Here are our top picks for Spring events and festivals in the Asheville area in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Many are free! Enjoy.
March 20–May 25, 2015: Biltmore Blooms
This festival of flowers celebrates two months of spring blooms that include 75,000+ tulips and elaborate floral displays. See our Biltmore Blooms Guide.
Through May 25, 2015: Dressing Downton
See 40+ costumes from the Downton Abbey TV series inside Biltmore House. See our Dressing Downton Photo Tour.
Every Friday: Drum Circle
Listen and dance to the drumming circle which gathers in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville from Spring through Fall on Friday evenings. See our photos & video of the Drum Circle.
March 28-29, 2015: Orchid Show
This judged show at the NC Arboretum features orchid plants and supplies for sale by world class vendors. Read more about the Orchid Show.
April 3-4, 2015: Appalachian Trial Founder's Bridge Festival
Nantahala Outdoor Center's (NOC) special event to celebrate the nation's most beloved footpath, the 2,179-mile Appalachian Trail. Both weekend dayhikers and long distance warriors are welcome. Nantahala Hilly Half Marathon & 5K is a fun trail run. Read more about the AT Bridge Festival.
April 4, 2015: Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Old hat, new hat, yellow hat, blue hat. They're all welcome at Dillsboro's annual Easter Hat Parade at 2 PM, showcasing a variety of interesting hats atop participants of all ages, including pets. See our Easter Hat Parade Guide.
April 4, 2015: Potters of Madison County
20+ ceramic artists from the Southeast showcase diverse contemporary selection at the Marshall High Studios in downtown Marshall, 9 AM-5 PM. No admission fee.
April 5, 2015: Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock
Celebrate Easter by watching the sun rise over Hickory Nut Gorge. See our Chimney Rock Sunrise Service Guide.
April 8-11, 2015: UNC Asheville Arts Fest
See musical and theatrical performances, exhibits, creative workshops and more across campus with free and ticketed events, including whimsical romantic comedy, outdoor arts festival, dance, drumming, poetry slam, new media and more. Headline concert is master drummer and djembe player Bolokada Conde. Go to their Web site.
April 10-11, 2015: BBQ Cook-off & Bluegrass Jam
Free admission with plenty of great live music and food.
Read more about Western NC Farmers Market Events.
April 11, 2015: Farmers Market Car Show
10 AM - 2 PM. Free. Read more about Western NC Farmers Market Events
April 11-12, 2015: Mother Earth News Fair
Huge, sustainable living event with more than 200 hands-on workshops and demonstrations at the WNC Ag Center. See our Mother Earth News Fair Guide.
April 17-19, 2015: Trailfest
Celebrate the Appalachian Trail in Hot Springs,where it goes through town on Main Street. Spaghetti Dinner kick-off on Friday evening, Saturday fun with bicycles, skateboarding, hoola-hooping, river rafting, soccer, yoga, and more! Pancakes and float trip on Sunday. See our Hot Springs Guide.
April 24-25, 2015:"Growing in the Mountains" Plant Show
Sponsored by the Blue Ridge Hort Association. Truckshed #5, WNC Farmers Market. Certified nurseries will be selling their products to the public.
Read more about Western NC Farmers Market Events.
April 24-25, 2015: Clogfest Weekend
See a lively clogging competition with music by the Crooked Pine Band on Friday night at 6 PM and championships begin at 9 AM on Saturday. Presented by the Transylvania Heritage Museum and held at Brevard Music Center in Brevard.
April 24-26, 2015: NOC Spring Fling, Demo Days& Kayak Competition
Celebrate spring in the Smoky Mountains with a free, family-friendly event in the Nantahala Gorge. Includes the Hometown Throwdown, a community freestyle event hosted by World Kayak, vendor fair and gear demos at NOC's Outfitter's Store, live music, and family-friendly activities. Scheduled releases of the Cascades and Upper sections of the Nantahala River round out this Bryson City weekend. See our NOC Spring Fling Guide.
April 25, 2015: Six Pack Race, Highland Brewing
Runners and craft beer enthusiasts, this “6-pack” of four-mile, chip-timed road races start and end at several craft breweries. This first race will end at Highland Brewing, and proceeds will benefit Asheville Parks and Greenways Foundation. Info and register.
April 25, 2015: Greening Up the Mountains Festival
Celebrate the arrival of spring with this downtown Sylva street festival, about an hour's drive west of Asheville. See our Greening Up the Mountain Festival Guide.
