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Events and Festivals happen throughout the North Carolina mountains both seasonally and year around and include North Carolina Art and Crafts Festivals,  mountain music festivals, horse shows, golf tournaments and outdoor activities and competition.  




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Holiday events and special celebrations make your mountain time even more interesting and exciting. Peanuts characters come to life for Easter and Halloween excursions on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. Biltmore displays its "flower carpet" in spring and Candlelight Christmas events in December. July 4th fireworks light up the mountain skies from Lake Lure to Boone after picnics and family activities. Memorial Day Weekend offers fishing tournaments and outdoor fun for the entire family.
Nationally known festivals such as Merlefest and the Wooly Worm Festival draw 1000s of visitors every year.  The Southern Highland Craft Guild offers two annual 4 day craft fairs with 100s of exhibitors, heritage craft demonstrations and good old mountain music.
 
There are year around events held on the same day of each week as well as varying schedules each year. You can listen to the best in local music, see live theatre, attend art walks and show openings, buy produce and handmade goods from tailgate markets or participate in nature programs and hikes.
 
Tailgate and Farmers Markets
There are dozens of markets throughout the mountains offering local produce, foods, handmade products and crafts. Hours and days vary so check locally for details. 
Asheville Area
Asheville City Market Sat 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM, April - December
Public Works Building lot,  S. Charlotte St.  Asheville, NC 
French Broad Food Coop Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM, April - October
76 Biltmore Ave.   Asheville, NC 
Greenlife Tailgate Market
Sun 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, May  - October 
At Greenlife Grocery, N. Merrimon Ave.   Asheville, NC 
North Asheville Tailgate Market
Sat 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM April - December 20 UNCA, take Weaver Blvd., Asheville, NC  
Riceville Tailgate Market
Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, May  - September parking lot of the Riceville Community Center Asheville NC  
Wed PM Downtown Tailgate Market
Wed 2:00 PM - 6:30 PM, April  - December 23 76 Biltmore Avenue, next to the French Broad Food Coop, Asheville, NC  
West Asheville Tailgate Market
Wed 3:30 PM - 6:30 PM, April - October 28 grassy area at parking lot for West End Bakery and Haywood Road Market. Asheville, NC  
Bryson City
Bryson City Market
Friday 9AM - 1 PM,
May  - October 29 You'll find locally grown produce and other edibles, plants, flowers, crafts and more at the market.
Parking lot next to Fred's, Bryson City NC  
Black Mountain
Black Mountain Market Sat 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM, May  - October 31
First Baptist Church, 130 d Black Mountain, NC  
Weaverville
Weaverville Market
Wed 2:30 PM - 6:30 PM, April - late October Behind the community center at Lake Louise Weaverville, NC   
Barnardsville
Big Ivy Tailgate Market Sat 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, May 5 - October 24
At the Old Fire Station, center of town Barnardsville, NC  
Sparta
Alleghany County Farmers' Market
Sat  8:00 AM-12:00 PM
County Fairgrounds, Hwy. 21 North, Sparta, NC  
Andrews
Andrews Farmers Market
Sat  8:00 AM - 12:00 PM First Street,
Andrews, NC
West Jefferson
Ashe Farmers Market Wed and Sat
8:00am-1:00pm
108 Backstreet
West Jefferson, NC
Blowing Rock
Blowing Rock Farmers Market
Thursday  4-6 PM
Wallingford Street
Blowing Rock NC
This week's Featured Event in the mountains:
Date:      May 29 - 30, 2015
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     13th Annual Gourd Artist Gathering  -
Paws for Gourds.  The event features exquisitely crafted gourd art. This year’s Cherokee Gourd Artists Gathering brings together collectors and exhibiting artists for a weekend of live demonstrations, classes, competitions and a spectacular art market offering stunning works of gourd art, materials, tools and supplies. Come see how an inexpensive, traditionally utilitarian component of the Cherokee household is transformed into a piece of artwork. Admission is free.
Upcoming NC Events and Festivals
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Date:      March 20 - May 25, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Biltmore Blooms
  - The 30th Annual Festival of Flowers.   Biltmore's gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, are alive with color as spring arrives. Enjoy special events and the beauty of tulips, azaleas, and countless other flowers during Biltmore Blooms. For the first time, guests will be able to step down into the Winter Garden to enjoy a display of exotic orchids intimately, just as George and Edith Vanderbilt's guests might have. Some of the plants will be the same species that were planned for the Biltmore Conservatory in 1894. Outdoors, enjoy a beautiful progression of blooms from tulips to pansies, azaleas, and much more.
Date:      April 30, May 1 - 2, 2015
NC City:  HIGHLANDS
Event:     Annual Three River Fly Fishing Tournament   
Held on area rivers in and around Highlands. Proceeds benefit the Town of Highlands Scholarship Fund. Open to men and women of all skill levels. Teams will fish one native, one hatchery supported and one delayed-harvest stream. More than 2,200 miles of public water will be available to fish during the tournament.
Date:      April 30, May 1 - 3, 2015   
NC City:  FERGUSON (near Boone)
Event:     Mule Days at Leatherwood Mountain   A family oriented celebration of the mule. Enjoy trail rides, fun show, trail obstacle competition, parade of mules, educational demonstrations, Dutch oven cook off, and a variety of vendors, Saturday night dinner with Band.
Date:      May 1, 2015
NC City:  WEAVERVILLE
Event:     Preview Party and Auction for the Weaverville Art Safari 
This year’s party will take place at  Weaverville’s Town Hall on South Main Street, 7 PM - 9 PM. Admission is $10. The evening includes a silent auction of beautiful artworks donated by each of the participating artists, with all proceeds benefiting the Art Safari. Enjoy tasty hors d’ouevres, desserts, fine fiddle music and more. There will also be door prizes.
Date:      May 1, 2015 
NC City:  ASHEVILLE  
Event:     RiverMusic Concert Series     This is a Series of five Friday nights of live concerts by the French Broad River in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC. This month's performers are: The Movement, Satta Roots and Franklin’s Kite.
