Fall Events, Asheville & NC Mountains

40 Fall Festivals & Events, Sept & Oct

Fall is a very busy time for a variety of street festivals, events, art tours and more in Asheville and our mountain small towns. Most are free to enjoy! The autumn foliage color show adds to the excitement. See our Fall Foliage Forecast for a week-by-week color report. For events throughout the year, see our list of seasonal calendars.

Upcoming Fall Events & Festivals: September & October

Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top 50 Events (November & December)
Thursday, November 1, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina mountains, including many small towns and Biltmore Estate. 
Oktoberfest Sierra Nevada Asheville
Sierra Nevada’s Oktoberfest
Saturday, October 12, 2019
Join a festive evening at their big brewery south of Asheville, with music, glassblowing, stache competition, souvenir beer stein, special beers and a German-inspired feast. 5-10 PM. $25-$30/person. Limited tickets, buy online. Free shuttles from Asheville and Hendersonville.

Past Events

Asheville WNC Holiday Events
Holiday Season Top 50 Events (November & December)
Thursday, November 1, 2018 to Monday, December 31, 2018
See our favorite events, festivals and art shows during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina mountains, including many small towns and Biltmore Estate. 
Flea Market Asheville
Flea for Y'all
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Asheville Outlets hosts a curated flea market with great vintage finds, one-of-a kind handmade items, exceptional art, food and music. In the tree-lined lot next to Field & Stream. Browser's paradise. 8 AM-3 PM. Admission $2/adult.
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
Downtown Brevard Halloweenfest
Saturday, October 27, 2018
This festival features a Flight of the Vampire 5K, 10K and Children’s Fun Run, along with a costume contest and parade, chili cook-off, pie bake-off, street vendors, a pumpkin-carving contest, haunted house and more.
Brewgrass Festival
Brewgrass Festival
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Sample beers from 45 breweries at The Salvage Station near downtown Asheville, while listening to a bluegrass-infused live band. Buy food from local vendors. This 21 and older event is held 1-6 PM. $45/person. Buy tickets in advance, starting Aug 15.
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Beaverdam Studio Tour
Saturday, October 27, 2018 to Sunday, October 28, 2018
Take a self-guided tour of 24 artists’ studios in North Asheville’s scenic Beaverdam Valley. Buy art from ceramists, painters, sculptors, jewelers, and glass and textile artists. Saturday 10 AM-5 PM, Sunday 12 PM-5 PM. 
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Repeats every week until Sat Oct 27 2018.
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission. Home of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018.
Fine Arts Art Show, Asheville
Hot Works Asheville Fine Art Show
Saturday, October 27, 2018 to Sunday, October 28, 2018
See juried art and buy directly from the artist in Pack Square Park in the middle of downtown Asheville. Find paintings, sculpture, clay, glass, fiber, jewelry, wood and more. 10 AM-5 PM each day. Free admission
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Repeats every week every Saturday 3 times.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
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
Waynesville Apple Harvest Festival
Apple Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Find all things apple in downtown Waynesville, including cider, fried pies and other apple delicacies. Also find live mountain music, dance, craft and demo booths along scenic Main Street for the iconic small town fall festival. 10 AM-5 PM. Free. 
Woolly Worm Festival
Woolly Worm Festival
Saturday, October 20, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
Celebrate the coming of the snow season with woolly worm races, live entertainment and lots of food and craft vendors in downtown Banner Elk during peak fall color.
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Lake Lure Arts Festival
Saturday, October 20, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
Check our artwork by more than 60 vendors from many different disciplines. Also enjoy live music and entertainment, food vendors and the beauty of Lake Lure.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission. Home of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018.
Maggie Valley Fall Crafts Fair
Maggie Valley Fall Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, October 20, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
Meet 100 artisans and crafters from throughout the Southeast with a big variety of art. Outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in the valley. 9 AM-4 PM each day. Free admission and parking.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands
Friday, October 19, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
Meet 200 craftspeople that come together in downtown Asheville with their fine handcrafted items, while local musicians play live on the arena stage and craft educators share their knowledge.
