Festivals & expos in Asheville area
Here at home or not far away are festivals and events that will fill your fall and help you enjoy the splendor of the season. Tear this page out and stick it on the fridge so that you can sample the rich and vibrant festival season here in Western North Carolina.
N.C. Mountain State Fair: To Sept. 20, WNC Ag Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. Livestock and agricultural exhibits, entertainment, carnival rides, more. Get advance tickets at www.mountainfair.org.
Eliada’s annual corn maze and festival: To Oct. 30, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Eliada Home, 2 Compton Drive, Asheville. Corn maze trails, storybook trails, cow train, hayride, giant tube slides, corn cannons, corn box, spider web climb-on, giant jumping pillow ($3 for 15 minutes; $5 for day pass). $10, $7 ages 4-11, free ages 3 and younger, $8 ages 65 and older. Season pass $40, $30 ages 4-11. www.eliadacornmaze.com.
Campfest: Sept. 18-20, Camp Blue Ridge, 355 Playhouse Drive, Mountain City, Georgia. Headliners are Cold War Kids and Hey Rosetta! along with Langhorne Slim and The Whigs, Margo and the Pricetags, Alanna Royale, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Brushfire Stankgrass, Family and Friends, Hardy and the Hard Knocks, City Mouse and Nikki Talley. Outdoor recreation and competitions. Numerous accommodation options. Three-day passes $89 and VIP tickets $250. Campers have option of meal plan. About 1.5 hours from Asheville. www.thecampfest.com or bit.ly/1zeQvCf.
HempX: Sept. 18-19, Highland Brewing Company, 12 Old Charlotte Highway, Asheville. Family-friendly event that aims to educate about the many uses and benefits of industrial hemp. Fuel/Fiber/Food expo with local and national vendors, Taste of Hemp with small bites from local chefs, educational workshops, speakers, live music. HempX hopes to shine a light on the role the plant could play in helping revitalize the family farm. The Taste of Hemp will be the only ticketed portion. Everything else is free. www.hempxasheville.com.
BrewGrass Festival: Sept. 19, 1-7 p.m., Memorial Stadium, 32 Buchanan Place, Asheville. Over 50 brewers. Music from Jeff Austin Band, Big Daddy Love and Packway Handle Band. For ages 21 and older. $55 general admission. VIP tickets $150 and includes light catered fare, access to private bathrooms and premiere viewing backstage. www.brewgrassfestival.com.
Overmountain Victory Celebration: Sept. 19, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Museum of North Carolina Minerals, Milepost 331 on Blue Ridge Parkway, Spruce Pine. Living history encampment celebrates crossing of Blue Ridge Mountains by Overmountain Men on their way to an eventual battle with British forces at Kings Mountain. Grounds transformed into Colonial militia encampment 9 a.m.-2 p.m. At 2:30 p.m. a re-enactment of the battle will take place at the Orchard of Altapass, milepost 328. The day ends with candlelight tours through encampment from 7-9 p.m. Free. 828-765-1228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Railroad Day: Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Mountain Gateway Museum, 102 Water St., Old Fort. Norfolk Southern Lawmen Band, model railroad sets, whistle truck, railroad items for sale, food venders, N.C. DOT talk about passenger rail in WNC, photo booth, trackless train, kids activities, railroad work cars and pump car on display and more. www.mountaingatewaymuseum.org.
ASAP’s Farm Tour: Sept. 19-20, noon-5 p.m., family farms in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, Rutherford, Transylvania, McDowell, and Yancey counties. Experience firsthand how food is grown and raised, taste farm fresh products, meet farm animals, and connect with the community’s food producers. Tours, demonstrations, hands-on activities. $30 per carload in advance, $40 weekend of the tour. http://asapconnections.org/events/
Blowing Rock Music Festival: Sept. 19, noon-sunset, The Blowing Rock, 434 Rock Road. Americana, folk, blues, rock, jazz. Outdoor event. Gates open at 10 a.m. $30 advance, $40 at the gate, $40 advance reserved seating, $10 ages 12 and younger. 828-295-7183 or 828-295-7851 or www.blowingrock.com/the-annual
Cherokee Heritage Festival: Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Cherokee Homestead Exhibit, 21 Davis Loop (just off downtown square), Hayesville. The heritage of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which reportedly dates back more than 11,000 years, will be brought to life with live demonstrations and presentations. www.cccra-nc.org.
