2021 Fall Festivals, Asheville & NC Mountains

40 Fall Festivals & Events, Sept & Oct

Fall is a very busy time for a variety of street festivals, events, art tours, and more in Asheville and our mountain small towns. Most are free to enjoy! The autumn foliage color show adds to the excitement. See our Fall Foliage Forecast for a week-by-week color report. For events throughout the year, see our list of seasonal calendars.

Upcoming Fall Events & Festivals: September & October

Haunted Trail Adventure Center of Asheville
The Haunted Trail, Adventure Center of Asheville
Friday, October 8, 2021 to Saturday, October 30, 2021
Celebrating the Halloween season, this family-friendly haunted trail is ideal for ages 3-12 and features live actors, spooky sounds, and props for a no-touch, no-contact heart-pumping experience. Also enjoy spooky live entertainment, no-touch activities, and food and beverages available including hot chocolate. 11 nights in October, 7-9 PM. 
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Saturday, October 30, 2021 to Sunday, October 31, 2021
Take a self-guided tour of 30 artists’ studios in North Asheville’s scenic Beaverdam Valley. Buy art from ceramists, painters, sculptors, jewelers, and glass and textile artists. 10 AM-5 PM
Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top 50 Events (November & December)
Monday, November 1, 2021 to Friday, December 31, 2021
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina mountains, including many small towns and Biltmore Estate. 
Earl Scruggs Festival 2020
Earl Scruggs Music Festival
Friday, September 2, 2022 to Sunday, September 4, 2022
Held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, enjoy 20+ artists on three stages, including Old Crow Medicine Show, Jerry Douglas, Jim Lauderdale, Alison Brown, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Earls of Leicester. Book early for camping spots, lodging, and after-hours festivities. 

Past Events

Uncommon Market Asheville
Uncommon Market
Repeats every month on the 24 of October until Sun Oct 24 2021.
Sunday, October 24, 2021
Asheville’s largest curated, pop-up market for antiques, art, vintage decor, jewelry, and beyond is in the River Arts District. Rain or shine. 10 AM-4 PM. 2021 Dates: Aug 29, Sept 26, Oct 24. (1 Foundy Street)
NC Ceramics Festival
North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival
Saturday, October 23, 2021
This one-day shopping and demonstration show features 40 ceramic artists with a diverse array of tilework, sculpture, jewelry and pottery. Watch raku demonstrations and enjoy live music. Food trucks too. Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, 11 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Repeats every week every Saturday 3 times.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art downtown in Pack Square Park. 10 AM-5 PM
Waynesville Apple Harvest Festival
Apple Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Find all things apple in downtown Waynesville, including cider, fried pies and other apple delicacies. Also find live mountain music, dance, craft and demo booths along scenic Main Street for the iconic small town fall festival.
Woolly Worm Festival
Woolly Worm Festival
Saturday, October 16, 2021 to Sunday, October 17, 2021
Celebrate the coming of the snow season with woolly worm races, live entertainment and lots of food and craft vendors in downtown Banner Elk during peak fall color. Highly popular!
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Autumn Arts Festival
Saturday, October 16, 2021 to Sunday, October 17, 2021
See and buy craft and art by 90+ artists from many different disciplines. Also enjoy live music and entertainment, many food vendors and the beauty of the lake. Sat 10-6, Sun 10-4. Free admission. 119 Arcade St, Lake Lure
Maggie Valley Fall Crafts Fair
Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, October 16, 2021 to Sunday, October 17, 2021
Meet 100 artisans and crafters from throughout the Southeast with a big variety of art. Outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in the valley. 9 AM-4 PM each day. Free admission and parking.
Harvest Festival Stecoah
Harvest Festival, Stecoah Valley
Friday, October 15, 2021 to Saturday, October 16, 2021
**CANCELED FOR 2021** Experience quintessential traditional mountain life with Appalachian dance, music, food, arts and crafts in the beautiful Nantahala National Forest at Stecoah Valley, near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Thursday, October 14, 2021 to Sunday, October 17, 2021
Meet 200 craftspeople that come together in downtown Asheville with their fine handcrafted items, while local musicians play live on the arena stage and craft educators share their knowledge. Admission.
