From the mountains to the sea, there’s a lot to enjoy about North Carolina in the fall, including fall festivals. Venture out of town for a day trip or weekend getaway to enjoy one or more of the state’s best fests. Find an extensive roundup of local fall festivals in our calendar section.
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
CHEROKEE INDIAN FAIR
Oct. 8, 9 and 12 | Cherokee Cost: $10. $5 for ages 6-10. Free for ages 6 and younger. visitcherokeenc.com/events/detail/ cherokee-indian-fair BEST FOR: Anyone who loves carnivals, culture, art and game shows. Explore Cherokee culture through live demonstrations, dance performances, music and food. WHAT’S IN IT FOR KIDS: A Ferris wheel, traditional Cherokee activities like stickball and archery, and a fireworks display. Wednesday is Children’s Day with gates opening at 9 a.m. Ages 17 and younger enter for free and will be given a wristband to enjoy complimentary rides that day.
SUGAR MOUNTAIN OKTOBERFEST
Oct. 12-13 | Sugar Mountain Resort, Sugar Mountain Cost: Free oktoberfest.skisugar.com
BEST FOR: Those wanting a taste of the popular 16-day German folk festival without having to travel far. Dress up in your best Bavarian costume for the chance to win prizes. You can also hear live music from local middle and high school bands.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR KIDS: An onsite kids activity center complete with hayrides, corn hole, pumpkin bowling, and the chance to meet Sugar Bear and Sweetie Bear.
LAKE EDEN ARTS FESTIVAL
Oct. 17-20 | Black Mountain Cost: Day passes start at $49 for adults and weekend passes start at $172 (includes tent campsite). Special prices for ages 10-17. Free for ages 9 and younger. theleaf.org/the-festival
BEST FOR: Anyone who can appreciate and understand the power that music, art and culture have to transform lives, strengthen community and foster unity.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR KIDS: Interactive villages filled with activities like whimsical puppet shows, hoop dancers, a magical swing, Frisbee toss games, facepainting and more.
WOOLLY WORM FESTIVAL
Oct. 19-20 | Banner Elk Cost: $6 adults, $4 ages 6-12. Free for ages 5 and younger. woollyworm.com
BEST FOR: Lovers of the woolly worm and its contribution in helping determine the winter weather forecast. Attendees also enjoy arts and crafts, rides and food vendors.
WHAT’S IN IT FOR KIDS: The chance to cheer on cute furry worms in a race to the finish line with a $1,000 grand prize on the line. Enjoy inflatables, rides and festival food.
HALLOWEEN FEST IN TRANSYLVANIA COUNTY
Oct. 26 | Downtown Brevard Cost: Free brevardnc.org/halloweenfest
BEST FOR: Fans of Count Dracula, but in a lighthearted hometown way. Come celebrate Halloween Transylvania Countystyle, with a morning foot race, live music and all of the other street festival favorites.
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