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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, 431 Main St. 11 AM-3 PM. Free.
New Year's Eve
Head to downtown Asheville for many dining and entertainment choices or go to celebrations throughout WNC. Special events on Jan 1st too. See our top New Year Celebrations and Things to Do.
Appalachian Christmas Carol at Vance Birthplace
A candlelight evening of story and 1800s tradition, with a Carolina twist. Meet the ghost of Christmas past, present and future reexamine the legacy of Governor Zebulon Vance. $5/person. Tours every 30 minutes, 5-9 PM.
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."
Weaverville Art Safari
Drive scenic country roads to visit 35 artists in their studios and galleries about 10 minutes north of Asheville. Buy direct from them - find some great deals. Free.
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
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lake Lure Polar Plunge
Jump into the chilly waters of Lake Lure to raise money for local charities. What a way to start the new year!
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
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.
A Night Before Christmas
Downtown Waynesville's historic Main Street area is filled with bright lights, friendly folks, the wonderful sounds of the holiday season, special gallery openings, delicious food and drink. Small town Christmas at its finest. 6-9 PM
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.
Spring Herb Festival at Western NC Farmer's Market
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.
Art After Dark
Downtown Waynesville galleries present special shows, with refreshments and live music 6-9 PM. Tree lighting too. Very festive small town atmosphere. Kicks off "Holly Days" weekend.
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.
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.
9 to 5 The Musical, Asheville Community Theatre
A very fun classic with music by Dolly Parton! Working 9 to 5, three female employees rid themselves of their horrible chauvinistic boss and take control of the company. Thurs, Fri & Sat 7:30 PM, Sunday 2:30 PM. Downtown. Tickets from $15/person
North Carolina's Official International Festival is a 10-day celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance with performances, a parade and more in Waynesville and many WNC towns.
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."
Art on Main, Hendersonville
Meet and buy from 85 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
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.
Downtown After Five
Free live music concert, as well as a wide variety of food and drink vendors. Lexington Avenue in Asheville. 5-9 PM.
Best Christmas Pageant Ever @ ACT Theatre
Watch Asheville Community Theatre's most popular holiday show in their brand new space downtown. Town terrors end up as the leads in the Christmas pageant, helping everyone to rediscover the holiday. Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturday & Sunday 2:30 PM. Saturday 16th at 7:30 PM.
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.
Garden Jubilee Festival
This Downtown Hendersonville Festival is the ideal event for passionate gardeners searching for the perfect plants, unique lawn and garden accessories, and arts and crafts. Memorial Day Weekend.
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.
Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest
This festival at Highland Brewing Company includes hands-on fun, chef competition, milking demonstrations, panel discussions, workshops, vendors and 19 cheesemakers from across the south. Advance tickets $14 for ages 12+. Tickets at the door $20. 12-4 PM.
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.
Jeeves Takes a Bow @ NC Stage Theatre
Professional theatre in downtown Asheville: British upper crust meets the New York mob in the witty play featuring favorite hapless hero, Bertie Wooster, embarking on an American adventure armed with his handsome fortune and talent for trouble.
Longtime favorite international cultural arts and music weekend festival by the lake, in Black Mountain with camping and limited tickets.
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. Walk through on Dec 1.
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.
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.
Shindig on the Green
Musicians and dancers from Western North Carolina gather to share 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."
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 Brevard Halloweenfest
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.
Lots of fun in Chimney Rock Village with a pancake breakfast, Cow Pie Bingo, recycled garden art contest, llamas strutting their stuff in a Main Street parade, a grilled dinner and a special outdoor performance by the Rutherford County Orchestra at the Gathering Place.
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
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
Toe River Studio Tour
Self-driving tour to discover studios of 100+ artists and craftsmen, many internationally-known and from the acclaimed Penland School of Crafts. A blend of contemporary and traditional art - Burnsville and Spruce Pine area. Free admission!
Downtown After Five
Enjoy great music, food and beer in downtown Asheville at this free popular outdoor concert. 5-9 PM
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.
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!
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
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.
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.
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.
Easter Weekend in Asheville
Easter Weekend brings blooms, bunnies, egg hunts, Sunday brunch, sunrise services and more in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains.
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.
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.
Brevard Music Center Festival
One of the country's premier summer music festival with 80+ performances by 500 students from around the world - joined by faculty and visiting artists for symphony, opera, pops, chamber, cabaret, Americana, and jazz. Artist Director is Keith Lockhart (Boston Pops).
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area!
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. Tickets $5/person.
Madison Potters Market
Meet 20+ of the finest potters from Madison County and beyond at Marshall High Studios. This historic high school turned artist studios is on a small island in the French Broad River in downtown Marshall, 25 miles north of Asheville. 9 AM-4 PM. Free admission.
Santa on the Chimney
Watch Santa practice for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney," the 312 ft. tall Chimney Rock monolith. Included with park admission.
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.
Cherokee Voices Festival
Experience the 11,000-year old Cherokee culture through dance, music, storytelling, arts and crafts. Held at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 10 AM-5 PM, with a blowgun contest at 11 AM. Traditional food available for purchase. Free admission.
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.
Old Fashioned Dickens of a Christmas Festival
Enjoy many festivities including horse-drawn carriages, carolers, tree lighting, storytellers and instrumentalists in historic Biltmore Village. And chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Starts Fri at 6 PM.
NC Gold Festival
Two small festivals east of Asheville, one in Old Fort and the other south of Marion, both with exhibits, mining demonstrations, gold panning, arts and crafts, music and food. Free admission.
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
A fall fair of artisans, crafters and music on Blannahassett Island near downtown Marshall. 10 AM-5 PM.
NC Apple Festival
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue. 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.
Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum
Stroll through impressive light displays in the Arboretum gardens, especially designed to compliment the plants and trees in this beautiful setting. We are delighted to be a sponsor of this festive event.
Spruce Pine Potters Market
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.
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and more. $3/person. Also, go to Grassy Creek Gem Show at Parkway Fire Department (136 Majestic View) with 60 vendors and free admission.
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.
World Equestrian Games Test Events
Attend these "practice" rounds at the Tryon International Equestrian Center for free and get a sneak peek at the Dressage, Para-Dressage and Driving competitions later this year. Free admission.
Migratory Bird Day
Take a guided bird walk, attend a live raptor program and see a bird survey demonstration at the Cradle of Forestry. The forests and fields here are alive with song as migratory birds arrive at their summer habitats.
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.
Winter Events & Valentine Outings
See our top picks for things to do and events in January, February and March - including Valentine's Weekend!
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!
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.
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.
Saluda Arts Festival
Outstanding festival with 100% hand-picked regional artists along Saluda's historic Main Street. See a big diversity of art media and enjoy music representing Americana, blues, folk and contemporary. Watch artist demonstrations. Free. 10 AM-4 PM.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Featuring handmade creations from more than 60 artisans from across the region, including painting, photography, jewelry, leather, metal, soaps and more on Memorial Day Weekend. Admission is free. Across from the beach, 2771 Memorial Highway.