Spring Events

North Carolina Orchid Society Annual Spring Show

March 22-23, 2014

Surrounded by the botanically diverse Southern Appalachian Mountains, the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville is nestled in one of the most beautiful natural garden settings in America.

Visitors to the NC Arboretum will step into a lush, tropical world at theWestern North Carolina Orchid Society’s Annual Spring Show. Thousands of orchids fill the Education Center of the Arboretum in this show, which is one of the largest in the southeast. This year’s theme, “The Lost World of Orchids,” will be an adventure of the imagination. World-class orchid growers from around the country and regional orchid societies will fill the exhibition hall with dazzling color, exotic scents, and hints of an ancient world in carefully crafted displays. Read about more Spring Flower Shows at the NC Arboretum.

White Squirrel Festival, Brevard

May 24-25, 2014

Go nuts at the annual White Squirrel Festival in downtown Brevard! This fun street festival honors white squirrels, the unique wildlife critters who made their way to Brevard in 1949 after a carnival wreck in central Florida.

The White Squirrel Festival was recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the TOP 20 May festivals – and it’s no wonder. The festival features two days of nutty, family fun over the Memorial Day Weekend. There’s plenty of food, art and crafts; but music is the major showcase, with 14 free concerts featuring national and international artists. Kids of all ages will be thrilled by the annual Squirrel Box Derby; and for those who don’t believe they really exist, there are guided white squirrel tours. Learn more about The White Squirrel Festival.

Garden Jubilee Festival, Hendersonville

May 24-25, 2014

The Garden Jubilee is historic Hendersonville’s premier lawn & garden show, and one of the largest gardening shows in Western North Carolina. This two day event is the ideal festival for passionate gardeners. You’ll find the perfect plants, unique lawn and garden accessories, plus arts and crafts.

The Garden Jubilee Festival will showcase more than 150 vendors along Main Street. Local and regional nurseries will be selling 1000’s of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs and hard to find plants on every block of the festival.Southern Living garden expert, Bill Slack and national lawn & garden representatives present a series of free lectures throughout the 2-day show. Learn more about the Hendersonville Garden Jubilee Festival.

Summer Events

Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival, Tryon

June 13-14, 2014

The big Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival is held each year at Harmon Field in Tryon, NC. Enjoy a lip smacking, toe-tapping fun time at one of the area’s biggest annual events with fantastic barbecue, phenomenal music and arts and crafts.

An eclectic musical lineup showcases everything from blues to bluegrass, folk to funk, Americana to zydeco. Located in the heart of the festival, the Main Stage hosts the big acts and headliners, with lots of space to dance in front of the stage. Along the Pacolet River, you’ll find the Riverside Stage, plus many craft artisans. Hog Heaven is the heart and the soul of the Blue Ridge Barbecue & Music Festival – where competition cook teams vie for prestige, cash prizes and awards in this, the North Carolina State Barbecue Championship. Learn more at Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival.

Brevard Summer Music Festival

June 20-August 3, 2014

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, the Brevard Music Center (BMC) has been providing young musicians with the opportunity to develop their talents for 70 years. Renowned guest artists join them for their fantastic summer music series, taking place over the course of seven weeks each summer. Thousands of music lovers fill the wooden campus to hear more than eighty public performances during this renowned event. Learn more about Brevard Summer Music Festival.

North Carolina Apple Festival, Hendersonville

August 29-September 1, 2014

The annual North Carolina Apple Festival takes place over Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville, and has been Western North Carolina’s premier family festival for over 60 years.

Hendersonville’s beautiful Main Street is home to the 9-block Street Fair. There are over 200 vendors selling quality arts & crafts vendors, wonderful festival food (fried apple pie, anyone?), and of course…fresh apples from one of the local growers! Growing apples has been part of Henderson County’s culture and heritage since the mid 1700s, and today the county boasts 200 local apple growers. There will be live entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Main Street and children and youth activities offered during the 4-day event, culminating in the King Apple Parade Monday afternoon.Learn more about the NC Apple Festival in Hendersonville.

