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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 fast!
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
Garden Jubilee Festival
This huge plant and crafts festival covers eight blocks of Main Street in downtown Hendersonville. Free seminars and tips from expects - including decks and patios. Memorial Day Weekend.
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.
Longtime favorite international cultural arts and music weekend festival by the lake, in Black Mountain with camping and limited tickets.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
A favorite showcase since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others come together for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in Asheville.
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.
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 - at the Mountain Farm Museum. 10AM-3:30PM
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.
Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest
This festival at Highland Brewing Company includes hands-on fun, chef competition, milking demonstrations, panel discussions, workshops, vendors and 19 cheese makers from across the south.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A festive day at New Belgium Brewery on the French Broad River near downtown Asheville with live music, food trucks, craft beers and more - benefits RiverLink. Our favorite is the Anything that Floats Parade competition. Free admission.
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!
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.
The Big Crafty
See 150+ local indie artists, crafters, makers with food, drink and music in Pack Square Park downtown, 12-6 PM.
Bluff Mountain Festival
This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages and more. 10 AM to 6 PM. Offers an array of delicious foods, too.
Aluminum Christmas Tree Museum
This quirky exhibit in downtown Brevard features dozens of vintage aluminum Christmas trees and ornaments inside the Transylvania Heritage Museum. A fun trip back in time. Wed-Sat. Free admission.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
A free fall fair of artisans, crafters and music on Blannahassett Island near downtown Marshall. 10 AM-5PM
This festival of flowers celebrates two months of spring blooms that include 75,000+ tulips, orchids, azalaeas and elaborate floral displays inside Biltmore House.
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.
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 mulitple venues in Asheville. Single event tickets & combo passes.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM. Free admission.
NC Gold Festival
Strike it rich at the Official NC Gold Fest in Old Fort with exhibits, mining demonstrations, gold panning, arts and crafts, music and food. Free admission.
HardLox Jewish Festival
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this big outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission, 5-9 PM.
Blue Ridge Heritage Weekend
Held on the farm grounds of the historic Shelton House and Museum of NC Handicrafts in Wayneville, enjoy a craft fair, Appalachian dancing, tours, music, barn exhibits, food trucks, farmers market and theatre.
In Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, 10 AM-6 PM, with live music, organic local food and beer, cooking demos, samplings, natural arts and crafts. Free.
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.
The Fantasticks, Asheville Community Theatre
See the longest-running musical in the world - a timeless romantic charmer that manages to be nostalgic and universal at the same time and is punctuated by a series of classic songs. Fri & Sat 7:30, Sun 2:30, Thurs Feb 20 & 27 7:30. Tickets from $15
This downtown Brevard festival features a Flight of the Vampire 5K, Children’s Fun Run, street vendors, games, music, trick-or-treating, pet costume contest and a very competitive pumpkin carving contest. 10 AM-6 PM.
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.
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.
NOC Spring Fling
Celebrate spring at Nantahala Outdoor Center with a free, family-friendly event by the Nantahala River with the 5K, vendor fair, gear demos, food, music and specials at the Outfitter's Store.
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.
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 first two nights.
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. Open Wed-Sat, 10AM-4PM.
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.
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
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 at the Gathering Place.
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. 1-5 PM at Carrier Park near the River Arts District. $33/person advance tickets.
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and more - indoors at 31 Cross Street. Mine tours also. Grassy Creek Gem Show outdoors at Parkway Fire Department (136 Majestic View) with 60 vendors.
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
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas
Dazzling new production at the State Theatre of NC featuring favorite holiday songs with an all-star cast from across the USA, Playhouse Chorus and dancers of all ages. Near Hendersonville.
Easter Weekend in Asheville
Easter Weekend brings blooms, bunnies, egg hunts, Sunday brunch, sunrise services and more in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hendersonville Home for the Holidays
Main Street twinkles with thousands of lights with many festive events including parade, hay rides, Broadway shows, tours, ice skating and fantastic shopping.
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!
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).
Christmas Day & Week Things to Do
Find things to do and restaurants open on Christmas Day and week in Asheville, Biltmore and the surrounding mountain towns.
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park. And dance the night away!
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.
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!
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.
Brevard Music Center Summer Festival
One of the country's premier summer music festivals with 100+ 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).
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.
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.
Art in Autumn Fest
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.