Are you looking for the best Festivals in Western North Carolina? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the area’s many festivals. After reading, you’ll know their history, what to expect, and how to find them.
Whether you’re a fan of music, food trucks, art, or something else entirely, you’ll find a festival in Western North Carolina that’s perfect for you. Get ready for a celebration unlike any other – let’s dive in!
Festivals in Western North Carolina
Spring, summer, and fall are festival season in North Carolina and are some of the best days of the year!
If you love local events with live music, good food, cultural celebrations, regional artists and local artisans, children’s activities, and fun in general for the entire family, you won’t want to miss this.
Here, we will highlight some of the awesome festivals in Western North Carolina mountains!
1. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is one of the most renowned and beloved festivals in Western North Carolina. This annual celebration of Scottish heritage and culture takes place in the stunning surroundings of Grandfather Mountain in Linville, North Carolina.
The games have a rich history, dating back to 1956 when they were first established by Dr. Agnes MacRae Morton.
At the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, visitors can immerse themselves in traditional Scottish activities and entertainment. Watch as kilted athletes compete in thrilling athletic events such as caber tossing, stone throwing, and hammer throwing.
Enjoy the enchanting sounds of bagpipes and drums during the joyous celebrations of Scots-Irish music performances.
Our friend, Brian Hanna, was the first place winner of the 2023 Amateur Men’s B Group Highland Games.
Don’t forget to explore the Clan Tents, where you can discover your Scottish roots and learn about different clans. They also provide all kinds of live entertainment from Celtic music to competitions and other special events.
The breathtaking natural beauty of Grandfather Mountain provides a picturesque backdrop for the festival. It’s truly an unforgettable experience.
Mark your calendars for July! Join in the festivities at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games for a weekend of Scottish tradition, culture, and camaraderie.
2. The Asheville Beer Festival
The Asheville Beer Festival takes place during Asheville Beer Week in May and is a must-attend event for beer enthusiasts in Western North Carolina.
This annual festival showcases the vibrant craft beer scene in Asheville, known as “Beer City USA.” With over 40 breweries in the area, the festival offers a chance to sample a wide variety of unique and delicious brews.
At the Asheville Beer Festival in downtown Asheville, attendees can enjoy tastings from local breweries, engage with knowledgeable brewers, and learn about the beer-making process. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, there’s a beer for every palate.
But it’s not just about the beer garden – the festival also features live music, great food vendors, and a lively atmosphere that makes it the perfect place to mingle with fellow beer enthusiasts.
Grab your tasting glass and get ready to raise a toast at the Asheville Beer Festival. Cheers to a day of great beer, good company, and unforgettable memories.
3. The Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival
If you’re looking for fall festivals, the Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival takes place annually in September and is a celebration of the iconic film that was partly filmed in Lake Lure, Western North Carolina.
Held annually, this festival brings together fans of the movie to relive the magic and romance of Dirty Dancing.
The festival features various activities and events, such as dance lessons, live music, film screenings, and a watermelon social that the whole family will love.
Visitors can even participate in a Lake Lift competition, where they can try their hand at recreating the famous lift scene from the movie.
The festival not only pays homage to Dirty Dancing but also showcases the beauty of Lake Lure and the surrounding area. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the film or simply looking for a fun and nostalgic experience, the Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival is not to be missed.
Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to have the time of your life!
4. The North Carolina Apple Festival
The North Carolina Apple Festival is a beloved annual event that celebrates all things apple in Western North Carolina.
Held in the charming town of Hendersonville, this festival showcases the rich apple-growing heritage of the region. Don’t worry, you don’t have to love apples to enjoy this festival. This free event has so much to offer!
At the North Carolina Apple Festival, visitors can indulge in a wide variety of apple-themed treats and activities. From apple pies and caramel apples to apple cider and apple fritters, there’s no shortage of delicious apple treats to sample.
