photograph by James Nix

Feature Image: Cotton Ginning Days • Dallas • October 12-14

Gaston County was a leader in the textile industry throughout much of the 1900s. Today, people crank up antique steam and gasoline engines and tractors once more at this festival, which celebrates the region’s rich heritage. Visitors can enjoy bluegrass and folk music; kids’ activities; 75 craft vendors; and pottery, soap, and candle-making demonstrations at Dallas Park.

Learn more: (704) 922-2160 or


“To See Clearly” • Morganton • October 1-November 21

Artist Carol Turner will present her watercolor paintings on two floors of Morganton City Hall.

Learn more: (828) 438-5362 or

The Fantastic Fall Color Ramble • Linville • October 1-13

Learn about the great deciduous forest and the science behind the colorful leaves with a series of guided walks, held daily at various locations on the mountain, depending on where fall color is most vibrant. Call ahead or stop by the Nature Museum to see where the day’s walk will start. The Ramble culminates on the 13th with a day full of programs and activities.

Learn more: (800) 468-7325 or

Yancey County Dream Home Tour • Burnsville • October 5

Explore homes all over Yancey County during this annual tour. Experience everything from an off-the-grid home in Celo to a modern home in Burnsville to lunch at a horse farm and estate in Green Mountain.

Learn more: (828) 766-1233 or

Gaston County Gem & Mineral Show • Gastonia • October 5-7

See minerals and fossils from around the world; search for amethyst, quartz crystals, and other stones in the working sluice; win raffle prizes; and shop for jewelry, settings, cutting material, gems, and more at this annual show.

Learn more:

Wine Festival • Laurel Springs • October 7

Enjoy tastings from a variety of North Carolina wineries, listen to live music, and check out food and craft vendors at Thistle Meadow Winery during this 21st annual festival. Admission price includes a souvenir wine glass. Grab a glass and take in the beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Learn more: (336) 359-2995 or

Watercolor Society of North Carolina Exhibition • West Jefferson • October 7-November 16

This annual exhibit at the Florence Thomas Art School will feature more than 70 juror-selected watercolor paintings.

Learn more: (603) 387-6766 or

Angel Street • Hayesville • October 12-14, 19-21

Bella and her husband seem to have the perfect home in 19th-century London, but strange occurrences in the house cause Bella to doubt her sanity. See the performance at the Peacock Performing Arts Center.

Learn more: (828) 389-2787 or

“Quilts of the Valley — Seasonal Inspiration” • Hickory • October 12-13

In addition to more than 250 quilts made by members of the Catawba Valley Quilters Guild, this show at the Hickory Metro Convention Center will feature handmade gifts, a special area dedicated to Quilts of Valor, and a raffle.

Learn more:

Mountain Glory Festival • Marion • October 13

This small-town celebration of fall will feature a quilt show, arts and crafts, food, kids’ events, and local entertainment on two stages. Miss Mountain Glory will be crowned in the afternoon, and a renovated train caboose will be open at the historic Marion Depot.

Learn more: (828) 652-2215 or

Potters Market • Spruce Pine • October 13-14

This show and sale at the Cross Street Building will feature 32 of the region’s best potters and clay artists, including local artists with national reputations.

Learn more: (828) 765-2670 or

Church Street Art and Craft Show • Waynesville • October 13

Head to downtown Waynesville when the Great Smoky Mountains burst into color and check out this festival, which will include more than 125 artists, craftspeople, and food vendors.

Learn more: (828) 456-3517 or

Carolina BalloonFest • Statesville • October 19-21 (Our State will be here!)

Take to the skies or watch colorful hot-air balloons, meet pilots, sample wine and beer at a tasting garden, enjoy live music, browse vendors at an artisan marketplace, and more at this festival.

Learn more:

Beaverdam Studio Tour • Asheville • October 27-28

Take a self-guided tour of 30 artists’ studios in North Asheville, and meet the artists working in ceramics, painting, jewelry, sculpture, blown glass, and textile art.

Learn more: (505) 490-7193 or

Halloween Festival • Blowing Rock • October 27

Enjoy downtown trick-or-treating, a monster march, hayrides, a costume contest, and a moonlight scavenger hunt at this pre-Halloween bash.

Learn more: (828) 295-5222 or

Boone BOO! • Boone • October 31

Calling all pirates, princesses, and monsters: This event downtown will be filled with Halloween activities, including a spooky, silly tour of the Jones House, arts and crafts at the Watauga County Library, and trick-or-treating with downtown merchants.

Learn more: (828) 268-6280 or

Trunk ’n’ Treat • Sparta • October 31

Decorate your vehicle, fill your trunk with candy, and head to Crouse Park for this community event, where little ones can go car to car for Halloween treats.

Learn more: (336) 372-5473 or


Living Your Best Life • Winston-Salem • October 2

This speaker series and luncheon at the Benton Convention Center will feature Isaac Lidsky, the New York Times best-selling author of Eyes Wide Open, as keynote speaker.

Learn more: (336) 331-1342 or

Fall Plant Sale • Charlotte • October 5-6

Fall planting promises spring blooms: Find shrubs, trees, perennials, wildflowers, ferns, and cool-weather annuals at the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens.

Learn more: (704) 687-0721 or

Fall Festival • Asheboro • October 6-7

This 46th annual downtown event is a combination street fair, bazaar, harvest celebration, and homecoming, and will feature handmade arts and crafts, demonstrations, kids’ crafts, food, and live music.

Learn more: (336) 629-0399 or

Pumpkins at Jugtown • Seagrove • October 6

Get into the fall spirit by shopping for special pottery pumpkins, jack-o’-lanterns, and luminaries in various sizes and shapes at Jugtown Pottery. There also will be live music and local coffee.