Harvest Festival Stecoah
Harvest Festival, Stecoah Valley
Friday, October 19, 2018 to Saturday, October 20, 2018
Experience quintessential traditional mountain life with Appalachian dance, music, food, arts and crafts in the beautiful Nantahala National Forest at Stecoah Valley, near Fontana Lake and Robbinsville.
LEAF Festival
LEAF Festival
Thursday, October 18, 2018 to Sunday, October 21, 2018
Longtime favorite international cultural arts and music weekend festival by the lake, in Black Mountain with camping and limited tickets.
Carl Sandburg Home
50th Anniversary of Carl Sandburg National Historic Site
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Celebrate the 50th anniversary with poetry, music, barn and museum tours, outdoor activities, birthday cake and a ceremony commemorating Sandburg’s legacy. The National Park Service site is in Flat Rock. 9 AM-4:30 PM.
HardLox Jewish Festival
HardLox Jewish Festival
Sunday, October 14, 2018
Come enjoy lots of delicious Jewish foods in downtown Asheville, have your name written in Hebrew, learn about Jewish holidays and the Torah, and join in singing and dancing.
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 13, 2018
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
Waynesville NC Art Festival
Church Street Art & Craft Show
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Main Street in Waynesville transforms into an arts & crafts marketplace, one of the finest juried art shows in NC. Also enjoy live mountain music, clogging, entertainment and food. Browse many downtown galleries. Free. 10 AM-5 PM.
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Bonsai Expo at NC Arboretum
Saturday, October 13, 2018 to Sunday, October 14, 2018
This horticultural extravaganza features a juried display of bonsai by clubs from across the southeast, a renowned bonsai marketplace, workshops, free demonstrations and a popular Ikebana exhibit.
CiderFest NC
CiderFest NC
Saturday, October 13, 2018
At North Carolina’s premier cider celebration, taste hard cider from 15 cider-makers, plus see local arts and crafts, taste unique food pairings and enjoy live music. Benefits Western NC Green Building Council. 1-5 PM at Salvage Station. $30/person advance tickets. 
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission. Home of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018.
Mountain Glory Festival, Marion
Mountain Glory Festival
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Celebrate fall beauty in the mountains with three blocks of festivities along Main Street in Marion, including 140 arts and crafts, food vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, a 5K walk/run, quilt show, and so much more. Free admission. 9:30 AM-6 PM.
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Spruce Pine Potters Market
Saturday, October 13, 2018 to Sunday, October 14, 2018
Longtime gathering with 30+ potters and clay artists selling their handmade pottery, figurative sculpture, stoneware, earthenware and more. Free admission. 10 AM-5 PM both days. 31 Cross Street, Spruce Pine. Near Penland School.
British Car Show Asheville
Autumn in the Mountains Car Show
Saturday, October 13, 2018
Go to the British Car Club of Western NC annual show to see 120+ British and European classic cars, race cars, racing motorcycles, rare-exotic sports cars and antique motorcycles. Held at Asheville Outlets. Free admission. 9 AM-4 PM
Forest Festival Day
Forest Festival at Cradle of Forestry
Saturday, October 6, 2018
More than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and entertainers celebrate our forests at the site of the first forestry school in America. Wood carvers, weavers, blacksmith, archery, horse-drawn wagon rides and lumberjack competition at the adjacent Pink Beds picnic area.
Heritage Folk Festival
Mars Hill Heritage & Music Festival
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Two long-running festivals celebrate mountain craft, music and dance: the Heritage Festival and the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. Both held downtown, adjoining Mars Hill University. Free. 10 AM-4 PM. Small fee for indoor evening concert. 
