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. 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. See more choices on our Daily Calendar.

Upcoming Fall Events & Festivals: September & October

Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top Events (November & December)
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina mountains, including many small towns. 
Pisgah Pride Day
Pisgah Forest Pride Day
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Join the fun and help with work projects in Pisgah National Forest in the Looking Glass area - including trail maintenance, repairs, plantings and more (sign up in advance), coordinated by The Pisgah Conservancy. 9 AM-2 PM.
Banner Elk Art Show
Art on the Greene
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
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, September 1, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
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.
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Saturday, September 22, 2018 to Sunday, September 23, 2018
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
Friday, September 28, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018
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.
Mountain Heritage Day
Mountain Heritage Day
Saturday, September 29, 2018
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. 
Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
Oktoberfest, Asheville
Saturday, October 6, 2018
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
LEAF Festival
LEAF Festival
Thursday, October 18, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
Longtime favorite international cultural arts and music weekend festival by the lake, in Black Mountain with camping and limited tickets.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Friday, October 19, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
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.
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Saturday, October 27, 2018 to Sunday, October 28, 2018
Take a self-guided tour of 24 artists’ studios in North Asheville’s scenic Beaverdam Valley. Buy art from ceramists, painters, sculptors, jewelers, and glass and textile artists. Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 12 PM-5 PM. 