Date:      May 1, 2015
NC City:  WILKESBORO
Event:     Wilkesboro Open Air Market Season KICKOFF   
The Regular Friday markets will happen every Friday and will feature the freshest produce and handmade crafts of the surrounding area.   Third Friday Markets also include downtown merchants, food vendors, local wineries, musicians, regional farms and produce, arts and crafts, demonstrators, as well as non-profit and civic organizations are open from 4 PM - 9 PM.. Each Third Friday Open Air Market will be themed with live music, children's activities, contests, and more. The Regular Friday markets will happen every Friday and will feature the freshest produce and handmade crafts of the surrounding area.
Date:      May 1, 2015 
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     Oconaluftee Indian Village Opens for the Season   The Oconaluftee Indian Village opens for the 2015 season with self guided tours, authentic children's costumes, guided tours, and the Time of War. The Village Re-creates an authentic 18th-century Indian community. Cherokee artisans and guides demonstrate and explain the arts and crafts and the lifestyle and culture of their ancestors. Replicas of Cherokee homes, council house and squareground of the 1750 period. More than just another NC attraction, the Village is Living History.
Date:      May 1, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Art Walk
   Enjoy the fine art and craft of the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association. Within a half-mile radius of Pack Square and the city's center, you'll find unparalleled diversity from fine studio crafts, to glass, photography, folk art and contemporary painting, metalwork, textiles, jewelry and more by local, regional, national and international artists.  20+ downtown venues participate with a complete Downtown Gallery Guide and a map available at any participating downtown gallery, the Asheville Visitors' Center or Pack Place. The Walks take place each first Friday from 5-8PM, April through December.
Date:      May 1, 2015  
NC City:  MURPHY
Event:     Murphy Art Walk   The Art Walk takes place each first Friday, May through November from  5:00 PM- 8:00 PM. Stroll through historic downtown Murphy for an exquisite visual, culinary, and performing arts experience with more than 20 businesses participating including Art Galleries.  Music,  Fine Dining,  Live Demonstrations and Performances.
Date:      May 1, 2015    
NC City:  WAYNESVILLE
Event:     Art After Dark   Downtown Waynesville galleries remain open for Art after Dark featuring demonstrations, artist receptions, and special music. Enjoy the Gallery Stroll from 6 PM - 9 PM with live music and great food. Free admission. Art After Dark happens the first Friday evening of each month from May until December
Date:      May   1 - 3, 2015
NC City:  MAGGIE VALLEY
Event:     Thunder in the Smokies Spring Rally   Come ride in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Enjoy Tour Rides, Music Concerts, Bike Builders, Bike Games, Bike Show, Prizes, Vendors and much more during our three day rally! All bikes and ages welcomed. Gates open at 11am - 11pm on Friday, 9am - 11pm on Saturday and 9am - 4pm on Sunday.
Date:      May 1 - 3, 2015  
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     26th Annual Asheville Herb Festival   The WNC Chapter of the NC Herb Association represents an incredibly wide variety of herbalists and herb businesses in North Carolina: herb growers and vendors, natural gardening and landscaping specialists, and makers of herbal ointments, balms, soaps, teas, medicines, and other products. Join more than 25,000 other herb lovers to celebrate this annual Asheville Herb Festival.
Date:      May 1 - 3, 2015
NC City:  Ronda
Event:     Swan Creek Wine Trail Annual HERB FESTIVAL   Join the Vineyards of Swan Creek and taste their spring releases along with a complimentary food sampling.  Noon - 5 PM, Visit each vineyard and sample an award winning wine paired with a sample of delicious herb infused food. Each vineyard will highlight a different herb. Tickets are only $25.00 per two people and entitles you to TWO taste of food and wine and one potted herb at EACH vineyard. The Vineyards of Swan Creek include Raffaldini Vineyards, Dobbins Creek Vineyard, Shadow Springs Vineyard, and Laural Gray Vineyard.
Date:      May 1 - 3, 2015   
NC City:  HOT SPRINGS  
Event:    18th Annual French Broad River Festival   The Festival is a benefit for American Whitewater, The Mountain Area Child & Family Center and Hot Springs Community Learning Center.  Located just 35 minutes north of Asheville at Hot Springs Campground and Spa, this family-friendly weekend includes great regional and national recording artists. Enjoy shopping for new outdoor gear at the Live Auction or with one of the many art and craft vendors. Try participating in the "Paddle with the Pros", the 8th Annual FBRF Mountain Bike Race, or the 16th Annual French Broad River Raft Race. The River Festival is an entire weekend of fun, family, art, music and adventure.
Date:      May 1 - 30, 2015  
NC City:  FONTANA DAM
Event:    A Time to Remember   An annual celebration to honor the people of Western North Carolina who gave up their homes, land and way of life so that World War II could be won. Hosted by Fontana Village Resort, The Proctor Revival Organization and GREAT (Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team). Learn the authentic history of the peoples and lifestyles of Appalachia through storytellers, educational hikes and historical exhibits. Tour beautiful Fontana Lake by pontoon boat, along the shores of the Great Smoky Mountains and Nantahala National Forest. Visit the remains of the century old logging town of Proctor. You can also enjoy the one woman stage play “Birdell” on the porch of the 19th century Gunter Cabin.
Date:      May 2, 2015    
NC City:  Between Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland
Event:    The Season Opens for Live Music and More at the Historic Orchard at Alta Pass   Live music and mountain dancing, storytelling and hayrides, monarch butterfly raising, naturalist tours and birding walks, arts and handwork demonstrations, book signings and more. Every week, Wednesdays through Frodays from May through September and Saturday sand Sundays May through October. The Orchard is located at Milepost 328.3 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Date:      May 2, 2015
NC City:  TRYON
Event:     69th Annual Steeplechase Race at FENCE
  The Steeplechase is the area's biggest and most exciting equestrian event of the year. Join the crowds that come for the thundering of hooves as they navigate a challenging course over several races. Contestants for best tailgate show off their best country, most unusual and most elegant. Special hats turn heads with competitors vying for the funniest (adults) and the most unusual and most appropriate for adults and kids.
