Fall is truly beautiful in North Carolina. The temperature is just right, the leaves are changing colors, there is still time before the cloudier, winter months, and there’s always something going on. It’s also a great time to get those last few weekends of outdoor activities in. That is exactly why you’ll find so many great fall festivals in NC. From the end of September through October and even a bit into early November you have an opportunity to take in a number of fun-filled festivals. So no matter what kind of activity you’re into, whether you’re single, or if you are part of a large family, there is something for you. These are just a few of our favorite fall festivals in NC.
7 of the Best Fall Festivals in NC You Won’t Want to Miss:
Autumn Leaves Festival
This is one of the oldest fall festivals in North Carolina. Over 50 years the very first festival took place in Mt. Airy, where farmers would come together to celebrate the harvest. As apples and tobacco seasons were around this time period these were the main crops farmers would celebrate. While you won’t see much in the way of fresh tobacco being sold you will find plenty of apples.
During the festival there are over 200 arts and craft vendors scattered throughout. It’s also one of the best destinations to get some good old fashioned soul food. Live music will keep you entertained, and to top it off you will have a pristine view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This festival is held at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. This is a fun way to really kick off the fall season. Throughout the course of the festival there will be live music, apple cider sampling (which absolutely must be the official drink of fall time), plus obstacle races and even early morning yoga for when you want to stretch your body out and breathe in the fall air.
Autumn at Oz
Do you love the Wizard of Oz? Maybe your family has the classic tradition of watching the Wizard of Oz during the holiday season (this used to be an annual tradition for families around the country before home video and The Wizard of Oz would come on television at the end of the year), or you simply enjoy dress up festivals. It doesn’t matter if you’re old or young, the Autumn at Oz is a perfect fall festival.
The Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain is one of those festivals you will not find anywhere else. Now, The Land Of Oz theme park officially closed back in 1980, but that doesn’t stop this annual celebration. Whether you want to dress up or just watch the celebration of everyone’s favorite Scarecrow, Tin Man, Dorthy, and Cowardly Lion skip down the yellow brick road.
When listing the top fall festivals in NC you can’t forget this Wilmington highlight. That’s because over a quarter of a million people come out to take in the festival. This festival is almost more county fair than anything else. That’s because there will be live music, food vendors, games for the kids, a fireworks show on the Saturday night of the festival, and so much more. And, if you’re looking for even more pomp and circumstance, the Miss Riverfest is crowned near the end of the event.
Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival
Pumpkins and fall go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Whether preparing for Halloween pumpkins or Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, there’s nothing like pumpkins and fall. The celebration of pumpkins takes center stage at the Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival in Elkin.
The small town of Elkin is about an hour away from Charlotte, but it is this small town charm that really makes it a fantastic event. It wouldn’t have the same charm if it was in a larger city. The Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival very much is an arts and crafts and folk festival wrapped into one. Of course, the crown jewel of events during the festival is the “Great Pumpkin Weigh Off.” Farmers from around the region bring their massive pumpkins in. In fact, winners in previous years have tipped the scales at over 1,000 pounds.
Tucked away in Statesville, the Carolina BalloonFest wows festival goers every year. It’s one of the largest hot air balloon festivals on the East Coast, and what really makes this festival stand out is that the balloons take off at night. This helps the burst of flames coming from inside the hot air balloons stand out in the night sky.
If you’ve always wanted to, you can take a ride in one of the balloons along with two day flights every day of the festival. This is one of those festivals you’ll want to grab a blanket or a waterproof tarp (such as the beautiful and stylish tarps available at Tarpestry), set it out and enjoy the fall breeze, the smell of food cooking, and enjoy the day with the family or friends. You don’t need to hustle about fairgrounds, but instead take in this slow moving event like you would a fireworks display.
This fall festival takes place in Stecoah Valley and it is all about mountain life. The festival focuses on both current mountain living and how previous generations would have lived. During the festival there will be traditional Appalachian dance performed, as well as regional food, music, and crafts for all ages.
One of the best aspects of the event is the Friday night storytelling, which takes place by campfire. You can bring your own s’more supplies or pick them up at the festival. Hot chocolate will also be sold during the Friday night storytelling portion.
Make The Most Of Your Beautiful North Carolina Fall
Whether you’re looking for family friendly fall festivals in NC or you want something geared more specifically toward adults, there is a festival out there with your name on it. While these are just a few of our personal favorites, make sure to keep your eye out for news and updates on all the activities taking place throughout the area.
And, if you’re heading out for a festival or you’re gearing up for a end-of-the-season picnic, make sure to check out the wide selection of beautiful and durable tarps at Tarpestry. Part tarp, part tapestry, there’s just nothing like the tarps available for sale. So check out the selection and discover different ways you can set your festival and fall outing that much better at Tarpestry.