Planning Your Visit to the Ellijay Apple Festival

Apple Festival - Blue Ridge

Colorful autumn hues decorate the Appalachian Mountains as the Ellijay Apple Festival gets ready to wrap up apple season — with a parade, car show, 5K, apple foods, arts and crafts, and live music in North Georgia. This annual fall festival (going on 51 years) is a good time for families and friends to visit the Blue Ridge and Ellijay area, take in the gorgeous mountain scenery, and experience local apple culture. 

Producing approximately 600,000 bushels of apples each year, Ellijay is the perfect place to host this apple-tastic event! Upwards of 300+ vendors help make this family-friendly fall festival a success every year, and it’s hosted by the Ellijay Lions Club, cities of Ellijay and East Ellijay, Gilmer County, and the Gilmer County Chamber of Commerce. Held over 2 weekends in October, the Ellijay Apple Festival is a great opportunity for a memorable fall weekend getaway!

Kick-off Parade
Drum roll for the official kick-off parade at the Georgia Apple Festival! Line the main strip in downtown Ellijay and get ready to cheer and wave as floats glide past, the Ellijay Apple Queen blows kisses to the crowd, dancers twirl, and bands play. The Apple Festival Parade starts at 6:00 p.m. — so get there early!

Antique Car Show
Any gearheads coming on your Blue Ridge fall vacation? They’ll surely appreciate the Apple Classic Auto Show held at the Ronnie Thompson Ford dealership in Ellijay. Beginning on October 8 at 8:00 a.m. until noon, this fall car show features beautiful hot rods and an awards ceremony (at 4:00 p.m.) for prized rides. 

Apple Festival 5K
Runners will love the Apple Festival 5K Road Race, and families can participate in the 1-mile Fun Run/Walk & Tot Trot. It’s $30-35 to enter (free for Tot Trot) and get a T-shirt (while supplies last), and all proceeds benefit the Gilmer Cross Country Program. Both events start and end at the Ellijay Elementary School on October 8, with the 5K at 8:00 a.m. and the Fun Run / Tot Trot at 8:45 a.m. Awards are given to top performers, and all participants in the Tot Trot will receive a ribbon!

Apple Eats
Bite into sweet, crisp, aromatic apples at the Georgia Apple Festival! You can take a peck of apples back to your cabin rental to enjoy as snacks, bake in homemade pies, or gift as yummy souvenirs. There are also plenty of apple treats to enjoy at the festival, like apple fritters, apple pies, apple jellies, and apple ciders! It’ll feel like you’re at a bustling farmers market.

Will there be apple picking?
Since the apple festival celebrates the end of apple season, most U-pick farms are picked clean by the event. If you’d like to pick your own apples at an apple orchard, we suggest visiting the Blue Ridge and Ellijay areas around September. However, as mentioned, you can buy local apples at the event!

Arts & Crafts
Visit the arts and crafts tents to peruse and purchase handmade goods from local craftsmen. These Appalachian creations come in all shapes and sizes, and no two are alike! Live demonstrations of classic mountain trades add to the fun at the Ellijay Apple Festival. 

What YOU Might Find

  • Handmade clothes 
  • Jewelry 
  • Candles 
  • Soaps
  • Paintings
  • Wood carvings 
  • Baskets
  • Bags
  • Quilts 
  • Toys 

Apple Arts on the Square
Considered an extension of the Georgia Apple Festival, Apple Arts on the Square adds more arts and crafts to the main event each weekend. Sprinkled around downtown Ellijay, this FREE art exhibit showcases local talents and sells beautiful artworks and crafty bits. 

There are also more food vendors, and the local shops will be open for hours of fun in the heart of Ellijay. Simply take the complimentary shuttle service to and from the fairgrounds as you wish. Note: while pets are not allowed at the festival, they are allowed downtown! 

Play Area for Kids
Camel rides, games, rock climbing, and face painting are just a few possibilities at the play area for kids at the Georgia Apple Festival. It’s a great (and convenient) place to take the little ones to get out their wiggles, explore, play, and make friends! 

Live Music
What’s a North Georgia fall festival without live entertainment? Sway and bop to country and bluegrass beats as you stroll around the fairgrounds, eat sinful (but delicious) fair food, and make memories with family and friends at the Ellijay Apple Festival. 

Dates & Times
October 8-9 & 15-16, 2022
Saturdays — 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sundays — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds
1729 South Main Street
Ellijay, GA 30540
Note: the fairgrounds are not pet friendly and do not allow firearms on the grounds. 

Adults — $5
Kids (10 & under) — FREE

Parking & Shuttle Service
Handicap parking is limited at the main entrance. Donations for local civic and school groups may be requested when parking — bring cash. As parking is limited at the fairgrounds, a FREE shuttle service is provided! 

Shuttle Operation Times
Saturdays — 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sundays — 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Shuttle Service Locations

  • Gilmer High School
  • Gilmer Middle School
  • Ellijay Elementary School
  • Ellijay Primary School
  • Mountview Elementary School

Georgia Apple Festival

Cozy Cabin Rentals
Continue your North Georgia autumn experience with stunning mountain views or river scenes at your inviting cabin rental in Blue Ridge, GA. Featuring amenities to entertain and relax — such as hot tubs, game rooms, fireplaces, wet bars, big screen TVs, and king suites — Georgia Cabins for YOU has you covered…and then some! Homey conveniences are provided as well and include high speed Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, and washer/dryers. 

After spending time at a fall festival all day, you’ll appreciate a quiet, peaceful place to rest for the night and recharge your batteries the next day. Plus, our Blue Ridge, GA, cabins aren’t too far from town, giving you easy access to downtown shops, eateries, and attractions — like the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, the Chattahoochee National Forest, and Zipline Tours. 

Book YOUR memorable cabin stay and play at the Ellijay Apple Festival this fall!