Date:      May 2, 2015
NC City:  THURMOND  (near Sparta)
Event:     1st Annual Sip and Savor at Jones con Drehle Vineyards and Winery  
Formerly the Vineyard's Grand Opening Celebration includes music, food, wine tastings, games, prizes, and tours continuing until 7 PM. The tastings will be held for noon - 5 PM. $12 per person.
Date:      May  2, 2015
NC City:  Mount Airy
Event:     Budbreak Wine Festival
   This popular spring event celebrates the breaking of buds on vines across the state by bringing together 17 wineries for a street festival in charming downtown Mount Airy.  Sample wines, listen to live music, view art and crafts by local artisans and enjoy the taste treats in the 13 Bones Food Tent. Near this year - Introducing Craft Beer and the Public Art Fiddler’s Crawl.
Date:      May 2 - 3, 2015
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Spring Boy Scout Day and Campout at Chimney Rock State Park 
Scouts will enjoy morning programs, have the chance to become NC State Parks Junior Rangers, and then experience a night of camping beneath the stars. Check out the Park's Scouts Page for cost and program details and how to register.
Date:      May 2 - 3, 2015
NC City:  WEAVERVILLE
Event:     Weaverville Art Safari   The Weaverville Art Safari is a free, self-guided tour of artists' home studios in the scenic area surrounding the villages of Weaverville and Barnardsville, NC. This event has been going on, each spring and fall, since April 2001. Find had crafted items including Jewelry, Glass Art, Paintings, Garden Art, Sculpture, Pottery, Furniture, Fiber Arts, woodworking and more.  You can download a copy of the 4-color brochure (which includes a studio map) HERE.
Date:      May 2 - 3, 2015
NC City:  WAYNESVILLE
Event:     Annual Ramp Festival   Held at the American Legion Field the fun festival includes crafts, live music and more. Sample foods featuring ramps, a naturally mountain grown wild onion.  12 PM - 6 PM.
Date:      May 2 - 3, 2015 
NC City:  BREVARD
Event:     DuPont State Forest Tour de Falls   
Tour DuPont State Forest by bus. Cars and buses are normally not allowed in the forest. The buses will be available in the parking lot on DuPont/Staton Rd. to take visitors to High Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia, sponsored by Friends of DuPont Forest.
Date:      May 2 - 3, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     56th Annual Rhododendron and Azalea Show   Presented by the American Rhododendron Society, SE Chapter, this yearly judged event features hundreds of blooms. Spring and summer blooming rhododendrons and azaleas some of the weekend favorites. The North Carolina Arboretum is home to the National Native Azalea Collection, and visitors are encouraged to explore the collection, located along Bent Creek, representing nearly every species native to the United States.
Date:      May 3, 2015
NC City:  OLD FORT
Event:     Informal Jam on the Porch   
Almost every Sunday, Harold and Carol Harless and a band of Old Fort pickers hold an all-skill level music session on the porch of the Mountain Gateway Museum. Bring an instrument or just your ears for this foot-tapping Sunday tradition.  The Jam is held at the Mountain Gateway Museum, 102 Water Street in Old Fort NC.
Date:      May 3, 2015
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Naturalist Niche: Waterfall Exploration
   Not only is Hickory Nut Falls one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River, it's also full of plants and animals that are easy to miss if you aren't watching closely. Join a Park naturalist to explore the falls and search for life hiding among the rocks. Advance registration required.  9:30-11:30 AM - meet at the tunnel entrance Cost: $22 adult (includes Park admission); $7 adult passholder; $12 youth (ages 5-15); $5 Grady's Kids Club member. 
Date:      May 4, 2015
NC City:  BREVARD
Event:   
  First Monday Concert  This month's concert from The Brevard Music Center's Porter Center starts at 12:30 PM and continues to 1:30 PM and features Steve Cohen, clarinet ~ Kay Kim, piano.  May's local charity partner is The Cindy Platt Boys & Girls Club of Transylvania County.
Date:      May 5 - 7 and 12 - 14 2015 
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK
Event:    Letterland at Tweetsie Railroad  
For 6 days, the park will be transformed into the world of Letterland, the popular United Kingdom-based reading system that teaches young children the alphabet and phonics skills by bringing the letters to life. The event will feature characters from Letterland ABC, the United Kingdoms best-selling alphabet book. Visitors will be greeted by Quarrelsome Queen and will have the opportunity to ride on Talking Tess Train, Golden Girls Go-carts and more.  Admission: Special Letterland rates by reservation: $21 for age 3-12, $35 age 13+
Date:      May 7 - 31, 2015
NC City:  FLAT ROCK
Event:  Flat Rock Playhouse presents Always… Patsy Cline. 
 With such hits as Crazy, Sweet Dreams and I Fall to Pieces, Patsy Cline was the first country music singer to cross over to pop music… she is a legendary icon. But what you may not know is that she struck up a friendship with fan Louise Seger, with whom she corresponded until her untimely death in a plane crash at the age of 30. More than just a concert, Always…Patsy Cline is based on the true story of this relationship and features 27 of her hits.
Date:      May 7 - 10, 2015   
NC City:  BLACK MOUNTAIN
Event:     LEAF - Lake Eden Art Festival  
This year celebrating 40 years of festivals. LEAF is one of the treasured traditions for families and friends across the southeast. Held annually at  at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, a weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multi-cultural music, arts, dance, and outdoor adventures journey to "recharges your batteries". A few aspects that make LEAF popular is the family friendly atmosphere, the diverse sampling of arts and music, the beautiful setting, and the intimate size.
Date:      May 8 - 10, 2015
NC City:  Franklin
Event:     Annual Mother's Day Gemboree  
A Gem show featuring dealers from across the United States. Rough and cut gemstones, minerals, lapidary equipment and much more. Sponsored by the Franklin Chamber of Commerce.
