These Four Things Are Why Helen Is THE Place To Be For Oktoberfest

Posted by Tom Telford on Sun, Sep 15, 2013

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Oktoberfest has been a staple of Bavarian culture for more than 200 years. There is no better place to celebrate this tradition than Helen, Georgia, home of the longest Oktoberfest celebration in the world.

Did you Know that The World’s Longest Celebrated Oktoberfest Is in Helen Georgia?

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The original Oktoberfest started in 1810 in Munich, Germany in honor of the royal wedding of King Ludwig I to Princess Therese of Bavaria. Citizens were invited to participate in a festival to honor the marriage, and a two-week long party, with each year’s passing growing in length and popularity. Thus, Oktoberfest was born.

In the beginning, Oktoberfest included horse races, agricultural shows, large quantities of Munich beer and authentic German food. As Germans immigrated to various other countries, the festival spread and today Oktoberfest celebrations are held around the world each September.

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In 1970, Helen, Georgia hosted the first Oktoberfest. The celebration became a favorite for locals and tourists alike. Town businesses and community leaders revitalized the dwindling industrial economy by turning the city into a displaced Bavarian village nestled in the heart of north Georgia. Helen began thriving as a tourist destination.

Starting each year in mid-September and running through the end of October, the annual Helen Oktoberfest is a wild romp through the traditions of Bavarian Europe. Lasting eight weeks, it is the longest-running Oktoberfest celebration in Georgia. This extended festivity allows thousands of revelers to enjoy themselves after other Oktoberfest celebrations have ended.

The Helen festival has kept many of the original traditions such as traditional beers, Germanic foods, polka dancing, and music played by local musicians in the Festhalle.

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Celebrate The Rich History of Experiences  at The Helen Georgia Oktoberfest

The area of Helen Georgia has a long and rich history stretching back to the earliest days of our American settlers. Many don't know, but it was the site of the first major gold strike in North America! Later, the bigger California and Yukon gold strikes overshadowed Helen’s, but Helen still made its mark in America.

When redesigning the town in the 1960's, Helen decided to honor that heritage, and the contributions of the Germanic peoples to America, by building a city inspired by 19th Century Bavarian Alpine architecture.  

Since then, Helen is proud to call themselves the best little German town in America! There is no better way to experience this than to visit Helen during our annual Oktoberfest celebration!

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Helen Delivers An Oktoberfest You Can't Find Anywhere Else

Helen's Parade

The annual parade kicking off the celebration is world-renowned. It's more of a traveling party than a parade, which eventually winds its way to Helen's Festhalle, the primary meal-hall during Oktoberfest.

Some of The Best German Food

While it may appear so, Oktoberfest isn't just about beer. It's a celebration of some of the best German / Bavarian cuisine this side of the Alps with a selection of chefs culled from around Europe to make it happen!

Whether you visit the Bodensee with its world-class imported chef, the Old Heidelberg, or just stop for a snack at Hofer's, you won’t find better German food.  

Sausages, schnitzel, potatoes, sauerkraut, and all those hearty foods that boring magazines tell you to avoid are up for grabs. When you come to Helen for Oktoberfest, eat up!

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Amazing Fall Foliage

Situated in the foothills of the Appalachians, you'll see some of the most mind-blowing natural landscapes, still unspoiled by civilization's progress surrounding Helen. While Helen provides a brilliant natural escape any time of year, fall is especially magical.

A variety of state parks offering natural attractions around the Helen area make it a must-see for season change fans. Lake Unicoi, Unicoi State Park’s centerpiece, is especially praised by visitors from around the world for its brilliant colors. On a bright day, the calm Lake Unicoi reflects the rainbow of fall colors like a painting.

Arts In The Park

Want something a little more quiet and contemplative when taking a break from the festivities in Helen? Take in the annual fall Arts In The Park. Local artists, as well as those traveling from nearby metroplexes, like Atlanta, fill the park with paintings, sculpture, pottery, music, and anything else they can dream up.

The Helen area has attracted a wide range of artisans, giving them the perfect way to show their skills. There are plenty of activities to keep adults and youngsters entertained.

You might even want to take home an original piece of art to commemorate your visit and be a conversation piece for years to come!

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Traditions You Can Expect, & What Not To Miss at Oktoberfest in Helen Georgia

Oktoberfest Helen Georgia is a place to forget the cares and stresses of everyday life and travel back to a time when the world was simple, a world of food, beer, and music. The town goes all-out for those who come to Oktoberfest.

Crowds line the cobblestone alleyways with revelers pouring in and out of the restaurants and shops in the time-honored tradition.

A Few Traditions To Look Forward To At Helen Georgia Oktoberfest

Undoubtedly, you can expect an excessive amount of authentic Bavarian food. The traditional fare consists of knockwurst, bratwurst, cheddarwurst, potato salad, leberkäse, pretzel knodle, goulash, red cabbage, schnitzels, sauerkraut, chocolates, cheesecakes and apple strudel.

Beer, wine, more beer and more wine are flowing. Whether it’s exports, imports, autumn brews, lagers, meads, ales, stouts, hops or barley hops, Helen has the works.

Polka bands (or as they are colloquially known, "Oompah bands") provide entertainment as they churn the rhythm well into the wee morning hours. Prepare to sing, hop, and waltz along, and maybe even partake in the infamous chicken dance!

In short, look forward to a Bavarian style party that's brewing with excitement and fun!

