Fall Events, 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

NC Apple Festival
NC Apple Festival
Friday, August 30, 2019 to Monday, September 2, 2019
Downtown Hendersonville features more than 150 vendors lining eight blocks of the main event area. There is continuous entertainment from 10 AM-10 PM each day. The King Apple Parade, always held on Labor Day, culminates the Main Street activities.
Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend Events & Things to Do
Saturday, August 31, 2019 to Monday, September 2, 2019
See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.
RockFest
RockFest
Saturday, August 31, 2019 to Sunday, September 1, 2019
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, August 31, 2019 to Sunday, September 1, 2019
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.
Arts & Crafts Fair
Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Cashiers
Saturday, August 31, 2019 to Sunday, September 1, 2019
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.
Maggie Valley Labor Day Arts and Craft
Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, August 31, 2019 to Sunday, September 1, 2019
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.
Apple Orchards, Asheville
Apple Orchards Open
Sunday, September 1, 2019 to Thursday, October 31, 2019
Get your fresh mountain apples at an orchard in the largest apple-producing area in the east. Many orchards are open daily, several offer tours, events and pick-your-own apples. It's a quick drive from Asheville, with many orchards located along US 64 East of Hendersonville.
Labor Day Festival
Canton Labor Day Festival
Sunday, September 1, 2019 to Monday, September 2, 2019
Big celebration in Canton since 1906. Sunday features music festival, art and food, 12-9:30 PM ($10/person) 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 (free). 20 minutes west of Asheville. 
Mountain State Fair
Mountain State Fair
Friday, September 6, 2019 to Sunday, September 8, 2019
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.
Goombay Festival
Goombay Festival
Friday, September 6, 2019 to Sunday, September 8, 2019
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! 
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Repeats every week 1 times.
Friday, September 6, 2019 to Sunday, September 8, 2019
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 fast!
Morganton Festival
Morganton Festival
Friday, September 6, 2019 to Saturday, September 7, 2019
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!
Drumming Circle Asheville
Drum Circle
Friday, September 6, 2019
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. Dance the night away!
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Repeats every week until Sat Oct 26 2019.
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
Overmountain Victory Weekend
Overmountain Victory Celebration
Thursday, September 12, 2019 to Sunday, September 15, 2019
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. 
Asheville Chow Chow Food Festival
Asheville Chow-Chow Culinary Festival
Thursday, September 12, 2019 to Sunday, September 15, 2019
Savor Asheville's creative culinary scene with events, chef demos and hands-on experiences. Meet and connect with the makers and collaborators who nourish, nurture and create in this corner of the Appalachian Mountains.
Dirty Dancing Festival
Dirty Dancing Festival
Friday, September 13, 2019 to Saturday, September 14, 2019
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.
Smoky Mountain Elk Fest
Smoky Mountain Elk Fest
Friday, September 13, 2019 to Sunday, September 15, 2019
Go to Maggie Valley to celebrate the elk and our great outdoors with a big festival on Saturday and other special tours and events. 
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Flock to Rock Birding Day
Saturday, September 14, 2019
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.
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Saturday, September 14, 2019
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.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
Bigfoot Festival, Marion NC
WNC Bigfoot Festival
Saturday, September 14, 2019
A quirky festival that celebrates the legendary Sasquatch, held in downtown Marion 36 miles east of Asheville. In addition to Bigfoot-themed items and local crafts, talk with sighters from across the country with evidence that it exists. Calling contest too!
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Friday, September 20, 2019
Free live music concert, as well as a wide variety of food and drink vendors. Lexington Avenue in Asheville. 5-9 PM.
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Saturday, September 21, 2019 to Sunday, September 22, 2019
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
Art in Autumn Fest
Art in Autumn Fest
Saturday, September 21, 2019
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.
Militia Muster Encampment
Militia Muster & Encampment
Saturday, September 21, 2019 to Sunday, September 22, 2019
Experience life in a 18th-century muster camp at Vance Birthplace State Historic Site, 10 miles north of Asheville. Watch the militiamen practice musket drills and learn about county militia, candle making, weaving, campfire cooking and more. Free. Saturday:10 AM-4 PM, Sunday: 1-4 PM
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
NC Ceramics Festival
North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival
Saturday, September 21, 2019
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.
Fiesta Hendersonville
Fiesta Hendersonville
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Experience the best of Latin American on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville. Journey through more than 20 countries with their people, music, art, food and culture. Free admission. 12-6 PM.
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
Friday, September 27, 2019 to Sunday, September 29, 2019
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 27, 2019 to Sunday, September 29, 2019
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.
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride Festival
Saturday, September 28, 2019
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 28, 2019 to Sunday, September 29, 2019
Meet and buy from 90 juried fine art artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass and more. Watch demos. Main Street downtown Hendersonville has many galleries too, Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 PM
Mountain Heritage Day
Mountain Heritage Day
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Held on the campus of Western Carolina University, this long-running outdoors 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. 
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
DuPont Forest Festival
DuPont Forest Festival
Saturday, September 28, 2019
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 28, 2019
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
Cherokee Indian Fair
Cherokee Indian Fair
Tuesday, October 1, 2019 to Saturday, October 5, 2019