Date:      May 8 - 10, 2015 
NC City:  FONTANA
Event:    Mothers Day Weekend at Fontana Village Resort
  Treat Mom and the family to a wonderful weekend of fun in the mountains. Call the Resort  at 828-498-2211 to book your lodging. Then enjoy Mother's Day Dinner at the Mountview Restaurant on Sunday, May 10th from 5:00 - 9:00pm. The Mountview Restaurant offers a savory menu featuring many locally inspired dishes that will surely leave Mom full and relaxed! Call the Mountview at 828-498-2115 to make your reservation!
Date:      May 9, 2015  
NC City:  WILKESBORO
Event:     Candle Light Ghost Tours  
Come out for an evening of tales, mystery and haunts at the Candle Light Ghost Tours. Learn about the ghosts that haunt the old buildings that make up downtown Wilkesboro. Visit a cemetery where Civil War Soldiers are buried, stand in the jail cell Tom Dooley spent his last days, and listen to the stories of the haunted Smithey Hotel. Tickets will be sold on the Courthouse lawn at the museum and at the Wilkesboro Open Air Market the Friday before. Tours start at 8 PM 
Date:      May 9, 2015 
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK
Event:     Art in the Park  
A juried arts and craft show featuring 90 artists held in the picturesque downtown park once a  month from May through October.  Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more.
Date:      May 9, 2015
NC City:  WAYNESVILLE
Event:    The Whole Bloomin' Thing Spring Festival  
This Annual Festival is held in Waynesville's Historic Frog Level. A premier spring festival in Haywood County, it kicks off the growing season with beautiful flowering baskets, vegetable and herb starts, berry bushes, and potted ornamental plants to jumpstart your garden. Local artisans will offer a wide range of nature-inspired gifts and crafts- from baskets and birdhouses to soaps and stemware, pottery and jewelry to metal sculptures and flower planters, and dozens of other handmade creations. Enjoy fresh cheese, homemade preserves and jellies, BBQ and burgers, veggie wraps, ice cream and desserts will be available all day long. Live music and entertainment will be provided throughout the day by local musicians and dancers.
Date:      May 9, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Carolinas Dahlia Society and North Carolina chrysanthemum Society  
at the North Carolina Arboretum   A wide variety of dahlia tubers and chrysanthemum rooted cuttings featuring cultivated varieties are available. Learning from Dahlia and Mum Society experts, visitors can uncover the secrets of how to produce plants with show quality blooms. 10 AM - 4 PM.
Date:      May 9 - 10, 2015
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Mother's Day FREE Admission 
Treat mom to a family outing at the Park Mother's Day weekend, May 9-10, and get mom's or grandmom's admission for free with purchase of a regularly-priced adult ticket. Download the coupon from the  Chimney Rock Park website for the "buy one, get one free" admission for mom or grandma and present to the Ticket Plaza at time of purchase. 
Date:      May 9 - 10, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Fiber Weekend at The Folk Art Center  
A celebration of textile arts. Throughout the weekend, craftspeople will be sharing their inspiration and expertise as the Southern Highland Craft Guild hosts Fiber Weekend 2015. Educational craft demonstrations on Saturday will include: natural dyeing, sheep shearing, weaving, tapestry, and surface design. Southern Highland Craft Guild member Sandra Rowland will host activities designed for all ages. One new demonstration this year is pulp painting by member Chery Cratty using tools such as a South African porcupine quill. Weather permitting, the program would like to fill the hill behind the Folk Art Center auditorium with people engaged in fiber arts. Bring a blanket and enjoy a spring afternoon of craft. On Sunday the 16th Annual Fashion Show of Wearable Art will be held at 1 PM and 3 PM.
Date:      May 10, 2015
NC City:  NEBO
Event:   
 Mothers Day Music, Wine and Cupcakes   Spend this special day with your Mom listening to smooth music by Linda Mitchell Acoustic Blues & Jazz. With your purchased wine tasting, complimentary cupcakes (while they last!) Music is provided to South Creek customers at no admission fee
Date:      May 10, 2015 
NC City:  Flat Rock
Event:    A Mother's Day Concert at The Flat Rock Cinema  Dana and Susan Robinson perform for the Cinema's Magnolia Concert Series. The concert begins at 3 PM, doors open at 2:15.  A special Mother's Day concert featuring Dana and Susan Robinson, two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of America's musical heritage. GET TICKETS HERE
Date:      May 10, 2015
NC City:  RONDA
Event:     Mamma Mia! Mother's Day Brunch  
Raffaldina Vineyards celebration of all mothers on this special day. Tickets with wine service are $45 plus tax per person. Stop by the tasting room, visit the website, call 336.526.1078 or email info@raffaldini.com for more information or to make a reservation. Cancellations with a full refund are accepted up to 7 days prior to the event. If you cancel less than seven days prior to the event, you will receive a full refund only if your reservation is re-booked.
Date:      May 12 - 14 2015 
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK
Event:    Letterland at Tweetsie Railroad  
For 6 days, the park will be transformed into the world of Letterland, the popular United Kingdom-based reading system that teaches young children the alphabet and phonics skills by bringing the letters to life. The event will feature characters from Letterland ABC, the United Kingdoms best-selling alphabet book. Visitors will be greeted by Quarrelsome Queen and will have the opportunity to ride on Talking Tess Train, Golden Girls Go-carts and more.  Admission: Special Letterland rates by reservation: $21 for age 3-12, $35 age 13+
Date:      May 15, 2015
NC City:  WILKESBORO
Event:     Wilkesboro Open Air Market   
The Regular Friday markets will happen every Friday and will feature the freshest produce and handmade crafts of the surrounding area.   Third Friday Markets also include downtown merchants, food vendors, local wineries, musicians, regional farms and produce, arts and crafts, demonstrators, as well as non-profit and civic organizations are open from 4 PM - 9 PM.. Each Third Friday Open Air Market will be themed with live music, children's activities, contests, and more. The Regular Friday markets will happen every Friday and will feature the freshest produce and handmade crafts of the surrounding area.
