photograph by Ashley T. Evans

Feature Image: Mountain Heritage Day • Cullowhee • September 29

This old-fashioned fair is a modern showcase for Southern Appalachian music, art, dance, and storytelling.

Learn more: (828) 227-3039 or


Mile-High Kite Festival • Beech Mountain • September 1-2

Watch kites fly high over a meadow that sits more than 5,000 feet in elevation. In addition to soaring kites, there will be races, face painting, and craft and food vendors at the kite field.

Learn more: (800) 468-5506 or

Rockfest • Little Switzerland • September 1-2

All that glitters might be gold at this two-day festival at Emerald Village: Try gem mining and gold panning, enjoy live music and a kids’ treasure hunt, explore free exhibits, and on Saturday, take a special black-light mine tour.

Learn more: (828) 765-6463 or

Woody’s Original Mountain Music • Marion • September 7, 14, 21, 28

Grab refreshments and settle in for some soothing sounds: Bluegrass and gospel bands perform every Friday night at Woody’s Mountain Music.

Learn more: (828) 290-2377 or

Historic Morganton Festival • Morganton • September 7-8

Play in the streets during this 37th annual celebration of Morganton. There will be a sunrise run, a farmers market, free concerts, kid and teen zones, fine art and crafts, and fair food.

Learn more: (828) 438-5252 or

Hoyle Historic Homestead Open House • Dallas • September 8

Explore Gaston County’s oldest home at this 27th annual event. Tour the homestead, which sits on land granted to German settler Peiter Heyl in 1754, and learn about the rare corner-post log construction. Enjoy local crafts and a walk to the South Fork River.

Learn more: (704) 922-4330 or

Art in the Park • Blowing Rock • September 8

Take a stroll through downtown while perusing the wares of more than 90 local artists, including handmade pottery, jewelry, blown glass, and paintings.

Learn more: (828) 295-7851 or

WNC Bigfoot Festival • Marion • September 8

At this inaugural festival in celebration of Sasquatch, there will be a variety of local craft and food vendors, raffles, inflatables, a 5K, book signings, lectures, and even live demonstrations on how to hunt for the mysterious legend.

Learn more:

Junior Ranger Day • Grandfather Mountain • September 8

At this inaugural event, which will celebrate Grandfather Mountain’s Junior Ranger program, kids can complete a special set of assignments to earn a special badge and free ice cream. The program is geared for children ages 5 to 12.

Learn more: (800) 468-7325 or

Dinner in the Dahlias • Cashiers • September 12

Guests at this dinner will be seated at a long table decorated with and surrounded by the heirloom dahlias that grow around the High Hampton Inn. Diners will enjoy the flowers, food, and wine of High Hampton while learning about the history of the property’s flowers.

Learn more: (828) 295-7111 or (828) 743-6500 or

Full Bloom Film Festival • Statesville • September 13-15

This three-day festival downtown will include showings of diverse films from around the world, panel discussions, evening socials, and other opportunities to interact with filmmakers.

Learn more: (704) 873-6100,

Art Crawl • Statesville • September 14

See the work of more than 40 artists in 30 different galleries downtown. Meet the artists while enjoying live music and strolling from location to location.

Learn more: (704) 878-3436 or

Music Festival • Blowing Rock • September 15

Head to The Blowing Rock for fireworks, food, and all-day live music, including Americana, folk, blues, and jazz.

Learn more: (828) 295-7111 or

Youth Arts Festival • Dillsboro • September 15

This celebration of art and music at Green Energy Park will feature live entertainment, food, face painting, and jewelry making, as well as demonstrations of glassblowing, blacksmithing, pottery making, gem cutting, and torch work.

Learn more: (828) 631-0271 or

Cherokee Heritage Festival • Hayesville • September 15

Enjoy traditional dancing, cultural arts demonstrations, storytelling, frybread, singing, and flute music during this free festival at the outdoor 17th-century Cherokee Homestead Exhibit.

Learn more: (828) 389-3045 or

Songwriter’s Showcase • Hayesville • September 15

Local performer Rob Tiger will host musical performances by three new singer-songwriters, Lon Eldridge, Jessica Campbell, and Carl Anderson, at the Peacock Performing Arts Center downtown.

Learn more: (828) 389-2787 or

Lincoln County Apple Festival • Lincolnton • September 15

An apple a day keeps the doctor away: This annual festival in celebration of the fruit features regional crafts, food, entertainment, kids’ attractions, agricultural exhibits, and more at Court Square downtown.

