Did you know that the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States happens in Helen in the North Georgia mountains each year?
The annual Helen Oktoberfest will be in it’s 50th year for 2020, and lasts for 8 and a half weeks (from September 10 through November 8)! Make plans now to attend the festivities with the details below.
So what should you expect at the annual Oktoberfest event in Helen?
The alpine mountain town of Helen looks like a Bavarian village all year round, but this small town packs extra oomph during Oktoberfest. In addition to the lively German music and attire, expect to find plenty of beer, wine, and traditional German foods including brats and sauerkraut! Traffic will slow to a crawl for cars during the event, so give yourself extra time for travel.
The weather may still be hot as festivities get started in September — you may even find yourself sweating in your lederhosen! As the event nears it’s close in late October, the weather will be cooler and the Georgia mountains will be bursting with gorgeous fall colors. Make sure to check the weather forecast in advance to ensure your comfort.
The biggest crowds show up for the peak fall colors of the leaves in the mountains — this annual display attracts thousands of people to enjoy the natural beauty. Make certain to book your lodging well in advance for these peak weekend dates in mid to late October.
Helen Georgia Oktoberfest 2020 Events & Information
You will find that the entire Helen village gets wrapped up in the spirit of Oktoberfest, but the main event happens in the Helen Festhalle at 1074 Edelweiss Strasse. The event is scheduled for long weekends (THU – SUN) from September 10 – 27, then it becomes a daily event starting on October 1st.
There is an Oktoberfest parade to kick things off on the first weekend of the event (Saturday, Sept. 12th at 12:00 p.m.).
2020 Event Dates & Band Schedule
The authentic live German music starts 30 minutes after the doors open. Arrive early for the best seats or spend the entire time doing traditional dances on the dance floor!
- September 10 – 13 with music from Dan Witucki & Sterne and Liab’ und Schneid
- September 17 – 20 with music from The Czechers and Festhaus Music
- September 24 – 27 with music from Prost and Das Polka Stimmung Duo
- October 1 – 4 with music from Pech & Schweifel and Sonnen Schnapps
- October 5 – 11 with music from Squeeze Box featuring Ted Lange & Mollie B. and Sonnen Schnapps
- October 12 – 18 with music from Dan Witucki and Mein Heimatland Musikanten and Alpinedoc Matthias
- October 19 – 25 with music from Alpenmusikanten and The Duncan’s from Prost
- October 26 – November 1 with music from Martin Gross und sein Sonnenschein Express and Herb Albinus
- November 2 – November 8 with music from Europa and Herb Albinus
Admission & Hours
Everyone will have their ID checked upon entrance — make sure to remember to bring your ID!!
Active and Retired Military get FREE ADMISSION with valid Military ID.
- Monday – Thursday (6:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)
- $8.00 ages 13+
- $4.00 ages 6 – 12
- FREE under age 6
- Friday (6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.)
- $8.00 ages 13+
- $4.00 ages 6 – 12
- FREE under age 6
- Saturday (1:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.)
- $10.00 ages 13+
- $5.00 ages 6 – 12
- FREE under age 6
- Sunday (1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)
- FREE for everyone!
Kid friendly — the kids even have their own dance floor and kids under age 6 are FREE!
Dog friendly — dogs are welcome in the outside biergarten. Only service dogs are allowed inside. If you are looking for other pet-friendly places in Helen, then check out this list of Pet Friendly Motels & Cabins in Helen and Pet Friendly Restaurants in Helen.
Group packages are available to groups of 25 or more (advance reservation & prepayment only). Tables will be reserved for groups booking Monday through Thursday, provided they arrive at the Helen Festhalle by 6:30 PM for seating. No reserved tables are available on Saturdays.
- Package 1 (Admission and meal) – $22.00 per person Monday – Friday (Saturday $24.00)
- Package 2 (Admission only) – $8.00 per person Monday – Friday (Saturday $10.00)
- Package 3 (Admission only) – FREE on Sundays!
- Package 4 (Admission and meal) – $15.00 per person Sunday
- Each group will receive 2 complimentary tickets
The German dinner includes one wurst of your choice, sauerkraut, one side (red cabbage or German potato salad), dessert (German Chocolate, cheesecake, or Apple Strudel) and beverage (excluding beer and wine.) Food is served cafeteria style.
Enjoy a full platter or choose your food a la carte at the Helen Oktoberfest. The menu includes traditional German favorites like bratwurst, sauerkraut, leberkase, and German potato salad. Snackable American standards are also available for any picky eaters in your group.
