Fall in the Asheville area is always a time of celebration. It’s harvest, and the leaves are changing. Many come to the WNC area to see the colorful foliage from the abundant trees that change hues. Nature puts on a stellar show every year.
Traditionally, mountain families have celebrated the fall season with a community fair or festival that includes food harvested from the farm or garden, home cooked dishes, mountain music and other entertainment and crafts. This tradition remains today both inside Asheville and in many of the small mountain towns that surround the city.
Some fall festivals are larger then others, offering nationally recognized musicians and performers, large stages, activities throughout the festival and even camping areas. Other festivals in the Western North Carolina area may last one day or the weekend and be given on a smaller scale.
This is a brief overview of some fall festivals in Asheville. This list is not comprehensive. Major festivals that have been put on for many years are included here.
North Carolina Mountain State Fair, Western North Carolina Agriculture Center
Sept. 6-15, 2019
Just south of Asheville in nearby Fletcher, The North Carolina Mountain State Fair occurs every year. All across the mountains, North Carolinians compete for awards for the best livestock, home cooked dishes, flowers, shrubs and plants, photographs and numerous other categories of interest. For entertainment, see Rocketman – the human cannon ball, watch the Kenya Safari Acrobats, or see the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association perform. Get set for illusionists, hypnotists, magical poodles, living statues, hog races, chainsaw artists, lumberjack demonstrations, and much, much more. The North Carolina Mountain State Fair is a great way to immerse yourself and your loved ones in the rural culture of the Western North Carolina Mountains and take part in some exciting, uncommon activities.
Brewgrass Festival, Martin Luther King Jr. Park, Asheville, NC
Sample the best of Asheville’s craft breweries at the Brewgrass Festival. This annual event has become one of the most popular festivals in Asheville. Each year, 40 American breweries participate with samples of 120 different beers available. Asheville was dubbed Beer City USA for three years in a row. In 2012, Asheville tied with Grand Rapids, Michigan. Asheville Brewers Alliance has invited Grand Rapids breweries to the Brewgrass Festival this year for a Beer Summit. Bluegrass musicians play onstage all day. Entertainment this year includes: Head for the Hills, Town Mountain, Cuttthroat Shamrock, Jack Straw and Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen.
Heritage Weekend, Blue Ridge Parkway Folk Art Center
Sept. 21 – 22, 2019
Traditional crafting activities of the Southern Appalachians are highlighted on Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center. Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to milepost 382, the entrance to the Folk Art Center. The Folk Art Center is close to Asheville and it is the perfect place to spend the day. Bring some food and enjoy a picnic with family and friends. On Heritage Weekend, creativity does not end with crafting. It includes traditional mountain music, blue grass and clogging. Attend the Folk Art Center’s annual fall festival to see authentic bee keeping, rifle making, print making, furniture making, spinning, natural dyeing, quilting, whittling and more. See live sheep sheering and watch the World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle competition.
Fall is an excellent time to visit the mountains of North Carolina. Brings some loved ones along and take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then, pull up a chair and listen to some mountain music while enjoying the bountiful harvest and colorful scenery.
Oktoberfest, Wall Street, Downtown Asheville
October 5, 2019
Want to celebrate the harvest season with a European style Oktoberfest? Wall Street in Downtown Asheville is the place to be on October 13,, 2012. Wall Street is an old cobblestoned street that is roped off while the festival takes place. Eat bratwurst and pretzels and drink steins of local beer. Entertainment includes traditional Polka music and dancing. Do not miss the keg rolling contests and stein races – with local brewery teams competing. Oktoberfest is sponsored by Harmony Motors and produced by the Asheville Downtown Association. Only those with wristbands will be served Oktoberfest beer, but all are welcome to attend. Local craft breweries are featured. Many breweries make seasonal ales especially for Oktoberfest.
Oct. 17-20, 2019
The Lake Eden Arts Festival occurs twice per year, once in the spring and again in the fall. LEAF is a festival locals and visitors anticipate because of the impressive lineup of contemporary musicians, many who regionally known or nationally recognized. At LEAF expect dancing, drumming, crafting, and kid friendly activities in a relaxed outdoor environment. The festival occurs in the grassy lowlands near Lake Eden in Black Mountain, NC, just a 20-minute drive east of Asheville. For those who do not wish to camp all weekend, day passes are available for purchase.