The 10 Best Fall Festivals in North Carolina!

It’s fall! The temperature is dropping to the perfect degree and the leaves are beginning to change colors. In North Carolina, we know just how to ring in the season. Fall festivals of comforting southern dishes, tents to shop beautiful pieces, and rides and games for the kids all pop up and make for a wonderful fall activity with the significant other or family. Here are 10 of the best fall festivals to attend in North Carolina. 

1. Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, Elkin, NC

The Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival is Elkin’s prized event to bring in the fall weather and spirit. The Great Pumpkin Weigh-In, shopping the variety of booths with items such as antiques, handmade gifts, home goods, and foods are all favorites of the event. The Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival is an annual event that begins on the fourth Saturday of September with the well-known Great Pumpkin Weigh-In. This eye-widening portion of the day has previously brought in record-breaking pumpkins over 1,000 pounds. In the charming town of Elkin, this is a festival you would hate to miss.

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2. Hickory Oktoberfest, Hickory, NC

Running annually for 30 years and counting, the Oktoberfest event of Hickory is a three-day outdoor event great for taking in the live entertainment, participating in rides and games, and has plenty of food and drink vendors to savor. The Kidfest portion of Oktoberfest includes fun for the family. Activities and games include but are not limited to bungee jumping, swings, rides on the train, tilt-a-whirl and merry-go-round, face painting and more. 


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3. Autumn Leaves Festival, Mt. Airy, NC

Nature lovers of North Carolina will love this mid-October fall festival. Guests can enjoy the music of local bluegrass and gospel musicians as they engage with arts and crafts. Festival attendees can also dig into warm, southern comfort foods such as collard greens, barbeque, ham biscuits, and more. With more than half a century of celebration to bring in the beautiful season, the Autumn Leaves Festival is an event people look forward to all year-long.

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4. Mountain Life Festival, Cherokee, NC

The Mountain Life Festival of Cherokee is a fun, educational experience packed full of activities the family can enjoy. Learn about traditional farming practices such as hearth cooking, apple butter making, blacksmithing, lye soap making, and food preservation. 

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5. Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival, Cashiers, NC

The first weekend of October, stop by for the Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival. This mountain village has stunning foliage to experience as you explore the merchants throughout the park to shop beautiful pieces such as pottery, jewelry and more. To fill the belly, foods and drinks are both available and live music is playing to keep up the incredible atmosphere. 

6. CiderFest NC, Asheville, NC

Taste test the best of the best premier hard cider the first Saturday of October at the CiderFest, in Asheville. Each year since its opening, the CiderFest invites incredible vendors to offer tasters with many options in ciders, delicious baked goods, and other treats. As well as drinks and food, several vendors sell unique soaps, arts, and crafts. For the children, there is a Kids Zone that offers fun arts and crafts, activities, and face painting. Live performances throughout the day also make the festival. 

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7. Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk, NC

The Woolly Worm Festival of Banner Elk is a large event with a small admission. The admission for adults is $6, children aged six to 12 get in for $4 and five and under attend free. This weekend event is full of woolly worm races, handcrafted goods for sale, live music, inflatable fun, and performances by dance teams. The Woolly Worm Festival is a priceless experience with many chances to make memories.

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8. Mountain Glory Festival, Marion, NC

This one-day event is a great way to celebrate mountain life in a small town. Shop the blocks for local handmade items such as arts and crafts. Splurge by digging into festival foods and enjoy mountain music by live performers. For the kids, the Children’s Arena provides a lot of activities for fun and the popular event at the festival, the contest for the best-dressed pet. Celebrate the start of autumn in a small community of Blue Ridge. 

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9. Fall Harvest Festival, Stecoah, NC

A full event in the third weekend of October, the Harvest Festival is a celebration of the end of summer. Friday evening kicks off with a storytelling around the campfire and campfire foods such as hot dogs, hot chocolate, marshmallows, and drinks. Saturday, families can visit the festival for the chance to browse the art and craft vendors, chow down on many food options, listen to the beautiful mountain music or take part in the country fair. The country fair gives guests the chance to celebrate the mountain culture through various homemade goods, crafts and more. The evening concert gives inexpensive access to an evening of music to your ears. 

10. Apple Harvest Festival, Waynesville, NC

Named one of the “10 Best Fall Harvest Festivals in the Nation,” the Apple Harvest Festival has endless booths of delicious apple products, and beautiful pieces of jewelry, pottery, and art. Take on the task of homemaking ice cream by hand-cranking or create apple cider. The Apple Harvest Festival is a small-town event with a huge crowd and with good reason. Celebrate the day with family friendly games, toe-tapping music, dancing, and plenty of crafts. 

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