Past Events

Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top Events (November & December)
Wednesday, November 1, 2017 to Sunday, December 31, 2017
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina mountains, including many small towns. 
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
Saturday, October 28, 2017
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, masquerade ball, Boo-T-Ful Me fashion show, Mountain Music Mash competition, ghost tours and more.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Repeats every week until Sat Oct 28 2017.
Saturday, October 28, 2017
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 6 PM. Arena action 8 PM. Free admission.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Repeats every week every Saturday 3 times.
Saturday, October 21, 2017
From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art in Pack Square Park.
Waynesville Apple Harvest Festival
Apple Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Find all things apple in downtown Waynesville, including cider, fried pies and other apple delicacies. Also find live mountain music, dance, craft and demonstration booths along scenic Main Street. 10 AM-5 PM. Free. 
Woolly Worm Festival
Woolly Worm Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
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.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
Check our artwork by more than 60 vendors from many different disciplines. Also enjoy live music and entertainment, food vendors and the beauty of Lake Lure.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 21, 2017
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 6 PM. Arena action 8 PM. Free admission.
Maggie Valley Fall Crafts Fair
Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
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 20, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
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.
HardLox Jewish Festival
HardLox Jewish Festival
Sunday, October 15, 2017
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.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 14, 2017
From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art in Pack Square Park.
Waynesville NC Art Festival
Church Street Art & Craft Show
Saturday, October 14, 2017
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.
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Saturday, October 14, 2017 to Sunday, October 15, 2017
A gathering of 30+ top potters and clay artists with functional pottery, figurative sculpture, stoneware, earthenware and more. Indoors at Cross Street Center (31 Cross St) in downtown Spruce Pine. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM.
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Saturday, October 14, 2017 to Sunday, October 15, 2017
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.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 14, 2017
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 6 PM. Arena action 8 PM. Free admission.
Marion NC Festival
Mountain Glory Festival
Saturday, October 14, 2017
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.
Forest Festival Day
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
Saturday, October 7, 2017
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. $6/person
Dillsboro Colorfest
Colorfest Arts Fest in Dillsboro
Saturday, October 7, 2017
This colorful festival features more than 40 vendors of fine arts and crafts, food and entertainment along Front Street in artsy Dillsboro. Browse many galleries and studios too. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM. 
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Saturday, October 7, 2017
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 7, 2017
From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art in Pack Square Park.
CiderFest NC
CiderFest NC
Saturday, October 7, 2017
At North Carolina’s premier cider celebration, taste hard cider from 15 cider-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 Salvage Station. $30/person advance tickets. 
Fly Fishing Festival
Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival
Saturday, October 7, 2017
This annual festival in downtown Bryson City features vendors to display and demonstrate all types of fly fishing equipment - rods, fly tying, apparel and accessories, fishing kayaks and more. 9 AM-5 PM. At the event you are just a few blocks from the Delayed Harvest section of the Tuckasegee River, which is stocked by the NC State Wildlife Resources Commission.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 7, 2017
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 6 PM. Arena action 8 PM. Free admission.
Cashiers Leaf Festival
Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival
Friday, October 6, 2017 to Sunday, October 8, 2017
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.
Hilltop Fall Festival
Hilltop Fall Festival
Friday, October 6, 2017 to Saturday, October 7, 2017
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.
Cherokee Indian Fair
Cherokee Indian Fair
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 to Saturday, October 7, 2017
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.
Cherokee Indian Parade
Cherokee Indian Parade
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Watch the big parade that kicks off the Cherokee Indian Fair, with a two-mile caravan through town that begins at 4 PM at Harrah's and ends at the Fair Grounds. Free.
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride
Saturday, September 30, 2017
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 Downtown Hendersonville
Art on Main Downtown Hendersonville
Saturday, September 30, 2017 to Sunday, October 1, 2017
Enjoy fine arts and crafts along Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, 10 AM-5 PM.
Gladiator Polo
Gladiator Polo Championship
Saturday, September 30, 2017
See the new hot sport of Gladiator Polo™ $120,000 "Battle for the Carolinas" Fall Series, the final two teams (Asheville & Greenville) battle for the championship at Tryon Equestrian Center. Free admission. 6 PM activities, 8 PM match. 
Oktoberfest Sierra Nevada Asheville
Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest
Saturday, September 30, 2017
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. $30-$45/person. Limited tickets, buy online. Free shuttles from Asheville and Hendersonville.
Asheville Barnaroo
Asheville Barnaroo
Friday, September 29, 2017 to Sunday, October 1, 2017
3 days of music on a farm just west of Asheville, promoting local and regional bands and singers with rock & roll, hard rock, folk, Americana, bluegrass and funk genres. Day & weekend passes, with and without camping, $20-$100. Fundraiser for non-profit music school.
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Saturday, September 23, 2017
A fall fair of artisans, crafters and music on Blannahassett Island near downtown Marshall. 10 AM-5 PM. 
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Repeats every week until Sat Sep 23 2017.
Saturday, September 23, 2017
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 6 PM. Arena action 8 PM. Free admission.
Militia Muster Encampment
Militia Muster & Encampment
Saturday, September 23, 2017 to Sunday, September 24, 2017
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 PM-4 AM. 
Monarch Butterfly Day
Monarch Butterfly & Carolina Craft Day
Saturday, September 23, 2017
At the NC Arboretum, learn how to help the monarchs, purchase milkweed, make butterfly crafts and witness monarch butterfly tagging. Also see artists working in fiber, paper, clay, metal and wood, as well as traditional music and informational craft demonstrations. 10-4
Greek Festival
Greek Festival
Friday, September 22, 2017 to Sunday, September 24, 2017
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.
Asheville Running Weekend
Asheville Running Experience
Friday, September 22, 2017 to Sunday, September 24, 2017
Six races include ARX Half Marathon, Super Hero 5K, half-mile Funktastik Fun Run in the South Slope district in Asheville. Plus, an 8k trail run and Incredible Asheville Urban Odyssey competition.
Asheville Outdoor Show
Asheville Outdoor Show
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Local outdoors retailers Diamond Brand Outdoors and Frugal Backpacker present a free public expo at The Salvage Station (468 Riverside Dr, Asheville), 12 Noon until 4 PM, with the latest trends, technologies and innovations in outdoor recreation with 75 vendors.
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Led by birding experts, this weekend 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 16, 2017
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 16, 2017
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.
Brewgrass Festival
Brewgrass Festival
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Sample beers from 55 breweries in the infield of Memorial Stadium 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. $55/person. Buy tickets in advance!
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, September 16, 2017
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 6 PM. Arena action 8 PM. Free admission.
Downtown After Five Live Music
Downtown After Five Live Music
Friday, September 15, 2017
Free live music concert, as well as a wide variety of food and drink vendors. Lexington Avenue in Asheville.
Overmountain Victory Weekend
Overmountain Victory Celebration
Thursday, September 14, 2017 to Sunday, September 17, 2017
Explore a living history 1780s militia encampment at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals on the Blue Ridge Parkway, telling the story of the Overmountain Men battling British forces. 
Gladiator Polo
Gladiator Polo
Saturday, September 9, 2017
The new hot sport of Gladiator Polo™ $120,000 "Battle for the Carolinas" Fall Series, two teams battle to advance to championship at Tryon Equestrian Center. Free admission. 6 PM activities, 8 PM match. 
Mountain State Fair
Mountain State Fair
Friday, September 8, 2017 to Sunday, September 17, 2017
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 8, 2017 to Saturday, September 9, 2017
This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture with music, craft and food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids and much more! Friday evening and Saturday. 
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Friday, September 8, 2017 to Sunday, September 10, 2017
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 8, 2017 to Saturday, September 9, 2017
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!
Harvest Conference
Harvest Conference
Friday, September 8, 2017 to Saturday, September 9, 2017
Presented by the Organic Growers School in Asheville, experts teach you about harvesting, canning, growing, gardening, energy, cooking and more…all organically. Get down-to-earth advice on growing and sustainable living. Registration from $45/day.
LAAF Festival
LAAF Festival
Sunday, September 3, 2017
A street festival downtown Asheville that showcases our creative personality with local art, music, beer, street performers and more on Lexington Avenue, 12-9 PM. Free.
Labor Day Festival
Canton Labor Day Festival
Sunday, September 3, 2017 to Monday, September 4, 2017
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. 
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
RockFest
RockFest
Saturday, September 2, 2017 to Sunday, September 3, 2017
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.
Maggie Valley Labor Day Arts and Craft
Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, September 2, 2017 to Sunday, September 3, 2017
Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast 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
Friday, September 1, 2017 to Tuesday, October 31, 2017
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.
NC Apple Festival
NC Apple Festival
Friday, September 1, 2017 to Monday, September 4, 2017
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.
Drumming Circle Asheville
Drum Circle
Friday, September 1, 2017
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 1, 2017 to Monday, September 4, 2017
See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.
TIEC Equestrian Championships
American Eventing Equestrian Championships
Thursday, August 31, 2017 to Sunday, September 3, 2017
Watch the national champs crowned for the equestrian triathlon, testing a rider's skill more than any other competition. Held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center with many special events all weekend. Saturday Nights Lights - free admission.
Our second annual wall calendar is here for 2018! Titled "Beautiful Blue Ridge of North Carolina", it features the jewels of our mountains and foothills that include national parks and forests, state... read more
Find the best places to see the leaves with our annual fall color photo reports! From late September through early November, we will travel the Blue Ridge Parkway and other roads in the North... 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