Explore the vendor booths, where you can find unique apple-related products and crafts. Don’t miss the apple recipe contests, where local chefs compete to create the tastiest apple dishes.
And of course, there will be lots of live music, carnival rides, and family-friendly entertainment throughout the festival.
Join in the apple-filled fun at the North Carolina Apple Festival, where you can experience the sweet and tangy flavors of this beloved fruit in all its glory.
5. Cold Mountain Music Festival
The Cold Mountain Music Festival is a can’t-miss event for music lovers in Western North Carolina. This annual festival takes place in the scenic town of Canton and showcases a diverse lineup of talented musicians from various genres.
Whether you’re a fan of bluegrass music, folk, Americana, or rock, you’ll find something to get your toes tapping at the Cold Mountain Music Festival.
But it’s not just about the music – the festival also offers a unique and immersive experience for attendees. Picture yourself surrounded by breathtaking mountain views, lounging on a blanket in the sun, and enjoying delicious festival food and drinks from the festival vendors. The atmosphere at this annual music festival is relaxed and welcoming, with a sense of community that is truly special.
As the sun sets, the music fills the air, creating a magical ambiance that is hard to describe. If you’re dancing along with the crowd or simply swaying to the rhythm, the Cold Mountain Music Festival is an experience that will leave you with unforgettable memories.
Grab your lawn chair, bring your friends, and get ready for the talented musicians at the Cold Mountain Music Festival.
It’s an event that captures the essence of Western North Carolina’s vibrant music scene. Overall, it’s a great evening of family entertainment that will leave you wanting to come back year after year.
6. The Mountain State Fair
The Mountain State Fair is a beloved annual event in Western North Carolina that celebrates the region’s agricultural heritage. Held at the WNC Agricultural Center, near the Fletcher area, this fair is a fun and educational experience.
With a wide range of activities and attractions, there’s something for visitors of all ages!
At the Mountain State Fair, you can explore the various agricultural exhibits, showcasing everything from livestock to local crops. Learn about farming techniques and get a glimpse into the rich agricultural traditions of the area.
Enjoy thrilling rides on the midway or test your skills at the various games and competitions. Indulge in fair food favorites like funnel cakes, corn dogs, and cotton candy. And don’t forget to catch one of the exciting live performances on the fair’s stages, featuring local musicians and entertainers.
The Mountain State Fair is a true celebration of the vibrant agricultural community in Western North Carolina, and it’s an event you won’t want to miss.
7. NC Peach Festival
The NC Peach Festival is a deliciously delightful event that celebrates the sweet and juicy peaches of Western North Carolina. Held annually in Candor, this festival brings together peach enthusiasts from near and far to indulge in all things peachy.
At the NC Peach Festival, you can savor the taste of freshly picked peaches in a variety of forms, from pies and cobblers to ice cream and preserves. You can also browse the vendor booths, where you’ll find an abundance of peach-related products and crafts, perfect for taking home a taste of the festival.
But it’s not just about the food – the festival also offers plenty of family-friendly activities and entertainment. Kids can enjoy face painting, carnival rides, and even a peach-themed parade. There’s also live music, local art exhibits, and contests where you can show off your peach-inspired creations.
Whether you’re a peach lover or simply looking for a fun-filled day, the NC Peach Festival is a delightful experience. You’ll surely capture the essence of summer in Western North Carolina.
Grab a peach and join in the festivities at this fruity celebration!
8. The Biltmore Village Art and Craft Fair
The Biltmore Village Art and Craft Fair is a highly anticipated event in Western North Carolina that showcases the incredible talents of local artists and artisans.
Located in the historic Biltmore Village, this fair attracts visitors from near and far. Visitors are eager to browse the wide array of handmade crafts and artwork. From stunning paintings and sculptures to unique jewelry and pottery, there’s something for every art enthusiast at this fair.
Not only can you admire and purchase beautiful pieces, but you can also interact with the artists themselves, gaining insight into their creative processes.
