HELEN - Though October still is a couple of weeks away, the people of Helen are ready for its arrival.
The city's 43rd-annual Oktoberfest kicked off Thursday, Sept. 12, and drew thousands to the Alpine Village of White County for the Oktoberfest Parade on Saturday.
The longest-running Oktoberfest in the United States runs daily Sept. 19-Oct. 28 at the Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse.
German-style bands featuring Alphorns, accordians, cowbells provide Polka music throughout the event.
This will be the last year at Oktoberfest for entertainer Roland Kurz, a 27-year veteran of the event.
Other performers at various times during the event will include Eurofest, SPASS!, Terry Cavanaugh and Alpine Express, Jim Horzen, Chardon Polka Band, Dan Witucki and The Heimatland Muikanten, Alpenmusikanten, and The Alex Meixner Band.
Admission to the event is $8 Monday through Friday, and $10 on Saturday, with free admission on Sundays.
For more information on Oktoberfest, call the Helen Chamber of Commerce at (706) 878-1619, or visit www.helenchamber.com.