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Which Atlanta Fall Fests to Hit Up & Why

Fall may have officially started weeks ago, but it’s only beginning to feel like the season has arrived—and the return of some of the city’s greatest festivals is further proof that autumn is here. Whether you’re in the mood for cooler-weather food fests, cultural celebrations, movie screenings, or drinking lots of delicious wine, there are plenty of public get-togethers happening between now and the end of November for anybody looking for a good time with thousands of other people. Here are our picks for the best fall festivals in ATL.

By / October 30, 2017
   Courtesy of Chastain Park Arts Festival
   Courtesy of Chastain Park Arts Festival

Native American Festival and Pow-Wow

Thursday, November 2 through Sunday, November 5

Stone Mountain Park

Learn more about the Native American culture and the importance of dance and drumming as you watch competitions between tribes and learn skills like fire-starting, open-fire cooking, pottery, bow making, and more. There’ll be interactive encampment experiences, including the chance to crawl inside a tipi, plus a marketplace where you can purchase Native American arts and handcrafted items. Oh, and you’ll definitely have a chance to dance.

IrishFest Atlanta

Friday, November 3, and Saturday, November 4

DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta Perimeter Dunwoody

World-class musicians and artists will lead cultural demonstrations, including hop-dancing, fiddling, Uilleann pipes, Irish harp, button fiddle, flute, whistling, and even pub songs and ballads. There’ll also be at least 17 performing acts, Irish film screenings, and opportunities to learn how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness, as well as reservation-only Irish whiskey tastings.


Chomp & Stomp

Saturday, November 4


If you don’t like chili, stay far away from this annual community chili cook-off, which doubles as a bluegrass music festival. The cooler weather makes for a perfect chili-eating atmosphere, which is good because the tasting starts at 12:30 p.m., with usually close to 30 participating local restaurants and more than 70 individuals competing. Tasting spoons will be sold at 11 a.m., but you can skip the lines by ordering your official tasting spoons and drink tokens online now. Get there early to cheer on the Romp & Stomp 5K marathon walkers and runners who start at 7:45 a.m.


Decatur Wine Festival

Saturday, November 4

Decatur Square

Don’t miss ATL’s largest outdoor wine festival, where there will be 70 tables from which you can potentially drink 500 wines for $45 and al fresco dining via an assortment of local restaurants. Though the main event is on Saturday, they also have a free Art Walk the Friday evening before, where you can walk through 13 spots where there’ll be works from at least one artist per location. We bet there’ll be wine there as well.


Chastain Park Arts Festival

Saturday, November 4, and Sunday, November 5

Chastain Park

Beer, wine, food trucks, art, live acoustic music, and more will surround you at this ninth-annual, two-day festival, which is free to attend. At least 185 artisans will be selling their creations (paintings, jewelry, pottery, leather goods, etc.), and there’ll also be a children’s area for the little ones. Your food truck options will include Indian cuisine, burgers, barbecue, and other fare. You can also bring your dog, as long as they stay on a leash.

Atlanta Veg Fest

Saturday, November 11

Cobb County Civic Center

Go meatless for a day (or as you always do) at this vegan-eaters’ jamboree. There’ll be presentations (such as demos on cooking vegan General Tso’s “chicken” and vegan Mexican dishes), a yoga class, a vegan-friendly marketplace, and free goodie bags filled with coupons and free samples for the first 300 guests.

Buried Alive Film Fest

Wednesday, November 15 through Sunday, November 19

7 Stages Theatre

Independently made scary movies will play for five days in Little Five Points, and the festival prides itself on really freaking you out. They promise “some of the most disturbing, visually appealing, and scary independent horror films in the world,” with all films generally receiving an “R” rating from the Motion Picture Association of America—meaning leave the kids at home. Highlights include the Sinema Challenge, in which a number of five- to eight-minute short horror films—each of which were made in 13 days by local filmmakers—will be screened. There’ll also be a presentation of the Tim Burton movie “Ed Wood,” accompanied by a burlesque performance from Atlanta’s own Blast-Off Burlesque troupe.


Mike Jordan is a journalist, editor, copywriter and content specialist based in the southwest ATL suburb of East Point, Georgia, which was made famous by OutKast. Prior to becoming Thrillist Atlanta’s founding editor, he worked in Atlanta’s music industry and reviewed music for local publications. He’s since held positions at CNN, Cumulus Media and Cox Media Group, has worked with international brands such as InterContinental Hotels Group, Chick-Fil-A, Splash, Ciroc Vodka and Nike, and his writing has appeared in The Huntsville Times, Time Out, Fatherly, News One, Upscale, The Beer Necessities, Southern Kitchen and other publications. He’s also very crunk about Atlanta United.

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