Asheville North Carolina Top 50 Summer Festivals & Events

Summer Events & Festivals: 50 Best

Summer bring so many great festivals and events to Asheville and the western North Carolina mountains, including our many small towns. Here are our favorites! Also see Memorial Day Weekend Festivals & Things to Do.

June, July & August Events & Festivals, Asheville & NC Mountains

Toe River Studio Tour
Toe River Studio Tour
Friday, June 2, 2017 to Sunday, June 4, 2017
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.
Asheville Drum Circle
Drum Circle
Friday, June 2, 2017
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown in Pritchard Park. And dance the night away!
Concerts in Sylva
Concerts on the Creek, Sylva
Friday, June 2, 2017
Unwind on Fridays with this free outside live music summer series in downtown Sylva. Shows are 7-9 PM at the Bridge Park, two blocks from Main Street with shops, restaurants and breweries (so come early!). Family friendly with a big variety of music. Bring a chair or blanket.
NC Gold Festival
NC Gold Festival
Saturday, June 3, 2017
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.
Livermush Festival
Livermush Festival
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Get a free livermush sandwich with live music, best dressed pig contest, cooking contest and more in downtown Marion.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Repeats every week every Saturday until Sat Aug 26 2017.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Clay Day
Clay Fest
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Potters and ceramic artists of the Southern Highlands Guild at the Folk Art Center share a variety of techniques such as throwing, sculpture and coil-building. Visitors can glaze and watch the firing of raku pots. 10-4. Free.
Appalachian Festival Waynesville
Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration
Saturday, June 10, 2017
A full day celebration of traditional mountain craft, food, and entertainment in downtown Waynesville. Demonstrations of Appalachian life skills & crafts, storytelling, mountain music & clogging, home-style food vendors. 10 AM –5 PM, Free.
Bluff Mountain Festival
Bluff Mountain Festival
Saturday, June 10, 2017
This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging and square dance, and a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages, and more. Begins at 10 AM with an array of delicious foods and ends with a square dance until dark.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Repeats every week 3 times.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, June 10, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Xpand Fest
Xpand Fest
Saturday, June 10, 2017
A new outdoor festival in the South Slope near downtown Asheville to showcase the creative arts as a tool for positive change in our world.
VeganFest Asheville
VeganFest
Saturday, June 10, 2017 to Sunday, June 11, 2017
Since Asheville is one of the top USA cities for vegan living, find many events all weekend. SpeakerFest at Masonic Temple is Saturday and the big outdoor festival in Pack Square Park is Sunday 11-5. All events are free. Fundraiser for local animal sanctuary. 
Rhododendron Festival
Rhododendron Festival
Friday, June 16, 2017 to Sunday, June 18, 2017
Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area!
Downtown After Five
Downtown After Five
Friday, June 16, 2017
Enjoy free live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM on Lexington Avenue.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, June 17, 2017
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, June 17, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Front Street Arts Festival
Front Street Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, June 17, 2017
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
Better Dads Festival
Better Dads Festival
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Celebrate fathers at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville with games for kids and dads, beer, food, music, drum circles and more. 12 Noon-9:30 PM. Free admission.
Brevard Music Center Festival
Brevard Music Center Festival
Friday, June 23, 2017 to Sunday, August 6, 2017
Four hundred of the most talented students in the world join Brevard's artist faculty to present more than 80 concerts in a beautiful setting.
Studio Tour
Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour
Friday, June 23, 2017 to Saturday, June 24, 2017
Take a free self-guided driving tour of the galleries and working studios of Graham and Swain Counties and buy arts and crafts directly from the artist. Pick up a map at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville. 10 AM-5 PM
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, June 24, 2017
See and buy fine arts and crafts from dozens of local artists at Pack Square Park in downtown.
WNC Daylily Society
WNC Daylily Flower Show
Saturday, June 24, 2017
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.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, June 24, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Asheville Farm Tour
Farm Tour
Saturday, June 24, 2017 to Sunday, June 25, 2017
Visit farms in the Asheville area that are not normally open to the public and see the fascinating behind the scenes. Presented by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), farms are located in many counties across Western North Carolina.
Pots on the Green
Pots On the Green
Saturday, June 24, 2017 to Sunday, June 25, 2017
See 15 invitational potters in Cashiers with a big pottery sale, demonstrations and more on the Village Green gazebo and park. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Pow Wow at Cherokee
Pow Wow at Cherokee
Friday, June 30, 2017 to Sunday, July 2, 2017
