Harris Blackwood: Fall is ideal time to savor state’s festivals, natural beauty

I wish for a way to bottle up all the smells, tastes and sights of October. It is the greatest month of all.

Right in our own state, there is so much to do during October. There are so many wonderful festivals, such as Mule Camp Market, Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega, apple festivals in Cornelia and Ellijay, and the Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville, just to name a few.

Harris Blackwood

Over in the northwest corner of our state, there will be the annual Wings Over North Georgia Airshow the weekend of Oct. 21. The featured attraction will be a demonstration by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. There will also be a number of stunt performers. Stop by the drugstore and get some earplugs; it’s a little on the loud side.

The current week is time for three of our largest fairs. The Cumming Country Fair and Festival continues through Oct. 15 in Cumming. It is now in it’s 22nd year and is a really nice event. At the same time, the Georgia National Fair is taking place in Perry, about a two-hour drive from our area and a nice day trip. They have one of the best livestock shows in the South and there are competitions for everything from prize roses to wedding cakes. Wear your comfortable walking shoes.

The Georgia Mountain Fall Festival will take place Oct. 13-21 at the fairgrounds in Hiawassee. Lots of mountain arts and crafts and the Georgia State Fiddle Competition will take place at the festival.

One of our greatest things is the wide range of farm markets around the state. Our own Jaemor Farm Market will be filled with folks looking for fall apples and boiled peanuts. Another favorite is Burts Pumpkin Farm in Dawson County.

They are a part of a program called Georgia Grown, administered by our Georgia Department of Agriculture. You can go to georgiagrown.com and find locations for farmers markets, wineries, homemade jams and jellies, corn mazes and about anything you want to see that grows in Georgia.

Perhaps the greatest attraction is our state itself. I know we lost a lot of leaves when a lady named Irma came visiting. But I believe later this month and into November, we will see fall colors that remind us this state is one of those with four distinct seasons and the palette of color that will dance across the mountains will be beautiful.

The website exploregeorgia.org has a guide to fall colors complete with places to see, stay and dine.

So, the time is nigh. The beauty of fall only lasts a few weeks and the leaves will continue their journey from golds and reds to crunchy brown upon the ground.

I think one of the wonderful things about living here is that within a hour or so, depending on where you live, you can find yourself surrounded by a spectacular fall vista. If you just want to ride and look, you can do that, too.

However, a nice fresh cup of apple cider and a breath of fresh fall air is a nice tonic to complement a visit in our state.

What’s holding you back? Let’s hit the road.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.

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