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Events And Places Not To Miss At Oktoberfest Helen GA

In addition to all the delicious food and drinks, there are a few "must-sees" during the celebration:

The annual Oktoberfest Parade, held on the first Saturday of the season, featuring the official "Tapping of the Keg."

The Festhalle, where lively Polka bands and communal eating tables provide the perfect drinking atmosphere.

Hofer's of Helen, one of the longest producing German bakeries in the South.

The square market in town, full of Bavarian charm. 

For anyone looking to lose themselves in a wild, good-natured, fun-filled place, Oktoberfest Helen is the perfect time to do so. Oktoberfest is a celebration, assured to bring a fun time and cheerfulness. It is not just the beer that brings on this mood. It's the music, the dancing and the loud, happy atmosphere along with the traditional costumes. Come to Oktoberfest in Helen and experience the fun!

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Get Your Sennerhut, Lederhosen, And Dirndl Ready for Oktoberfest in Helen Georgia

Like the Germans in Munich and around the world, Oktoberfest is celebrated by wearing authentic costumes such as Sennerhut, Lederhosen, and Dirndl throughout the festival.

Visitors to Oktoberfest typically wear “Sennerhut,” Bavarian hats made out of goat hair, which have a high value in Germany. In fact, the more goat hair on the hat, the wealthier people appeared to be.

Lederhosen are leather shorts with H-shaped suspenders hosting flowers on the straps traditionally worn by men in Bavaria and other Alpine regions. During Oktoberfest in Helen, GA, Lederhosen is usual attire.

The Dirndls consists of a bodice, a low-cut blouse with short puff sleeves, full skirt and apron. Traditional designs of Lederhosen and Dirndl incorporated colored cloth that indicated the home area of the men and women wearing them.

In A Nutshell, This is What Rich History of Oktoberfest in Helen Is All About

Our spectacular Oktoberfest celebration is known for:

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German Food

What's Oktoberfest without some authentic German fare? Helen offers succulent Bavarian favorites throughout the year at many of its local eateries, but these treats and dishes become especially sought-after when the party is going full-swing. Whether you've tried German food in the past or are just curious, you'll have plenty of options. Snack on fresh, hot pretzels, or go for a wurst. Bratwursts are available and served heated on delectable rolls - with or without sauerkraut. Enjoy your meal with a side of red cabbage or potato salad. Don't forget to save room for German chocolate cake! It will be love at first bite.

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Germanic Music and Dance

It's the fun oom-pa-pa of German polka music that lights up the background and sets the tone for the annual Oktoberfest celebration. Live music is provided at the Festhalle each night throughout the festival, so no matter when you choose to attend, you will have the opportunity to dance the night away with your nearest and dearest. Even if you don't think you have what it takes to shake a tail feather, you will not want to miss out on everyone's favorite - The Chicken Dance! Visit the Helen Chamber of Commerce website for a full music schedule!

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Domestic, International and German Beers

Many people think of Oktoberfest mainly as a time to enjoy a cold beer. As you can see, there's a lot more to it than that, but the beer sure doesn't hurt! You can enjoy locally brewed domestic and international beers along with the different German flavors to help you take a load off during your getaway to the north Georgia mountains. If you're not a fan of beer, you'll also be able to try a variety of different wines - including those native to Helen and its surrounding areas. For a non-alcoholic take on the festival, stay warm with German coffee, hot chocolate, tea, cider, and other fall beverage favorites.

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Gemütlichkeit

This is the German word for an atmosphere of community, cheer, and belonging that's present throughout the festival. This culture is the heart and soul of the celebration. Although many of the city's restaurants and pubs hold events and offer different meal and drink deals, the primary setting of Helen's Oktoberfest is the Festhalle. Here, you will find long rows of communal tables arranged so diners can enjoy traditional Bavarian food, drink, and live entertainment with their family and friends while mingling with the crowds and meeting new people.

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Stay In Comfort And Style In One Of Cedar Creek’s Luxury Cabins

Finally, here's something you can get at a Helen Oktoberfest that you can't find anywhere else. Experience a beautiful, luxurious and private romantic cabin in the woods, surrounded by nature with clean air, with the amenities you'd expect from a top-grade hotel!

The cabins around the southern Appalachians are the perfect place to rest and recuperate after a full day of festivities. Only a few minutes outside of town, yet still far enough away that the only noises you'll hear are your woodland neighbors just beyond your door.

When you're relaxing in a hot tub, or making use of your outdoor cooking facilities, you'll see nothing but trees, clear skies, and an utterly unpolluted view of the sea of stars above.

If a Helen Oktoberfest beckons, see for yourself how well you could be living at your home-away-from-home, surrounded by nature at Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals.

It’s Time For You To Celebrate Oktoberfest in Helen Ga!

Now that we have shared some of the rich history and traditions of Oktoberfest, it’s time for you to experience the festival celebrated across the world! Come to Helen, Georgia for a fun-filled time, and encounter the culture of Germany without ever having to leave the country!

The Cedar Creek Cabin Rentals team wants to make sure you get informed with everything you need to enjoy your time at the Helen, GA Oktoberfest. We put together a 100% free guide for all the inside information on a Helen Oktoberfest!

Download Oktoberfest Guide

Our Additional Oktoberfest Content

In the Oktoberfest content center, you can explore numerous articles, videos, and graphics to make your next Oktoberfest the best ever. Here is a list of the blog posts you'll find there.

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Topics: Oktoberfest, Things To Do, Cabin Rentals, History & The Arts
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