You are welcome to bring a cake if there is a birthday in your party, but no other outside food is allowed.
There are lots of different options for lodging during Oktoberfest, but many will be completely full on the busiest weekends. Make your plans in advance and for the best experience, try to find a place within walking distance from the Helen Festhalle. It’s a great time of year to be outside for a walk around town, plus vehicle traffic can be especially busy during Oktoberfest.
Use the map features on these lodging sites to narrow down a place in your preferred location.
There are many great VRBO vacation rentals available within Helen and also in the surrounding area. Choose from houses, condos, cabins, and cottages. Find pet-friendly options or something big enough for a large group.
Hotels & Motels
Stay with familiar brands and find perks including free breakfast, parking, and internet access. Earn free nights or loyalty points with select rates. Find the best prices and search multiple hotel properties / brands with online travel agencies like Expedia, Hotels.com, Priceline, and Booking.com.
Bed and Breakfasts
Enjoy the individual character of a unique room at a bed and breakfast. These memorable locations include an amazing home-cooked meal to start your day.
There are many varieties of AirBNB rentals in downtown Helen that provide a short walk to the Oktoberfest fun (the AirBNB rental featured above is only 0.2 miles from the Helen Festhalle). Rentals can be a single room or an entire cabin. The wide variety of rental options can offer homes with complete privacy or sometimes include a shared meal with your host.
Get a little closer to nature with a stay at a campground.
This popular event sees the small town of Helen (population 543) swell to greet thousands of visitors each year. Traffic can be slow moving on the 2-lane main thoroughfare, and while the mountain roads that approach Helen are beautiful, they are also very twisty. Plan to designate a driver if your group will be drinking or arrange for other transportation like a tour bus or taxi. Keep in mind that the small town’s tranportation resources may be stretched thin during peak times, so these options may be challenging to book when you need them most.
Note that rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber do not officially show Helen as a city that they serve… although, based on internet forums there are often drivers who are availble.
If you’re traveling from the nearby city of Augusta, there is a tour option available for Saturday, October 5th that includes transportation!
- Roundtrip motorcoach transportation from Augusta to Helen including refreshments, games (with prizes), and music
- $75 per person includes a full day at Oktoberfest (admission / ticket included)
- See website for more details and to purchase tickets
While the festive environment usually brings out the best in people, law enforcement officers will be there to help with crowd control and to make sure that everyone obeys the local laws.
If someone in your group finds themselves needing legal advice or assistance, contact the legal team of Corales & Woody for a free legal consulation. These Georgia lawyers have years of experience and are available to answer your questions over the phone at (678) 961-3999. You may contact them 24 / 7 either via phone, email, or by using their online form.
What to Take
Everyone is going to be asked for ID, so be sure to take yours with you to the Helen Festhalle.
Take some cash, because even though most places do accept credit cards, some of the parking lots do not. You may also want cash available to tip your servers.
Although dressing up for Oktoberfest is not required, you may find that it helps you to enjoy yourself just a little more. Checkered trachten shirts are traditional and festive, but they are also something that you will be able to continue to wear year round.
Many people do choose to fully immerse themselves in the traditional attire, so expect to see many, many men in lederhosen. Formerly, lederhosen were worn for hard physical work, as the leather material was more durable than a fabric garment. Today, they are mostly worn as leisurewear and common at Oktoberfest events.
The traditional dress for women is the dirndl. Women should be aware that the how you tie the knot on the dirndl may signify your relationship status: a knot on the left means you are single, a knot on the right means you are taken, a knot in the center may signify virginity, and a knot in the back can indicate a widow or a waitress.
Since dogs are also welcome at the outdoor biergarten, you may also want to let your dog dress up for the occasion. There are many fun costumes available for dogs of all sizes!
Live Web Cam
Finally, if you can’t attend in person but would still like to experience the sights and sounds of the Helen Festhalle during Oktoberfest, then tune in anytime for a live view on the Helen Festhalle live web cam!
Note that you can also bring the same affordable technology to your own home or business with a highly rated indoor or outdoor Nest Security Camera!
Additional Resources & Links
The official event happens at the Helen Festhalle at 1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, GA.
For more information, visit these additional links:
- Oktoberfest / Alpine Helen Chamber of Commerce
- Oktoberfest website and Facebook page (Oktoberfest Festhalle Friends, Helen Georgia)
- Alpine Helen Convention & Visitors Bureau / HelenGa.org
- Helen, GA brochure
- Helen, GA on TripAdvisor
Have you been to one of the annual Helen Oktoberfest events? What are you looking most forward to this year?