Learn more: (704) 530-4636 or

Mountain Heritage Festival • Sparta • September 15

Hunt for handmade art and crafts, watch demonstrations, eat festival food, and listen (or dance along) to live music at this annual festival, which will host more than 100 vendors along Main Street.

Learn more: (336) 372-5473 or

Loyalty and Desertion • Weaverville • September 15

Desertion was an ongoing problem during the Civil War. At this panel discussion at the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site, historians Judkin Browning, Katherine Cutshall, and Dan Slagle will discuss those that chose to fight or to desert.

Learn more: (828) 645-6706 or

International Hawk Migration Viewing • Grandfather Mountain • September 16-22

Join mountain naturalists on Linville Peak, across the Mile High Swinging Bridge, as they count and celebrate the annual spectacle of the fall raptor migrations.

Learn more: (800) 468-7325 or

Georgann Eubanks • Sparta • September 20-22

Award-winning writer and food blogger Georgann Eubanks will visit Horizon Bistro to introduce her latest book, The Month of Their Ripening: NC Heritage Foods Through the Year.

Learn more: (770) 309-3611

Carolina in the Fall Music & Food Festival • Wilkesboro • September 21-22

Last year, this music festival was the winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Event of the Year Award. This year, the festival will be hosted by The Kruger Brothers, and will feature more than 30 bands, including The Steel Wheels, Jim Lauderdale, and Fireside Collective.

Learn more: (336) 990-0747 or

Van Life Rally • Asheville • September 21-23

This fourth annual event at the JuneBug Retro Resort is a celebration of the “van life” community in the Southeastern U.S. It is the largest event of its kind, with a weekend of vehicle camping, vendors, a kids’ village, concerts, and plenty of opportunity for spectators and vehicle owners to hang out and experience the van life phenomenon together.

Learn more: (828) 380-9287 or

Blue Ridge Conservancy 5K • Blowing Rock • September 22

Run the curving neighborhood roads of Blowing Rock during this 19th annual 5K and kids’ fun run.

Learn more: (828) 264-2511 or

Animal Attraction • Asheville • September 22-Oct 28

This monthlong exhibit will feature animal-themed art created by 13 different artists. An opening reception will be held on September 28, and guests will have a chance to meet and speak with participating artists.

Learn more: (828) 253-7651 or

Autumn Harvest Afternoon Tea and Tasting • Arden • September 23

This special fall-themed event at Ivory Road Café and Kitchen includes a full afternoon tea service, a tea flight tasting of seasonal blends by Asheville Tea Company, and live classical guitar music. Reservations are required.

Learn more: (828) 676-3870 or

North Carolina Dance Festival • Asheville • September 28-29

This festival will bring professional modern dance choreographers from across the state together at the BeBe Theatre to share innovative and moving work. The festival is celebrating its 28th season with shows across North Carolina.

Learn more: (828) 254-2621 or


Corks and Crafts • Lewisville • September 1

Find more than 50 vendors selling handmade, antique, and repurposed items at this arts and crafts event at Westbend Winery and Brewery. Live music, food trucks, and other surprises await.

Learn more:

Bookmarks Festival • Winston-Salem • September 6-9 (Our State will be here!)

Attend readings, Q&A sessions, meet and greets, and more at this celebration of books, which will feature more than 45 authors.

Learn more: (336) 747-1471 or

North Carolina Folk Festival • Greensboro • September 7-9 (Our State will be here!)

This three-day outdoor festival is a celebration of North Carolina’s cultural roots and heritage. It features performances and demonstrations by musicians, dancers, and craftspeople.

Learn more: (336) 373-7523 or

Bush Hill Heritage Festival • Archdale • September 8

Enjoy music, food, crafts, and car shows at this 33rd annual festival on Main Street. There will be entertainment for kids of all ages.

Learn more: (336) 434-2073 or

Denton Street Festival • Denton • September 8

This downtown festival will feature live music, a trackless train, a horse-drawn carriage, and rides on the Amazin’ Blazin’ Fire Truck.

Learn more: (336) 859-4231 or

Acorn Festival • Four Oaks • September 8

You’ll find food trucks, live entertainment, handmade crafts, and an antique car and tractor show at this festival.

