Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina version and Tennessee version) are held in the Roan Mountain (see our Roan Mountain Guide) area on the third weekend of June. The North Carolina Rhododendron Festival is celebrated in the small downtown area of Bakersville, NC. The Tennessee Rhododendron Festival is held at the Roan Mountain State Park. The massive display of rhododendron is half way between the two.
North Carolina Rhododendron Festival, Bakersville
June 17-18, 2016
NC Rhododendron Pageant at Bowman Middle School: Friday, first round of competition includes Junior division talent and Senior division swimsuit. Special entertainment provided by former Rhododendron queens. Saturday: Final round of competition includes Senior division talent, Junior and Senior evening gown, and crowning of the NC Rhododendron Queens.
Rhodondendron Car Show: Saturday, Bowman Middle School football field. 10 AM-3 PM. A small admission fee will be charged for spectators. Awards include: Trophies for Top 50, Best of Show and Peoples Choice. Lots of Golden Oldies music and family fun! Tickets will be sold for 50/50 drawing.
Rhododendron Street Fair: Saturday, on the Creekwalk in Bakersville from 9 AM-4 PM. Arts, crafts and food vendors, live entertainment, ducky derby, and helicopter rides taking off from Bakersville Fire Dept. Free admission.
Ducky Derby: Saturday, along the Creek Walk. Watch and cheer on your own as thousands of ducks race down Cane Creek in this Festival fundraiser that is a real kid-favorite event! Tickets are available from any Festival Committee Member during the Street Fair.
Street Dance: Friday and Saturday Nights, Rhododendron Square Dance on the street! Dance will be on main street in Bakersville, in front of United Community Bank. Live music will be provided.
Golf Tournament: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at Grassy Creek Golf and Country Club. Call 828-765-7436 for information.
Rhododendron 10K Run: Race begins at Gouge School in Bakersville.
Tennessee Rhododendron Festival: June 18-19, 2016
The festival is held the third weekend of June, coordinating with the peak of the rhododendron bloom. The Tennessee Rhododendron Festival is outdoors at Roan Mountain State Park on Saturday 10 AM-7 PM; Sunday 10 AM-5 PM. It features handmade crafts, food, and a variety of traditional music, plus an array of old-time folkway demonstrations. More than 100 arts and crafts vendors.
Roan Mountain State Park is on Hwy 143, Roan Mountain, Tennessee (about 8 miles from Roan Mountain at the North Carolina state line).