April 20, 2019
The sweetest festival in Western North Carolina is the Carolina Donut Festival in downtown Marion. The annual event covers several blocks of the iconic small town Main Street. In addition to a hundred varieties of donuts, cupcakes, cookies and other pastries, find 150 vendors with crafts, local goods, games and savory food. Burn off some calories with a 5K and half marathon. Don't forget to sample the Country's Biggest Donut! Hours are 10 AM-3 PM, and admission is free.
The festival is hosted by Mr. Bob's Do-nuts, who plans to serve 10,000 donuts that day. Plus, Bob is inviting other "donutologists" to bring in their creations for all to enjoy.
Many downtown Marion restaurants, breweries and shops join in the fun. Food trucks bring festival favorites like BBQ and hot dogs. Highlights of the day will be the donut eating contest and the Miss Carolina Donut Festival Pageant. The day begins at 7:30 AM with Bob's Half Marathon that starts at his other location in Old Fort (13.5 miles away). The Donut Dash 5K starts at 8:30 AM. Get as selfie with and sample the 10-foot, 600-pound donut topped with sprinkles on the Courthouse lawn.
Find kids activities and games to work off the sugar rush. Enjoy live music at the town pavilion.
Robert Masiello, aka Mr. Bob, opened Mr Bob's Do-nuts in 2014 at 60 South Main Street, and it was an instant hit with locals. Bob's Apple Ugly was voted the nation's best by the Food Network. Other favorites include peanut butter cream, maple crunch and strawberry.
Beer lovers should check out the new Mica Town Brewing (25 Brown Drive), Spillway Bridge (93 S. Main St) and Refinery 13 Taproom (13 N. Main). Burrito Brothers (9 N Main) spicy Mexican fare pairs nicely with sweet donuts.
Marion is about 36 miles east of Asheville, a quick drive on I-40 East. GPS address: 60 South Main St, Marion. Bring cash since many vendors will not be set up for credit cards. Find plenty of free parking along adjoining streets.