LEAF Festival
LEAF Festival
Thursday, October 14, 2021 to Sunday, October 17, 2021
A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multicultural musical and dance odyssey - longtime favorite festival held in Black Mountain on a lake with camping and limited tickets.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 9, 2021
From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art downtown in Pack Square Park. 10 AM-5 PM
Waynesville NC Art Festival
Church Street Art & Craft Show
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Main Street in Waynesville transforms into an arts & crafts marketplace, one of the finest juried art shows in NC. Also enjoy live mountain music, clogging, entertainment and food. Browse many downtown galleries. Free. 10 AM-5 PM.
Mountain Glory Festival, Marion
Mountain Glory Festival
Saturday, October 9, 2021
** CANCELED due to increased cases in Covid** Celebrate fall beauty in the mountains with three blocks of festivities along Main Street in Marion, including 140 arts and crafts, food vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, a 5K walk/run, quilt show, and so much more. Free admission. 9:30 AM-6 PM.
Apple Butter Festival
Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville
Saturday, October 9, 2021
Enjoy the sights, smells, and tastes of autumn on the Creekwalk with music, crafts, and homemade apple butter making during peak fall color. Free admission. 92 Crimson Laurel Way. 10 AM-4 PM
Cashiers Leaf Festival
Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival
Friday, October 8, 2021 to Sunday, October 10, 2021
Held on the Village Green in the middle of Cashiers at peak color time, see the works of 100+ artists while enjoying live music and great food. The free festival is open 10 AM-5 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Friday, October 8, 2021 to Sunday, October 10, 2021
Longtime gathering with 30+ potters and clay artists selling their handmade pottery, figurative sculpture, stoneware, earthenware and more. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM both days. 31 Cross Street, Spruce Pine. Near Penland School.
Haunted Trail Adventure Center of Asheville
The Haunted Trail, Adventure Center of Asheville
Friday, October 8, 2021 to Saturday, October 30, 2021
Celebrating the Halloween season, this family-friendly haunted trail is ideal for ages 3-12 and features live actors, spooky sounds, and props for a no-touch, no-contact heart-pumping experience. Also enjoy spooky live entertainment, no-touch activities, and food and beverages available including hot chocolate. 11 nights in October, 7-9 PM. 
VeganFest Asheville
VeganFest
Sunday, October 3, 2021
Asheville is one of the top USA cities for vegan living. Outdoor festival features vegan food, beer, lifestyle vendors and educational speakers in Pack Square Park 11 AM-6 PM. Free admission.
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Saturday, October 2, 2021
Two long-running festivals celebrate mountain craft, music and dance: the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. Both held downtown, adjoining Mars Hill University. Free. 10 AM-4 PM. Small fee for indoor evening concert. 
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 2, 2021
From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art downtown in Pack Square Park. 10 AM-5 PM
BBQ Festival
Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
Saturday, October 2, 2021
Great BBQ with live bluegrass, antique tractor show, jamming stage, championship clogging teams, artists & crafts vendors, and local food vendors. At the Riverside Park across the river from downtown Spruce Pine, 305 Tappan Street. 
Hilltop Fall Festival
Hilltop Fall Festival
Saturday, October 2, 2021
Much fun in downtown Rutherfordton: Friday night Soapbox Derby for big kids, Saturday morning Overmountain 5K and Tour de Pumpkin 50K & 100K bike rides and festival 9-5 with crafts, music, scarecrow contest.
Dillsboro Colorfest
ColorFest
Saturday, October 2, 2021
The artsy village of Dillsboro welcomes 40 demonstrating artists along Front Street with their colorful creations. Browse many nearby galleries too. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM.
French Broad River Festival
French Broad River Festival
Friday, October 1, 2021 to Sunday, October 3, 2021
This grassroots festival in Hot Springs on the banks of the French Broad features some of the best music in the area, camping, and outdoor events in celebration of this beautiful river.
