Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” Just as Mr. Hawthorne described, the fall season seems to come with the desire to spend time experiencing new sights, sounds, and tastes or revisiting familiar haunts in the community.
For Rome, October is the month to enjoy the sunshine and cooling air through the many festivals we have coming up. Whether you’re looking for local artists, new (and vintage!) music, or the chance to gather in celebration with those you love, Roman festivals will have what you need.
Fiddlin’ Fest Between the Rivers is relatively new to the area where you’ll find vintage music and cars to fill any nostalgic void as you roam the streets of Rome’s Historic Downtown. The block party atmosphere features a car show, games for kids, local artists, sidewalk sales and food/drink vendors from local restaurants. Enjoy two live music stages or feel free to bring your own fiddle and join the fun! You won’t want to miss this lively experience walking through Rome’s downtown and listening to the sounds of the South. The festival begins at noon after the Harbin Hero Hustle 5k and health walk and lasts well into the evening.
If you would like to taste some of the best chili in Northwest Georgia, then stop by Ridge Ferry Park on the same day to try some of the chili being considered for the winner of the 2017 Chili Cookoff! There will also be live music provided by the Wedunit and Highway 100 bands.
That same weekend, you can also stop by Fall Festival at 5th from 12-5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, for apple cider and yarn spinning lessons. It’s a small festival compared to the others, but it’s unique and worth checking out. The Foundry will also be on-site to offer a class on home brewing for only $10. Now that’s a festival that truly keeps on giving.
The next weekend offers no shortage of fun festivals for those attempting to make the most out of this bountiful season. The John Wisdom Wagon Train Ride, Oct. 20-21 will start and end at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds and revisits the heroic path “Georgia’s Paul Revere” who warned Rome of impending attack by Union forces in May of 1863. Following the Wagon Train is dancing and live music at the fairgrounds. If festival season is about music and celebration, then why not dust off your dancing shoes and join in the fun?
Perhaps the highlight of Rome’s outdoor festivities for the month of October is the Wings Over Georgia Air Show. Featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Rob Holland, and the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, this incredible display of acrobatics rivals that of all other air shows in the area. Whether you’re buying tickets for the show or gathering ’round a friend’s house, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see these wings in action. No matter how old or young, this event is guaranteed to make the spectator look to the heavens in awe and wonder of the talent of these pilots.
The finale of Rome’s fall festival season is the annual Chiaha Harvest Fair, which runs Oct. 28 – 29. After 53 years, the Chiaha remains as a special place in the hearts of Romans, Georgians, and travelers as a gathering where it is known you can get the best pies, kettle corn, and cider. Held at Ridge Ferry Park, you won’t want to miss the excitement behind this highly anticipated event.
In case you were worried about whether November could match the excitement and fanfare of October, worry no more. Coming up is the widely anticipated Rome International Film Festival, which opens on Nov. 9 with the captivating film Mankiller and features special guest Burt Reynolds for the 40th anniversary showing of Smokey and the Bandit.
Also in November, the ExploreGeorgia.org Songwriter Series will be wrapping up at The Rome City Brewing Co. with performances that include the artists Trea Landon, Eric Dodd and Jordan Rager. Georgia’s Rome is the last stop on the state wide tour. At The Rome City Brewing Company, you can sit at the bar, enjoy the locally crafted brew, and get lost in the music. This live performance is not technically a festival, but it’s too cool not to mention anyway.