Plan Your Summer Festival Fun in the NC Mountains!

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Summer brings 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 special features for Memorial Day Weekend and July 4th Week. For events throughout the year, see our list of seasonal calendars.

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

Free

Chihuly at Biltmore

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A new experience of the artist’s iconic creations makes its debut at Biltmore Estate next spring. Presented in an intimate gallery setting, Chihuly at Biltmore includes pedestal works, drawings,… read more

A new experience of the artist’s iconic creations makes its debut at Biltmore Estate next spring. Presented in an intimate gallery setting, Chihuly at Biltmore includes pedestal works, drawings, and large-scale installations of chandeliers, towers, mille fiori, and neon.

Tier 2

Concerts on the Creek, Sylva

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Enjoy free outside live music in downtown Sylva every Friday from 7-9 PM starting Memorial Day through Labor Day at Bridge Park, two blocks from Main Street with shops, restaurants, and breweries… read more

Enjoy free outside live music in downtown Sylva every Friday from 7-9 PM starting Memorial Day through Labor Day at Bridge Park, two blocks from Main Street with shops, restaurants, and breweries. Family-friendly, bring a chair or blanket. 2024 Dates: May 24 & 31; Jun 7, 14, 21, and 28; July 4, 5, 12, 19, and 26; and August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30.

Tier 2

Drum Circle

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Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park from April-October. And dance the night away!

Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in downtown Asheville in Pritchard Park from April-October. And dance the night away!

Free

FAB Fest, Summer Dates

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FAB Fridays run from April-October, featuring the best in local Food, Arts, and Brews (FAB) on Central Street in Downtown Rutherfordton. Come out for live music, a variety of food trucks, beer,… read more

FAB Fridays run from April-October, featuring the best in local Food, Arts, and Brews (FAB) on Central Street in Downtown Rutherfordton. Come out for live music, a variety of food trucks, beer, and shop local art, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, fiber art, sculptures, woodwork, glass blowing, and more! 6 PM. Free admission. 2024 Dates: April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September…

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Asheville Art in the Park, Summer Dates

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From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art downtown in Pack Square Park. 10 AM-5 PM

From pottery to jewelry, sculpture to two-dimensional art, this art festival brings together a wide array of traditional and contemporary mountain art downtown in Pack Square Park. 10 AM-5 PM

Free

Boonerang Festival, Boone

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This free festival in downtown Boone celebrates the town and its local artists with live music, food trucks, craft beer and wine, kid activities, and a silent disco! Also shop handmade crafts,… read more

This free festival in downtown Boone celebrates the town and its local artists with live music, food trucks, craft beer and wine, kid activities, and a silent disco! Also shop handmade crafts, pottery, textiles, artwork, photography, jewelry, apparel, home décor, personal care items, food products, and more.

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Summer Art in the Park, Blowing Rock

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Art in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC, hosts dozens of fine art and handcraft vendors at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry,… read more

Art in the Park in Blowing Rock, NC, hosts dozens of fine art and handcraft vendors at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting, and more. 10 AM – 5 PM

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Bluff Mountain Festival

This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional… read more

This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages and more. 10 AM to 5 PM. Offers an array of delicious foods, too.

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Downtown After Five

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Enjoy great music, food, and beer in downtown Asheville at this free, popular outdoor concert. Held every third Friday of the month from April-September from 5-9 PM. 2024 Dates: April 19, May 17,… read more

Enjoy great music, food, and beer in downtown Asheville at this free, popular outdoor concert. Held every third Friday of the month from April-September from 5-9 PM. 2024 Dates: April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, August 16, and September 20, 2024.

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Rhododendron Festival

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Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area! The one in Bakersville NC is Friday & Saturday. In TN, it's Saturday & Sunday.

Two Rhododendron Festivals (North Carolina and Tennessee versions) are held in the Roan Mountain area! The one in Bakersville NC is Friday & Saturday. In TN, it's Saturday & Sunday.