Uncommon Market Asheville
Uncommon Market
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Asheville’s largest curated, pop-up market for antiques, art, vintage decor, jewelry, and beyond is in the River Arts District. Rain or shine. 10 AM-4 PM. 2021 Dates: Aug 29, Sept 26, Oct 24. (1 Foundy Street)
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Saturday, September 25, 2021
**CANCELED due to increased cases of COVID** A free fall fair of artisans, crafters, and music on Blannahassett Island near downtown Marshall. 10 AM-5PM
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride Festival
Saturday, September 25, 2021
**CANCELED due to increased cases of Covid** The biggest LGBTQ pride festival in western North Carolina is held in downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park, with more than 100 vendors, entertainment, as well as a kids area with lots of fun activities.
Art on Main Hendersonville
Art on Main, Hendersonville
Saturday, September 25, 2021 to Sunday, September 26, 2021
Buy from juried fine artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass, and more. The main event is Sat & Sun, 10 AM-5 PM
Mountain Heritage Day
Mountain Heritage Day
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Held on the campus of Western Carolina University, this long-running outdoor celebration features the sights, sounds, crafts, and flavors of yesteryear. Get a taste of southern Appalachian culture, art, and music. 10 AM-5 PM. Free. 
DuPont Forest Festival
DuPont Forest Festival
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Celebrate DuPont State Recreational Forest with many special events on National Public Lands Day, such as guided tours, educational lectures, hands-on demonstrations and more. Free admission.
British Car Show Asheville
Autumn in the Mountains Car Show
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Go to the British Car Club of Western NC annual show to see 120+ British and European classic cars, race cars, racing motorcycles, rare-exotic sports cars and antique motorcycles. Held at Asheville Outlets. Free admission. 9 AM-4 PM
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Repeats every week 3 times.
Friday, September 24, 2021 to Sunday, September 26, 2021
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so central to "The Wizard of Oz." The event sells out, so buy tickets ahead.
Dirty Dancing Festival
Dirty Dancing Festival
Friday, September 24, 2021 to Saturday, September 25, 2021
Fans of the cult-classic Dirty Dancing will relive memories of Baby's first dance in the film’s original, breathtaking backdrop of Lake Lure.
The Gathering Paint Rock Farm
The Gathering at Paint Rock Farm
Friday, September 24, 2021 to Sunday, September 26, 2021
New for 2021! This 3-day festival weekend features live music, arts, camping, and family-friendly activities in Hot Springs, NC. Camp for the weekend or come for a day. Click for ticket options and details.
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Flock to Rock Birding Day
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Led by birding experts, events at Chimney Rock Park includes bird walks, workshops ranging from bird photography to hummingbirds, hawk watches and family nature walks.
Art in Autumn Fest
Art in Autumn Fest
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Fun outdoor arts and crafts festival in Weaverville that includes 100 juried artists, food and live music. Free admission and parking. Just 7 miles north of downtown Asheville.
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Experience the traditional fall activities that were an important part of rural life in the Great Smoky Mountains, including hearth cooking, apple butter and apple cider making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, food preservation, broom making and quilting - at the Mountain Farm Museum. 10AM-3:30PM
Asheville Farm Tour
Farm Tour
Saturday, September 18, 2021 to Sunday, September 19, 2021
Visit 20 farms in the Asheville area that are not normally open to the public and see what happens behind the scenes. Presented by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), farms are located in many counties. 12-5 PM. Passes $35/car in advance, $45/car day of.
Overmountain Victory Weekend
Overmountain Victory Celebration
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Explore a living history 1780s militia encampment at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals on Blue Ridge Parkway, telling the story of the Overmountain Men battling British forces. 10 AM-2 PM. 
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Friday, September 17, 2021 to Sunday, September 19, 2021
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so central to "The Wizard of Oz." The event sells out, so buy tickets ahead.
NC Mountain State Fair
Mountain State Fair
Friday, September 10, 2021 to Sunday, September 19, 2021
Enjoy lots of rides, exhibits, animals, food, and much more. Fun for all ages! We especially love the impressive exhibits in various buildings. See the many competitions from quilting, photography, extreme garden vegetables, flowers, crafts, and more. Watch craftspeople at work.