HCC 50th anniversary: Kicks off at 8 a.m. Sept. 19 with 5K and Fun Run at Haywood Community College, 185 Freedlander Drive, Clyde. Music, fishing at the millpond, kids activities, antique car show, timber sports and creative arts demonstrations. www.haywood.edu. To register for race, visit https://www.haywood.edu/freed
lander-5k. 5K $30, Fun Run $15.
Annual Heritage Weekend: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 19 and noon-5 p.m. Sept. 20, Folk Art Center, Milepost 382 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just north of the U.S. 70 entrance in east Asheville. Sponsored by Southern Highland Craft Guild and features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition from 2-3 p.m. on Saturday. A whimmy diddle is an Appalachian mountain toy traditionally made from two sticks of rhododendron. 828-298-7928 or www.craftguild.org.
Mountain Life Festival: Sept. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Mountain Farm Museum, U.S. 441 N., Cherokee. Great Smoky Mountains National Park event. Watch costumed demonstrators make soap, apple cider, sorghum molasses, hominy, music and more.
Buffalo Valley Music Festival: Sept. 24-27, Farmhouse Gallery & Gardens, 121 Covered Bridge Lane, Unicoi, Tennessee. Gates open at 11 a.m. 60 bands, 5-6 stages, music, crafts, activities, kiddie korral, movies, live theatre, storytelling. Food available. Craft beer, moonshine and chili. $10 per day. Camping is free. Held on 75 acres of Cherokee National Forest in the Buffalo Valley, about one hour from Asheville, Highway 107, exit 32 off Interstate 26. http://www.buffalovalleymusic
Greek Festival: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sept. 25-26 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 27, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville, 227 Cumberland Ave. Food, music, marketplace, take a tour of the church. 828-253-3754 or www.holytrinityasheville.com/greek
Tweetsie Railroad’s Ghost Train Halloween Festival: 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Sept. 25-Oct. 31, Tweetsie Railroad, Highway 321, Blowing Rock. $34 for adults and children, free age 2 and younger. Advance tickets at Tweetsie.com strongly recommended. Daytime visitors can still enjoy all the Wild West fun and adventure from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday until Nov. 1. But beware when the sun goes down: Ghost Train howls its way through the night, Freaky Forest, Boneyard, 3-D Maze, disorienting Black Hole, Warp Tunnel, haunted house. www.tweetsie.com.
Barnaroo: Sept. 26-27 (10 a.m. Saturday until noon on Sunday), Franny’s Farm, 22 Franny’s Farm Road, Leicester. To showcase, promote and celebrate local and regional singer-songwriters and bands in the rock & roll, hard rock and funk genres. $20, $35 with camping, free ages 12 and younger. Music by Les Amis (members of Toubab Krewe and Zansa), Lyric, Red Honey, Porch 40, Demon Waffle, Laura Blackley, Kick the Robot and more. Crafters, local eats and brews. On Sunday the festival will close out with a wake-up jam and food from Farm 2 Fender. Family and youth friendly festival. www.ashevillebarnaroo.com.
French Broad Brew Fest: Sept. 26, Hot Springs Campground & Spa. Camping, music, brew sampling. $75; $60 music and camping only. Leave animals at home. www.frenchbroadbrewfest.com.
Old Timey Fall Festival: Sept. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Burnsville Town Center (Yancey County). Antique car and tractors parade, music and dance from the stage, storytelling, children’s rides, games and events including woolly worm race, adult contests including pie eating contest and nail driving contest, vendors, demonstrations of heritage crafts, food stalls, raffles and prizes. www.oldtimeyfallfestival.com.