Learn more: (910) 464-3266 or

Dark in the Park • Winston-Salem • October 11

Take hauntingly fun hayrides through lighted jack-o’-lanterns, explore on a ghost tour, and make fun Halloween crafts at Historic Bethabara Park. Don’t forget your costume.

Learn more: (336) 924-8191 or

“The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art” • Raleigh • October 13-January 20

See a selection of paintings by famed artist Georgia O’Keeffe, including her iconic flowers, cityscapes, and desert mountains, at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

Learn more: (919) 839-6262 or

OctoberTour of Homes • Salisbury, Spencer • October 13-14

At this 43rd annual tour, explore historic homes and sites such as the NC Transportation Museum before heading to Spencer’s Library Park for live music, food vendors, craft beer and wine, and kids’ activities.

Learn more: (704) 636-0103 or

Arts and Wellness: Fabric Memory Beads • Greensboro • October 18

In this class at the GreenHill Gallery, attendees will create beads from fabric, which can be used to make jewelry. Participants are invited to bring items from home to repurpose — a unique way to save a special piece of clothing or fabric that holds memories.

Learn more: (336) 333-7460 or

North Carolina Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony • Kannapolis • October 18

Watch musicians John Tesh, Chris Daughtry, Calvin Richardson, Luther Barnes, The Hoppers, Dolphus Ramseur, and Blind Boy Fuller get inducted into the NC Music Hall of Fame, and enjoy performances throughout the night.

Learn more: (704) 934-2320 or

Pickin’ in the Pines BBQ and Bluegrass Benefit • Ellerbe • October 20

Listen to music by Flatt Lonesome, Long Gone Bluegrass, and Lauren and Lane at this pig pickin’ and benefit concert. Proceeds provide scholarships for campers at Millstone 4-H camp.

Learn more: (910) 652-5905 or

Comic-Con • Fayetteville • October 20-21

Don your favorite superhero costume for this celebration of pop culture at the Crown Complex Expo Center, which will feature comic book artists and writers, voice actors, a cosplay contest, tournaments, panels, vendors, prizes, and free comic books.

Learn more: (910) 316-7251 or

Alamance Artisans Annual Art Extravaganza • Haw River • October 20-21

Shop for paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography, sculptures, and more created by 32 members of the Alamance Artisans Guild at the Vailtree Event Center.

Learn more: (919) 932-0942 or

Open Studio Tour Preview Show • Hillsborough • October 22-November 11

View the works of more than 80 artists before deciding which studios to visit during the Orange County Artist Guild Studio Tour. A reception will be held the evening of October 26 at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or

North Carolina Wine Festival • Raleigh • October 27

At this wine festival, sip chardonnay, merlot, and scuppernong wine and enjoy food, live music, and shopping at Midtown Park in North Hills.

Learn more:

Fall Fun Days • Statesville • October 27-28

Take a walk through a corn maze, go on a hayride or ride a barrel train, see “hay art,” play games, paint a pumpkin, and watch animal presentations at Rescue Ranch.

Learn more: (704) 768-0909 or


U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament • Southport • October 4-6

Cast a line at one of the largest kingfish tournaments on the East Coast, which begins at the Southport Marina.

Learn more: (919) 457-5787 or

Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival • Oriental • October 5-7

The front porches of homes and businesses along the Neuse River will feature bluegrass, country, folk, gospel, and pop music during this festival. Visit vendors, too, including a food park at Lou Mack Park.

Learn more: (252) 617-0540 or

MumFest • New Bern • October 12-14

Dan + Shay will kick off this festival with a concert on Friday evening. On Saturday and Sunday, enjoy a beer garden, amusement rides, a boat show, street performers, food vendors, and races downtown near the waterfront.

Learn more:

Blackbeard Tricentennial • Bath • October 19-20

It’s been 300 years since Blackbeard met his fate off the coast of Ocracoke, and in honor of its most infamous former resident, Bath will host this two-day festival at Bonner Point. There will be fireworks, music, food, a parade, a pirate encampment, an epic sea battle, historian talks, and much more.

Learn more: (252) 413-9517 or

350 Years of Haunts • Edenton • October 19-20

In honor of Chowan County’s 350th anniversary, take a tour through historic downtown as a guide tells haunting ghost stories.

Learn more: (252) 482-3400 or

Autumn With Topsail • Topsail Beach • October 20-21

This festival will feature a juried arts and crafts competition, with more than 100 regional artists selling and displaying their work. There will also be live entertainment, food and drink, and games and rides for children.

Learn more: (912) 312-5244 or

New York Polyphony • Mount Olive • October 25

See this Grammy Award-nominated vocal chamber ensemble at the Hazel Waters Kornegay Assembly Hall. The four men are known for their vibrant, modern voices, and for performing a wide-ranging repertoire.

Learn more: (919) 658-2502

Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree • Ocracoke • October 25-28

Celebrate Ocracoke Island’s unique pirate heritage with a weekend of swashbuckling fun. The Jamboree includes a historically accurate pirate encampment and a reenactment of Blackbeard’s infamous last battle.

Learn more: (252) 928-6711 or

Albemarle Craftman’s Fair • Elizabeth City • October 26-28

During this three-day craft show — one of the oldest in the state — visit with more than 60 guild artists, who will be selling their wares and demonstrating their crafts at the Knobbs Creek Recreation Center.

Learn more: (252) 338-3954 or

John Lawson Legacy Days • Grifton • October 26-27

On Friday, experience nighttime cannon firings, Civil War reenactments, and live music around a campfire. On Saturday, enjoy history presentations and exhibits, explore a fossil pit, play with old-timey toys, and take boat rides on Contentnea Creek.

Learn more: (252) 524-0190 or


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