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.
Hilltop Fall Festival
Hilltop Fall Festival
Friday, October 4, 2019 to Saturday, October 5, 2019
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.
Forest Festival Day
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
Saturday, October 5, 2019
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.
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Saturday, October 5, 2019
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
Repeats every week every Saturday 3 times.
Saturday, October 5, 2019
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
Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
Oktoberfest, Asheville
Saturday, October 5, 2019
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
Steeplechase
Tryon Block House Steeplechase
Saturday, October 5, 2019
A festive day with picnics, sundresses, elegant hats, tailgating and the sights & sounds of thoroughbreds thundering past in Tryon, at the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The National Steeplechase Association sanctions four of the races.
Brewgrass Festival
Brewgrass Festival
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Sample beers from 45 breweries at The Salvage Station near downtown Asheville, while listening to a bluegrass-infused live band. Buy food from local vendors. This 21 and older event is held 1-6 PM. $45/person. Buy tickets in advance, starting Aug 15.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 5, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
Dillsboro Colorfest
Colorfest
Saturday, October 5, 2019
The artsy village of Dillsboro welcomes 40 demonstrating artists along Front Street with their colorful creations. Many galleries too. 10 AM-4 PM
Cashiers Leaf Festival
Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival
Friday, October 11, 2019 to Sunday, October 13, 2019
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.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 12, 2019
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 12, 2019
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.
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Saturday, October 12, 2019 to Sunday, October 13, 2019
This horticultural extravaganza features a juried display of bonsai by clubs from across the southeast, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations and a popular Ikebana exhibit.
CiderFest NC
CiderFest NC
Saturday, October 12, 2019
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. 
Fly Fishing Festival
Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Downtown Bryson City welcomes vendors to display and demonstrate all types of fly fishing equipment - rods, fly tying, apparel and accessories, kayaks and more. 9 AM-5 PM. Just a few blocks away is the Delayed Harvest stocked section of the Tuckasegee River.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
Mountain Glory Festival, Marion
Mountain Glory Festival
Saturday, October 12, 2019
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.
Oktoberfest Sierra Nevada Asheville
Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest
Saturday, October 12, 2019
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. 5-10 PM. $25-$30/person. Limited tickets, buy online. Free shuttles from Asheville and Hendersonville.
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Saturday, October 12, 2019 to Sunday, October 13, 2019
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.
HardLox Jewish Festival
HardLox Jewish Festival
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Come enjoy lots of delicious Jewish foods in downtown Asheville, have your name written in Hebrew, learn about Jewish holidays and the Torah, and join in singing and dancing.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Thursday, October 17, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019
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
Friday, October 18, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019
Longtime favorite international cultural arts and music weekend festival by the lake, in Black Mountain with camping and limited tickets.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 19, 2019
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 19, 2019
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. 10 AM-5 PM. Free. 
Woolly Worm Festival
Woolly Worm Festival
Saturday, October 19, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019
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 19, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019
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. Free admission. 119 Arcade St, Lake Lure
Harvest Festival Stecoah
Harvest Festival, Stecoah Valley
Saturday, October 19, 2019
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.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 19, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
Maggie Valley Fall Crafts Fair
Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, October 19, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019
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.
Apple Butter Festival
Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville
Saturday, October 19, 2019
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
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
Saturday, October 26, 2019
This festival features a Flight of the Vampire 5K, 10K and Children’s Fun Run, along with a costume contest and parade, chili cook-off, pie bake-off, street vendors, a pumpkin-carving contest, haunted house and more.
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Saturday, October 26, 2019 to Sunday, October 27, 2019
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
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 26, 2019
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission.
Hot Works Show, Asheville
Hot Works Asheville Fine Art Show
Saturday, October 26, 2019 to Sunday, October 27, 2019
See juried art and buy directly from the artist in Pack Square Park in the middle of downtown Asheville. Find paintings, sculpture, clay, glass, fiber, jewelry, wood and more. 10 AM-5 PM each day. Free admission
Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top 50 Events (November & December)
Friday, November 1, 2019 to Tuesday, December 31, 2019
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. 
Food Truck Festival
Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, November 2, 2019
Head to Asheville Outlets mall for a big gathering of 25 food trucks. Buy a big variety of food, along with craft ales and beers from 50 breweries. Music, lawn games and artisan market. 12 PM-5 PM next to Field & Stream. Bring lawnchairs. $5/person in advance and $10 day of. Kids 12 and under are free. 

Past Events

Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Saturday, September 29, 2018
A fall fair of artisans, crafters and music on Blannahassett Island near downtown Marshall. 10 AM-5 PM. 
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