There are some great events and outdoor festivals in Asheville, North Carolina and other towns in the mountains in August and September. Here is a calendar of our favorites (see more details at www.romanticasheville.com/summer_festivals.htm):
August 1-3, 2013: Mountain Dance & Folk Festival brings mountain fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer sweepers, dancers, balladeers and others together for plenty of authentic bluegrass music.
August 1-4, 2013: NC Mineral and Gem Festival attracts thousands of visitors from across the country to shop, swap and discover beautiful jewelry, gem stones, minerals, fossils and more in Spruce Pine.
August 2-3, 2013: Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair is the oldest and largest crafts fair in the Blue Ridge with 250+ craftfolk showing their work as well as live entertainment, children activities and a wide variety of food in downtown Burnsville.
August 3-4, 2013: Village Art & Craft Fair is held on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village near the entrance to the Biltmore Estate. The fair hosts 125 artists from 20 states representing the full spectrum of craft media – jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more. Love it!
August 8-11, 2013: Wild Goose Festival combines justice, spirituality, music and the arts in Hot Springs. Talk, listen, eat and camp together, captivated and challenged by the call of radical humanity, and who seek to celebrate diversity and promote the common good.
August 10, 2013: Wood Day at Folk Art Center features skilled woodworkers for an exciting day exploring various forms of woodcraft, including the Carve Off Competition.
August 10, 17, 24, 30, 2013: Shindig on the Green features musicians and dancers from across Western North Carolina gathering on these Saturday nights to share the region’s stirring Southern Appalachian mountain culture and traditions.
August 10-11, 2013: Sourwood Festival always has plenty to see and do at this free street fair in downtown Black Mountain with great music and lots of fun, and of course lots of great mountain cooking.
August 10, 2013: Second Saturdays in River Arts District includes artist demonstrations, classes, open studios and fun. Spend the day hopping from studio to studio to view a range of mediums and an abundance of creativity.
August 10, 2013: Riverfest 2013 is a fundraiser at French Broad River Park in West Asheville for Riverlink and includes live music, dancing, hooping, aerial acts, juggling, along with local food trucks, craft brewers, arts/crafts, and the fun “Anything that Floats” parade.
August 13-17, 2013: Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival is the largest stand-up comedy event in the southeast.
August 16, 2013: Downtown After Five is an outdoor party with live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville.
August 16-17, 2013: Dirty Dancing Festival is a must for fans of the cult-classic movie. Relive memories of Baby’s first dance in the film’s original, breathtaking backdrop of Lake Lure.
August 22-24, 2013: Asheville Wine & Food Festival showcases the finest regional, national, and international wines, exceptional local restaurants, craft beer and spirits, and handcrafted artisanal foods for three days of palate-pleasing indulgence.
August 23-24, 2013: Speaking of Gardening Symposium at the North Carolina Arboretum brings the world’s gardens to Asheville at this popular event for horticulture professionals and enthusiasts.
August 22-25, 2013: YMI Cultural Center 120th Anniversary Founder’s Celebration is held in downtown Asheville.
LABOR DAY WEEKEND
August 30-September 2, 2013: The BIG NC Apple Festival in Downtown Hendersonville features more than 150 vendors lining eight blocks, with the King Apple Parade culminating the festival on Labor Day.
September 2-8, 2013: ICF Kayak Freestyle Canoe World Championships brings elite athletes from around the world to NOC on the Nantahala River for the biggest kayak festival of the year to vie for the title of World Champion.
September 6-15, 2013: NC Mountain State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in the southeast with plenty of exhibits, animals, food and rides.
September 8, 2013: Organicfest In Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville has live music, organic local food, cooking demos, samplings, natural arts and crafts.
September 14, 2013, Mountain Life Festival Mountain Life Festival at the Mountain Farm Museum in Great Smoky Mountains National Park preserves the legacy of Appalachian folkways, and serves as a tribute to the many families who lived on lands that would later become the Park.
September 20, 2013: Downtown After Five celebrates the arrival of the weekend with free live music, food and beer in downtown Asheville.
September 21-22, 2013: Heritage Weekend at the Folk Art Center features traditional music and dancing, storytelling and heritage craft demonstrations. A highlight of the weekend is the Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition.
September 27-28, 2013: City Marathon includes a race expo downtown 5K on Friday night. On Saturday morning, the marathon and half marathon begin and end downtown.
September 21-22, 2013: Farm Tour This Farm Tour lets you explore 41 farms that are not normally open to the public, ranging from century farms cultivated by the same family for generations, to certified organic farms, to urban gardens. Come with a cooler and your appetite.