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Wood Day at Folk Art Center
Join Guild woodworkers for an exciting day exploring various forms of woodcraft. Featuring the Annual Carve Off Competition. 10 AM –4 PM.
NOC Spring Fling
Check out the season's hottest gear (with free test paddling) at the NOC's Outfitter's Store on the Nantahala River. Top it off with free live music and local brews.
Carolina Craft Day
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.
Small Town Christmas, Rutherfordton
Many events along Main Street throughout the day 1-7 PM. Shop sidewalk vendors at the Christmas Market from 1-5 PM and stroll by the storefront windows featuring live interactive displays 2-4 PM. Christmas Parade at 5 PM. Tree lighting at 6 PM at Courthouse. All free to attend.
Guild Artist Holiday Sale at the Folk Art Center
Get great deals on amazing art directly from the artists, offering over-runs, discontinued stock and studio seconds in a festive atmosphere. And don't miss the special exhibits and main store at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Free admission. 10 AM-4 PM
Asheville Downtown Gallery Art Walk
Galleries stay open late with special exhibits and artist mingling throughout downtown, 5-8 PM.
Holiday Twilight Tour
Join the locals in a longtime favorite in downtown Brevard tradition. After the Christmas parade at 3 PM, Main Street will be closed to traffic so you can enjoy live music, horse-drawn carriages, bonfires, shopping, vendors and more, 4-8 PM.
Come to Leicester Studio Tour
Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville.
Bluff Mountain Festival
This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging and square dance, and a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages, and more. 10 AM until 6 PM with an array of delicious foods too.
Art on Main Downtown Hendersonville
Enjoy fine arts and crafts along Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, 10 AM-5 PM.
Apple Orchards Open
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.
Earth Day at Chimney Rock
Join Chimney Rock State Park rangers, biologists and other environmental educators to learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape. Booths will be located in Chimney Rock Village behind the Old Rock Café. Free.
Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas
Walk down Main Street in beautiful downtown Hendersonville, filled with shopping, hot cider, cookies, carolers and food! 5-8 PM. Parade Saturday at 10 AM.
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
There's no place like the Beech Mountain 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." Event sells out fast!
Craftspeople at the Folk Art Center share their inspiration and expertise in a variety of textile arts. Saturday demons include: quilting and appliqué, doll making, weaving, mixed media fiber arts, clothing, printing design, tapestry weaving, and natural dyeing. Two fashion shows on Sunday! Free admission.
Cherokee Lights & Legends Christmas
Experience a Cherokee Christmas interactive displays of Cherokee legends, ice skating, a 40-ft. Christmas tree, lights, games, caroling competition, crafts and more. 5-10 PM. Free admission. 4 Weekends. Fireworks on New Year's Eve, 10 PM.
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Meet 45 master potters from 17 states as they come together in Dillsboro for this premier art event. Buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
Asheville Wine & Food Festival
The finest regional, national, and international wines, exceptional local restaurants, craft beer and spirits, and handcrafted artisanal foods. A weekend of palate-pleasing indulgence in downtown.
Victorian Christmas at Smith-McDowell House
Tour Asheville's oldest home at the Smith McDowell House, decked out with decorations from the Victorian period. Located just a few miles from Biltmore and downtown.
This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international cuisine, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and regional music and dance. 10-5. Free admission.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy free live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue.
Kenilworth Artists Open Studio Tour
Kenilworth neighborhood, just five minutes from downtown Asheville, annual Open Studio Tour features 20+ jewelers, painters, glass-workers, fabric artists, potters, woodworkers, photographers, and more!
At North Carolina’s premier cider celebration, taste hard cider from 15 cidermakers, plus local arts and crafts, unique food pairings and live music. Benefits Western NC Green Building Council. 1-5 PM at Salvage Station. $30/person advance tickets
This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture (Friday evening & Saturday) with music, craft and food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids, and much more!
Christmas Candlelight Tour at Vance Birthplace
Be transported to an 1830s era Christmas celebrated in the mountains of North Carolina, just 15 minutes north of Asheville. The two-story reconstructed log house, will be decorated and costumed guides will relate the symbolism of each of the decorations. Live music. $5/person. 4-8:30 PM
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM. Free admission.
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.
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
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.
Christmas at Biltmore
The biggest event of the holiday season. See America's largest home decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical. See our extensive guide with tips, photos and details.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
The Craft Fair showcases work by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with over 900 members throughout the mountain regions of nine states. Members' work must be juried and accepted by a committee of peers, based on quality, design and craftsmanship.
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and more in Spruce Pine (12121 Hwy 226 S). $3/person. Also, go to Grassy Creek Gem Show at Parkway Fire Department (136 Majestic View) with 60 vendors and free admission.
Shindig on the Green
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."
Dirty Dancing Festival
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.
Toe River Studio Tour
More than 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium open their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine and Burnsville area.
Chili Cook Off
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
River District Artists Studio Stroll
Head to the River Arts District near downtown Asheville to find 180+ artists at work in 25 converted industrial buildings along the river. Great deals on art! 10-5. Free admission. See our guide for details.
Wild Goose Festival
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.
Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival
The largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns to downtown Asheville.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission.
