Helen, Georgia’s 2011 Oktoberfest

For the 41st year, the quaint alpine village of Helen, Georgia is hosting its annual Oktoberfest, much to the delight of the throngs of UGA students, local residents and out-of-towners who make the pilgrimage to Helen for days and nights of excellent German food, music, and of course beer!

The celebration in Helen runs from September 22 until October 30th this year, with festivities throughout the month. While the individual restaurants and bars will, of course, be able to set their own hours, the majority of the activities that will occur will happen during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday 6PM – 10:30PM

Friday, 6PM -Midnight

Saturday 1PM-Midnight

Sunday 1PM- 7PM

Admission to this year’s Oktoberfest is $7.00 per person, $9.00 on Saturdays, and Sundays are free.

It goes without saying that food and drinks are not supplied by the White county chamber of commerce. Other issues you may run into during the Oktoberfest festivities include lodging. If you plan on staying at a hotel during the month, you may find your options somewhat limited. Newcomers often learn about Oktoberfest in Helen, Georgia and assume that they have plenty of time to make reservations. In truth, however, many of the best hotel and motel rooms are booked as much as six months or more in advance. Campers have abundant options, however, and will find numerous camping options available, particularly for those campers brave enough to take on the challenge of an alpine autumn evening. Late in the Oktoberfest event, nights in Helen, Georgia can reach a tooth-chattering 30 degrees. Make sure you’ve at least got someone warm to cuddle up with, if not a good-quality sleeping bag!

Throughout the festivities, a number of bands are slated to perform, with no less than nine different bands playing. If you don’t much care for German music, and specifically Polka, you may want to skip the entertainment, but you’ll be missing out on a real treat if you do. Following is a list of the players expected to perform at this year’s 2011 Helen Georgia Oktoberfest.

September 22 – 25 Terry Cavanaugh & Alpine Express

September 22 – October 1 Jim Horzen

September 26 – October 5 Stratton Mountain Boys

October 2 – 23 Roland Kurz

October 6 – 12 Sauerkrauts

October 13 – 16 Alpenmusikanten

October 17-23 Edi und Freunde

October 24 – 30 Dan Witucki & Heimatland Musikanten

October 24 – 30 Lorelei und Schatzi

After having attended previous Helen Oktoberfest celebrations, I can safely say that you’d be hard pressed not to have a good time. The German food is at its absolute best, the music is fun, and the beer is second to none. If you go and don’t have a good time, it really is because you just aren’t trying hard enough!

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