Experience authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Dance competitions kick the excitement up even higher. Enjoy crafts, food and fireworks too.
Mile High Fourth
Mile High Fourth
Friday, June 30, 2017 to Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Neighboring towns of Banner Elk and Beech Mountain join for events all weekend: Art on the Greene, summer theatre, roasting of the pig with fireworks on July 1, outdoor concerts daily, Fourth Parade & Party in the Park.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Repeats every week 4 times.
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
July 4th
July 4th Festivals, Parades, Fireworks
Saturday, July 1, 2017 to Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Much is happening on Independence Day and weekend. See our list of July 4th Celebrations
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, July 1, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Red, White & Bluegrass Festival
Red, White & Bluegrass Festival
Saturday, July 1, 2017 to Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Go to one of the top bluegrass music festivals in the South, with 20+ bands including some national headliners. Camping, food, crafts and more in a beautiful park in Morganton. Fireworks on the 4th. Daily admission starts at $25/advance and $30/gate. Four day pass is $60/advance and $75/gate.
Banner Elk Art
Art on the Greene
Saturday, July 1, 2017 to Sunday, July 2, 2017
Find a big variety of 40 artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry and more in downtown Banner Elk. Many restaurants, shops and things to do nearby. Benefits their historic school renovation. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Bryson City Freedom Fest
Freedom Fest
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
Experience an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration and street festival in Bryson City with a 5K, crafts, food, contests, live music and the best fireworks show in the Smokies.
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
Thursday, July 6, 2017 to Sunday, July 9, 2017
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.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
Coon Dog Day
Coon Dog Day Festival
Saturday, July 8, 2017
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.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, July 8, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Wild Goose Festival
Wild Goose Festival
Thursday, July 13, 2017 to Sunday, July 16, 2017
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.
BBQ Festival
Spruce Pine BBQ Championship & Bluegrass Festival
Friday, July 14, 2017 to Saturday, July 15, 2017
Sanctioned professional BBQ competition includes live bluegrass, antique car & tractor show,  jamming stage, championship clogging teams, artists & crafts vendors, and local food vendors. At the Riverside Park across the river from downtown Spruce Pine. Tickets $5/person
Wizard of Oz Train
Wizard of Oz Train Ride
Friday, July 14, 2017 to Sunday, July 30, 2017
Ride the train down the Yellow Brick Road to meet the Wizard of Oz! The 2.5-hour journey retells the story on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Begin with Dorothy in Munchkinland and take her to Emerald City. Help them defeat the Wicked Witch of the West. Friday-Sunday
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, July 15, 2017
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, July 15, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Big Crafty Asheville
The Big Crafty
Sunday, July 16, 2017
150+ local indie artists, crafters, makers with food, drink and music in Pack Square Park downtown, 12-6 PM.
Folkmoot USA
Folkmoot USA
Thursday, July 20, 2017 to Sunday, July 30, 2017
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.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Friday, July 21, 2017 to Sunday, July 23, 2017
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.
Downtown After Five
Downtown After Five
Friday, July 21, 2017
Enjoy live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville, starting at 5 PM. Free admission.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions in downtown Asheville in Pack Square Park. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green."
Parade of Nations
Parade of Nations
Saturday, July 22, 2017
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.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, July 22, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Gran Fondo
Gran Fondo Bike Race
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Join the fun of this cycling event for various levels of experience for a 30, 60 or 100-mile scenic course, starting and ending in the River Arts District in Asheville. It's a fundraiser for Friends of the Smokies.
ArtFest & Folkmoot International Day
International Day
Saturday, July 29, 2017
This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international cuisine, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and regional music and dance. 10-5. Free
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, July 29, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
NC Mineral and Gem Festival
Thursday, August 3, 2017 to Sunday, August 6, 2017
Thousands of visitors from across the country come to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and more in Spruce Pine.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival
Thursday, August 3, 2017 to Saturday, August 5, 2017
Since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others have come together the first weekend in August for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in Asheville.
Mt Mitchell Crafts Fair
Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair
Friday, August 4, 2017 to Saturday, August 5, 2017
