From foodie celebrations to summer dance parties and flower shows, Asheville festivals provide year-round fun and entertainment. Best of all, many events are free to attend and offer a huge variety of attractions for all ages.
Here’s just a taste of the action.
Annual Asheville Festivals
Asheville Fringe Arts Festival
Warm up each January, with exciting performance acts at venues across town. Since 2002, the festival has supported local dancers, writers, actors, directors and artists, in producing innovative entertainment. Along with travelling acts from other global Fringe events, there are about 45 different performances to enjoy.
Spring launches in spectacular style at the Biltmore Estate, with thousands of tulips, orchids, daffodils and tropical plants. Biltmore Blooms is the perfect way to celebrate the season, with a festival of flowers from March through to April, when the whole estate transforms with dazzling color.
Asheville Herb Festival
Asheville lays claim to the largest herb festival in the United States and Canada, so it’s a must for your yearly event calendar. Foodies can’t get enough of aromatic delights for cooking, but you’ll also find soaps, shampoos, ointments, salves and lotions. It’s held at the WNC Farmers Market, in May.
Come together for inspiring community spirit, to learn and to celebrate diversity through creativity, at LEAF Festival in May and October. Set against the backdrop of Lake Eden in Black Mountain, you’ll discover healing arts, poetry slams, handcrafts, drum circles, culinary arts and an eclectic lineup of live music.
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival
The country’s longest running folk festival comes to town in August. Here, you’ll see a star-studded line up of mountain performers, including fiddlers, banjo pickers, balladeers, ballad singers, cloggers and big circle mountain dancers. Celebrating centuries of English, Scottish, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage, the festival raises awareness of the importance of Southern Appalachian culture.
North Carolina Apple Festival
Labor Day weekend brings the North Carolina Apple Festival to Hendersonville. The four-day festival celebrates the abundant local apple crop, in the best possible way. Of course, there’s freshly picked apples to indulge in, along with arts, crafts, free entertainment, orchard tours, contests and more.
Shindig on the Green
If you love bluegrass music and dance, you’ll love Shindig on the Green in downtown Asheville, from June to September. The festival celebrates Western North Carolina musicians and dancers, as they share Southern Appalachian mountain traditions and culture. Locals descend on Pack Square Park with instruments, chairs and blankets, ready for impromptu jam sessions and fantastic entertainment.
Can’t wait to sample exciting brews from one of the country’s top “beer cities”? BrewGrass Festival brings it to you in September. Featuring craft beer from some 50 breweries and bluegrass music, it’s a sensory adventure festivalgoers look forward to, every year.
“Go green” at the annual Organicfest, which supports the growth of organics and healthy living. You’ll learn about organic gardening and healthy lifestyle choices from local practitioners. Along the way, indulge in tasty treats, take a cooking class or two and get creative with arts and crafts.
Check the individual websites for confirmed dates and you’re on your way to a packed calendar of Asheville festivals and events.