In 2022, Oktoberfest in Helen Georgia will be running from September 8 through October 30. As the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States, 2022 will mark its 52nd year of celebration. Helen is known for its charming, fairytale-like appearance owed to its colorful architecture and atmospheric position situated alongside a river in the North Georgia Mountains.
It’s a popular getaway any time of year, but September and October in Helen are uniquely special months because they’re when the village can celebrate its own German heritage. Of course, there are over 50 fun things to do in Helen year-round, but Oktoberfest hosts a variety of exclusive entertainment that can’t be found any other time of the year! We’ve listed these activities–as well as some of our other favorite attractions–in the rankings below!
These are the 10 best things to do in Helen for Oktoberfest 2022:
1. Eat Authentic German Food at Oktoberfest 2022
The downtown Festhalle will be serving its own special menu of German food during Oktoberfest in Helen, but there are also many other German restaurants in Helen that are worth a trip to if you’d rather dine someplace scenic like along the riverfront. Troll Tavern is one of our all-time favorite places to eat in Helen. It’s located under a bridge and against the river (where one would typically expect to find a troll, of course), and their outdoor patio overlooks the water. For a sampling of everything, order the Triple Platter to receive one grilled knockwurst, one grilled bratwurst, and one grilled or fried pork cutlet (weinerschnitzel). It comes with German mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and rye bread. They also have delicious beer cheese soup and Reuben sandwiches!
2. Drink German Beer
What better time to have some German beer than at a German celebration! Oktoberfest in Helen will, of course, feature plenty of beer (both German and American) as well as other spirits and plenty of merriment. There’s even a keg tapping ceremony at the downtown Festhalle to kick off the holiday event!
3. Listen to Live Music in Helen from German Bands
During Oktoberfest in Helen, German bands from around the world come to this tiny town to perform on stage for this once-a-year event. In 2022, there will be eight different bands featured throughout September and October, with a different band playing each week. Come hear accordions, banjos, button boxes, acoustic guitars, and more as new bands and returning favorites step up to play German folk songs and polka music. From the Grammy-nominated, one-man Alex Meixner band to the six-person group Pen & Schwefel and everyone in between, these talents are sure to get you in the festive spirit! You can view the full 2022 Helen Oktoberfest Band Schedule here.
4. Dance the Polka at the Helen Festhalle
One of the many reasons people visit Helen for Oktoberfest is to experience all the dancing! German bands will be playing live polka music, and the floor will be packed with folks showing off their best polka dance skills. If you don’t know how to dance, there will be many there happy to show you how. There’s no better time to learn than at Oktoberfest!
5. Watch the 2022 Helen GA Oktoberfest Parade
The 2022 Helen GA Oktoberfest Parade will take place on Saturday, September 10 at noon in the main downtown square. It’s a one-day-only event, but if you miss it, don’t worry–there’s still plenty else to see and do during Oktoberfest in Helen!
6. Explore the Shops of Downtown Helen during Oktoberfest
There’s so much to explore in downtown Helen! The shops are largely run by independent artists and skilled craftsmen touting their own wares, and in many cases, you can even stop to watch these gifts and products being made right before your very own eyes. Watch live glassblowing demonstrations from the Glassblowing Shop before taking home pretty glass jewelry or trinkets. Shop for handmade wooden toys at Tim’s Wooden Toys, and then bring home a sword or marshmallow-firing gun as a souvenir. Buy unique German gifts and clothing from other indie shops. There are so many different types of stores in Helen, and you must stay to explore as many as you can before Oktoberfest is over! There’s even a Christmas-themed shop where you can go to experience Christmas in Helen year round. There’s something for everyone in this tiny town!
7. Take a Stroll by the River in Helen
Helen GA is nestled against the Chattahoochee River. Many of the town’s hotels are situated along the waterfront, and guests can take a scenic stroll beside the gentle rapids on scenic sidewalks that follow its flow. There’s also a riverfront park located downtown where you can enjoy miles of hiking trails, a picturesque gazebo, and a small waterfall called Alana Falls. It’s a beautiful place to visit when you want to escape to someplace a little quieter during Oktoberfest in Helen GA!
8. See the Helen Windmill
Helen has its own working windmill, and it’s one of the most photographed landmarks in town. It’s actually a part of the Heidi Motel and Windmill Suites, and yes, you CAN choose to stay here and sleep in an authentic windmill suite if you so desire! A hotel stay isn’t necessary to see and photograph the windmill, however, so be sure to stop by at least once during your Helen Oktoberfest trip!
9. Visit Anna Ruby Falls
Anna Ruby Falls is one of the most popular attractions to visit while in Helen, so you won’t want to pass it up! The falls are actually made up of two twin waterfalls flowing side by side as two separate creeks tumble over the side of a cliff. The tallest of the two is over 150 feet tall, and both are absolutely gorgeous! Anna Ruby Falls is one of our favorite places to visit during fall in Georgia because the leaves take on a pretty golden glow, and stopping by during Oktoberfest in Helen will give you the opportunity to experience it at its best!
Read Next: 18 Best Places to See Fall in Georgia
10. Stay in a Castle for Oktoberfest in Helen
If you want somewhere unique to stay in Helen for Oktoberfest, pick the Castle Inn! This riverfront hotel is one of the best places to stay in Helen during September and October when the weather starts to cool down in Georgia, and the leaves start to turn the pretty shades of fall. You can request a room with a balcony overlooking the water or overlooking the bustling Main Street and downtown attractions.