Ellijay Apple Festival

October 16, 2010
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The Ellijay Apple Festival occurs for two Saturdays and Sundays Annually in October at the Lions Club Fairgrounds in Ellijay, Georgia, and has been running for39 years.

With over 300 vendors, this festival tends to be one of the more crowded festivals in the Georgia mountains each year, but it’s hardly noticeable once inside the fairgrounds .

This year, the festival began last weekend (October 9-10th) and will continue this coming Saturday and Sunday (16-17th). Gates open at 9:00 AM on Saturday and Sunday but will close at 6:00 PM and 5:00 PM respectively. The cost of admission for the festival is $5 per person, but is well worth the cost, but get there early or you will face a traffic jam rivaled only by Atlanta gridlock. Parking is free at the fairgrounds, but almost impossible to get. Instead, park at Gilmer County High School, Middle School, or Ellijay Elementary School with a suggested $2 donation and free shuttles running continuously back and forth to the fairgrounds. The traffic to these lots is still bad, but once you get there, leaving is much easier, and the shuttles (yellow school buses) run surprisingly smooth.

Each year, I am more and more impressed with the exhibitors at the festival. The 300 + exhibitors include some wonderful photography exhibits, pottery makers, and some of the best wood workers’ art I have ever seen. The detail and skill these folk artisans put into their crafts is easily worth the traffic and $5, even without buying anything.

The festival even has something for the kids with numerous inflatables, a climbing wall,  toy makers, and pony rides.

Last but not least, don’t forget while attending the festival that it is an Apple Festival. Ellijay has hundreds of varieties of its apple based products, but while at the festival make sure to try some (several) of the apple ciders available for sample before purchasing a gallon or three. Apple pies or Apple Dumplings with ice cream make great deserts while walking around the festival, and take home a bag of fresh picked apples from one of Ellijay’s many orchards may be one of the best souvenirs for sharing with your unfortunate friends that didn’t make it to the mountains this year (you will want to keep the cider for yourself).

Of all the fall festivals in Georgia, this is the one I never miss. It really has nearly everything one could want in food, crafts, and fun. If it has a problem, it’s just that too many people, like me, are hooked on going and so the traffic has gotten a little out of hand this past couple of years for such a small area. Just remember, even if you are parked in gridlock, you can roll down your windows and feel the great mountain autumn air as you wait to find a parking spot.

For Directions and a List of Exhibitors go to Georgia Apple Festival.

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One Response to Ellijay Apple Festival

  1. Outdoor Travel in the South | SouthernHiker on October 15, 2011 at 7:13 am

    […] the art exhibits and craftsmen exhibit  one would expect to find at a large festival like the Ellijay Apple Festival, it also has the live music and drinks one would expect to find at the […]

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