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Located along the serene banks of the Pigeon River in the eastern region of the county, Canton is known for its rich culture and storied history. If you are interested in taking a step back in time and immersing yourself in the culture of the Appalachia, Canton is the place for you.

  • Canton Labor Day Festival – The oldest running Labor Day celebration in the entire Southeast. Locals and visitors come together to enjoy an amazing Music Line-Up, have fun at the Papertown Kids Village, experience the Handmade Craft Expo, shop the Buy Haywood Farmers Market, and take in the surround mountain scenery each Labor Day weekend.
  • Pickin’ in the ParkFriday nights in Canton in the summer are made for live music at the Canton Recreational Park. Grab a lawn chair and picnic blanket and listen to live bluegrass and old-time bands play.
  • Festival of Lights – Every winter, the streets of Canton are filled with the glow of thousands of holiday lights in celebration of the season.
  • Christmas Parade – This nighttime holiday parade includes an appearance from Santa, as well as the sights, sounds and spirit of this iconic season.
  • Colonial Theatre ­­– This historic theater was built in 1932 and renovated in 1992 and again in 2006. Stop by and enjoy concerts, movies and special events throughout the year. This is also where hometown favorite Balsam Range performs their annual winter concert.
  • Old Pressley Sapphire Mine – Now open to visitors, this mine is where two of the world’s largest sapphires have been found.
  • Locust Fields Cemetery – One of the oldest and most historic cemeteries in Haywood County, this cemetery’s involvement during the Civil War has earned it a marker on the North Carolina Civil War Trail.
  • The Imperial – This historic, Victorian-style building was built in the late 1800’s offers visitors fine dining, live music and a storied history involving a trap door in their dining area.
  • The Pigeon River – Flowing directly through downtown Canton, this waterway allows visitors to enjoy numerous recreational activities, including fishing, kayaking, canoeing and tubing.

Canton continues to grow into a must-see Smokies destination. From its popular events and outdoor recreational activities to its historic sites, a trip to Canton will give you a taste of a little bit of everything.

About Canton, NC

  • Canton native Fred Chappell, an author, poet and professor, served as the poet laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002.
  • Locust Old Fields Church (now First Baptist Church in Canton) was established in 1801 and is the oldest church in Haywood County.
  • In recent years, Canton has attracted famous acts such as the Charlie Daniels Band and the Beach Boys.

History Fun Fact

  • Incorporated in 1937, Canton is home to the landmark Colonial Theater and the historic Imperial Hotel complex. Most noteworthy is Canton’s historic paper mill, Evergreen Packaging. Located in the heart of downtown Canton, Evergreen Packaging is responsible for the production of Starbucks cups and other popular paper products used around the world.

Lodging, Dining, and Things to Do in Canton, NC: