Plan a Trip To Asheville

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Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Lake Julian Festival of Lights
This drive-thru light show in south Asheville features 50 animated light displays and thousands of colored lights in a lakeside park. $10 per car. 6-9 PM. Tickets must be purchased online.
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
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.
Wood Day at Folk Art Center
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.
Christmas at Biltmore
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.
Fireplace in Historic Asheville B&B
Winter Events & Valentine Outings
See our top picks for things to do and events in January, February and March - including Valentine's Weekend!
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride Festival
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.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Top art show! See and buy traditional and contemporary fine art and craft directly from members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with 200+ juried artists from mountain regions of nine states. Held inside in downtown Asheville.
Polar Express Train
Polar Express Train
Ride to the North Pole on the Polar Express Train at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad to pick up Santa. It's fun for all ages. Departs from Bryson City. See our guide for all the details.
Toe River Studio Tour
Toe River Studio Tour
Drive scenic mountain roads to find 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium at their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine and Burnsville area.
BBQ Festival
Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass Festival
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. 
Waynesville NC Art Festival
Church Street Art & Craft Show
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.
Studio Stroll River Arts District
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 AM-5 PM. Free admission. See our guide for details.
Leicester Art Tour
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. 10 AM-6 PM
Greek Festival
Greek Festival
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. 
Fiber Weekend
Fiber Weekend
Craftspeople at the Folk Art Center share their inspiration and expertise in a variety of textile arts. Saturday demos include quilting and appliqué, doll making, weaving, mixed media fiber arts, clothing, printing design, tapestry weaving and natural dyeing. Two fashion shows on Sunday (Mother's Day)! Free admission. 
Spring Herb Festival at WNC Ag Center
Spring Herb Festival at WNC Ag Center
Largest herb festival in the Southeast with 50+ businesses with plants, books, soaps, herbal crafts, medicinal herbs, lotions, dried flowers, baked goods, herbal gifts and much more. Free admission.
Chow Chow Food Festival Asheville
Chow Chow Food Festival
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. 
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Dillsboro Lights & Luminaries
Experience the magic as the charming village 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.
Greening Up the Mountains Festival
Greening Up the Mountains Festival
Celebrate the arrival of spring at this big downtown Sylva street festival, about an hour's drive west of Asheville. Three stages of music, crafts, music, more. Free admission.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this big outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Carolina Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
As the premier annual bonsai event of the Southeast, the Expo offers programs for both the bonsai community and general public. It features a juried display of bonsai, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations and more. Free event admission, parking fee.
Goombay Festival
Goombay Festival
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! 
Pow Wow at Cherokee
Pow Wow at Cherokee
Experience authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Dance competitions kick the excitement up even higher. Enjoy crafts, food and fireworks, too.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM. Free admission.
Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
Oktoberfest, Asheville
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
Lake Glenville Waterfalls
Lake Glenville, one of the highest lakes east of the Rockies, has four hidden waterfalls along its 26-mile shoreline. Accessible only by boat these beautiful falls are majestic and serene. Hire a guide such as Lake Glenville Waterfall Cruises to give you a tour of all four or rent a boat and explore on your own – both Signal Ridge Marina and Lakeshore Marina offer rentals. Below are their GPS coordinates if you explore on your own: Mill Creek Falls: 35.175646, -83.170844 Hidden Falls: 35.172896, -83.153930 Norton Falls: 35.156688, -83.150239 Hurricane Falls: 35.136782, -83.125198
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
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.
NC Mountain State Fair
Mountain State Fair
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.
Thanksgiving in Asheville
Thanksgiving Day & Weekend
See things to do on the holiday weekend, including the best restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Kick off the holiday season in style!
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
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. 
 A Night Before Christmas
A Night Before Christmas
Downtown Waynesville's historic Main Street area's shops, galleries and restaurants open late from 6-9 PM with live music, live carolers, Bethlehem market place and live natvity, old-fashioned wagon rides, Santa & Mrs. Claus, storytelling, luminary-lined streets and more. Small town Christmas at its finest. 
Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival
Night in the Country Carolinas Music Festival, Tryon Equestrian Center & Resort
Rooted in the Carolina foothills, this music experience transforms the world-renowned Tryon International Equestrian Center into your next great country tradition.The 3-day festival features 12 mainstream country music artists, plus a variety of experiences and activities.
Moses Creek Falls
Calling all daredevils: While this 100-foot waterfall is a bit difficult to see, those comfortable with steep climbs and limber exploration might enjoy the thrill of finding the right angle for the perfect snapshot. The Forest Service closed the cascade to vehicle access, but its base is relatively easy to reach on foot. The perks of partially-concealed, hard-to-hike scenery? You probably won’t have to elbow any crowds to see this long series of slides, fed by West Fork Moses Creek.
Dirty Dancing Festival
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.
Apple Butter Festival
Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville
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
Drum Circle
Drum Circle
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park. And dance the night away!
Montford Arts and Music Festival
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 100+ vendors of art, crafts and food. Live music. 10 AM-7 PM.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
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
Orchid Show
Asheville Orchid Festival
The Western NC Orchid Society hosts a big show and competition at the North Carolina Arboretum. Hundreds of orchids will be on display and vendors will be selling them with plenty of advice.
Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top 50 Events (November & December)
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. 
LEAF Festival
LEAF Festival
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
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown. 10 AM-5 PM.
Winter Lights NC Arboretum
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Returning to the gardens this year, the popular show will return to the traditional outdoor walk-through open-air format with glowing landscapes and plenty of new displays. The show will include the 50ft lighted tree, Quilt Garden, many of your favorite lighted designs, and new ones for 2021! We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
NC Apple Festival
NC Apple Festival
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.