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
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.
Coon Dog Day Festival
A street festival for dogs and their people with great food, live music, very fun parade, crafts, street dance, dog competitions and more in Saluda. Live entertainment until 11 PM. Free admission.
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.
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
One of the biggest Scottish Games in the United States, with plenty of live music (bagpipes to rock), athletic competitions, dancing, food, heritage vendors and more.
New Year's Eve
Head downtown Asheville for many choices for dining and music or dancing afterwards. See our New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas Spectacular
Original musical revue preformed by favorite Playhouse singers and dancers at the State Theatre of North Carolina, near Hendersonville.
A great day on the French Broad River near downtown Asheville with live music, dancing, face painting, food trucks, craft beers, and arts and crafts. Our favorite is the Anything that Floats Parade competition. Free admission.
Lake Lure Olympiad
One of the biggest sports festivals in NC, the event in the spectacular Hickory Nut Gorge is anchored by three major races: 10K Dam Run, Triathlon and Race up Chimney Rock. Events for kids, beginner athletes, and spectators too.
Historic Morganton Festival
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!
Fire On the Mountain
Come to downtown Spruce Pine to see and buy works from regionally and nationally renowned blacksmiths demonstrating their skills from 10 AM to 4 PM. This event celebrates the mountain tradition of blacksmithing, with Master Blacksmiths sharing their expertise and talent. Free to attend.
Asheville Running Experience
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.
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
This longtime favorite weekend at Nantahala Outdoor Center features free attractions, live music, and entertainment - along with great end-of-season deals.
Block House Steeplechase
Usher in spring with picnics, sundresses, elegant hats, tailgating, and the sounds & sights of thoroughbreds thundering past in Tryon, at the longest running steeplechase in North Carolina. The National Steeplechase Association sanctions four of the races.
Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest
This festival at Highland Brewing Company includes hands-on fun, grilled cheese cook off, milking demonstrations, panel discussions, workshops, vendors and 19 cheese makers from across the south. Advance tickets $14 for ages 12+. Tickets at the door $20. 12-4 PM
Presented by the Organic Growers School in Asheville, experts will teach you about harvesting, canning, growing, gardening, energy, cooking and more…all organically. Get down-to-earth advice on growing and sustainable living, while remaining affordable and accessible.
Church Street Waynesville Art & Craft Show
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.
Montford Arts and Music Festival
One of the largest one day free music and arts festivals in Asheville, held on Montford and Soco near downtown, with over 100 vendors of art, crafts and food. Two stages of entertainment. 10 AM-7 PM.
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions outdoors in downtown Asheville. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
Celebrate the Appalachian Trail in Hot Springs, where it goes through town on Main Street. Spaghetti Dinner kick-off on Friday evening, Saturday fun with bicycles, skateboarding, hula-hooping, river rafting, soccer, yoga, and more! Pancakes and float trip on Sunday.
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
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.
Get a free livermush sandwich with live music, best dressed pig contest, cooking contest and more in downtown Marion.
Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
See things to do on the holiday weekend, including best restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Kick off the holiday season in style!
The Big Crafty
150+ local indie artists, crafters, makers with food, drink and music in Pack Square Park downtown, 12-6 PM.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
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.
Village Art & Craft Fair
Fantastic fair in Biltmore Village with 100 hand-selected artists from 16 states, representing the full spectrum of craft media - jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more.
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
Downtown After Five Live Music
Free live music concert, as well as a wide variety of food and drink vendors on Lexington Avenue in Asheville.
Dillsboro Festival of Lights & Luminaries
Experience the magic as the entire town is transformed into a winter wonderland of lights, candles, laughter and song! Shopkeepers provide live music and serve holiday treats with hot cider and cocoa.
Woolly Worm Festival
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.
Saturday Night Lights
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. Grand Prix competition most nights. Free admission.
Weaverville Art Safari
This self-guided, make-your-own-agenda event throughout Weaverville and surrounding scenic valleys is a rare opportunity to interact with artists and see the process behind their critically acclaimed works of art. And it's fun to buy directly from the artists!
White Squirrel Festival
Go nuts at the White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard that features a parade, plenty of live music, food, arts and much on Memorial Day Weekend.
LEAF Downtown Asheville
International music festival at Pack Square Park downtown with three stages of music, food trucks and 90 local and artisan vendors on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday until 10 PM. Free.
Candlelight Christmas Stroll
Downtown Weaverville has luminaries along the streets, local choirs and bands will provide music, and horse and buggy rides will be available through town. 6-9 PM. Local businesses will be open late and the official tree lighting at 7:30 PM.
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
This free festival features traditional music, dancing, and heritage craft demonstrations. Highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration
A full day celebration of traditional mountain craft, food, and entertainment in downtown Waynesville. Demonstrations of Appalachian life skills & crafts, storytelling, mountain music & clogging, home-style food vendors. 10 AM –5 PM, Free admission.
Asheville Outdoor Show
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.
French Broad River Festival
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.
WNC Daylily Flower Show
Hundreds of daylilies will be on display and for sale at the North Carolina Arboretum, hosted by the WNC Daylily Society. Society members provide information on care and cultivation of daylilies.