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Friday, September 10, 2021 to Sunday, September 12, 2021
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so central to "The Wizard of Oz." The event sells out, so buy tickets ahead.
Morganton Festival
Morganton Festival
Friday, September 10, 2021 to Saturday, September 11, 2021
A big street festival in downtown Morganton that includes fine arts and crafts, festival cuisine, a beer garden, teen and kid zones, four stages of entertainment, a sunrise run on Saturday and much more. Free admission!
Labor Day Festival
Canton Labor Day Festival
Sunday, September 5, 2021 to Monday, September 6, 2021
Big celebration in Canton since 1906. Sunday features music festival, art, and food, 12-9:30 PM at Sorrells Park, and free gospel concert at Colonial Theatre. Monday features a big Labor Day Parade at 10 AM, plus a music festival and car show, 12 PM-9 PM. 20 minutes west of Asheville. 
RockFest
RockFest
Saturday, September 4, 2021 to Sunday, September 5, 2021
Held at Emerald Village near Little Switzerland, enjoy many free events, including guided hikes, music, exhibits, talks and more. Also, pay for gem-mining, pan for gold and take a black light mine tour.
Banner Elk Art Show
Art on the Greene
Saturday, September 4, 2021 to Sunday, September 5, 2021
Buy art and support the restoration of the historic school in Banner Elk. Find a big variety of artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry, and more. Many other things to do nearby. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. 
Maggie Valley Labor Day Arts and Craft
Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, September 4, 2021 to Sunday, September 5, 2021
Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast on Labor Day Weekend with a big variety of art, outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in Maggie Valley. 9 AM-4 PM each day. Free admission and parking.
Goombay Festival
Goombay Festival
Friday, September 3, 2021 to Sunday, September 5, 2021
This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture with music, craft market, food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids and much more! 
NC Apple Festival
NC Apple Festival
Friday, September 3, 2021 to Monday, September 6, 2021
Spread out with a self-guided tour of orchards in the area with apples, food, vendors, shopping, and more at each location! This event will not have the downtown street fair, music, kiddie carnival, or parade. But come back to Hendersonville for added food and shopping all weekend! 10 AM-10 PM each day all weekend.
Drumming Circle Asheville
Drum Circle
Friday, September 3, 2021
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. Dance the night away!
Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend Events & Things to Do
Friday, September 3, 2021 to Monday, September 6, 2021
See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.
Wild Goose Festival
Wild Goose Festival
Thursday, September 2, 2021 to Sunday, September 5, 2021
A festival of justice, spirituality, music and the arts in Hot Springs. Talk, listen, eat and camp together, captivated and challenged by the call of radical humanity, and who seek to celebrate diversity and promote the common good.
Chow Chow
Asheville Chow-Chow Culinary Festival
Thursday, September 2, 2021 to Sunday, September 26, 2021
Savor Asheville's creative culinary scene with many events, chef demos, and hands-on experiences. Meet and connect with the makers and collaborators who nourish, nurture and create in our Appalachian Mountains. 
Uncommon Market Asheville
Uncommon Market
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Asheville’s largest curated, pop-up market for antiques, art, vintage decor, jewelry, and beyond is in the River Arts District. Rain or shine. 10 AM-4 PM. 2021 Dates: Aug 29, Sept 26, Oct 24. (1 Foundy Street)
Stickwork Biltmore Asheville
Stickwork, Biltmore
Thursday, April 1, 2021 to Thursday, September 30, 2021
See this unique-to-Biltmore large-scale outdoor sculptural work by environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, known as “Stick Man,” in the estate’s Antler Hill Village. Dougherty weaves saplings and branches into intricate artworks, fashioning whimsical forms ranging from gigantic snares and cocoons to sculptural interpretations of notable buildings. Free with daytime admission!
