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Festivals, Foliage, and Football

Live Love Atlanta
Aug 16 6 minutes read

Though the autumn equinox doesn’t come around until September 22nd, fall is already in full swing in the south. Embracing a southern fall is easy with a break from soaring temps, stifling humidity, and relentless bugs.

Fall is a season anxiously anticipated in a special way. There’s even some science behind why fall is such a beloved season. Studies show that many of us are conditioned as children that the fall comes with exciting things like the arrival of the holidays, a fresh start at school, and other memories tied to the changing season.

But beyond the nostalgia and comforting feelings of fall, no southern fall is truly complete without festive celebrations, changing leaves, and of course, some of the hottest rivalries in football.

Though the autumn equinox doesn’t come around until September 22nd, fall is already in full swing in the south. Embracing a southern fall is easy with a break from soaring temps, stifling humidity, and relentless bugs.

Fall is a season anxiously anticipated in a special way. There’s even some science behind why fall is such a beloved season. Studies show that many of us are conditioned as children that the fall comes with exciting things like the arrival of the holidays, a fresh start at school, and other memories tied to the changing season.

But beyond the nostalgia and comforting feelings of fall, no southern fall is truly complete without festive celebrations, changing leaves, and of course, some of the hottest rivalries in football.

Attend the Can’t-Miss Festivals 

If there’s one thing the south does right when the weather turns cool, it’s the fall festival. Starting in September, fall festivals can be found all over the state of Georgia. From arts and crafts to apples and pumpkins, the fall festival is how the south rings in the new season.

If you’re looking for a day trip outside of the city, Oktoberfest in Helen and the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay are annual celebrations well-known by Georgians. But there are many fall-themed celebrations right in the Atlanta metro area as well.

Chalktoberfest

This chalk and beer festival held on The Marietta Square is hosted by the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. Visitors can sample craft beers and wines and enjoy live music from local artists while watching professional Chalk Artists from around the world chalk the streets of The Marietta square.

  • Historic Marietta Square
  • Dates: October 13th and 14th, 2018. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday
Riverfest Arts and Crafts Festival

Celebrating the 34th year, this seasonal arts and crafts festival highlights over 200 local arts and crafts vendors. Visitors can also enjoy concessionaries and family-friendly entertainment.

  • Etowah River Park in Canton
  • Dates: September 29th and 30th, 2018. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday
Pumpkin Festival

This ongoing festival held in September and October is ideal for families. New for 2018, thousands of carved jack-o-lanterns will be on display each night. During the day, festival-goers will find activities and entertainment options from pie-eating contests to a kid’s carnival complete with inflatables, candy, and games.  

  • Stone Mountain Park
  • Dates: September 22nd-October 28th, 2018, select dates

Find the Changing Foliage 

Not everyone in the U.S. gets to experience nature’s seasonal Technicolor change as vibrantly as certain parts of Georgia. The changing leaves in north Georgia put on an impressive show.

Fall color in Georgia typically peaks in late October and early November. Seekers of fall foliage can find many opportunities to take in the best fall landscapes from the North Georgia Mountains to a variety of state parks. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, a short drive north will guarantee some of the best views. If you’d like to stay closer to Atlanta, there are many local hidden gems to visit during the season. No matter where you go, you’re bound to find unique ways to experience Georgia’s fall foliage. 

  • Paddle along the Chattahoochee River on the Fall Colors Canoe Trip 
    • The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers a paddling excursion along the Chattahoochee River Saturdays and Sundays in November. Visitors can experience the lively colors of the changing leaves along with the sights and sounds the river wildlife.
  • Rent a Yurt in Sweetwater Creek State Park 
    • Part tent, part cabin, a yurt provides the adventure of tent camping with the comforts of a cabin. Sweetwater Creek State Park offers 15 miles of hiking trails through fields, forests, and rocky bluffs. From fishing to hiking, paddling to picnicking, this 2,549 acre state park makes for the perfect backdrop for fall foliage.
  • Take the Fall Foliage Train Trip on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway  
    • A 26-mile round trip along the Toccoa River takes passengers through some of the most vivid fall scenes Georgia has the offer. The Fall Foliage train ride runs from September through November, departing from the historic depot in downtown Blue Ridge, GA.
  • Hike up Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield 
    • Ranked as the top 10 favorite trails for the best fall hikes by Atlanta Trails, Kennesaw Mountain Trail offers 2.4 miles of heart-pumping fun. The climb to the summit is worth the hike with views of Atlanta and Stone Mountain in the distance. A canopy of rich color, hikers can take in some of the best views in the area.


Catch the best Football Rivalries  

Few things go better together like the fall and football. The chill in the air and falling leaves are a sure sign that football is in full swing. Whether you’re a college football fan, an NFL fan, or both, football is serious business here in Georgia with the head-to-head meetings of some of Georgia’s top rivals.

Georgia Tech vs Georgia
Nov. 24th

The campuses of UGA and Georgia Tech may only be 70 miles apart, but the football rivalry between these schools runs deep. Going back to 1893, the annual game between the Bulldogs and the Yellow Jackets is traditionally held on Thanksgiving weekend. In their 112 times meeting, the longest winning streak is held by Georgia Tech, but the current win streak goes to Georgia.  

Florida vs Georgia
Oct. 27th

Georgia holds the current win streak in this well-known rivalry with 50 wins over Florida’s 43. The origins of this rivalry depends on who you ask. Florida claims the first meeting of the two teams to be in 1915 while Georgia claims it to be 1904. No matter when the rivalry got its beginnings, one thing is certain: it’s a can’t-miss game anticipated by SEC fans each fall.

Saints vs Falcons
Sept. 23rd & Nov. 22nd

This year, Falcons fans are teeming with excitement and even more anticipation at the start of the 2018/2019 football season as Atlanta prepares to host the 2019 Super Bowl. What’s even more anticipated? The meeting of the Saints and Falcons, a rivalry among some of the top in the NFL. In fact, it’s the oldest and most established rivalry in the NFC South division.

Sources:

“Don’t Apologize for your Obsession with Fall: It’s Science,” Huffington Post https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/scientific-reason-we-love-fall_us_57f41713e4b04c71d6f0979f

“11 Places to find Georgia’s Best Fall Color,” Atlanta Magazine http://www.atlantamagazine.com/georgiatravel/11-places-to-find-georgias-best-fall-color/

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