Asheville Art in the Park
Asheville Art in the Park
Saturday, October 6, 2018
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
Oktoberfest Downtown Asheville
Oktoberfest, Asheville
Saturday, October 6, 2018
A great celebration of the local beer scene, mixing Bavarian traditions with Asheville's eclectic vibe. Downtown. Tickets required if you are tasting!
Fly Fishing Festival
Smoky Mountain Fly Fishing Festival
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Downtown Bryson City welcomes vendors to display and demonstrate all types of fly fishing equipment - rods, fly tying, apparel and accessories, kayaks and more. 9 AM-5 PM. Just a few blocks away is the Delayed Harvest stocked section of the Tuckasegee River.
Saturday Night Lights
Saturday Nights Lights
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Watch horse competitions with the best riders in the country at the impressive Tryon International Equestrian Center with an exciting atmosphere featuring entertainment, food, kids' fun and Venetian carousel rides. Activities start at 5 PM. Arena action 7 PM. Free admission. Home of the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018.
Dillsboro Colorfest
Colorfest
Saturday, October 6, 2018
The artsy village of Dillsboro welcomes 40 demonstrating artists along Front Street with their colorful creations. Many galleries too. 10 AM-4 PM
Food Truck Festival
Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Head to Asheville Outlets mall for a big gathering of 25 food trucks. Buy a big variety of food, along with craft ales and beers from 50 breweries. Music, lawn games and artisan market. 12 Noon-5 PM next to Field & Stream. $5/person in advance and $10 day of. 
Cashiers Leaf Festival
Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival
Friday, October 5, 2018 to Sunday, October 7, 2018
Held on the Village Green in the middle of Cashiers at peak color time, see the works of 100+ artists while enjoying live music and great food. The free festival is open 10 AM-5 PM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Hilltop Fall Festival
Hilltop Fall Festival
Friday, October 5, 2018 to Saturday, October 6, 2018
Much fun in downtown Rutherfordton: Friday night Soapbox Derby for big kids, Saturday morning Overmountain 5K and Tour de Pumpkin 50K & 100K bike rides and festival 9-5 with crafts, music, scarecrow contest.
Haunted Farm
Haunted Farm
Friday, October 5, 2018 to Wednesday, October 31, 2018
The scariest haunted house near Asheville is a farm in Hendersonville. Meet deranged Missy Mae as she eternally pines for her lost groom. Hang on to your honey for 50 minutes of frightful fun including the woods, trail and hayride. Open Friday and Saturday nights in October, plus Oct 30 & 31. $25/person, cash only. 624 Townsend Rd, Hendersonville
Cherokee Indian Fair
Cherokee Indian Fair
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 to Saturday, October 6, 2018
Experience a country fair with plenty of local Cherokee traditions, including Indian games, food, competitions, music and dance. Meet the locals and discover more about their culture. Big parade on opening day.
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Art on the Island Fest in Marshall
Saturday, September 29, 2018
A fall fair of artisans, crafters and music on Blannahassett Island near downtown Marshall. 10 AM-5 PM. 
Blue Ridge Pride
Blue Ridge Pride
Saturday, September 29, 2018
The biggest LGBTQ pride festival in western North Carolina is held in downtown Asheville at Pack Square Park, with more than 100 vendors, entertainment, as well as a kids area with lots of fun activities.
Art on Main Hendersonville
Art on Main, Hendersonville
Saturday, September 29, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018
Meet and buy from 90 juried fine art artists with paintings, clay, metal, wood, fiber, jewelry, glass and more. Watch demos. Main Street downtown Hendersonville has many galleries too, Sat & Sun 10 AM-5 PM
Mountain Heritage Day
Mountain Heritage Day
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Held on the campus of Western Carolina University, this long-running outdoors celebration features the sights, sounds, crafts and flavors of yesteryear. Get a taste of southern Appalachian culture, art and music. 10 AM-5 PM. Free. 
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
NOC's Guest Appreciation Weekend
Friday, September 28, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018
This longtime favorite weekend at Nantahala Outdoor Center main campus near Bryson City features free attractions, live music and entertainment - along with great end-of-season deals.