Free

PBR® Tryon Chute Out, Tryon Equestrian Center & Resort

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See “the toughest sport on dirt” for two nights of electrifying contests between bulls and riders battling to the eight-second buzzer in TIEC’s International Stadium. Featuring live music, a car… read more

See “the toughest sport on dirt” for two nights of electrifying contests between bulls and riders battling to the eight-second buzzer in TIEC’s International Stadium. Featuring live music, a car show, and fun for the whole family.

Tier 2

Arts & Crafts Drive-About Tour

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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… read more

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. 

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July 4th Week Festivals, Parades, Fireworks

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Much is happening throughout the Week of July 4th with many parades and fireworks on Independence Day - in Asheville and many small towns in western North Carolina mountains.

Much is happening throughout the Week of July 4th with many parades and fireworks on Independence Day - in Asheville and many small towns in western North Carolina mountains.

Tier 2

Cowee Pottery School 10-Year Anniversary Celebration

Held at the historic Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center near Franklin, this 10-year anniversary celebration includes a pottery sale with studio artists, fun activities, and a hot dog lunch… read more

Held at the historic Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center near Franklin, this 10-year anniversary celebration includes a pottery sale with studio artists, fun activities, and a hot dog lunch available. 10 AM-3 PM

 

 

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Pow Wow at Cherokee

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Experience authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Dance competitions kick the excitement up even higher. Enjoy crafts, food and fireworks, too.

Experience authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. Dance competitions kick the excitement up even higher. Enjoy crafts, food and fireworks, too.

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Fireworks Extravaganza at Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock

Enjoy this top fireworks show in the High Country of Boone, NC! The Wild West theme park will be open for extended hours on July 4 from 10 AM to 9 PM. Fireworks are at 9:30 PM.

Enjoy this top fireworks show in the High Country of Boone, NC! The Wild West theme park will be open for extended hours on July 4 from 10 AM to 9 PM. Fireworks are at 9:30 PM.

Tier 2

Freedom Fest

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.

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.

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Shindig on the Green

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Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather on these Saturday nights to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions—with each other and… read more

Musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gather on these Saturday nights to share the region's stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions—with each other and visitors from around the world—at the Shindig on the Green in downtown Asheville. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and stake out a spot on the "green." We are a proud sponsor of Shindig on the Green! 2024…

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Coon Dog Day Festival

A street festival for dogs and their people with great food, live music, a very fun parade, crafts, street dance, dog competitions, and more in Saluda. Live entertainment until 11 PM. Free… read more

A street festival for dogs and their people with great food, live music, a very fun parade, crafts, street dance, dog competitions, and more in Saluda. Live entertainment until 11 PM. Free admission.

Tier 2

Maggie Valley Summer Arts and Crafts Show

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Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast with a wide variety of art outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in Maggie Valley from 9 AM-4 PM daily. Free admission and parking.… read more

Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast with a wide variety of art outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in Maggie Valley from 9 AM-4 PM daily. Free admission and parking.

Tier 2

The Big Crafty

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Local's favorite art & craft show with 150 hand-selected local artists. Local food & beer too. Inside the Harrah's Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville (87 Haywood St).

Local's favorite art & craft show with 150 hand-selected local artists. Local food & beer too. Inside the Harrah's Cherokee Center in downtown Asheville (87 Haywood St).

Tier 2

Art on the Greene

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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. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.

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. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.

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Wild Goose Festival

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A festival of justice, spirituality, music, and the arts in Union Grove, NC. Talk, listen, eat and camp together, captivated and challenged by the call of radical humanity and who seek to… read more

A festival of justice, spirituality, music, and the arts in Union Grove, NC. 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.

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Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

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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.

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.

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Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands

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Top art show! See and buy traditional and contemporary fine art and craft directly from Southern Highland Craft Guild members, with 200+ juried artists from mountain regions of nine states. Held… read more

Top art show! See and buy traditional and contemporary fine art and craft directly from Southern Highland Craft Guild members, with 200+ juried artists from mountain regions of nine states. Held inside in downtown Asheville. Admission from 10 AM-5 PM.

