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June 21-22, 2024
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee) are held in the Roan Mountain area (see our Roan Mountain Guide) on the third weekend of June. The North Carolina Rhododendron Festival is celebrated in the small downtown and creekside park (pic above) in Bakersville. The Tennessee Rhododendron Festival is held at Roan Mountain State Park. The massive display of rhododendrons is halfway between the two.

NC Rhododendron Festival

North Carolina Rhododendron Festival: June 21-22, 2024
The tiny town of Bakersville welcomes thousands of visitors to their creekside park for a craft fair (Friday/Saturday, 10 AM-5 PM) with dozens of artists and a section of community booths with live music. Celebrations continue with live music and street dancing until midnight on Friday & Saturday. Other highlights include:

  • NC Rhododendron Pageant at Bowman Middle School: Friday & Saturday evenings
  • Rhododendron Car Show: Saturday, Bowman Middle School football field. 10 AM-3 PM. A small admission fee will be charged for spectators. 
  • Ducky Derby: Saturday, along the Creek Walk. Watch and cheer on your own as thousands of ducks race down Cane Creek in this fundraiser! Tickets are available from any Festival Committee Member during the Street Fair.
  • Rhododendron 10K Run: Race begins Saturday at 8:30 AM.

Rhododendron Blooms

To see the famous blooms, drive the 12.8-mile NC 261 for a scenic drive that climbs 3,000 feet in elevation to Roan Mountain. Read more about seeing the bloomsNote: Roan Mountain Recreation Area will be closed during repairs for the 2024 season. The area to be closed includes the rhododendron gardens, Roan High Bluff, Cloudland parking area, and Cloudland Trail. Carver’s Gap and the Appalachian Trail will remain open, but there is limited parking at Carver’s Gap.

Tennessee Rhododendron Festival: June 22-23, 2024
Held outdoors at the big Roan Mountain State Park on Saturday and Sunday, find handmade crafts, food, traditional music, plus an array of old-time folkway demonstrations. More than 100 arts and crafts vendors. The State Park is on Hwy 143, about 8 miles from Roan Mountain past the North Carolina state line. Free admission.

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