The Pumpkin Roll at Pumpkinfest in Franklin, NC Photo by Franklin Press

As the summer sun begins to wane and leaves adorn themselves in brilliant shades of red and gold, Western North Carolina transforms into a breathtaking tapestry of fall beauty. From Boone to Murphy, this picturesque region offers an array of vibrant autumn events and celebrations for you and your family to savor. Dive into the heart of the season by exploring these captivating gatherings that embrace the area’s culture, traditions, and natural wonders.

1. PumpkinFest in Franklin:

Franklin‘s PumpkinFest is a delightful celebration of autumn featuring a variety of family-friendly activities, including pumpkin carving contests, hayrides, live music, arts and crafts, and delicious seasonal treats.
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2. Autumn at Oz in Beech Mountain:

Journey along the Yellow Brick Road as you enter the magical world of Oz. Autumn at Oz on Beech Mountain offers a whimsical experience for families with character encounters, live entertainment, and enchanting landscapes. Follow Dorothy’s footsteps and create unforgettable memories. Visit the event’s website:

3. WNC Pottery Festival in Dillsboro:

Immerse yourselves in the world of craftsmanship at the WNC Pottery Festival held in Dillsboro, NC. Explore the work of local potters and ceramic artists while enjoying live demonstrations and the opportunity to purchase unique, handcrafted pieces. Visit the event’s website:

4. Cherokee Indian Fair in Cherokee:

Discover the rich cultural heritage of the Cherokee Nation at the Cherokee Indian Fair. Experience traditional dances, browse through arts and crafts vendors, and savor authentic Cherokee cuisine. It’s a cultural journey that the whole family can enjoy.
Visit the event’s website:

5. Fall Foliage Tours (Throughout the Region):

Embark on a scenic drive through the winding mountain roads of Western North Carolina. Witness the breathtaking transformation of leaves into a vibrant tapestry of colors. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Great Smoky Mountains, nature’s autumn show is not to be missed.

6. Murphy’s Fall Festival in Murphy:

Celebrate the season in the heart of Murphy with the Murphy’s Fall Festival. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts vendors and a lively atmosphere that captures the warmth of the community.
Visit the event’s website:

7. Blue Ridge Orchid Society Show in Asheville:

Explore the world of orchids at the Blue Ridge Orchid Society Show in Asheville for a unique twist on fall beauty. Admire stunning orchid displays and even learn to care for these exotic flowers.
Visit the event’s website:

8. Valle Country Fair in Valle Crucis:

Kick off the fall festivities in Valle Crucis with the Valle Country Fair. This charming event combines the best of mountain culture with arts and crafts, live music, and delectable food. Take advantage of the famous apple butter-making demonstration, which captures the essence of the region’s heritage. Visit the event’s website:

9. Apple Festival in Hendersonville:

Join the festivities at the annual Apple Festival in Hendersonville. Explore arts and crafts vendors, savor apple-themed treats, and enjoy live music. Remember to pick up a bag of freshly harvested apples.
Visit the event’s website:

10. Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University:

In the heart of the North Carolina mountains, an annual celebration honors the region’s rich heritage and cultural traditions—Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University (WCU). Typically held in the fall, this event is a vibrant gathering showcasing Western North Carolina’s unique history, music, crafts, and flavors. Visit the event’s website:

11. Woolly Worm Festival:

Held in nearby Banner Elk, this unique festival predicts the severity of the upcoming winter based on the coloration of woolly bear caterpillars. It features races, crafts, and live entertainment. Visit the event’s website:

12. Art in the Park:

Explore local art at the Art in the Park series in downtown Boone. Stroll through booths showcasing fine art and handmade crafts from regional artists. Visit the event’s website:

13. Apple Harvest Festival:

Waynesville celebrates its apple heritage with the Apple Harvest Festival. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts vendors, apple picking, and delicious apple treats. Visit the event’s website:

14. Church Street Arts & Crafts Show:

This historic street in downtown Waynesville transforms into an outdoor art gallery during this annual event. Peruse artwork from local and regional artists. Visit the event’s website:

15. Lake Lure Dirty Dancing Festival:

Pay homage to the classic movie “Dirty Dancing” in Lake Lure, where it was filmed. Enjoy dance lessons, live music, watermelon races, and more. Visit the event’s website:

Please note that event details and dates may vary from year to year. It’s a good idea to check the official event websites or local tourism websites for the most current information and updates on these fall events and festivals in Western North Carolina.

From the high country of Boone to the charming town of Murphy and from the scenic beauty of Franklin to the apple orchards of Hendersonville, Western North Carolina invites you to immerse yourselves in the vibrant spirit of fall. Whether you’re seeking cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or a scenic drive to witness nature’s artistry, this region offers a diverse tapestry of autumn delights. Plan your visit and embrace the beauty, traditions, and warmth of fall in Western North Carolina with your loved ones.

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