets to the event are $30 in advance, $35 at the door, and $20 for OCAF members, with all proceeds benefiting the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation. Registration is available at www.oacaf.com.