Georgia Festivals: 7 Ways To Live It Up At Ellijay Apple Festival!

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I’d heard about it for years but wondered, could we really live it up at Georgia Festivals that revolved around apples

How exciting could apples really be?

Then, I started researching the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay and I was reminded that I’m a total sucker for quaint, southern towns, especially ones with the incredible backdrop of the North Georgia Mountains.

I know that you also want to know how to enjoy family friendly fun, wallet-in-tact, and I’m ready to give you seven ways to live it up where apples abound.


Do Your Apple Parade Research

Start by reading about what the big hoopla is over these Georgia apples grown right smack dab in the center of the Appalachian Mountains.  You’ll find out that it’s the crisp, night air of these glorious mountains that produce the best tasting apples you can sink your teeth into.  

They must be good to plan an entire parade around, right?

I didn’t want to miss the Main Street Parade so we rolled up into town just as the parade was about to start.  We scored lots of good candy, snacks, toys, and a free t-shirt while trying to blend in with the locals.  

These folks know how to put on a  parade, y’all.  And guess what, it’s free dollars.



 Grow your Art, Crafts, & Corn dogs Knowledge

After the family friendly parade was over, it was time to cross a few streets to the Downtown Square where there was fair-style food like corn dogs and homemade brittle calling our names.  Kidding, my health-conscious friend, I’m kidding.  

It costs nothing to walk around and enjoy the vendors and their wares of art, homemade crafts, decor, and foods.   I was able to refrain from buying too many handmade items but I may or may not have eaten one scrumptious corn dog with lots o’ mustard.   At least I wasn’t getting a fried Oreo like the lady who stood in front of me in the line.Georgia-festivals-03






Find the Fairground & Deep-Fried Apple Pies 

While enjoying our super-healthy lunch in Downtown Ellijay, a couple we met that said they visit every year, told us about a ton of vendors that were set up at the Lions Club Fairground just a couple miles away at 1729 South Main Street.  If you use the shuttle parking areas, a free shuttle service will take you to the Apple Festival and back to your car.   Here’s a map and details.

So the shuttle ride over to the fairgrounds is free but you have to pay a donation for parking if you drive over yourself.   Admission for adults is $5 and kids 10 and under get in free dollars.

So yeah, deep-fried apple pies and deep-fried apple dumplins with cinnamon ice cream.

I have no words.




Visit those Apple Barns

I’m a geek about traveling the countryside of the South.  I mean, interstates are so overrated.  Stopping at all the apple barns along the two-lane, country road just brings me joy and I’ve got a great man who’s willing to let me do my thang.  

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Eleven of the orchards and their roadside shops are fairly close together along Hwy 52 on the east side of Route 5/Rt 76 in East Ellijay.  B.J. Reece Apple House, Mack Aaron’s Apple House, Aaron’s Apple House, and the Red Apple Barn are just a few that I remember seeing. 

The weather was perfect and the apples so sweet and the bonus is that it costs free dollars.  {The idea is for you to buy apples and such though, which we did}.





Social Media can plan your Georgia Festivals

If you don’t have a family member like a crazy cousin that lives near the festivities, your next best bet is me and social media.  

What do I mean? 

You can message me with any questions you have and/or you can ask your friends on social media.  You never know who may have been there recently that you know and its great to pick the brain of other Mamas for ideas so ask something like this on Facebook or Twitter,

“Best Family Activity during the Ellijay Apple Festival?  Go!”

It will be fun for you to watch the thread come alive with opinions from people you know.  Then you can private message them if you want more details.  This advice is invaluable and it costs you nothing.


Book your accommodations now

When our plan to stay with a family member near Ellijay fell through about three days prior to our trip, I had to search high and low for an affordable hotel that wasn’t booked.   There wasn’t one closer than thirty miles away because there were literally Georgia Festivals going on all around the area like Dahlonega, Dalton, Helen, Blairsville, and more.   If you are planning to be in North Georgia in October, book now, no matter how early it is.

We drove up early Saturday morning, spent the entire day in Ellijay, and left Sunday morning so only a one night stay was needed for us.  We only wanted the expense of one night.


Determine your budget before leaving home

You can’t get around having to pay for over-priced gasoline, accommodations, and feeding that fam of yours periodically on the trip.   As you’ve seen though, North Georgia family fun can be very affordable.  We stay in a hotel with complimentary breakfast, keep our own healthy snacks and water handy, plan our routes so we don’t waste gas driving in circles, and eat light so that we can enjoy one nice meal per day, together as a family.

So are you ready to head to Ellijay Georgia for the second or third full weekend of October, or both?  Check out the current festivities schedule so you can decide which weekend to visit.  The Apple Festival site is very helpful.


What tips would you add to our 7 Ways To Live It Up At Ellijay Georgia Festivals?


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Published on HuffPost and Okefenokee Living Magazine and other publications, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist and lover of all things ‘calm & cozy home.’

She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about southern family destinations and creating cozy homes they can’t wait to go home to.

Her hope is that overwhelmed women feel like family travel and cozy home gurus in their own right.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️


1 Comment

  1. February 22, 2015 / 6:38 am

    I love going to Georgia festivals. So many stalls to check out.

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