Shindig on the Green
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."
Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend
Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend
Held on the spacious farm grounds of the historic Shelton House and Museum of NC Handicrafts in Waynesville, enjoy a craft fair, Appalachian dancing, tours, music, barn exhibits, food trucks, farmers market, and theatre.
Pack Square Park
Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony
Held on the Roger McGuire Green Stage of Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville starting at 2:30 PM with the Army National Guard's Army Band performing a half-hour before and after the ceremony. Free. 
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Autumn Arts Festival
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
Montford Home Tour
Montford Home Tour
Explore Asheville’s Montford historic neighborhood with Victorian, Arts and Crafts, Greek Revival and Dutch Colonial homes dating back to the late 1800s. Self-guided tour of 10 homes, 1-5 PM, $25/person. Tickets at Asheville Visitor Center (36 Montford Ave).
Fire on the Mountain Blacksmith Festival, Spruce Pine
Fire On the Mountain
Come to downtown Spruce Pine to see and buy works from Penland School and nationally-renowned blacksmiths demonstrating their skills. Iron & metal art exhibit, tool and gear vendors, forge-off, food trucks. Free admission. No pets.
Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain
Sourwood Festival
There's always plenty to see and do at this free street festival in quaint downtown Black Mountain to celebrate sourwood honey! 200 vendors, crafts, live music, kids' activities and food. Saturday 9 AM-8 PM and Sunday 9 AM-5 PM. 
July 4th
July 4th Week Festivals, Parades, Fireworks
Much is happening throughout the Week of July 4th with many parades and fireworks on Independence Day - in Asheville and many small towns in western North Carolina mountains.
International Day Festival, Waynesville
International Day
This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and great food. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. 
Woolly Worm Festival
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. Highly popular!
Parade of Nations
Parade of Nations
Folkmoot, an international music and dance festival, has its Parade of Nations down Main Street in Waynesville at 10 AM with elaborate costumes. Free to attend. 
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the "green."
Rutherfordton Christmas
Small Town Christmas, Rutherfordton
Many events along Main Street throughout the day 1-9 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 6:30 PM at Courthouse. All free to attend.
Laugh Your Asheville Off Asheville Comedy Festival
Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival
Get ready to laugh at the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns with 40 comics performing at multiple venues in Asheville. Single event tickets & combo passes.
Coon Dog Day, Saluda
Coon Dog Day Festival
A street festival for dogs and their people with great food, live music, a very fun parade, crafts, street dance, dog competitions, and more in Saluda. Live entertainment until 11 PM. Free admission.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy great music, food and beer in downtown Asheville at this free popular outdoor concert. 5-9 PM
Arbor Evenings NC Arboretum Asheville
Arbor Evenings, NC Arboretum
Sip and stroll through the NC Arboretum gardens after dark (5:30-8 PM) with live music. Beer, wine, and nonalcoholic drinks available for purchase and food available by preorder only. Admission is free with a $16/car parking fee for non-members. Arbor Evenings run Thursdays and Fridays, June 23 - September 30, 2022.
Steeplechase
Tryon Block House Steeplechase
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.
Livermush Festival, Marion
Liver Mush Festival
Line up for your free Hunter's liver mush sandwich while enjoying live music, hog calling, eating contest, and more in downtown Marion, 5-9 PM.
Rose Show
Rose Show
Exhibition at the North Carolina Arboretum by Asheville-Blue Ridge Rose Society with award-winning roses of every color and size. Experts on hand to answer questions and provide information about the selection, care and history of roses.
Rhododendron Festival
Rhododendron Festival
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area! The one in Bakersville NC is Friday & Saturday. In TN, it's Saturday & Sunday.
Biltmore Village Art Fair
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.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Spring Arts Festival
See and buy craft and art by 90+ artists from many different disciplines during Memorial Day Weekend. Also enjoy entertainment, food vendors and the beauty of the lake. Free admission. 119 Arcade St, Lake Lure
Chow Chow Food Festival Asheville
Chow Chow Food Festival
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. 
Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro
Old hat, new hat, yellow hat, blue hat. They're all welcome at Dillsboro's annual Easter Hat Parade at 2 PM, showcasing a variety of interesting hats atop participants of all ages, including pets.
Easter Weekend in Asheville
Easter Weekend in Asheville
Easter Weekend brings blooms, bunnies, egg hunts, Sunday brunch, sunrise services and more in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains.
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Western North Carolina Pottery Festival
Meet 40+ master potters from across the country at this premier juried art event. Watch them in action and buy amazing creations that you will treasure for a lifetime.
CiderFest NC
CiderFest NC
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. 1-4 PM at Olivette Riverside Community & Farm, 1069 Olivette Road. $39/person advance tickets. 
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
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.
Asheville Holiday Parade
Asheville Holiday Parade
Downtown, 11 AM. A fun and creative parade that kicks off Asheville's holiday season with marching bands, floats, dance and theater troupes, walking groups and Santa Claus himself.
Art on Main Hendersonville
Art on Main, Hendersonville
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
Folkmoot USA
Folkmoot International Festival
The world comes to our mountains for NC's Official International Festival with visiting dancers and musicians from many countries, big street festival, performances, parade and more in Waynesville, Asheville and nearby towns.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food, and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue. Free admission.
Asheville Summer Festivals
Top 50 Summer Festivals & Events
See our list of the best festivals and summer events in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains during June-August.
Tulips at Biltmore
Spring Events & Festivals: Top 40
Check out our calendar of the best festival and events in Asheville and western North Carolina in April and May.
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Flock to Rock Birding Day
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.

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