The streets around Burnsville’s town square are filled with 200 juried crafters displaying nearly every kind of handmade craft imaginable. Located 35 miles northeast of Asheville.
LEAF Downtown Asheville
LEAF Downtown Asheville
Saturday, August 5, 2017 to Sunday, August 6, 2017
International music festival at Pack Square Park in with three stages of music, food trucks and 90 local and artisan vendors. Free.
Wood Day at Folk Art Center
Wood Day at Folk Art Center
Saturday, August 5, 2017
Join Guild woodworkers for an exciting day exploring various forms of woodcraft. Featuring the Annual Carve Off Competition. 10 AM –4 PM.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, August 5, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Biltmore Village Art Fair
Village Art & Craft Fair
Saturday, August 5, 2017 to Sunday, August 6, 2017
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.
Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival
Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival
Wednesday, August 9, 2017 to Saturday, August 12, 2017
The largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns to downtown Asheville.
Lake Lure Olympiad
Lake Lure Olympiad
Friday, August 11, 2017 to Sunday, August 13, 2017
Considered by athletes as one of the most scenic race weekends on any calendar. Anchored by a “3 Races in 3 Days Challenge,” the sports festival dares athletes of all levels.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Repeats every week every Saturday until Sat Aug 26 2017.
Saturday, August 12, 2017
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."
Sourwood Festival
Sourwood Festival
Saturday, August 12, 2017 to Sunday, August 13, 2017
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 plenty of food. Sat 9-8 and Sunday 9-5. Alcohol-free.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, August 12, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Dirty Dancing Festival
Dirty Dancing Festival
Friday, August 18, 2017 to Saturday, August 19, 2017
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.
Downtown After Five
Downtown After Five
Friday, August 18, 2017
Enjoy live music, food and beer at this outdoor concert in downtown Asheville. Free admission.
Asheville Wine & Food Festival
Asheville Wine & Food Festival
Friday, August 18, 2017 to Saturday, August 19, 2017
The finest regional, national, and international wines, exceptional local restaurants, craft beer and spirits, and handcrafted artisanal foods a weekend of palate-pleasing indulgence in downtown.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, August 19, 2017
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."
Leicester Art Tour
Come to Leicester Studio Tour
Saturday, August 19, 2017 to Sunday, August 20, 2017
Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, August 19, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Dillsboro Art Festival
Summer Arts and Crafts Market
Saturday, August 19, 2017
More than 40 local artists display and demo their arts and crafts in artsy Dillsboro, 10 AM-4 PM. Plus, live music, food and hands-on activities. 
Solar Eclipse 2017
Total Solar Eclipse
Monday, August 21, 2017
See a rare total solar eclipse of the sun with darkness in the middle of the day west of Asheville in Jackson, Swain and Graham counties. See our guide for events and viewing tips.
Shindig on the Green
Shindig on the Green
Saturday, August 26, 2017
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."
Riverfest Asheville
Riverfest
Saturday, August 26, 2017
A great day on the French Broad River near downtown Asheville with live music, dancing, face painting, food trucks, craft beers, and arts and crafts. Our favorite is the Anything that Floats Parade competition. Free admission.
Tryon International Equestrian Center, NC
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday, August 26, 2017
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 activities and Venetian carousel rides. Competitions vary each week. Free admission.
Organicfest
Organicfest
Sunday, August 27, 2017
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.
Asheville Fall Events
Fall Events & Festivals
Friday, September 1, 2017 to Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Find our favorite autumn events and festivals during September and October in Asheville and the NC mountains.
Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend Events & Things to Do
Friday, September 1, 2017 to Monday, September 4, 2017
See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.

Past Events

Memorial Day Weekend NC
Memorial Day Weekend
Friday, May 26, 2017 to Monday, May 29, 2017
Find many events, festivals and our top things to do to kick off summer during the holiday weekend in Asheville and the NC mountains.  
There are many 4th of July celebrations and firework shows in Asheville and the North Carolina mountains! Below is a big list of 2017 events and festivals. Check back for updates.Downtown Asheville... read more
Asheville and the North Carolina mountains have many things to do and events during Labor Day Weekend.Kick off the weekend on Friday night with:Concerts on the Creek: Free outside live music in... read more
The Asheville fall leaf color show in the North Carolina mountains attracts visitors from around the world. With the 5,000-foot elevation change within 50 miles of Asheville, our lush Blue Ridge... read more
If you love art festivals, this is your mega calendar of events for the year! The Asheville area art scene is booming, and we are consistently voted one of the biggest art destinations in the country... read more
Here are our favorite natural swimming holes in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville to cool off on a hot summer's day. Sliding Rock is always the most popular (and most crowded). Only Sliding... read more