Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Travel Diaries: Happiness and Holiday Cheer in Alpine Helen

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Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, lies a tiny village full of cobblestone alleys, old-world towers, gingerbread trims and lots but lots of happy people. Alpine Helen, is a re-creation German Town and is the most popular destination in North Georgia, and third in the state behind Atlanta and Savannah. 

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This picturesque town full of holiday cheer is one our favorite places to visit during the holiday season.  

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The town decks itself in Christmas finery looking just like a  storybook village, with carols playing throughout for Alpenfest, which runs from Thanksgiving into December. 

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The horse and carriages, a favorite among visitors, are decked out in the prettiest holiday garland and banners. 

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Winter holidays is the best time to bring your family to Helen due to the amount of kid-friendly events that are available. On December 1, 2012 you can enjoy live dulcimer music from 3:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. while enjoying the Festival of Trees inside the Unicoi Lodge. This family friendly holiday celebration includes making holiday crafts, a special meal in the park's restaurant, and music in the beautifully decorated lodge. You can also create various holiday ornaments and crafts, enjoy a hayride while singing carols and admiring Unicoi's mountain scenery, and take pictures of your children with Santa and Mrs. Claus. 

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Another favorite tradition at Helen is the “Christkindlmarkt” which comes from the German tradition of booths set up in the center of town with specialty gift items, decorations, and an assortment of savory and sweet foods, drinks and candied treats. 

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Christkindlmarkt runs during November 25, 26 and 27 and on December 3 and 4, beginning at 10:00 a.m. and lasting until 6:00 on Friday and Saturdays and 5:00 on Sundays.

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Santa will also be available in the band shell on those two weekends from noon to 4:00. Also, Bethlehem Baptist Church Senior Choir will perform from 4:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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In addition, Alpine Helen has multiple restaurants, bakery, wineries and more than 100 unique gift shops sure to help you find something special for everyone on your Christmas list. For a full list of events please visit http://www.helenga.org/events. Don't miss the Helen Christmas Parade that will wind through the town on December 3 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Make sure you bring your camera along with you.  You're not going to resist taking pictures of the beautiful scenery and the unique architecture of this town.

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