Fun Fall Festivals in the South

Beech Mountain

Fall is a great time of the year.  The air begins to cool down and turn crisp.  The leaves begin to change to vibrant shades of rust, orange and red.  But the very best things about this time of year are the fabulous fall festivals going on in our area.  From the quirky Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk, NC to the prestigious Euphoria event taking place right here in the Upstate, there’s an event for everyone.  So get out and enjoying the fresh air and celebrate all of the fun fall festivals that the South has to offer!

St. Francis Fall for Greenville

Greenville’s longest running street festival is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. The event spans three days Greenville, South Carolinaand features over 200 tasty creations from over 40 of Greenville’s best restaurants. In addition to its diversity of food, St. Francis Fall for Greenville is also known for its free musical entertainment performed by local and regional musical talent on six different stages. Additional ancillary events include a variety of children’s activities, culinary demonstrations, wine tasting, a beer garden featuring 14 craft breweries and various competitions including a Bartender’s Mix-Off, Back of House Race, Jalapeno Eating Contest, Silver Spoon – People’s Choice of Favorite Restaurant Award, Silver Spoon – Taster’s Choice of Favorite Restaurant Award (culinary experts) and Waiter’s Race. In celebrating the event’s 30th anniversary, this year’s festival will feature the Coppenrath Europe’s Bakery Cake Challenge. The new event will challenge both amateur and professional cake decorators to compete and showcase their cake decorating skills.

Where: Greenville, South Carolina

When: October 14th through October 16th

Admission is free.

More information: http://www.fallforgreenville.net/

Woolly Worm Festival

While exploring local folklore about Woolly Worms being able to forecast the weather and also looking into the need to have an annual festival, Banner Elk resident Jim Morton put the two things together and helped create the Woolly Worm Festival Association. This annual festival is held in downtown Banner Elk and now attracts over 23,000 visitors and 140 vendors. It’s two days of crafts, food, music, and of course the woolly worm racing.

Where: Banner Elk, North Carolina

When: October 15th through October 16th

More information: http://www.woollyworm.com/

 

Mayberry Days

Andy Griffith’s hometown celebrates Mayberry and The Andy Griffith Show. The event features guest Mount Airy, North Carolinaappearances from show actors (including Betty Lynn, who played Barney Fife’s girlfriend “Thelma Lou”), a Mayberry Days parade, trivia contests, barbecue championship, checkers tournament, live music, autograph sessions and tribute actors.

Where: Mount Airy, North Carolina

When: September 22nd through September 25th

More information: www.mayberrydays.org.

 

Autumn at Oz

The former Land of Oz theme park atop Beech Mountain springs to life for all things Oz-related. Tour Dorothy’s House, walk the 44,000-brick Yellow Brick Road and meet Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Beech MountainScarecrow and more. Many folks come in costume and are encouraged to bring their “Ozzie” photos and treasures to add to the event.
There will be a mini-museum to visit and artifacts to share. Bluegrass bands, local dancers, and a small petting zoo will add more fun at the Farm.

Where: Beech Mountain, North Carolina

When: October 1st through October 2nd

More information: http://autumnatoz.com/

 

Euphoria

While not a “traditional” fall festival, this one is worth mentioning.  In its 6th year, this weekend long event Greenville, South Carolinaincludes exclusive tasting events, cooking demonstrations and wine seminars, as well as multi-course dinners and live musical performances. Dedicated to excellence, Euphoria features domestic and international wines, celebrity chefs, master sommeliers, and national recording artists. It’s a weekend destination event that has impressed many with its passion for quality and value.

Where: Greenville, South Carolina

When: September 22nd through September 25th

For more information visit: www.euphoriagreenville.com

Dahlonega Gold Rush Days

Celebrate fall and the 1828 discovery of gold in Georgia’s “Golden City,” Dahlonega.  Gold Rush days is a two-day celebration on the Historic Square that includes a parade, children’s activities, a fashion show, gold panning contest, wheelbarrow race, King and Queen Coronation, hog calling, a clogging contest, gospel singing, wrist wrestling, delicious local cuisine and other live entertainment.

Where: Dahlonega, Georgia

When: October 15th through October 16th

For more information:  http://www.dahlonegajaycees.com/

Carolina Foothills Heritage Fair

Touted as what an old-fashioned country fair should be, this event has wagon rides, a hay maze, livestock displays and carnival rides.  It also features a lumberjack show and a petting zoo.

Where: Fair Play, South Carolina

When: October 4th through October 8th

For more information: http://www.carolinafoothillsheritagefair.org/

Scarecrow Harvest

Time to make the scarecrows! This unique fall event has scarecrows that are made by local students and businesses and then are scattered all over town! Free family merriment includes groovy country music withDahloenga, Georgia High Cotton, games of crow-cornhole, hay rides to the log cabin, quirky face painting, historical demos, artsy activities, stimulating story-telling, and engaging inflatables.

Where: Alpharetta, Georgia

When: October 1st

For more information: http://alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=410

Irmo Okra Strut

The Lake Murray-Irmo Woman’s Club was looking for a way to raise money to build a new library in 1973. When listening to a WIS Radio broadcast by Gene McKay, a personality on the morning show, said he had his imagination piqued by a small, downtown Irmo hardware store named The Ancient Irmese General Store.

“What were these Ancient Irmese like?” pondered McKay,  “Probably short people — a farming tribe who lived off okra!” Thus the annual Okra Strut was born. The festival is now a two day event featuring a street dance, parade, arts and crafts, rides and amusements, petting zoo, lots of festival food and Okra man.

Where: Irmo, South Carolina

When: September 23rd through September 24th

For more information:  http://www.irmookrastrut.com/

Bog-Off Festival

Chicken Bog is a conglomeration of rice, spices and chicken and is a PeeDee native treasure. Legend has it that one Yankee officer liked it so much he switched uniforms. So why not celebrate that with a Chicken Bog Cooking Contest, Arts & Crafts, Kid’s Area, Concert, Fireworks, Car & Tractor Show, and Great Food.

Where: Loris, South Carolina

When: October 15th

For more information:  http://www.lorischambersc.com/

Beaufort Shrimp Festival

With shrimp races (yes, you read that correctly- but they are rubber shrimp, not real ones!), a 5k run/walk Beaufort, South Carolinaand a tagline that reads “Dance your shrimp tails off, come with an empty stomach, vote for your favorite shrimp dish and meet Vanna White!” what’s not to like.

Where: Beaufort, South Carolina at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park

When: September 30th and October 1st

Free Admission

For more information: http://www.downtownbeaufort.com/beaufort-shrimp-festival

About the Author

Sherry Jackson

Sherry Jackson’s love of travel came at a young age. Her family would load up the car on the weekend, pick a destination and set off to explore. She has traversed thru jungles, snorkeled the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and wandered the streets of Paris, always searching for her next adventure. Her articles have been featured in a variety of outlets including USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Foothills Spotlight Magazine, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, CityRoom, The Simpsonville Sentinel and countless other print and online publications. She owns and maintains four websites (www.seethesouth.com , www.dragonflyventures.com, dvtravels.net and www.rulesforeveryday.com). Sherry is a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). Her work can be viewed at www.dragonflyventures.com.

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