Learn more: (919) 963-4004 or

Carolina Bible Camp Bluegrass Festival • Mocksville • Sep 8

Join fellow bluegrass lovers, rain or shine. See famous banjo player Alison Brown and sing along with bands like the Snyder Family Band, Trailblazers, and Fireside Collective.

Learn more:

Eastover Heritage Day • Eastover • September 8

Kick off this celebration of Eastover heritage with a parade and opening ceremonies, followed by live entertainment, food trucks, softball games, vendors, military displays, and a climbing wall for kids.

Learn more:

Sanford Lions Club Fairgrounds • Sanford • September 11

This award-winning fair, the largest event in Lee County, offers tons of rides, attractions, food, exhibits, and agriculture events. Have fun while supporting youth involvement and agriculture awareness in the area.

Learn more: (919) 499-3594 or

Apple Fest • Winston-Salem • September 15

Enjoy the sweet taste of fall at this annual festival at Historic Bethabara Park. There will be food, music, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, and more.

Learn more: (336) 924-8191 or

Hoppin’ John • Silk Hope • September 13-15

Featuring old-time and bluegrass music showcases and workshops, this convention is a favorite of musicians and listeners alike.

Learn more: (919) 542-1746 or

Fall Angelo’s Artisan Market • Winston-Salem • September 16

Sponsored by Wise Man Brewing, this fall market will include handmade, antique, and repurposed items from more than 45 local vendors from across the state.

Learn more: (336) 725-0008 or

Mixed Media Flags of Hope • Greensboro • September 20

Participants of this class at GreenHill Gallery will created mixed-media fiber art designs that focus around hope. Attendees are encouraged to bring objects and fabric that are special to them.

Learn more: (336) 333-7460 or

Guilford County Master Gardener Gardening Gala • Greensboro • September 20

20 Laugh and learn at this 17th annual event, where master gardeners and enthusiasts alike will come together. A ticket includes breakfast, keynote addresses, a breakout session, door prizes, and more.

Learn more: (336) 641-2400 or

Quilting in the Pines • Pinehurst • September 21

See more than 150 quilted creations inside historic Pinehurst Fair Barn. Enjoy a silent auction, a boutique with handmade items, and an opportunity to learn how to quilt.

Learn more: (910) 295-4161 or

Fall Market • Reidsville • September 21

Peruse pottery, wreaths, jewelry, and more at Zion Baptist Church when the Reidsville Federated Woman’s Club raises money for local charities at their fall market.

Learn more: (336) 627-1488

Alan Alda • Greensboro • September 21

Actor and bestselling author Alan Alda will share his guide to communicating better, based on his experience with acting, improv, science, and storytelling.

Learn more:

A Tribute to Johnny Cash • Southern Pines • September 22

Enjoy music, beer, and food trucks when Todd Allen Herendeen and the FTD Band pay tribute to country legend Johnny Cash at Southern Pines Brewing Company.

Learn more: (910) 365-9890 or

Workers of Heart Auction • Raleigh • September 22

Head out to Raleigh’s Warehouse District for the return of this beloved auction, which will benefit the Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina, and will feature 27 works by 27 artists.

Learn more: (919) 896-7503

“Trilogy” • Hillsborough • September 24-Oct 21

See paintings by Marcy Lansman, textiles by Alice Levinson, and turned wood by Michael Salemi at this month-long exhibit at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or

World of Bluegrass • Raleigh • September 25-29 (Our State will be here!)

The country’s largest bluegrass music event will feature an International Bluegrass Music Association awards show, a conference, and a two-day music festival at Red Hat Amphitheatre, which will feature more than 100 artists across eight stages.

Learn more: (615) 256-3222 or

Deathtrap • Davidson • September 27

Head to Armour Street Theatre to see the Davidson Community Players perform a play about a writer of Broadway thrillers who is desperate for success.

Learn more: (704) 892-7953 or

Liberty Antiques Festival • Staley • September 28-29

Browse a sea of antiques on a 100-acre farm in Randolph County during this festival. Nearly 400 dealers from across the country will take part.

Learn more: (336) 622-3014 or

Everybody’s Day • Thomasville • September 29

This award-winning event is a tradition that goes back more than a century, making it North Carolina’s oldest street festival. Shop, listen to live music, enjoy carnival rides, and fill up on plenty of good food downtown.