Date:      May 15, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Downtown After Five  
Free live music entertainment in downtown Asheville. Headlining this month is St. Paul And The Broken Bones. The celebration is every third Friday, May through September, with the goal of encouraging locals and visitors to enjoy downtown Asheville and support local businesses and entertainers.  The event is located on North Lexington Avenue (between Hiawassee and the I-240 overpass). Food and beer vendors will be available.
Date:      May 15 - 17, 2015
NC City:  LINVILLE / BLOWING ROCK
Event:     Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend  
Three days filled with guided hikes and special presentations on the birds, wildflowers and nature of Grandfather Mountain.  A fascinating collection of programs and guided walks offered to help guests discover more about the diversity of life at Grandfather Mountain. All programs and guided walks offered as part of the Naturalist’s Weekend are included in the price of admission. Those who plan to attend multiple days should keep to their receipt on Saturday and present that for discount admission on Sunday. 
Date:      May 16, 2015
NC City:  ROBBINSVILLE (Stecoah Valley)
Event:     Stecoah's Annual Bluegrass Festival 
  Enjoy bluegrass music ALL DAY LONG outside, or inside if the weather turns bad. You'' also find arts, crafts and food vendors.  Performers include Graham County Line • The Wilson Family • Jonah Riddle • The Pressley Girls  • a Jam Session with Larry Barnett and the Stecoah JAM kids. The Schoolhouse Cafe will be open all day. 11 AM - 5 PM.
Date:      May 16, 2015  
NC City:  Saluda
Event:     Saluda Arts Festival  
This  year's annual festival will include  almost 90 artists and craftspeople, lively and award winning music, the children's art tent, several art and craft demonstrators and delicious food from our local restaurants. The festival also pays tribute this year to the late artist Johnny Waddill with a special exhibit displaying his work during the festival at the Saluda Center, 64 Greenville St., Saluda, NC.
Date:      May 16 - 17, 2015
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Spring Girl Scout Day and Campout    
Girl Scouts of all ages may enjoy their own special days at Chimney Rock State Park. Nearly 1,000 acres make an incredible backdrop to a variety of programs that are educational and fun. And the fun doesn't stop when the sun goes down - the 5-acre Meadows is the perfect place to spend a night under the stars. See the Scouts page for detailed program descriptions.
Date:      May 17, 2015  
NC City:  MAGGIE VALLEY
Event:    Maggie Valley Concert Series  
Live outdoor concert by the Haywood Community Band. Bring a blanket or a chair, picnic supper and enjoy the beautiful Maggie Valley sunset. Free and open to the public. This is a monthly concert series held the third Sunday from May through October.
Date:      May 18, 2015  
NC City:  MARION
Event:    Assault on Marion / Assault on Mount Mitchell 
A mountain bike ride beginning in Spartanburg, SC, and ending at Mt. Mitchell, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Assault is just over 100 miles with the route through Marion beginning on Sugar Hill Road and ending on NC 80.
Date:      May 22, 2015   
NC City:  BREVARD 
Event:     4th Friday Gallery Tour  
An evening of Art, Wine and Food in Downtown Brevard. Every 4th Friday of the month, from May through December. 5-9 PM.
Date:      May 22, 2015 
NC City:  SYLVA 
Events:   Concerts on the Creek -
Productive Paranoia, a folk/bluegrass band, will open the Concerts on the Creek series on Friday, May 22, 2015 from 7:00 - 9:00 PM at Bridge Park Pavilion in Sylva.
Date:      May 22 - 23, 2015   
NC City:  FRANKLIN
Event:     Spring Into Summer Craft and Art Show   
Held at the Macon County Fairgrounds from 10 AM to 5 PM. Free admission and parking. Food by Roadside Eats.
Date:      May 22 - 24, 2015   
NC City:  MAGGIE VALLEY 
Event:     Maggie Valley Spring Rally 
A Rain or Shine Event with Custom Bikes, Rat Rods, Rat Bikes  and Live Music. Enjoy the weekend's events including concerts,  bike games, the bike show and trike show, light show,  on site hot air balloon rides, used bike corral, mechanical bull, tours and a variety of vendors. Purchase event T-shirts and enjoy a Special Guest and more. This event is held at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
Date:      May 22 - 24, 2015  
NC City:  BREVARD
Event:     White Squirrel Festival  
Go Nuts in Downtown Brevard, "Where Music Meets the Mountains". A full weekend of free, live music and nutty family fun with a special evening concert Friday night by Amigo, The Shadowboxers and Sol-Driven Train. The Festival includes more than a dozen free concerts. This year's event promises to be even bigger and better than ever - with the Memorial Day Parade on Saturday, the Annual Squirrel Box Derby, white squirrel guided tours, white squirrel exhibit, children’s village and white squirrel photo contest. Also back this year is the Annual 5K/10K White Squirrel Race/Competitive Walk, along with a 1-mile kids' fun run. Find out why the White Squirrel Festival was voted "Best Spring Music Festival in Western North Carolina".
Date:      May 22 - 24, 2015 
NC City:  CHEROKEE 
Events:   Cherokee's Memorial Holiday Trout Fishing Tournament  
This fishing event is a tagged fish tournament with a total purse of $10,000. A tagged fish can be redeemed for its corresponding prize value by turning in the tag to the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, beside the Welcome Center. All persons fishing during the tournament must possess and have on their person while engaged in fishing both an event permit and a valid Tribal fishing permit. An enrolled member’s enrollment card shall serve as his/her fishing permit. $11 entry fee.
Date:      May 22 - 24, 2015   
NC City:  ASHEVILLE  
Event:     15th Annual Mountain Sports Festival  
Experience Springtime in Asheville, NC at the 2015 Mountain Sports Festival. Bring your family and friends to Carrier Park and other venues for the outdoor music and sports event of the year. This year promises to build on previous years and bring a wide variety of events in the mountains, throughout town, and on the river with an array of musical talent performing on the Main Stage each day. Pisgah Brewing Company and local food vendors will be available.