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Front Street Arts & Crafts Show

Stroll downtown artsy Dillsboro and interact with more than 40 of the region's best artisans. Browse the many shops and galleries while experiencing some of the area's best restaurants.… read more

Stroll downtown artsy Dillsboro and interact with more than 40 of the region's best artisans. Browse the many shops and galleries while experiencing some of the area's best restaurants. Entertainment and festival food round out a great family day that celebrates mountain art and culture. Free admission. Pets welcomed. 10 AM-4 PM.

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Folkmoot International Festival

The world comes to our mountains for NC's Official International Festival with visiting dancers and musicians from many countries, big street festival, performances, parade and more in Waynesville… read more

The world comes to our mountains for NC's Official International Festival with visiting dancers and musicians from many countries, big street festival, performances, parade and more in Waynesville, Asheville and nearby towns.

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International Day

This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and great food. 10 AM-5 PM… read more

This street festival in downtown Waynesville is the ultimate cultural exchange with international and regional artwork, international dance and music from Folkmoot USA, and great food. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission. 

Tier 2

Love Shine Play Yoga Festival

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Formally the Yoga Festival, this event features 40 presenters and 90+ offerings downtown, including yoga, music, outdoor activities, and health & wellness experts (fees). Mountain Air Market … read more

Formally the Yoga Festival, this event features 40 presenters and 90+ offerings downtown, including yoga, music, outdoor activities, and health & wellness experts (fees). Mountain Air Market at Pack Square Park on Friday-Sunday is free with slackline park, music, art, body care, and organic food. 

Tier 2

Hillbilly Jam

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Head to Maggie Valley to celebrate mountain country living with music, crafts, big car show, moonshine and TV celebrities. 

Head to Maggie Valley to celebrate mountain country living with music, crafts, big car show, moonshine and TV celebrities. 

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Mountain Dance & Folk Festival

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A favorite showcase since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers, and others come together for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in… read more

A favorite showcase since 1928, mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers, and others come together for a showcase of authentic bluegrass music and dancing in Asheville.

Free

NC Mineral and Gem Festival

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Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap, and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils, and more. Located at the Three Peaks Enrichment Center, 97 Pinebridge Ave, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.… read more

Go to Spruce Pine to shop, swap, and discover beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils, and more. Located at the Three Peaks Enrichment Center, 97 Pinebridge Ave, Spruce Pine, NC 28777. Mine tours also.

Free

AVL Fest

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This multi-day music festival spotlights Asheville’s diverse music and arts scene. An exceptional lineup of local, regional, and national talent will fill area 20+ concert halls, clubs, and… read more

This multi-day music festival spotlights Asheville’s diverse music and arts scene. An exceptional lineup of local, regional, and national talent will fill area 20+ concert halls, clubs, and outdoor venues.   

Tier 2

Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

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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.

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.

Free

Art on the Greene, Banner Elk

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Buy art and support the restoration of the historic school in Banner Elk. Find a big variety of artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry, and more. Many other things to do nearby… read more

Buy art and support the restoration of the historic school in Banner Elk. Find a big variety of artists working with metal, glass, pottery, wood, jewelry, and more. Many other things to do nearby. The shows occur Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July weekend, an early August weekend and Labor Day weekend. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.

Free

Asheville Comedy Festival

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Get ready to laugh at the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns with 40 comics performing at multiple venues in Asheville. Grab single event tickets and combo passes.

Get ready to laugh at the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast returns with 40 comics performing at multiple venues in Asheville. Grab single event tickets and combo passes.

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Lake Lure Olympiad

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One of the biggest sports festivals in NC, the event in the spectacular Hickory Nut Gorge is anchored by three major races: 10K Dam Run, Triathlon and Race up Chimney Rock. Events for kids,… read more

One of the biggest sports festivals in NC, the event in the spectacular Hickory Nut Gorge is anchored by three major races: 10K Dam Run, Triathlon and Race up Chimney Rock. Events for kids, beginner athletes, and spectators, too. 