Fall Festivals

North Carolina Mountain State Fair, Fletcher

September 5-14, 2014

The North Carolina Mountain State Fair is a 10-ten-day event that celebrates our area’s people, agriculture, art and tradition. It’s fun for all ages, with plenty of exhibits, animals, food, thrilling midway rides and more.

Over 190,000 people visited the fair last year to watch craftspeople at work and see the many competitions – from quilt making, photography, extreme garden vegetables, flowers, and crafts. Stroll through the barns to see and learn about a variety of animals. Don’t miss the Sea Lion Splash, Kachunga and the Alligator Show, Rocketman – Human Cannonball, Kenya Safari Acrobats, NC Mountain State Fair Timber Sports Competition, and more. The Bojangles Music Stage hosts local and regional bands and performers for daily shows. Learn more about the North Carolina Mountain State Fair.

Flock to the Rock Birding Weekend, Chimney Rock

September 20-21, 2014

With its winding riverbanks and dramatic cliffs, Chimney Rock is a haven for North Carolina resident birds and migrating birds, as well as bird lovers. Chimney Rock hosts the region’s premier fall migration birding event, Flock to the Rock, led by Simon Thompson, a world-traveled birding expert. The weekend features bird walks guided by local experts, workshops ranging from bird photography to hummingbirds, hawk watches, and family nature walks. While at Chimney Rock, train your binoculars along the Park’s soaring cliffs and up into the surrounding sky for a chance to see the amazing acrobatics of a Peregrine Falcon slicing through the air at 60 mph.. Learn more about Chimney Rock Flock to the Rock Birding Weekend.

River Arts District Artists Studio Stroll, Asheville

November 9-10, 2013 (2014 dates TBA)

The River Arts District is located along the French Broad River, just minutes from downtown Asheville. This unique neighborhood is home to more than 180 artists with working studios located in 25 turn-of-the-century industrial buildings. During the nationally known Studio Stroll, the River Arts District artists open their studios to the public. Art collectors and enthusiasts come from around the world to view and purchase art as they tour studios in the district’s historic industrial buildings. Free trolleys bring visitors to gallery shows, kid’s activities, and art demonstrations, such as glass blowing, wheel throwing, and wood turning. Learn more about The River Arts District Artists Studio Stroll.

Winter & Holiday Events

Christmas at the Biltmore

November 9-January 4 , 2014

The beautiful Biltmore House takes on a warm glow and is even more magical when adorned for the holidays. The Christmas at Biltmore extravagant celebration includes 56 Christmas trees, 1,000 poinsettias, miles of garland and lights, live music and inspirational holiday demonstrations. Choirs and ensembles perform traditional music of the season throughout the house, and the front lawn glows with a 55-foot Norway spruce with 45,000 lights and 300 luminaries. Learn more about christmas at the biltmore.

Christmas at Connemara

Saturdays between Thanksgiving and New Year, 2014

Visit Connemara on Saturday mornings between Thanksgiving and New Years and revel in local musicians and storytellers who perform old-fashioned holiday stories and music. This festive celebration honors Carl Sandburg and the family holiday tradition of music. Enjoy hot cider and cookies, then tour the house decorated in the simple style of the Sandburgs with poinsettias and a traditionally decorated Christmas tree. Learn more about Christmas at Connemara.

Asheville Restaurant Week

January 21-27, 2014

Calling all foodies! Asheville is home to nearly 250 independent restaurants, 20 regional tailgate markets, and a growing number of craft breweries. Asheville’s farm-to-fork commitment to using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, has earned the designation as one of the top ten food and wine destinations in the United States by readers of TripAdvisor, and has garnered high-praise from chefs and culinary celebrities around the country. Now you can Asheville’s best celebrated cuisine during Restaurant Week, taking place January 21–27, 2014. Participating restaurants will offer prix fixe lunch menus ranging from $15-$30 per person. Learn more about Asheville Restaurant Week.