April 25, 2015: Fire On the Mountain
Come to downtown Spruce Pine to see and buy works from regionally and nationally renowned blacksmiths demonstrating their skills from 10 AM to 4 PM. This event celebrates the mountain tradition of blacksmithing, with Master Blacksmiths sharing their expertise and talent. Free to attend. See our Spruce Pine Guide.
April 25, 2015: Earth Day at Chimney Rock
Join Chimney Rock State Park rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café. Free. See our Chimney Rock Guide.
April 26, 2015: Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest
This festival at Highland Brewing Company will include hands-on activities, a grilled cheese cook off, milking demonstrations, panel discussions, workshops, vendors and 19 cheese makers from across the south. Advance tickets (at www.mountaincheesefest.com) are $12 for ages 13+. Tickets at the door $15. 12-4 PM. Also see our WNC Cheese Trail Guide.
May 1-3, 2015: Asheville Outlets Grand Opening
The long-awaited outlet mall opens with extra special deals and events all weekend. Read more about Asheville Outlets.
May 1-3, 2015: French Broad River Festival
This grassroots festival in Hot Springs on the banks of the French Broad features some of the best music in the area and a number of outdoor events in celebration of this beautiful river. Read more about the French Broad River Festival.
May 1-3, 2015: Asheville Magic Festial
Enjoy plenty of mystery and enchantment with an impressive list of master magicians performing in and around the Masonic Temple in downtown Asheville. Read more about it.
May 1-3, 2015: Spring Herb Festival at Western NC Farmer's Market
Largest Herb Festival in the Southeast with 50+ herb businesses with herb plants anywhere, herbs, books, soaps, herbal crafts, medicinal herbs, lotions, dried flowers, herbal baked goods, herbal gifts and much more. Read more about Western NC Farmers Market Events.
May 2, 2015: Block House Steeplechase
Usher in spring with picnics, sundresses, elegant hats, tailgating, and the sounds & sights of thoroughbreds thundering past in Tryon, at the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The National Steeplechase Association sanctions four of the races. See our Tryon NC Guide.
May 2, 2015: Celebrate May Day
Celebrate Folkmoot USA’s mission of a globally-connected community through cultural exchange at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville to dance, sing, play music, dine on international foods, sample special craft beers from regional breweries, sip international coffees and more. 8AM-4 PM. Free admission
May 2-3, 2015: Ramp Festival
Live music & entertainment, food featuring ramps, a naturally grown wild onion grown in the mountains, held in Waynesville. Read more about this and other Waynesville Events
May 2-3, 2015: Weaverville Art Safari
Drive scenic country roads to visit 35 artists in their studios and galleries about 10 minutes north of Asheville. Free. See our Weaverville Art Safari feature. And to download a map and see a full list of artists, go to their Web site.
May 2-3, 2015: Tour de Falls at DuPont State Forest
A 12-mile tour by shuttle bus to four of DuPont State Forest’s spectacular sites: Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia. Read more about Tour de Falls.
May 3, 2015: Bearwallow Beast 5K Trail Run
Run one of the most unrelenting climbs you'll find in the Appalachians - 1,400+ feet in 3.1 miles up Bearwallow Mountain. At the top, enjoy a festival with local beer, live bluegrass, and a breathtaking 360° view atop. A fundraiser for the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy. For more info and to register, go to their Web site.
Mother's Day Weekend
May 7-10, 2015: LEAF Festival
A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multi-cultural musical and dance odyssey. See our LEAF Guide.
May 8-9, 2015: Indian Powwow
American Indian Cultural Association Spring Powwow at the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center in Tryon. Opens Friday at 2 PM and Saturday at 10 AM. Don't miss the grand entry at 8 PM on Friday and 7:30 PM on Saturday.
May 9 & 23, 2015: Master Gardener Plant Clinics at Western NC Farmer's Market
Master Gardeners Program offers plant clinics to assist the public in diagnosing and solving gardening questions. All clinics are free, and the public is encouraged to bring samples from problem plants or insects that need to be diagnosed and/or identified. Read more about Western NC Farmers Market Events.
May 9-10, 2015: Mother’s Day Special
Bring your family together and treat mom to beautiful scenery with spring wildflowers at Chimney Rock Park. Buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and mom or grandma receives one free with coupon. Download coupon on the Chimney Rock Web site.