Learn more: (336) 475-6134 or

Hops & Shops: Carnival Market • Winston-Salem • September 29

There will be five food trucks, two days of performances, and 100 local vendors at this market at Foothills Brewing.

Learn more:


Turtle Trots • Bald Head Island • September 2

Find out whether slow and steady wins the race in this 5K, where proceeds go to support the Bald Head Island Conservancy’s Sea Turtle Protection Program.

Learn more:

Collard Festival • Ayden • September 6-9

Sample the Southern staple, check out an art show, go for a spin on an amusement park ride, and enjoy live beach music performances by bands like The Embers and Hip Pocket at this festival.

Learn more: (252) 531-3313 or

Alive After Five Summer Concert Series • Clinton • September 6

Relax at the end of the workday at this summer concert at Clinton City Market, where Band of Oz will perform beach music.

Learn more: (910) 596-2533 or

Glow Down in Downtown • New Bern • September 7

Wear your best glow-in-the-dark attire to this family-friendly event, which will feature a laser light show, a foam party, contests, prizes, and music on Front Street after the sun sets.

Learn more: (910) 596-2533 or

Hobby Greenhouse Club Fall Plant Sale • Wilmington • September 7-8

The money raised at this plant sale goes toward horticulture scholarships at Cape Fear Community College and Brunswick Community College, so it’s a perfect excuse to support a houseplant habit.

Learn more: (910) 619-0942 or

Community Festival • Newport • September 8

Attend a mini food truck rodeo, watch crafting and living history demonstrations, check out police and fire department displays, and see live performances at Newport Community Park.

Learn more: (252) 223-4749 or

Dragon Boat Regatta and Festival • Carolina Beach • September 14-15

A dragon boat is a colorful 45-foot-long vessel that resembles a canoe. It’s manned by a crew of 20, plus a steersman at the stern and a pacesetter at the bow. At this sixth annual event, you can watch teams race these boats, or even form a team of your own to get out on the water.

Learn more: (910) 599-2879 or

Harvest Festival • Bethel • September 15

This long-running family-friendly event on Railroad Street will have live music, art and craft vendors, a kids’ play area, and plenty of food.

Learn more: (252) 531-3313 or

1918 Flu Pandemic Tour • Wilmington • September 15

To commemorate the centennial of the 1918 flu pandemic, the Friends of Oakdale will sponsor a historical walking tour in Oakdale Cemetery. Follow a local historian and learn about the pandemic that killed more people than World War II.

Learn more: (910) 762-5682 or

Harborfest for Heartworks • Oriental • September 21-22

Dance, eat, take part in an auction, and listen to live music on the waterfront at this two-night event at River Dunes Marina.

Learn more: (252) 745-9703 or

Duchess • Oriental • September 28

Listen to beautiful, sweet-toned harmonies at this show at the Old Theater. This New York-based jazz vocal trio channels 1930s acts like the Boswell Sisters, blending the classic and the contemporary.

Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or

Muscadine Festival • Kenansville • September 28-29

Take a break from tasting wine and perusing arts and crafts to watch — or take part in — a shagging contest.

Learn more: (910) 271-0030 or

Beaufort’s Brewin’ Craft Beer Fest • Beaufort • September 28-29

The two day festival will feature a variety of events held in Beaufort from intimate beer dinners, luncheons and seminars to the 500 person Beer, Bubbles and BBQ tasting event at Front Street Village.

Learn more: (252) 515-0708 or

North Carolina Shell Club Shell Show • Wilmington • September 28-30

Whether you’re a casual collector or an experienced naturalist, this 43rd annual shell show is sure to impress. See some of nature’s most beautiful works of art at the Coastline Convention Center.

Learn more: (336) 692-4492 or

Lost Colony Wine Festival • Manteo • September 29

Try wines and fine foods from the region’s best chefs at this festival at Waterside Theatre, which will also feature live entertainment and historical presentations.

Learn more: (252) 473-2127 or

Wooden Boat Show • Southport • September 29

At this ninth annual event, take a ride on a boat, watch a boatbuilding demonstration, build your own model, talk with wooden boat owners and makers, and then head over to the chowder tent for an award-winning bowl of seafood chowder.

Learn more: (910) 477-2787 or

Hands-On Arts Festival • Washington • September 29

This fourth annual festival will showcase the work of local artisans and craftspeople along Little Washington’s waterfront.

Learn more: (252) 946-2401 or

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