Date:      May 22 - 25, 2015   
NC City:  FLETCHER (ASHEVILLE)
Event:     AKC Dog Agility Trials  
The Blue Ridge Agility Club of Western North Carolina is hosting an American Kennel Club Dog (AKC) dog agility trial. Spectators are welcomed to attend and admission is free. Over 300 purebred dogs, from throughout the southeast, will compete at various levels of difficulty.
Date:      May 22 - 30, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Asheville Beer Week  
The 5th Annual event offers eight full days of celebrating all things beer in Asheville NC. The week of events will include tastings, dinners, beer education, keynote speakers, and other beer-related fun (and nonsense). Asheville Beer Week culminates with Asheville’s 6th Annual Beer City Festival on May 30, where dozens of breweries (and plenty of live music) are slated to appear on Roger McGuire Green.
Date:      May 23, 2015  
NC City:  LITTLE SWITZERLAND
Event:     Miner's Heritage Day 
The event features a treasure hunt, hikes, live music and mine tours. Kids tour the mines free of charge. Free treasure hunt featuring minerals and crystals as prizes. 9 am to 6 PM.  Black Light Mine Tour in the Bon Ami Mine at 9 PM. Admission for that tour: $15/adults; $10/seniors and children, free.
Date:      May 23, 2015   
NC City:  CASHIERS
Event:     Cashiers Rotary Arts and Crafts Fair  
The finest artisans from throughout the Southeast will once again converge on The Village Green for the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley’s bi-annual Arts and Crafts. 10 AM - 5 PM. 
Date:      May 23, 2015  
NC City:  CLEMMONS
Event:     15th Annual NC Wine Festival  
Gates open and tastings begin at noon and last until 6:30 PM. Enjoy tasting from over 25 North Carolina Wineries. Once your glass is filled groove to the music from live bands, grab a bite from our food vendors and enjoy browsing the exhibitor’s tents for treasures
Date:      May 23, 2015 
NC City:  WAYNESVILLE
Event:     Downtown Waynesville Block Party  
Downtown comes alive at night. Bring your dancing shoes and a chair and head to Main Street for an evening of live music featuring oldies and goldies, bluegrass, country rock, and more. Children's area, eats and treats, downtown restaurants stay open.
Date:      May 23 - 24, 2015
NC City:  NEBO
Event:     Lee Linsey Tall Poppy Tour and Memorial Veterans Special at South Creek Winery   Lee is an International Artist who has released her 3rd CD and brings her quirky blend of folk, pop and country twist to South Creek. As a salute to  past  present Military Veterans receive 2 for 1 tastings and 10% off all bottle purchases. Music is provided to South Creek customers at no admission fee. Tasting room is open at 11 AM, Music starts at 1 PM.
Date:      May 23 - 24, 2015 
NC City:  HENDERSONVILLE
Event:     22th Annual Garden Jubilee Festival  
The Garden Jubilee features more than 200 vendors selling thousands of plants, arts and crafts, garden talks and clinics, garden accessories, and food. This downtown festival covers 8 blocks of Main Street from Sixth Avenue-Caswell Street. Local and regional nurseries will be selling 1000s of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and hard-to-find plants on every block of the festival. The festival is always held during the Memorial Day weekend.
Date:      May 23 - 25, 2015
NC City:  CHIMNEY ROCK
Event:     Memorial Day Weekend at Chimney Rock State Park     
Meet some of Grady’s live woodland friends or possibly the birds of prey, a Red-tailed hawk and Great Horned Owl, and learn about their natural habitats. Programs begin at 2 PM. Try to outwit gravity with a free climb per person on the climbing tower open 11 AM–4 PM.
Date:      May 23 - 24, 2015
NC City:  ASHEVILLE
Event:     Kenilworth Art Studio Tour  
More than 20 artists invite you into eleven neighborhood studios and galleries. Browse and/or purchase original artwork. Kenilworth Artists Association is a community of artists in one of Asheville's oldest neighborhoods, with a lovely mix of grand homes, modest bungalows and mature gardens. Over forty aspiring and professional artists live in the five square mile neighborhood just minutes from downtown. Each year, many of these artists open their doors to the public for a festive tour that attracts shoppers and art lovers alike. 10 AM - 5 PM both days.
Date:      May 23 - 25, 2015 
NC City:  LAKE LURE
Event:     Lake Lure Artists Show  
Foothills artisans present their "Art at the Beach" Fine Arts and Crafts Show and Sale. The event begins at 10:00 AM and ends at 4:00 PM. Enjoy browsing and shopping through a wide selection of original paintings, drawings, photography, prints, fine crafts, jewelry, pottery and sculpture.
Date:      May 22 - 26, 2015 
NC City:  FONTANA
Event:    Memorial Day Weekend Summer Kickoff"
  The annual Summer Kick Off at Fontana Village Resort. . Get ready for live music and a full weekend of fun and entertainment at the resort. Bring the entire family.
Date:      May 25, 2015
NC City:  Spruce Pine / Little Switzerland
Event:     Memorial Day at the Orchard and Covered Dish Picnic  
Live music all day, storytelling and hayrides at the historic Orchard at Alta Pass.  Open to the public, live music all day is free. The stage area fills up quickly, so you might want to bring lawn chairs. Admission for the meal is a dish to share, ENOUGH FOR YOUR FAMILY AND 4 MUSICIANS, or $12 adult, $6 youth per meal. The Orchard provides traditional mountain barbecue, water, iced tea and paper goods.
Date:      May 25, 2015
NC City:  FLAT ROCK
Event:     Carl Sandburg Folk Music Festival  
The grounds of the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site come alive with folk music which was an important part of Carl Sandburg's life along with his guitar playing and singing as well as his writing. The annual folk festival honors Carl Sandburg and his preservation of traditional folk music as found in his collection The American Songbag. The festival's performers each skillfully demonstrate the tradition of performing live music to tell stories while capturing the heritage of America through song. This year's festival features bluegras, blues, jazz and swing.
