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

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. And 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.
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.
Banner Elk Art Show
Art on the Greene
Saturday, September 2, 2017 to Sunday, September 3, 2017
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 2, 2017 to Sunday, September 3, 2017
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.
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 quilt making, photography, extreme garden vegetables, flowers, crafts and more. Watch craftspeople at work.
Goombay Festival
Goombay Festival
Friday, September 8, 2017 to Sunday, September 10, 2017
This free weekend festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture. It includes a variety of music, craft and food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids, and much more!
Morganton Festival
Historic 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 wine garden featuring NC wines, teen and kid zones, four stages of entertainment, a sunrise run on Saturday, and much more. 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 on Lexington Avenue in Asheville.
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Saturday, September 16, 2017 to Sunday, September 17, 2017
This free festival features traditional music, dancing, and heritage craft demonstrations. Highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
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.
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 Highland Brewing Company (12 Charlotte Highway, Asheville), 12 Noon until 4 PM, with the latest trends, technologies, and innovations in outdoor recreation.
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
Friday, September 22, 2017 to Sunday, September 24, 2017
This longtime favorite weekend at Nantahala Outdoor Center features free attractions, live music, and entertainment - along with great end-of-season deals.
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, a 8k trail run and Incredible Asheville Urban Odyssey competition.
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
NC Arboretum Craft Day
Carolina Craft Day
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Celebrate traditional and contemporary Southern Appalachian art and craft 10 AM-4 PM at the Arboretum’s Education Center, with artists working in fiber, paper, clay, metal, and wood as well as traditional music and informational craft demonstrations.
Militia Muster Encampment
Militia Muster & Encampment
Saturday, September 23, 2017 to Sunday, September 24, 2017
Experience life in an 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 10-4, Sunday 1-4
Monarch Butterfly Day
Monarch Butterfly Day
Saturday, September 23, 2017
At the NC Arboretum, learn how you can help the monarchs, purchase milkweed, make and take butterfly crafts and witness monarch butterfly tagging. 10 AM-4 PM. Watch the butterfly release at 11:45 AM and 2:45 PM. Educational presentations at 11 AM and 2 PM. 
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride
Saturday, September 30, 2017
The biggest LGBTQ pride festival in western North Carolina is held downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park with more than 100 vendors, entertainment, as well as a kids area with lots of fun activities and entertainment.
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.
Mountain Heritage Day
Mountain Heritage Day
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Held on the campus of Western Carolina University, this longtime outdoors festive features the sights, sounds, crafts and flavors of yesteryear. Get a taste of southern Appalachian culture, art, and music. 10 AM-5 PM. Free
Cashiers Leaf Festival
Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival
Friday, October 6, 2017 to Sunday, October 8, 2017
Held on the Village Green and Commons Park at peak color time, see the works of 100+ artists while enjoying live music and great food. The free festival is open 10-5 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Located at the crossroads of US Highway 64 and NC 107. 
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
Saturday, October 7, 2017
A gathering of more than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors, forestry students, and entertainers gather to celebrate our forests and our forest heritage. Some highlights include wood carvers, weavers, a blacksmith, fly fishing, archery, face painting, horse drawn wagon rides, and the John G. Palmer Intercollegiate Woodsmen's Meet.
Colorfest Arts Fest in Dillsboro
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. Many galleries too. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Two longtime running festival celebrate mountain craft, music and dance, the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival, held downtown and adjoining Mars Hill University. Free.10 AM-4 PM. Indoor evening concert for a small fee.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Repeats every week every Saturday 3 times.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
From pottery to jewelry and sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art in Pack Square Park.
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.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 14, 2017
From pottery to jewelry and sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art in Pack Square Park.
Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
Oktoberfest, Asheville
Saturday, October 14, 2017
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe, downtown.
Waynesville NC
Church Street Waynesville Art & Craft Show
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Main Street is transformed into an art & craft marketplace for this one-day event; widely known as one of the finest juried art shows in the region. Also enjoy live mountain music, clogging, entertainment, and food.
Spruce Pine Potters & Heritage Fest
Spruce Pine Potters & Heritage Fest
Saturday, October 14, 2017 to Sunday, October 15, 2017
A gathering of some of our region's greatest potters and clay artists. Watch and/or participate in making apple cider, weaving on an old spinning wheel, and a chair being caned.
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.
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.
LEAF Festival
LEAF Festival
Thursday, October 19, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
The union of a wide variety of cultures - African, Latin, Appalachian, Cajun, Celtic, Blues, Bluegrass, French, Texas Sounds and more - that includes healing arts, poetry, music, dance, visual arts, and an African drum circle. The fun outdoor, ticketed festival near Black Mountain. Get tickets well in advance.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Friday, October 20, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
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.
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 a beautiful setting in Nantahala National Forest at Stecoah Valley near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville.
Tour de Falls Waterfall Tour
Tour de Falls at DuPont State Forest
Saturday, October 21, 2017 to Sunday, October 22, 2017
This is the perfect opportunity for those unable to hike to waterfalls to enjoy them! The Friends of Dupont State Forest coordinates this 12-mile shuttlebus ride to see four popular waterfalls: Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 21, 2017
From pottery to jewelry and sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art in Pack Square Park.
Chili Cook Off & Fall Festival
Chili Cook Off
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Sample chili ranging from mild to wild and in red, white, and vegetarian recipes at the depot in downtown Bryson City. Also enjoy live music, handcrafted arts and desserts. $5 wristband for sampling. 11 AM-3 PM
Apple Festival
Apple Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 21, 2017
This festival in downtown Waynesville features live mountain music, dance, craft and demonstration booths, apples, cider, fresh fried pies, and other apple delicacies. 10AM-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. ​
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, costume contest and parade, chili cook-off and 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.
Asheville Holidays
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 during November and December.
We hope you will enjoy our fall color photo reports! From late September through early November, we will travel the roads of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to find the... read more
Meander through the scenic mountain valleys to visit 50+ artists in their studios and galleries. Get the tour map and drive country roads to visit as many of the studios as you want. It's a... read more
January 28-May 2, 2017: Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas
This object-rich, interactive exhibit in the Baker Exhibit Center takes you through North, Central and South America to... read more
The amazing Monarch Butterfly migrates 2,000+ miles each fall from the Northeast United States to Mexico, passing through the Asheville area in September and early October. They usually travel at... read more
Looking for ideas of things to do in November and December during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina (including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's)? We have plenty of... read more