An Appalachian Summer Festival: late June to late July
Regarded as one of the country’s leading regional arts festivals, An Appalachian Summer Festival is held each summer on and around the Appalachian State University campus in Boone, North Carolina. For nearly a decade, the Southeast Tourism Society has named the family-oriented festival one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast.” The multi- and inter-disciplinary festival incorporates music, theatre, dance, film and visual arts.
1.800.841.ARTS / www.appsummer.org
47th Annual Roasting of the Hog: Independence Weekend
On the Saturday closest to Independence Day, the Town of Beech Mountain, the Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce host the 47th Annual Roasting of the Hog. The family-centered event features fresh-cook barbecue pork and turkey, musical entertainment, children’s activities and a nighttime fireworks display. Local firefighters cook the food, which backed by decades of perfecting the seasonings and charcoal blends, is said to result in the best barbeque in the High Country. The event starts at 6 PM and fireworks go off at dark.
828.387.9283 / beechmountainchamber.com
Mile High Fourth of July
The resort towns of Banner Elk and Beech Mountain combine for a sizzlin’ cool four-day celebration of our nation’s independence. The Mile High Fourth is always centered around July 4th and includes fireworks above the summit of Beech Mountain, the afore-mentioned hog roast, live music, scenic chairlift rides, Banner Elk’s legendary Fourth of July Parade and Party in the Park, and much more. Other events include summer theater at Lees-McRae College and family activities hosted by the Beech Mountain Rec Center. 800.468.5506 / MileHighFourth.com
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games: mid July
Since 1956, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans has been held each summer at MacRae Meadows on beautiful Grandfather Mountain, near Linville, North Carolina. Fostering and restoring interest in traditional Scottish activities, the event features games, athletic competitions, dancing, piping, drumming, sheep-herding and Celtic entertainment. Dressed in their distinctive tartans, more than a hundred clans participate in Raising the Clans and the Parade of Tartans. Event is always held the second full weekend in July.
MusicFest n’ Sugar Grove: mid July
Held on the site of the Doc Watson Museum at the Historic Cove Creek High School in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, the annual MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove celebrates the music of Doc Watson and friends. In addition to the traditional and bluegrass music in the main stage shows, MusicFest presents additional acts on a solar-powered stage, plus more players indoors. Other features include a songwriters’ showcase and instrument workshops led by festival performers. The event is usually held on the second Friday and Saturday in July.
828.297.2200 / www.covecreek.net
Crafts on the Green: first Saturday in August
The Annual Crafts on the Green, held each year on the first Saturday in August, features scores of vendors from throughout the mountain region. The quality art and crafts to be displayed and sold include fine jewelry, wood turnings, photography, paintings, pottery and more. Crafts on the Green is held at Gazebo Park next to Fred’s General Mercantile on top of Beech Mountain, North Carolina. Food is available and there will be musical entertainment and a magic show for children.
828.387.4838 / beechmountainchamber.com
Mile-High Kite Festival: Labor Day Weekend
The Mile High Kite Festival, held Saturday and Sunday each Labor Day weekend features vendors, music and contests for the best decorated, smallest and largest kites. Kite-flying demonstrations are given by the Richmond (Virginia) Air Force Kite Club and the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society of Charlotte. The first 150 children (12 and under) each day receive free kites to decorate and fly. Visitors can buy kites at the event or bring their own. The festival takes place in the kite field at the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria. Participants get a certificate that proclaims “I flew a kite a mile high on Beech Mountain.”
828.387.9283 / beechmountainchamber.com
Tweetsie Ghost Train Halloween Festival: entire month of October
There’s safe and scary Halloween fun for all ages at the Tweetsie Ghost Train™ Halloween Festival at Tweetsie Railroad, located between Blowing Rock and Boone, North Carolina. The Halloween-themed attractions include the Haunted House, Freaky Forest and trick-or-treating. Advanced tickets are required for this annual event, held Friday and Saturday nights in October, and the event frequently sells out.
800.526.5740 / www.tweetsie.com/
Autumn at Oz: second weekend in September
Walk the Yellow Brick Road and meet Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow, Wizard, Munchkins and Witches. Visit Auntie Em’s farm and hide from the tornado in the basement as the top of Beech magically becomes the fabled Land of Oz. There is fun, food, music, hay rides and memorabilia. Tickets are $35 and go on sale in mid-summer, with children 2 years and under admitted free.
800.514.3849 / LandOfOzNC.com
Woolly Worm Festival: third weekend in October
The Woolly Worm Festival, held the third weekend in October, draws some 20,000 people, more than a hundred vendors, a thousand worm trainers, and national media to Banner Elk, North Carolina. The attraction is the woolly worm, which mountain lore credits with the ability to predict winter weather. It is believed that if the worm has more brown on its body than black, the winter will be mild; if more black than brown, the winter will be harsh. Wooly Worm followers claim 85 percent accuracy over the last two decades.
Choose and Cut Festival: late November through Christmas Eve
Every year, visitors trek to the North Carolina High Country to choose the perfect Christmas tree from among the acres of beautiful Fraser firs growing on tree farms throughout the region. They buy fresh garlands, shop for ornaments and locally crafted holiday gifts and enjoy old-fashioned wintertime activities. Some farms offer hayrides, bonfires or petting zoos, or have craft shops and gift shops on the premises. Many tree-growers partner with inns, cabins and hotels to provide overnight packages. The Choose and Cut Festival is in full swing from the Friday after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.