Festivals and Fairs
Northeast Georgia is the hotbed for fairs and festivals in Georgia and Stephens County is no exception. Our beautiful natural scenery, our historic Toccoa downtown, our vibrant and active Mainstreet Toccoa organization and hundreds of volunteers work together to present some of the best events anywhere in the mountains.
Set against a backdrop of blazing fall colors and flavored with the scent of roasting peanuts and mulling spices, one of the South’s most enduring festivals returns to Toccoa in October as it has every fall since 1978.
Staged the last weekend in October, the festival features more than 160 craft and food vendors. The event hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
As always, the emphasis is on homemade, home baked and homegrown items and every year something new and unique is offered for the thousands of visitors who flock to Toccoa for this huge event.
Two stages are set up for entertainment for the weekend, downtown shops and restaurants are open and several activities are available for children at the festival.
The festival also offers regional and international foods, a Classic Car cruise-in, a petting zoo, horse and buggy rides, puppet shows, farm displays and the Currahee Artist Guild’s art exhibit and sale. Food options will be a variety from complete dinners to snacks.
The festival features hundreds of craftsmen, performing dancers, jazz, and rock and roll, and country music, an antique and classic car show. Children and youth activities include rides, face painting, rock climbing, moon walk, petting zoo, and more. A shuttle takes visitors to beautiful Toccoa Falls.
The city of Toccoa welcomes the Christmas season the first weekend of December with the annual ChristmasFest in the Historic Downtown area. Just in time to kick off the season, this magical event is staged from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday and continues Saturday and is guaranteed to ignite the Christmas spirit for all who attend. Details of this year’s festival will be provided as they are finalized by MainStreet Toccoa.
Take in the sounds of the holiday season during this special evening as carolers stroll the streets and stores throughout the evening, serenading the shoppers. A carriage will take you through the town’s historic district to see the beautifully lit streets. The carriage rides are $1 for children and $3 per adult and begin on Doyle St. near the Toccoa Record.
A live nativity allows children to enter the manger, pet the animals and experience what it may have been like on the first Christmas.
Santa drops in for a visit and pictures on Doyle St. and personally collects letters from excited children. Also for the children, Santa’s Express train will take the little riders around the town.
The Festival of Trees is celebrated at the Stephens County Historic Courthouse from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors are asked to vote for their favorite from an assortment of beautifully decorated trees. Admission is free but it is $1.00 per vote. Proceeds of the contest will go to the charity or nonprofit organization represented. The winning tree will receive a grand prize sponsored by local businesses. Musical entertainment is also offered throughout the evening.
Special entertainment is performed at the stage located in front of the city Christmas Tree on the courthouse lawn and following a countdown led by city officials, the city tree is lit for the Christmas season.
The spring event Toast of Toccoa features more than 50 artisans from the Currahee Artists Guild and other regional arts organizations displaying their artwork in separate booths enhanced by live music, craft beer, regional wine tastings and local food. The event is scheduled the first Saturday in May from noon until 5 p.m. in Historic Downtown Toccoa. There is no charge for admission and tokens are sold sold for craft beer and regional vineyard wine tasting purchase.
This event features craft beer from various breweries, like Creature Comforts in Athens and Currahee Brewing in Franklin, NC. Additionally, the event will offer wine tastings from several well-known North Georgia vineyards, including Currahee Vineyards, Tiger Mountain Vineyards and Sweet Acre Farms Winery. Individual vineyard wine sales by the bottle will also be available at the vineyards’ booths.
Selected local area restaurants will also have booths featuring their specialty food items for sale. There will be several large covered tents with tables and chairs so visitors will be able to enjoy any purchased food and drinks in a relaxed, informal environment.
Musical entertainment is provided on a large stage on Sage Street. Additionally, a smaller stage will be sent up on Doyle Street featuring our talented local artists.
A Classic Car Show Cruise-In, hosted by Currahee Cruisers and Miles Through Time, features dozens of restored vintage automobiles parked along Doyle Street between Sage and Alexander Streets.
About an hour away, Hiawassee is home to the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, one of the best-known event venues in Georgia. From it’s namesake fall fair to regular concerts featuring ’60s rock stars like Three Dog Night, country superstars like Hank Williams Jr. to the big Georgia Mountain Fall Festival, this is the place to go.
The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds plays host to several popular annual events including the Georgia Mountain Fair, the Superstar Concert Series, the Georgia Mountain Fall Festival and Georgia’s Official State Fiddlers’ Convention.
The Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds are located along the shores of beautiful Lake Chatuge in the north Georgia mountain community of Hiawassee and is only two hours from Atlanta, Greenville, Asheville and Chattanooga. The Fairgrounds offer a wide-variety of unique venues, and beautiful year-round camping facilities. For more information and upcoming events, click below.
While we encourage you to visit our local festivals first, there are many more festivals, fairs and special events within an hour of Stephens County. Just search the internet for Northeast Georgia fairs and festivals.