May 9, 2015: Dahlia Tuber and Mum Plant Sale
The Carolinas Dahlia Society and the NC Chrysanthemum Society celebrate at the NC Arboretum. Read more about the NC Arboretum Spring Shows
May 9-10, 2015: River District Artists Studio Stroll
Tour studios of 160+ artists with an eclectic mix, from traditional to cutting-edge. See special gallery exhibits and demonstrations. Near downtown Asheville and Biltmore. Read more about the Studio Stroll.
May 9-10, 2015: Fiber Weekend
Craftspeople at the Folk Art Center share their inspiration and expertise in a variety of textile arts. Saturday demonstrations include: quilting and appliqué, doll making, weaving, mixed media fiber arts, clothing design, printing and surface design, tapestry weaving, and natural dyeing. Two fashion shows on Sunday! Free admission. Read more about the Folk Art Center.
May 9, 2015: Migratory Bird Day
Take a guided bird walk, attend a live raptor program and see a bird survey demonstration at the Cradle of Forestry. The forests and fields here are alive with song as migratory birds arrive at their summer habitats. Read more about Cradle of Forestry.
May 10, 2015: Moms in Free at Biltmore
Mother's Day Special: Free admission at Biltmore Estate for mom with purchase of youth or adult ticket.
May 15, 2015: Downtown After Five
Enjoy free live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville. Read more about Downtown After Five.
May 16, 2015: Montford Arts and Music Festival
Celebrating its 12th year as one of the largest one day free music and arts festivals in Asheville, held on Montford and Soco, with over 100 vendors of art, crafts, plants and food; two stages with non stop entertainment from 20 groups and a children’s area. Located down from Asheville Visitors Center in Historic Montford with on street parking, bike corral. Held rain or shine. 10AM-7 PM. Go to their Web site.
May 16, 2015: Saluda Arts Festival
Saluda, NC celebrates its heritage and arts culture on Historic Main Street. See a diversity of art media from regional artists. Enjoy music representing Americana, blues, folk, contemporary and watch artist demonstrations. Free. 10 AM-4 PM Read more about Saluda.
May 16, 2015: SpringGo!
Lots of fun in Chimney Rock Village with a pancake breakfast, Cow Pie Bingo, recycled garden art contest, llamas struting their stuff in a Main Street parade, and a grilled dinner and a special outdoor performance by the Rutherford County Orchestra at the Gathering Place.
Memorial Day Weekend Events
May 22-24, 2015: Mountain Sports Festival
Whether you’re a hardcore athlete or a newbie trying an event for the first time, the annual Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville offers something for you. Read more about the Mountain Sports Festival.
May 22-24, 2015: Americana Burlesque & Sideshow Festival
Celebrating the Vaudeville Revival here in Asheville. See renowned circus and burlesque artists from around the world. They promise fashion, contortion, trapeze, and tease! Read more about the Burlesque & Sideshow Festival.
May 23-24, 2015: Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth neighborhood, just five minutes from downtown Asheville, annual Open Studio Tour features 20+ jewelers, painters, glass-workers, fabric artists, potters, woodworkers, photographers, and more! See our Kenilworth Art Studio Tour Guide.
May 23-25, 2015: Lake Lure Arts Festival
Featuring handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region, visitors enjoy a sophisticated collection including painting and graphics, photography, jewelry, leather, metal, soaps and candles, wood, glass, pottery, textiles or fiber art and more. Festival admission is free. Located across from The Beach at Lake Lure, 2771 Memorial Highway. See our Lake Lure Guide.
May 22-30, 2015: Asheville Beer Week
Many events throughout the week, including beer tastings, dinners, and much more. Beer City Festival on May 30. See our Asheville Beer Week Guide.
May 23-24, 2015: White Squirrel Festival
Go nuts at the White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard that features a parade, plenty of live music, food, arts and much. Read more about the White Squirrel Festival
May 23-24, 2015: Garden Jubilee Festival
This Downtown Hendersonville Festival is the ideal event for passionate gardeners searching for the perfect plants and unique lawn & garden accessories and arts & crafts. Read more about Downtown Hendersonville & Garden Jubilee.
May 23 & May 30, 2015: Ooh La La Curiosity Market
Come to Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville for local artists with pottery, jewelry, natural skin care, fabric art, up-cycled crafters and so much more. 10 AM-4 PM
May 25: Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony
Held on the Roger McGuire Green Stage of Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville starting at 2:30 PM with the Army National Guard's Army Band performing an half hour before and after the ceremony.
May 30-31, 2015: Rose Show
The fragrant and vivid world of roses will be on display at the NC Arboretum. Read more about the NC Arboretum Spring Shows.