Friends, family and fresh air are just a few of the things we look forward to when we think fall festivals.
For the health conscious, a fall festival or two can be the beginning of poor diet habits that last all the way up until the New Year.
As wonderful as it sounds, try to steer clear of the soul food and beer festivals.
Instead, visit these festivals that feature healthier foods and activities.
Disclaimer: Many of these events will serve not-so-diet-friendly options, but remember what the event is celebrating, plan what you will eat during your time at the festival and consider the importance of moderation and enjoy.
If you've heard it once, you've heard it a million times: You have to vary your fitness routine to avoid becoming bored in your workouts. Consider signing up to compete at the annual Atlanta Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. The festival is Georgia's biggest Hong Kong cultural event of the year and includes dragon boat racing, cultural events during the opening ceremonies and cuisine from around the world. Teams of companies, universities, breast cancer survivors and friends come together in a competition that requires stamina and plenty of upper body strength.
Oct. 8-9 & Oct. 15-16
Ellijay is the heart of Georgia's apple country and for two weekends in October, all of the mountain apple growers come together to provide the community with tasty, fresh and relatively cheap apples. High in dietary fiber and a good source of potassium, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron and zinc, apples are a delicious and nutritious fruit. The festival also features a 5K road race; even the trophies typically have apples on them.
If you can do without the extra cheese and saltines, chili can be an excellent source of protein, fiber and veggies, so why not visit the Brookhaven Chili Cook Off? You'll be able to sample some of the best chili and Brunswick stews in the southeast while enjoying good music and good times. The festival does have beer and wine vendors, but if you choose to drink, do so responsibly and don't overindulge.
Not your traditional fall festival, but community, entertainment and inspiration are all still available. Participants commit to walk and raise as much money as possible in an effort to fight diabetes and for the nearly 30 million people in the United States challenged by the disease. Fundraisers will gather at Turner Field in November, but participants have already begun walking and gathering donations.