Hot Works Show, Asheville
Hot Works Asheville Fine Art Show
Saturday, October 24, 2020 to Sunday, October 25, 2020
See juried art and buy directly from the artist in Pack Square Park in the middle of downtown Asheville. Find paintings, sculptures, clay, glass, fiber, jewelry, wood, and more. 10 AM-5 PM each day. Free admission
CiderFest NC
CiderFest NC
Saturday, October 10, 2020
At North Carolina’s premier cider celebration, taste 90 different varieties of cider and mead from 20+ makers, plus see local arts and crafts, taste unique food pairings and enjoy live music. Benefits Western NC Green Building Council. 1-5 PM at Carrier Park near the River Arts District. $33/person advance tickets. 
Oktoberfest Sierra Nevada Asheville
Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest
Friday, October 9, 2020 to Saturday, October 10, 2020
Join a festive evening at their big brewery south of Asheville, with music, glassblowing, stache competition, souvenir beer stein, special beers and a German-inspired feast. Limited tickets, buy online. Free shuttles from Asheville and Hendersonville.
Cherokee Indian Fair
Cherokee Indian Fair
Thursday, October 8, 2020 to Monday, October 12, 2020
(**Canceled for 2021) Experience a country fair with plenty of local Cherokee traditions, including Indian games, food, competitions, music, and dance. Meet the locals and discover more about their culture. Big parade on opening day.
Forest Festival Day
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
Saturday, October 3, 2020
More than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and entertainers celebrate our forests at the site of the first forestry school in America. Wood carvers, weavers, blacksmith, archery, horse-drawn wagon rides, and lumberjack competition at the adjacent Pink Beds picnic area.
Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
Oktoberfest, Asheville
Saturday, October 3, 2020
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
Brewgrass Festival
Brewgrass Festival
Saturday, October 3, 2020
This music festival features regionally and nationally known bluegrass acts, plus a curated list of 100 beers and ciders at nine bars on the festival grounds at The Salvage Station near downtown Asheville.
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
Friday, September 25, 2020 to Sunday, September 27, 2020
This longtime favorite weekend at Nantahala Outdoor Center main campus near Bryson City features free attractions, live music and entertainment - along with great end-of-season deals.
Greek Festival
Greek Festival
Friday, September 25, 2020 to Saturday, September 26, 2020
At this festival, hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville, you can sample some of the traditional foods and pastries (such as lamb shank, pastichio, spanakopita, gyro, souvlaki, and baklava), watch traditional dancing and enjoy the authentic Greek music. 
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Saturday, September 19, 2020 to Sunday, September 20, 2020
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
Arts & Crafts Fair
Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Cashiers
Saturday, September 5, 2020 to Sunday, September 6, 2020
See works of 90 fine artisans from the Southeast on the Village Green in Cashiers, 10 AM-5 PM. Find ironwork, woodcraft, textiles, cakes, jams, pottery, and more. Free admission, but donations accepted.
Orchard Trail Days Hendersonville
Orchard Trail Days
Friday, September 4, 2020 to Monday, September 7, 2020
Kick-off apple season on Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville’s apple country! Orchards will be offering crafts, family fun activities such as corn mazes, apple cannons, inflatables, wagon rides, food trucks, and tours. Bring home fresh apples, pumpkins, cider, produce, baked goods, jellies, honey, and more at the many roadside markets.
NC Stage
A Doll’s House - Part 2 @ NC Stage Company
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 to Sunday, November 17, 2019
This comedy delivers laughs while also posing thoughtful questions about marriage, gender equality and human rights. How much, in a century-plus, has life changed for the characters?
NC Stage
The Fire of Freedom @ NC Stage Company
Saturday, September 21, 2019 to Sunday, October 6, 2019
Professional theatre in downtown Asheville: Story of Abraham Galloway deepens our insight into the Civil War and Reconstruction as experienced by African Americans in the South. Wed-Sun
Get Our Free Email Updates
Receive a monthly digest of top seasonal events, attractions, activities and travel giveaways in Asheville and NC Mountains.
We love exploring our cool, charming small towns nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Find picturesque historic Main Streets, friendly shops, general stores, farm-to-table... read more
Looking for ideas of things to do during the holiday season in Asheville and Western North Carolina (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's)? We have plenty of vacation ideas for a getaway... read more