The annual Georgia Apple Festival, sometimes referred to as the Ellijay Apple Festival, is a can’t-miss fall event full of all sorts of activities and fun.
If you love all things apple, this is the Georgia festival for you!
You can expect over 300 vendors with handmade, hand-crafted items, many on-site demonstrations, a parade, and an antique car show each year. You can also expect to find fun activities for the kids, and lots of apples and apple products.
There’s no better way to celebrate the fall season than a trip to the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay, Georgia. With so much to see, do, and eat — this is one festival you shouldn’t miss. Here’s everything you need to know about this amazing festival!
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN ELLIJAY
- Best Tried and True Hotel: Our favorite tried and true hotel in Ellijay is The Comfort Inn & Suites East Ellijay. Guests can enjoy the indoor heated pool and fitness center here.
- Best for History Buffs: Bordering Georgia’s Rich Mountain Wilderness, this Budget Inn Top of Ellijay features a basketball court and free property-wide Wi-Fi. Guests can also explore American history 1 mile away at the Civil War Museum and Library.
- Best In Downtown: The Ellijay Inn is in downtown Ellijay, a 30-minute drive from Amicalola Falls State Park. This motel offers guests free Wi-Fi and cable TV in each room.
WHEN IS THE GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL?
The Georgia Apple Festival is spread over two October weekends each year. In 2023, the festival will be taking place October 14-15 and October 21-22 in the North Georgia mountains. All the festivities happen at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds.
The festival will run from 9am – 6pm on Saturdays, and 9am – 5pm on Sundays. Adult tickets are $10 per person, and children 12 and under are FREE.
There is limited parking at the fairgrounds, so shuttle buses will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sundays. The free shuttle service will take you from the shuttle parking areas to the festival, and then back to your car.
The shuttle parking areas are located at Gilmer High and Middle Schools, Ellijay Elementary and Primary Schools, and Mountainview Elementary School. Look for parking in lots run by local civic and school groups, who will request donations in varying amounts. Bring cash!
This popular festival is hosted by The Ellijay Lions Club, the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce, the cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, and Gilmer County.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE GEORGIA APPLE FESTIVAL
In 2023, the Georgia Apple Festival will be celebrating its 52nd year. This Ellijay festival has ballooned into a fabulous fall tradition for thousands of families.
Visitors will find over 300 vendors and exhibitions at the fairgrounds with handmade, hand-crafted items, as well as many live, on-site craft demonstrations at the festival. You’ll also find things like live music, glass blowing exhibits, and more. There is plenty of things for the kids to do too — from camel rides to bouncy houses and slides.
In addition to the fun vendors and demonstrations found here, guests will love all the delicious festival food — apple fritters, apple doughnuts, apple cider, apple pies, and more can all be found here. You’ll also find plenty of other things to eat that aren’t as apple-y. We can promise, you won’t leave hungry!
Enjoy more arts and crafts on the square in historic downtown Ellijay on both weekends of the festival.
Make plans to stop by the Apple Classic Car Show on October 14, 2023. The car show will be held at Victory Christian Center, which is just off Maddox Drive in Ellijay. Registration is from 8am-12pm, and awards will be held at 3pm. The show is in coordination with the Georgia Apple Festival.
If you feel the need to earn those apple doughnuts, the Apple Festival 5K Road Race will also be held on October 14, and will start and end at Ellijay Elementary School.
The Apple Festival Parade is always a big draw. In 2023, the parade will be held on Saturday, October 14th at 10am in downtown Ellijay.
CAN I PICK APPLES HERE?
The Georgia Apple Festival is a great place to pick up a peck of apples, but if you want to pick apples in Georgia, you’ll have to visit earlier in the season.
The Georgia Apple Festival celebrates the end of apple season in the area, and usually, the U-pick farms are picked out by this time.
It’s best to plan your U-Pick adventure in September. You may also want to check out our guide to what types of apples grow in Georgia and when to pick them.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON AT THE ELLIJAY APPLE FESTIVAL?
- Apple Arts on the Square. This is a smaller version of the Apple Festival and is set up on Ellijay’s square during both weekends of the festival. You’ll find all sorts of arts and crafts goodness here.
- Apple Classic Auto Show. Held at Victory Christian Center on October 14. Awards given at 3pm
- Apple Festival 5K Road Race. Starts and ends at Ellijay Elementary School in Downtown Ellijay. Saturday, October 14, 2023.
- Apple Festival Parade. This annual parade will be held in downtown Ellijay on Saturday, October 14, 2023 at 10am.
ELLIJAY APPLE FESTIVAL FAQ
Does the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay allow pets?
Unfortunately, the Georgia Apple Festival does not allow pets. But, the Apple Arts Festival in downtown Ellijay is pet friendly and runs the same days and times.
Is the Georgia Apple Festival outdoors?
The Georgia Apple Festival is an outdoor event, taking place at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. It is also a rain or shine event.
Is there handicapped parking at the Georgia Apple Festival?
There is some handicapped parking available at the Georgia Apple Festival, but the spaces are first-come, first-serve. Make sure to get there early to guarantee your spot.
How did the Georgia Apple Festival get started?
In the 1920s, the boll weevil came through and destroyed much of Ellijay’s cotton crops. Luckily, Gilmer County’s apple orchards bolstered their economy, and saw it through that tough time. The festival was started to celebrate the amazing things the local apple orchards have done for the area.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT FALL FUN IN GEORGIA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- PUMPKIN PATCHES: 15+ Best Patches In Georgia For A Smashing-Good Time
- FALL FUN: 40+ Freaking Fabulous Ways To Cozy Up This Fall In Atlanta And Beyond
- CORN MAZES: 18 Family-Friendly Corn Mazes In GA To Get Lost In
- APPLES: Essential Apple Picking Georgia Guide
- PUMPKIN FESTIVAL: Best Tips For An Amazing Time At the Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Fest
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