AMERICUS — Eleven Haunted History Tours. Twelve train rides. Ninety-nine birthdays. Hundreds of Civil War re-enactors. And thousands of visitors in town for First Friday, Downtown Trick-or-Treat, performances at the historic Rylander Theatre, or the annual Christmas Parade. No event will be bigger than this fall’s one main event, however – the second annual Americus Music Fest on Saturday, Oct. 21. No doubt, Americus and Sumter County have it going on!
The SAM Shortline excursion train’s Sumter Explorer rides take place Oct. 7 and 14, as guests experience Americus and the county’s uniqueness by traveling on Georgia’s only “rolling state park.” Lenny’s Farmers Market on Hampton Street will brim with activity on Oct. 14 with Fall at the Market. Trick-or-treating on Oct. 26 follows the annual Kiwanis Pet Parade the same day, where animals of all sorts thrill kids and adults alike by parading the downtown streets in their unique attire.
The Americus Haunted History Tours, which began Oct. 1, dominate 11 spooky nights downtown. The Visitor Center-led walking tours include a stop at the oldest graveyard in town; the site of a 1913 lynching; and a trip inside the fabulous Windsor Hotel, the city’s icon. Upcoming dates include Oct. 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 24, 27, 30 and 31. Call 229-928-6059 for information.
The Americus Music Fest on Oct. 21, though, is the city’s signature event of the fall season. The festival recently was rated by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as one of the Top 10 fall festivals in Georgia. The festival, sponsored by the City of Americus, runs from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Jackson Street Depot. Best of all, it’s free!
Performers from as far away as Tallahassee, Fla., include Southern Jazz Collective; The Plucktones; The Palace Jesters; Seth Meadows Band; Classic Soul; Luke Martin Band; Circle of Peace Drummers; and Pharaohs of Funk, among other genres.
In addition to the music, food trucks offering everything from cupcakes and barbecue to tacos and wine slushies; dozens of vendors; an expansive kid zone including a 100-foot Camo Obstacle Course and the Xtreme 3 Mega Marble course; and train rides complement the festivities.
Hispanic Heritage Month will be celebrated with arts activities along Finn Street and a famous Mexican DJ will spin some of the hottest Latin hits! Flash Squad Dancers from Atlanta with their stilt walkers and balloon animal artists will only add to the fun.
A large turnout is expected. For more information, call 229-924-4411, Ext. 254.
The month of November brings in “Flashback Friday” on the First Friday on Nov. 3. Stores stay open late from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and free trolley rides are offered across town. Be sure to stop by the Americus Visitor Center to check out the staff’s costumes from the 1990s!
That same night, country duo Wilson-Fairchild will appear at the Rylander Theatre. A Plains Express train ride also occurs the same day, in addition to on Nov. 17.
Andersonville National Historic Site will offer its educational Living History Weekend on Nov. 4-5. You can see how Union prisoners and Confederate guards experience life at the Civil War prison by hearing the stories from living historians!
In Leslie, 11 miles southeast of town, the annual Georgia Sugar Cane Festival takes place on Nov. 4 starting at 8 a.m. For information, call 229-942-1111.
Also on Nov. 4, a Presidential Flyer train ride runs to President Carter’s hometown of Plains, just 10 miles west of Americus.
Other November events include Christmas Open House on Thursday, Nov. 16; Small Business Weekend Nov. 24-25; and the Plains Christmas Lighting on Nov. 25.
In December, there’s no shortage of “to-dos” with the Dec. 1 First Friday’s “Home For The Holidays” theme and the Dec. 7 annual Christmas Parade. More than 70 units participate annually.
The Rylander Theatre will host two holiday events, including the Hope Loud 2023 Christmas Concert on Dec. 2 and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra brought to you by Friends of the Rylander Theatre on Dec. 19. For tickets or more information, call 229-931-0001.
For any information related to area events, stop by the Americus Visitor Center at 101 W. Lamar St. downtown, or follow Visit Americus on Facebook or go to www.visitamericusga.com.