Tier 1

Waldensian Festival

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The charming town of Valdese celebrates the "Glorious Return" of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native Italy in 1689. Find 170+ vendors' crafts, great food, and top-quality… read more

The charming town of Valdese celebrates the "Glorious Return" of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native Italy in 1689. Find 170+ vendors' crafts, great food, and top-quality entertainment. Main Street. 9 AM-6 PM. Near Morganton.

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Sourwood Festival

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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 food. Saturday… read more

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 food. Saturday 9 AM-7 PM and Sunday 10 AM-5 PM. 

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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.

Join Guild woodworkers for an exciting day exploring various forms of woodcraft. Featuring the Annual Carve Off Competition. 10 AM –4 PM.

Tier 2

NC State Bluegrass Festival

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This big outdoor concert weekend in Marion is on the grounds of Tom Johnson's Camping Center, complete with camping options, a pavilion, and dozens of performers. Single-day and weekend tickets… read more

This big outdoor concert weekend in Marion is on the grounds of Tom Johnson's Camping Center, complete with camping options, a pavilion, and dozens of performers. Single-day and weekend tickets available can be purchased in advance until May 6. Returning are some of your favorite bluegrass performers, including Rhonda Vincent, The Malpass Brothers, and more!

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Come to Leicester Studio Tour

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Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. 10 AM-5 PM

Take a free, self-guided tour to 23 studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. 10 AM-5 PM

Free

Labor Day Weekend Events & Things to Do

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See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.

See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.

Tier 2

Maggie Valley Summer Arts and Crafts Show

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Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast with a wide variety of art outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in Maggie Valley from 9 AM-4 PM daily. Free admission and parking.… read more

Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast with a wide variety of art outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in Maggie Valley from 9 AM-4 PM daily. Free admission and parking.

Tier 2

Fall Events & Festivals

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Find our favorite autumn events and festivals during September and October in Asheville and the NC mountains.

Find our favorite autumn events and festivals during September and October in Asheville and the NC mountains.

Past Events

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Toe River Studio Tour

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Drive scenic mountain roads to find 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium at their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine, and Burnsville area… read more

Drive scenic mountain roads to find 100 fine artists and crafts people in every medium at their studios for a free, self-guided cultural adventure in the Penland, Spruce Pine, and Burnsville area.

Cherry Bounce Festival

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Go to Forest City to celebrate a famous moonshiner with music, crafts, food trucks and cherry-inspired dishes and drinks. Kicks off Friday evening with a big, free outdoor concert.

Go to Forest City to celebrate a famous moonshiner with music, crafts, food trucks and cherry-inspired dishes and drinks. Kicks off Friday evening with a big, free outdoor concert.

National Get Outdoors Day

The Cradle of Forestry celebrates with free admission and plenty of outdoor activities in Pisgah National Forest near Sliding Rock, including hikes, demos, historic buildings, and kid's… read more

The Cradle of Forestry celebrates with free admission and plenty of outdoor activities in Pisgah National Forest near Sliding Rock, including hikes, demos, historic buildings, and kid's educational fun. 10 AM-4 PM.

Mermaid Parade & Festival, Marshall

Legend has it that for one day each year, sea creatures and mermaids leave their ocean home and travel the French Broad River to Downtown Marshall. Parade at 5 PM with costumes and lots of water… read more

Legend has it that for one day each year, sea creatures and mermaids leave their ocean home and travel the French Broad River to Downtown Marshall. Parade at 5 PM with costumes and lots of water balloons and guns. Downtown festivities are happening until 10 PM so stick around town and enjoy eats, drinks, and live music at some of your favorite downtown businesses!

Cold Mountain Music Festival

Outdoor festival with plenty of live music, food trucks, beer & wine, and more at Lake Logan in Pisgah National Forest south of Waynesville, about 30 miles from Asheville. Day passes from $45/… read more

Outdoor festival with plenty of live music, food trucks, beer & wine, and more at Lake Logan in Pisgah National Forest south of Waynesville, about 30 miles from Asheville. Day passes from $45/person. Camping and accommodations available - reserve early.

For events throughout the year, see our list of seasonal calendars.

Coon Dog Day Festival, Saluda

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