Arts & Culture Features

Fall Events—Where Are They Now? Back on the Streets With Apprehension

North Georgia Folk Festival

As summer winds down, Athens events are just getting started, with many familiar names rescheduled from the spring joining some regular fall festivities. Last year, the streets felt lonely as the thousands of participants of years past (mostly) huddled at home. In many cases, it will be 2022 before all the festivals and events that cultivate vibrance and fellowship in the Athens community make a full return. Even now, it seems more people are holding their breath than breathing a sigh of relief just yet. Mark your calendars for these cultural highlights, but keep an eye out for announcements as we face more uncertainty and new public health developments.

Twilight Criterium 
Aug. 20–21, various locations downtown
The main event is a world-class bicycle race attracting cyclists from around the nation to compete for bragging rights and a grand prize. More than a competition, all of downtown transforms into a block party where spectators cheer on the race and can find an abundance of associated activities.

Classic City Brew Fest 
Aug. 28, 2:30–6 p.m. at Hotel Indigo
Whether you’re a social drinker or an experienced connoisseur, you can sample a variety of beers, including rare brews, from Athens and around the region all in one place. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, it is one of the Southeast’s longest-running craft beer festivals.

AthFest Music and Arts Festival 
Sept. 24–26, various locations downtown
Many traditional favorites look a little different this year but carry the same heart, and AthFest is no exception. There will be two free main outdoor stages located in downtown Athens featuring a variety of performers, from singer-songwriters to hip-hop emcees. Other things to do include an artist market, kids activities and stage, food and drink and more.

Wildwood Revival 
Oct. 8–10, at Cloverleaf Farm just outside of Athens
Camp out under the stars, refresh with some morning yoga, dine on some local grub, enjoy a music-filled day, then hit the dance party during this upscale outdoor festival. Intimate and environmentally friendly, this event also features an artisan market with vintage clothing, antiques, handmade crafts and more. Editor’s Note: After the publication of this article, Wildwood Revival was postponed because of the most recent COVID-19 surge, and all tickets will be refunded.

Oct. 9, 12–9 p.m. on Washington Street downtown
In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the festival highlights the contributions of the immigrant community in Athens through artistic expression and recreation. The organizers invite everyone to share in their heritage and enjoy live music, dancing, food, kids’ activities and more.

Tommy Jordan North Georgia Folk Festival

North Georgia Folk Festival
Oct. 9, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. at Sandy Creek Park
Returning in person for its 37th anniversary, this celebration—presented by the Athens Folk Music and Dance Society—showcases all things folk with a day of music, traditional craft demonstrations, art vendors, food and kids’ activities. You might want to bring a lawn chair.

Boo-le-Bark on the Boulevard
Oct. 10, 3–5 p.m. on Boulevard
Dress your dog up in costume and join the parade, or grab a good spot to take in the fluffy festivities. This year’s event will be combined with Historic Athens Porchfest for added fun, rain or shine. 

Oct. 10, various historic neighborhoods
Back in person for year three, this one-day event packs a punch, hosting over 100 performances by local musicians on 100 front porches across Athens’ historic neighborhoods. Spend the afternoon and evening strolling between acts, including the Boo-le-Bark Parade this year.

Boybutante Ball
Oct. 23, 7–11 p.m. at 40 Watt Club
The return of Miss Thing’s Boobutante is part of a glamorous tradition featuring drag queens and kings raising funds for the Boybutante AIDS Foundation. It’s a spooky party for a meaningful cause. 

Oct. 23–24, various locations downtown and on campus
Produced by AthFest Educates, this event showcases Athens’ historic districts, downtown and the UGA campus with a half marathon and 5K course. Live local music adorns the courses for added celebration. 

Wild Rumpus Parade and Spectacle
Oct. 30, various locations downtown
The Wild Things will be let loose on Halloween weekend once again for the 13th annual celebration of Wild Rumpus. All are invited to show off their kookiest or spookiest costume and join the parade. If dressing up isn’t your thing, there are kids’ events, music and more to enjoy.