Rhododendron Festivals in NC and TN

North Carolina Rhododendron Festival

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 the Roan Mountain State Park. The massive display of rhododendron is half way between the two.

NC Rhododendron Festival

North Carolina Rhododendron Festival, Bakersville
June 21-23, 2019: The tiny town of Bakersville welcomes thousands of visitors to their creekside park for a craft fair (Saturday & Sunday, 10 AM-5 PM) with dozen of artists and a section of community booths with live music. Each day ends with an evening street dance on Main Street (admission $5/person). Other highlights include:

  • NC Rhododendron Pageant at Bowman Middle School: Friday & Saturday evenings
  • Rhodondendron 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 blooms.

Tennessee Rhododendron Festival: June 22-23, 2019
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.

Bakersville is a charming tiny town of about 465 people in Mitchell County, near Spruce Pine, Roan Mountain and the famous Penland School of Craft. The town was formed in the mid 1800s. However,... read more
A must-stop for art lovers is the Penland School of Crafts, a nationally-renowned center for craft education tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina (6 miles from... read more
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