Date:      May 7 - 31, 2015
NC City:  FLAT ROCK
Event:     Always Patsy Cline at The Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage  
More than just a concert, "Always... Patsy Cline" is based on the true story of her relationship  with fan Louise Seger and features 27 of her hits. A heartwarming celebration of down-home country humor, true emotion and timeless classics.
Date:      May 27 - 31, 2015
NC City:  BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY NEAR LITTLE SWITZERLAND
Event:     Live music and More at the historic Orchard at Alta Pass  
Live music and mountain dancing, storytelling and hayrides, monarch butterfly raising, naturalist tours and birding walks, arts and handwork demonstrations, book signings and more. Every week, Wed-Sun. This summer will feature Super Saturdays, special Appalachian heritage activities for kids age 6-12. Each Super Saturday, kids learn how to weave a garden loom, carve figures in sweet potatoes, play a harmonica or wilderness survival. FREE and open to the public.
Date:      May 29, 2015 
NC City:  WEST JEFFERSON  
Event:     Backstreet Park Summer Concert Series 
 Free summer concert series held every 3rd and 4th Friday nights from May-August, 5:30pm - 7:00pm. Bring your chair, blanket or picnic and enjoy the sounds of traditional, old time, and bluegrass music for ages.  Rain locations: the Farmer's Market or the Ashe Arts Center
Date:      May 29, 2015 
NC City:  WILKESBORO 
Event:    Wilkesboro Open Air Market 
4 PM - 8 PM. Vendors selling are farmers with locally grown fruits, vegetables, plants and local art and craft vendors, baked goods, plus much more. The Special Event Series area (which includes the regular Open Air Market) will open on the 3rd Friday of each month May through September. Themed activities, local art and crafts, vineyards, musical performances, artisans, baked goods, kids activities and demonstrations, plus many other activities with booths and participation from downtown merchants.
Date:      May 29, 2015 
NC City:  SYLVA 
Event:     Concerts on the Creek    
Held every Friday night between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day. Free live music ranging from bluegrass to beach.  Enjoy the outdoor setting in historic downtown Sylva, within walking distance to restaurants, breweries, and lodging.  FREE - but donations welcome.
Date:      May 29 - 30, 2015
NC City:  CHEROKEE
Event:     13th Annual Gourd Artist Gathering  -
Paws for Gourds.  The event features exquisitely crafted gourd art. This year’s Cherokee Gourd Artists Gathering brings together collectors and exhibiting artists for a weekend of live demonstrations, classes, competitions and a spectacular art market offering stunning works of gourd art, materials, tools and supplies. Come see how an inexpensive, traditionally utilitarian component of the Cherokee household is transformed into a piece of artwork. Admission is free.
Date:      May 29 - 31, 2015
NC City:  BLOWING ROCK
Event:    Grandfather Mountain Nature Photography Weekend 
9 AM - 7 PM. The annual Nature Photography Weekend at Grandfather Mountain allows participants to hear presentations from top nature photographers in the evenings and photograph spectacular scenery and native animals during the day. Images from Friday and Saturday’s photo excursions are entered in an informal contest with winners announced Sunday morning. Admission: NPW Participant: $115 pre-registration fee, Guest NPW ticket: $95, Guest 3-day park admission only: $40 adult, $20 child
Date:      May 30 - 31, 2015   
NC City:  ROBBINSVILLE  
Event:    Cheoah River High Flow Weekends  
The Cheoah isn’t for the faint of heart. The river has many Class IV/IV+ rapids and lots of residual vegetation that require a high skill level to negotiate. With the exception of two or three half-mile or so sections, the Cheoah is unusually continuous with a gradient that is consistently steep for a river its size. The 9+ mile run can be broken into three sections and represents a whitewater experience not often found in the Southeast! Recommended for experienced paddlers only. River pass bracelets can be purchased at O’Henry’s, Outland Expeditions 800-827-1442 or Cheoah Ranger Station 828-479-6431. Admission: $5,
Date:      May 30 - 31, 2015   
NC City:  ASHEVILLE  
Event:     Asheville Blue Ridge Rose Society Exhibition
  This annual exhibition features award-winning roses of every color and size. Experts will be on hand to answer questions and provide information about the selection, care, and history of roses. Educational programs will be offered throughout the weekend.  10 AM - 4 PM.

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Upcoming Special Events:
 
   
 
Year Around & Season-long Events:
Music and Live Theatre:
When:  Various Times
Where: NC Mountains and Foothills
What:   Blue Ridge Music Trails  
A guide to the traditional music of the NC Mountains and Foothills.
When:  Saturday 7 PM, June - Oct
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
What:   Music in the Mountains 
Regional talent is showcased in a relaxed, outdoor venue located in the heart of historic downtown. Bring a chair or blanket and settle in for an evening of great music. 828-488-3681
When:  Friday 7 PM, all year
Where: Old Fort NC
What:    Old Time Mountain Music -
for more than a decade, folks have gathered to hear and play bluegrass and traditional mountain music. Nobody’s paid, everyone’s welcome and coffee and sodas are still just a quarter!
When:  Saturdays 7:30 - 10:30 PM
Where: Old Fort NC
What:   Tracks Music and Dance -  
music and dancing at the Tracks Event Center located just outside Old Fort. The house band is, Rewind, playing a mix of 50s, 60s, 70s, a little country and bluegrass plus special requests! Free line dancing classes from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
When:  Sundays, 2 PM - 4 PM
Where: Old Fort NC
What:   Informal Jam on the Porch -
Bring an instrument or bring an ear! Happening each Sunday on the porch at the Mountain Gateway Museum in downtown.
When:  various times, all year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   Diana Wortham Theatre 
A variety of professional and touring music, dance and theatrical performances. Dining discounts and special performances offered.