Mountain Heritage Day: Sept. 26, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Western Carolina University, N.C. 107, Cullowhee. Mountain music and clogging, 5K race at 8 a.m., arts and crafts, living history and craft demonstrations, cooking/canning/baking contests, beard-and-mustache and chainsaw rivalries, wagon rides, Cherokee stickball and dance, children’s activities. www.mountainheritageday.com or 828-227-7129.
Music in the Mountains Folk Festival: Sept. 26, 5:30-9 p.m., Burnsville Town Square. Dedicated to preservation of mountain music and culture. Music, storytelling, dancing. Tribute to beloved Mitchell County guitarist and teacher, Rhonda Gouge, and also features TAPS instructors. $14, $12 students amd seniors, $2 advance discount. http://www.toeriverarts.org/events/
Farm City Day: Oct. 3, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Jackson Park, Jackson Park Road, Hendersonville. Educational event that offers urban and rural displays, antique and modern farm equipment and tools, music, square dancing, clogging, arts and crafts, children’s activities, games, wagon rides, demonstrations, displays, competitions, food, learn about agriculture, petting zoo and animal demonstrations. www.visithendersonvillenc.org or 800-828-4244.
Festifall: Oct. 3-4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Walnut Grove Plantation, 1200 Otts Shoal Road, Roebuck, South Carolina. More than 100 re-enactors, storytellers, and artisans transform the 1767 homestead into a living colonial village. Re-enactments of loyalist partisan William Cunningham’s deadly 1781 raid and 18th-century military demonstrations both days. $10, $5 age 5-17. www.spartanburghistory.org or 864-591-5596. Exit 28 from Interstate 26 east, about one hour from Asheville.
Carolina Renaissance Festival: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 3-Nov. 22, Highway 73 at Poplar Tent Road, between Concord and Huntersville. Celebrate Medieval times with trumpet fanfare, clashing armor and giant roasted turkey legs. $23, $11 age 5-12, free age 4 and younger. Tickets at Harris Teeter stores or at carolina.renfestinfo.com or call 877-896-5544.
Hey Day Fall Festival: Oct. 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., WNC Nature Center, 75 Gashes Creek Road, Asheville. Family-friendly celebration of the environment, culture, and community of Western North Carolina. Games, arts and crafts, educational animal programs, live music, local food vendors, and wide variety of wildlife. Also a kick-off to the Friends fall raffle, with opportunity to win great items. Regular admission rates apply: $10.95, $7.95 Asheville city residents, $9.95/$6.95 seniors, $6.95/$5.95 age 3-15, Friends members receive free admission. www.wildwnc.org/news-and-events/
Oktoberfest: Oct. 10-11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sugar Mountain Resort, 1009 Sugar Mountain Drive, Avery County. Admission, parking and shuttle service are free. Bavarian cuisine and other food, Spaten Oktoberfest beer, arts and crafts, children’s area, Oom Pah band noon-4 p.m. Valle Crucis Middle School band performs at 2 p.m. Oct. 10. www.skisugar.com. About 1.5 hours from Asheville.
Carolina Balloon Fest: Oct. 16-18, Statesville Regional Airport, 260 Hangar Drive, Statesville. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Pets and coolers not admitted. 50 hot air balloons, North Carolina wines and craft brews, stroll Artisan Village and MarketPlace, food along Eat Street. Day of event tickets: $5 Friday, $15 Saturday, $10 Sunday, free age 12 and younger. www.carolinaballoonfest.com.
Annual Chili Cook Off: Oct. 17, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Depot, Frye Street, Bryson City. Sample chilis from mild to wild and in red, white, and vegetarian recipes. Decorated booths, music, handcrafted arts, desserts. Cast your vote for People’s Choice Award. $5 per wristband. 800-867-9246 or www.greats
Fall Harvest Days: Oct. 22-24, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, Fanning Bridge Road, Fletcher. 828-687-1414 or 828-698-5312.