Greek Festival
Greek Festival
Friday, September 28, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018
At this festival, hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church of Asheville, you can sample some of the traditional foods and pastries (such as lamb shank, pastichio, spanakopita, gyro, souvlaki and baklava), watch traditional dancing and enjoy the authentic Greek music.
Asheville Barnaroo
Asheville Barnaroo
Friday, September 28, 2018 to Sunday, September 30, 2018
3 days of music on a farm just west of Asheville, promoting local and regional bands and singers with rock & roll, hard rock, folk, Americana, bluegrass and funk genres. Day & weekend passes, with and without camping, $10-$125. Fundraiser for non-profit music school.
Flock to Rock Birding Weekend
Flock to Rock Birding Day
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Led by birding experts, events at Chimney Rock Park includes bird walks, workshops ranging from bird photography to hummingbirds, hawk watches and family nature walks.
Fiesta Hendersonville
Fiesta Hendersonville
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Experience the best of Latin American on Main Street in downtown Hendersonville. Journey through more than 20 countries with their people, music, art, food and culture. Free admission. 12-6 PM.
Wine & Jazz Festival
Wine & Jazz Fest
Sunday, September 23, 2018
Live jazz music, a big variety of wine, food, educational seminars, games and more, 1-6 PM at Asheville Outlets village in south Asheville. VIP Hour begins at Noon. Limited tickets $25/advance and $30/gate include wine & food tastings. 
Militia Muster Encampment
Militia Muster & Encampment
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Experience life in a 18th-century muster camp at Vance Birthplace State Historic Site, 10 miles north of Asheville. Watch the militiamen practice musket drills and learn about county militia, candle making, weaving, campfire cooking and more. Free. 10 AM-4 PM
DuPont Forest Festival
DuPont Forest Festival
Saturday, September 22, 2018
New! Celebrate DuPont State Recreational Forest with many special events on National Public Lands Day, such as guided tours, educational lectures, hands-on demonstrations and more. Free admission.
NC Ceramics Festival
North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival
Saturday, September 22, 2018
This one-day shopping and demonstration show features 40 ceramic artists with a diverse array of tilework, sculpture, jewelry and pottery. Watch raku demonstrations and enjoy live music. Food trucks too. Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville, 11 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Downtown After 5, Asheville
Downtown After Five
Friday, September 21, 2018
Free live music concert, as well as a wide variety of food and drink vendors. Lexington Avenue in Asheville. 5-9 PM.
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Heritage Weekend at Folk Art Center
Saturday, September 15, 2018 to Sunday, September 16, 2018
This free festival features traditional music, dancing and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight is the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition on Saturday.
Art in Autumn Fest
Art in Autumn Fest
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Fun outdoor arts and crafts festival in Weaverville that includes 100 juried artists, food and live music. Free admission and parking. Just 7 miles north of downtown Asheville.
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Mountain Life Festival Great Smoky Mtns
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Experience the traditional fall activities that were an important part of rural life in the Great Smoky Mountains, including hearth cooking, apple butter and apple cider making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, food preservation, broom making and quilting.
Overmountain Victory Weekend
Overmountain Victory Celebration
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Explore a living history 1780s militia encampment at the Museum of North Carolina Minerals on Blue Ridge Parkway, telling the story of the Overmountain Men battling British forces. Tour camp on Saturday 9-2. Re-enactment of Battle of King’s Mtn at Orchard at Altapass 2-4 PM. 
Bigfoot Festival, Marion NC
WNC Bigfoot Festival
Saturday, September 8, 2018
A new festival that celebrates the legendary Sasquatch, held in downtown Marion 36 miles east of Asheville. In addition to Bigfoot-themed items and local crafts, talk with sighters from across the country with evidence that it exists. Calling contest too!
