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11 can't-miss Atlanta festivals in October

Make the most of the harvest season with 11 of Atlanta's best festivals for fall.

»RELATED: Vote: What is the best fall festival in Atlanta?

From block parties to Oktoberfest, hot air balloons to pride parades, the October air is just right for festivals all over the city.

Sweet Auburn Music Fest. Times vary. Oct. 6-7. Free admission. Near Downtown Atlanta. 320 Irwin St., NE, Atlanta. http://www.sweetauburnmusicfest.com.

Sweet Auburn Music Fest is a self-described "blend of music, people, food, entertainment and culture," featuring up-and-coming acts in hip-hop and notable R&B stars. It's a free event that takes place during the same time frame as the A3C Festival, and so it provides a free opportunity to take in Atlanta's flair for urban culture or to take a break from Atlanta's largest hip-hop festival of the year. Festival organizers recommend taking MARTA or the Atlanta Streetcar to the Auburn Avenue stop.

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Oktoberfest Atlanta. 5-11 p.m. Oct. 12, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 13, noon-6 p.m. Oct. 14. $38 general admission. Historic Fourth Ward Park. 680 Dallas St., Atlanta. https://www.oktoberfestatl.com.

Oktoberfest is coming to Atlanta October 12-14 in Historic Fourth Ward Park. The event will feature three days of German food and beer, live music and a variety of games and Oktoberfest-themed activities. In addition to the beers, which will be both cold and German (along with craft brews from Bell's Brewery), the event will feature polka music, local performers, bratwurst, Bavarian pretzels and a healthy spread of German food options. Games will include a stein hoisting contest, a bratwurst toss and keg roll racing. Don't drink and drive.

Atlanta Pride Festival and Parade. Times vary. Oct. 12-14. Free admission. Piedmont Park. 400 Park Dr. NE., Atlanta. https://atlantapride.org.

Atlanta is playing host to its 48th annual Pride Festival Oct. 12-14. Atlanta Pride is a year-round organization with the purpose of advancing unity, visibility and self-esteem among lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender and queer persons and to promote a positive image in the Atlanta area and throughout the Southeastern United States through community activities and services. No weekend is bigger for the LGBTQ community in Atlanta than Pride, and the weekend-long event is perhaps most famous for the Atlanta Pride Parade, scheduled to step off this year beginning at noon on Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Civic Center MARTA Station, running north on Peachtree Street, east onto 10th Street, and following 10th Street to the Charles Allen Gate entrance of Piedmont Park.

Apples by the bagful are sold during the Georgia Apple Festival, held each October in Ellijay. Live entertainment, crafts and foods featuring apples are part of the celebration. Contributed by Gilmer Chamber.

Georgia Apple Festival. Times vary. Oct. 13-14, Oct. 20-21. $5 adult, kids under 10 free. Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. 1729 South Main St., Ellijay. http://www.georgiaapplefestival.org.

Over two exciting weekends in October, The Georgia Apple Festival brings hundreds of vendors offering food, art, crafts and more to Georgia's Apple Capital, Ellijay. There will be handcrafted items as well as on-site demonstrations of how selected crafts are made. You'll also get to enjoy the annual parade, a riveting car show and some of the juiciest, crispiest apples in Georgia.

You’ll find a fair share of sweet treats, from doughnuts to cookies, at Taste of Atlanta. CONTRIBUTED BY TASTE OF ATLANTA (For the AJC)

Taste of Atlanta 2018. Times vary. Oct. 19-21. Prices vary. Historic Fourth Ward Park. 680 Dallas St., Atlanta. http://www.tasteofatlanta.com.

Over three glorious days, Taste of Atlanta is proud to feature good eats and drinks from some of the best Atlanta restaurants. In addition to over 90 restaurants, craft beer, wine and cocktails, some of the hottest local chefs and hospitality pros will lead on-stage cooking demos and classes. There are also VIP tickets available for those wanting an amazing selection of wine from around the world and bites from restaurants not found in the main festival.

Get into the spirit of things with the Owl-O-Ween celebration at Kennesaw State University. (iWally) (For the AJC)

Owl-O-Ween Hot Air Balloon Festival. 6-11 p.m. Oct. 19, 4-11 p.m. Oct. 20. $14 adult general admission, $6 child (ages 3-12) general admission. Fifth Third State Bank Stadium. 3200 George Busbee Pkwy NW., Kennesaw. https://owl-o-ween.com.

Now in its sixth year, Kennesaw's Owl-O-Ween has become Atlanta's largest Hot Air Balloon Festival and costume party. Whether you are young or young at heart, you'll find fun in just about every corner form tethered balloon rides, costume showdowns, live entertainment, food trucks and so much more. Adult beverages, including craft and domestic beer and Tito's Handmade Vodka, will be served throughout the grounds. Be sure to bring your valid ID.

Little 5 Points Halloween Parade & Festival. Noon-11 p.m. Oct. 20. Free admission. Little Five Points. Euclid Avenue NE., Atlanta. http://l5phalloween.com.

Every October in the heart of eccentricity, Little 5 Points Halloween Parade and Festival hosts not only one of Atlanta's most favorite festivals but one of the top 10 Halloween events in the country. From noon to 11 p.m., enjoy a variety of the Artist Market and Food Vendors along Euclid Avenue and music in Findley Plaza and in the Star Bar parking lot. And from 4-6 p.m. take part in the Spooktacular Parade. The parade route starts at Austin and Euclid and moves up Euclid to Moreland. It will turn South on Moreland and proceed to the Wrecking Bar Brewpub where it will do a u-turn and then proceed to Freedom Parkway.

Fall Festival on Ponce. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 20, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 21. Free admission. Olmsted Linear Park. 1451 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. http://festivalonponce.com.

More than 20,000 visitors will make their way to the historic Olmsted Linear Park for the annual Festival on Ponce this year. The arts and crafts fair boasts more than 125 displays of fine art and crafts, folk and "outsider art." There will also be activities for children, local food and beverage options and acoustic performances at the free community event.

Atlanta Mess-Around. Times vary. Oct. 26-28. Full festival passes $65. East Atlanta Village, Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues, Atlanta. http://atlantamessaround.com.

Atlanta's favorite block party turns 10 this year with Atlanta Mess-Around, East Atlanta Village's rowdiest weekend festival. Radioactivity, Bush Tetras, Protex, Roky Erickson, Greg Cartwright and others will perform at the Earl, and festival passes start at $5 for day entry, $30 for night shows, and $65 for the entire weekend.

Dia de Los Muertos. Noon-5 p.m. Oct. 28. Free admission. Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd, NW., Atlanta. http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

At Dia de Los Muertos, the Atlanta History Center in partnership with Consul General of Mexico and the Institute of Mexican Culture will present Atlanta's own Day of the Dead Festival. The event will feature traditional dancing, arts and crafts and more. The event is cause for a free admission day at the Atlanta History Center, which makes it a great opportunity to not only enjoy the Dia de Los Muertos Festival but also to explore the rest of the history center's traditional and traveling exhibitions, as well as the historic house and trail experiences for which the center is famous.

Pumpkin Festival. Times vary. Sept. 22-Oct. 28, (Fri.-Sun.). Prices vary. Stone Mountain Park. 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. https://www.stonemountainpark.com.

Every weekend until Oct. 28, Stone Mountain Park will welcome guests of all ages to its annual Pumpkin Festival with family-friendly events, carved jack-o-lanterns, storytelling from Mother Goose, parades, pie eating contests, costumed characters, glow-in-the-dark mini golf, flashlight tours and more.

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