When:  First Monday, Oct - May
Where: Brevard NC
What:   Brevard Music Center First Mondays 
Classical music performances by local and touring professionals.
When:  June-August
Where: Brevard
What:   Brevard Music Center  
An annual festival of classical, chamber and opera performances by students, faculty and guest musicians.  The Center is considered one of the premier summer training programs and festivals in the US.
When:  May-August
WWhere: Brevard
WWhat:   Sounds of Silvermont 
Local musicians in a jam session playing bluegrass, country, gospel and more.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville
What:   North Carolina Stage Company

Professional productions, with the best actors, directors and designers from Asheville and across the country.
When:  7-9 PM,  Thursdays, All year
Where: Marion NC, downtown Depot
What:   Bluegrass Music Jam 
Open to all musicians, no scheduled performers. Outdoors, bring chairs or blankets. Free
When:   7 PM Fridays
Where:  Marion
What:    Woody's Original Mountain Music 
An ever changing line up of musicians and musical styles! Join the fun along with Max Woody and friends.
When:   7 PM Fridays, June - August
Where:  Downtown Hendersonville
What:     Music on Main 
Concert series featuring " oldies rock, beach music, variety and top 40 music. Bring a chair and enjoy the music, admission is free
When:   Feb - Dec, various dates
Where:  Flat Rock, Hendersonville
What:    Flat Rock Playhouse
 The theatre season includes world premieres and standard Broadway musicals, comedy, and drama. Music on the Rocks concert series with pop to country.
When:  Most Saturday nights
Where: Saluda NC
What:   The Party Place and Event Center&  
LLive music with country, top 40's, oldies, beach, southern rock and a variety of good party music for listening and dancing.The facility and grounds are available for special events.
When:  All yearbr /> Where: Franklin NC
What:   Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts 
A 1,500 seat state-of-the-art facility presents the finest in performing arts to the surrounding towns.
When: Thursdays, 6:30 PM, 6-23 to 9-1
Where: Banner Elk NC
What:   Concerts in the Banner Elk Town Park 
Gathers in the town park for a summer concert. Performers range from bluegrass to beach, to country, to top 40, to blues, to jazz, to Motown, to big band
When:  Thursdays, 7:30 PM, June-Aug
Where: Black Mountain NC
What:   The Park Rhythms Outdoor Concert 
A variety of musical groups from throughout the region provide live music in the picturesque setting of Lake Tomahawk
When:  2nd Sun., 7-9 PM, April - Oct
Where: Blowing Rock NC
What:    Jazz Concerts 
Blowing Rock Jazz Society performs. General Admission is $20 for non-members, $5 for students and FREE to BRJS Members
When:  Fridays, 7-9 PM, June - August
WWhere: Canton NC
WWhat:    Pickin' in the Park. 
Free concerts with Live bands and clogging groups at the Canton Recreation Park.
When:  Fridays, 7PM, June - August
Where: Newland NC
What:   Friday Night Free Concert.
(Weather-permitting) held at the Riverwalk Bandstand local musicians perform. Food vendors available.
 
 
NC Parks, Nature Programs:
When:  All year, some closings
Where: Northwest NC Mountains
What:   Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  Events throughout the year. View the full calendar online.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   North Carolina Arboretum
   Touring and permanent exhibits, events and educational programs.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   Western North Carolina Nature Center  
Special events and programs, wild walks, Junior Naturalist program, wildlife workshops and more.
When:  various times, all year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   Grandfather Mountain
 Special programs with naturalists, Habitat tours, Special kids events, Junior Ranger programs, walks and hikes
When:  All year
Where: Chimney Rock NC
What:  Chimney Rock Park Nature
Programs and hikes  Learn the secrets and wonders of nature, attend photography or dulcimer workshops or enjoy special events and campouts.
When:  All year, Mon-Sat
Where: Brevard NC area
What:  Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education  
Exhibits, special programs, fishing, Nature Nuts and Eco Explorers
When:  All year, various times
Where: Nebo, near Marion NC
What: Lake James Park Programs  
Ranger conducted hikes, nature programs, boat trips and special events. Free to the public.
FastTrack 385ft  
 
Art and Crafts:
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   The Folk Art Center
  Touring exhibits, craft demonstrations, special events, educational opportunities and workshops.
When:  All year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   North Carolina Arboretum
   Touring and permanent exhibits, events and educational programs.
When:  5 PM 4th Friday, May - Oct
Where: Brevard NC
What:   4th Friday Gallery Tour
An evening of Art, Wine and Food in Downtown Brevard
When:  All Year
Where: Asheville NC
What:   River Arts District 
daily open studio tours and special events.  Over 120 artists in an historic setting with restaurants and a brewery.
When:   May - Nov, 10 AM - 4 PM
Where: Blowing Rock NC
What:    Craft demonstrations 
Members of the renowned Southern Highland Craft Guild demonstrate traditional and contemporary crafts.
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Full Color Booklet & Catalog Printing 
 
Miscellaneous activities:
When:  All year, Mon - Sat
Where: Bryson City NC
What:   Marianna Black Library 
Special events, classic movies, Anime Club, Music programs, Artisan displays
When:  May - October
Where: Between Spruce Pine and Little Switzerland on Parkway
What:   The Orchard at Alta Pass
  Live mountain  music and mountain dancing, storytelling and hayrides, monarch butterfly raising, naturalist tours and birding walks, arts and handwork demonstrations, book signings and more.
When:  6 PM, 1st Fridays, May - Dec
Where: Sylva NC
What:   Sylva After Dark
   A night of arts, dining, music, refreshments, shopping and more.
When:  All year
Where: Mount Airy NC
What:   The Surry Arts Council
 Performing and visual arts events
When:  last Saturdays, 9-11 AM
Where: Black Mountain NC
What:  Cruz-N Black Mountain.
Classic and custom cars, trucks and motorcycles in downtown at the visitor center.
 
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