Mountain State Fair
Mountain State Fair
Friday, September 7, 2018 to Sunday, September 16, 2018
Enjoy lots of rides, exhibits, animals, food and much more. Fun for all ages! We especially love the impressive exhibits in various buildings. See the many competitions from quilting, photography, extreme garden vegetables, flowers, crafts and more. Watch craftspeople at work.
Goombay Festival
Goombay Festival
Friday, September 7, 2018 to Sunday, September 9, 2018
This free festival in downtown Asheville is a celebration of African-Caribbean culture with music, craft market, food vendors, dance performances and competitions, a special area with activities for kids and much more! 
Autumn at Wizard of OZ
Autumn at Oz at Beech Mtn
Friday, September 7, 2018 to Sunday, September 9, 2018
There's no place like the Beech Mountain's Land of Oz. Stroll along the yellow brick road, experience a recreation of Dorothy's journey from her home in Kansas and meet many of the characters so central to "The Wizard of Oz." The event sells out fast!
Morganton Festival
Morganton Festival
Friday, September 7, 2018 to Saturday, September 8, 2018
A big street festival in downtown Morganton that includes fine arts and crafts, festival cuisine, a beer garden, teen and kid zones, four stages of entertainment, a sunrise run on Saturday and much more. Free admission!
Drumming Circle Asheville
Drum Circle
Friday, September 7, 2018
Hear and feel the beat at the weekly drum circle every Friday night in Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville. Dance the night away!
LAAF Festival
LAAF Festival
Sunday, September 2, 2018
A street festival downtown Asheville that showcases our creative personality with local art, music, beer, street performers and more on Lexington Avenue, 12-9 PM. Free.
Labor Day Festival
Canton Labor Day Festival
Sunday, September 2, 2018 to Monday, September 3, 2018
Big celebration in Canton since 1906. Sunday features music festival, art and food, 12-9:30 PM ($10/person) at Sorrells Park, and free gospel concert at Colonial Theatre. Monday features a big Labor Day Parade at 10 AM, plus a music festival and car show, 12 PM-9 PM (free). 20 minutes west of Asheville. 
Apple Orchards, Asheville
Apple Orchards Open
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Get your fresh mountain apples at an orchard in the largest apple-producing area in the east. Many orchards are open daily, several offer tours, events and pick-your-own apples. It's a quick drive from Asheville, with many orchards located along US 64 East of Hendersonville.
Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day Weekend Events & Things to Do
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Monday, September 3, 2018
See our special list of top events, festivals and things to do during Labor Day Weekend in Asheville and the surrounding towns and mountains.
RockFest
RockFest
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
Held at Emerald Village near Little Switzerland, enjoy many free events, including guided hikes, music, exhibits, talks and more. Also, pay for gem-mining, pan for gold and take a black light mine tour.
Banner Elk Art Show
Art on the Greene
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
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. 10 AM-5 PM. Free admission.
Arts & Crafts Fair
Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair, Cashiers
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
See works of 90 fine artisans from the Southeast on the Village Green in Cashiers, 10 AM-5 PM. Find ironwork, woodcraft, textiles, cakes, jams, pottery and more. Free admission, but donations accepted.
Maggie Valley Labor Day Arts and Craft
Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Show
Saturday, September 1, 2018 to Sunday, September 2, 2018
Meet 100 artisans and crafters from the Southeast with a big variety of art, outdoors at the Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Road) in Maggie Valley. 9 AM-4 PM each day. Free admission and parking.
NC Apple Festival
NC Apple Festival
Friday, August 31, 2018 to Monday, September 3, 2018
Downtown Hendersonville features more than 150 vendors lining eight blocks of the main event area. There is continuous entertainment from 10 AM-10 PM each day. The King Apple Parade, always held on Labor Day, culminates the Main Street activities.
We love exploring our cool small towns nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, filled with historic buildings with a mix of longtime family operated stores and restaurants,... read more
Looking for ideas of things to do during the holiday season in Asheville and western North Carolina (including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's)? We have plenty of vacation ideas for a getaway... read more