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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jeeves In Bloom at NC Stage Theatre
Professional theatre in downtown Asheville: In the very fun play, high society playboy Bertie Wooster and his school chum, Eustace, visit the English Countryside with mayhem ensues.
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.
Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock
Celebrate Easter by watching the sun rise over Hickory Nut Gorge during the annual service atop Chimney Rock. Free admission.
Asheville Art in the Park
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.
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.
Tour de Falls at DuPont State Forest
A 12-mile tour by shuttle bus to four of DuPont State Forest’s spectacular sites: Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia. Mother's Day Weekend!
Santa on the Chimney
Watch Santa practicing for his world-wide chimney-dropping tour on his "practice chimney", the 312 foot 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.
NC Gold Festival
Annual event at Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort features gold exhibits, gold mining techniques and demonstrations, treasure and scavenger hunts, geocaching, gold panning, numerous vendors including arts and crafts, raffles. 9 AM-6 PM. Free.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Garden Jubilee Festival
This Downtown Hendersonville Festival is the ideal event for passionate gardeners searching for the perfect plants and unique lawn & garden accessories and arts & crafts, on Memorial Day Weekend.
Snowbound @ ACT Theatre
See a world premier at Asheville Community Theatre. Snowbound takes you to a small town depot in 1955 where a snow storm forces strangers become friends. Original bluegrass music played live onstage by members of Buncombe Turnpike and Sons of Ralph.
Colorfest Arts Fest in Dillsboro
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
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy free live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue.
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.
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.
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.
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
Weaverville Art Safari
One of our favorites for sure! 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 the development of their critically acclaimed works of art. And it's fun to buy directly from the artists!
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!
Art on Main Downtown Hendersonville
Enjoy fine arts and crafts along Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, 10 AM-5 PM.
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.
Spring Herb Festival at Western NC Farmer's Market
Largest Herb Festival in the Southeast with 50+ herb businesses with herb plants anywhere, herbs, books, soaps, herbal crafts, medicinal herbs, lotions, dried flowers, herbal baked goods, herbal gifts and much more.
River District Artists Studio Stroll
Tour studios of 180+ artists in 25 buildings along the river. Watch them create an eclectic mix, from traditional to cutting-edge. See special gallery exhibits and demonstrations. Near downtown Asheville and Biltmore. 10-5.
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.
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.
Coon Dog Day Festival
A celebration for dogs and their people with great food, live music, parade, crafts, street dance, and more in Saluda. Live stage music began at 9 AM and continues all day until the end of the street dance at 10 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.
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 quilt making, photography, extreme garden vegetables, flowers, crafts and more. Watch craftspeople at work.
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
North Carolina's Official International Festival is a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance with performances, parade and more.
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 & Car Show
Sample chilis ranging from mild to wild and in red, white, and vegetarian recipes at the depot in downtown Bryson City. Also enjoy 30 show cars, live music, handcrafted arts and desserts. Free admission. 10 AM-3 PM
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.
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.
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.
Holiday Homecoming at Oconaluftee Visitor Center
Located near Cherokee at the Great Smoky Mountains entrance, see old time crafts being demonstrated at the Mountain Farm Museum. Learn by observing the practical arts of quilting, weaving, and basket and doll making, apple cider and apple butter. 10 AM-2 PM. Free
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.
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.
Art After Dark
Downtown Waynesville and Frog Level galleries present special shows with refreshments and live music 6-9 PM. Very festive small town atmosphere.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy great music, food and beer in downtown Asheville at this popular outdoor concert.
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area!
Saluda Arts Festival
Outstanding festival with 100% handpicked 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.
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.
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, and a grilled dinner and a special outdoor performance by the Rutherford County Orchestra at the Gathering Place.
The Big Crafty
150+ local indie artists, crafters, makers with food, drink and music in Pack Square Park downtown, 12-6 PM.
Holiday Season Top Events (November & December)
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina during November and December.
Saturday Night Lights
Watch horse jumping with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kid's fun and Venetian carousel rides. Grand Prix competition most nights. Free admission.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission.
Live music & entertainment, crafts and food to showcase ramps, a naturally grown wild onion grown in the mountains, held in Waynesville at the American Legion Post 47, 171 Legion Drive
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.
Downtown After Five
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM. Free admission.
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.
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.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
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.
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.
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.
Front Street Arts & Crafts Show
Stroll down the main street in artsy Dillsboro and see works 40 of the best regional artisans, along with family entertainment and festival food. Many galleries too. 10-4
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.
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.
LEAF Downtown Asheville
International music festival at Pack Square Park in with three stages of music, food trucks and 90 local and artisan vendors. Free.
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.
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.
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.
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.