With live music, food vendors, and a lively atmosphere, the Biltmore Village Art and Craft Fair offers a truly enjoyable and inspiring experience for all who attend.
9. The French Broad River Festival
The French Broad River Festival is a vibrant celebration of music, art, and outdoor adventure in Western North Carolina.
Held annually in the scenic riverside town of Hot Springs, this festival attracts visitors from all over who are looking to enjoy a weekend filled with fun and excitement.
The festival features a diverse lineup of live music performances from local and national artists, spanning a variety of genres including rock, folk, bluegrass, and more.
In addition to the incredible music, attendees can also participate in a range of outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, hiking, and mountain biking, all taking place in the breathtaking natural surroundings of the French Broad River Valley.
With arts and craft vendors, local food and beverage offerings, it’s a family-friendly atmosphere. The French Broad River Festival is an event that combines the best of music, nature, and community for an unforgettable experience.
10. The LEAF Festival
The LEAF Festival is a vibrant and diverse celebration of music, arts, and culture in Western North Carolina. This biannual festival takes place in the scenic Lake Eden area of Black Mountain and attracts visitors from all over the country.
Known for its eclectic lineup of musical performances, the LEAF Festival features a wide range of genres including world music, jazz, funk, and folk.
Attendees can groove to the rhythms of renowned artists while enjoying the beautiful outdoor setting and lively atmosphere.
In addition to the music, the LEAF Festival offers a variety of arts and crafts vendors, local food and beverage options, and interactive workshops and activities.
It’s a festival that embraces creativity, community, and the joy of experiencing live performances in a picturesque natural setting. Join the festivities at the LEAF Festival and immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of Western North Carolina.
11. The Blowing Rock Winterfest
The Blowing Rock Winterfest is a magical celebration of all things winter in Western North Carolina. This annual festival takes place in the charming town of Blowing Rock and offers a wide range of activities and events for visitors of all ages.
During Winterfest, you can experience the thrill of outdoor ice skating, explore beautifully decorated downtown shops, and indulge in delicious winter-themed treats.
The festival also features live music, bonfires, and a spectacular WinterPaws Dog Show, where you can see adorable furry friends strut their stuff.
Don’t miss the WinterFashion Show, showcasing the latest winter styles and trends. And of course, no winter festival would be complete without the breathtaking Winter Lights display, where the town is transformed into a dazzling winter wonderland.
Join in the festivities at the Blowing Rock Winterfest and experience the magic and beauty of winter in Western North Carolina.
12. Brevard’s Halloween Festival
The Halloween Festival in Brevard, North Carolina, is a must-do annual event. It brings together the local community and visitors to celebrate the spooky season in a festive and engaging way.
Typically held in the weeks leading up to Halloween, the festival features a range of activities suitable for all ages.
Participants can expect to enjoy costume contests, pet costume parades, dancing witches, themed parades, and a variety of family-friendly games and entertainment.
Brevard’s Halloween Festival often highlights the town’s charming and picturesque setting. Local businesses often join in the festivities by decorating their storefronts and offering special promotions or treats for attendees.
The festival provides a safe and enjoyable environment for families to come together, express their creativity through costumes, and immerse themselves in the Halloween spirit.
With its combination of traditional Halloween activities and a touch of local flair, the Halloween Festival in Brevard, NC, has become a cherished annual tradition that fosters community bonding and a memorable experience.
In conclusion, Western North Carolina is home to a vibrant and diverse festival scene that offers something for everyone.
From celebrating Scottish heritage at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games to indulging in the delicious apple-themed treats at the North Carolina Apple Festival, there’s no shortage of unique and exciting events to attend.
These festivals in Western North Carolina provide a truly memorable experience.
Not only do these festivals showcase the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of the region, but they also bring together communities.
Be sure to mark your calendars! Immerse yourself in the celebration and excitement of the many festivals that Western North Carolina has to offer.
Get ready to make lifelong memories and experience the magic and charm of this stunning part of the country.
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