Summer Festival Event Guide

The best festivals combine music, food, crafts, and more to create an unforgettable experience for you! 2019 brings us festivals ranging from top tier music headliners to a festival featuring hilarious biker games. No matter what your interests are, there’s sure to be a festival for you. Check out our quick summaries below to plan your next trip to the NC Smokies.

Recurring Events

Don’t stress if you have to miss one of these events—they’ll be recurring all summer, so there are several chances to join in on the fun!

Art After Dark – First Friday of Every Month

The region’s most talented artisans and craftspeople flock to Downtown Waynesville the first Friday evening of every month to display their finest works! Take part in the festivities and enjoy refreshments and live music at participating galleries.

Pickin’ in the Park – Every Friday Night (June 7 – July 5)

pickin in the parkThe Canton Recreation Park turns into a bluegrass music festival every Friday night, complete with clogging and the best local musicians!

Thunder in the Smokies – June 28 – 30, September 6 – 8

Thunder in the Smokies in Maggie ValleyEvery Spring, Summer, and Fall you can head to Maggie Valley for the largest motorcycle rally in the Great Smoky Mountains of NC. Bike games, bike shows, and nightly concerts are just a few of the reasons thousands come to each rally!

Mountain Street Dance – June 28, July 12 & 26, August 9

waynesville mountain street danceThis locally-famous tradition held in Downtown Waynesville is unlike any other! This is a good old-fashioned hoedown—bring your dancing shoes!

4th of July Celebrations

A patriotic display around these parts includes spectacular live music, the most delicious barbecue, and a scintillating fireworks display. Here’s where you can partake in our Independence Day celebrations:

Lake Junaluska 4th of July

Smoky Mountain Events

These events are as unique as we are and promise a good time, no matter where you’re coming from!

Maggie Valley Summer Arts & Crafts Festival – July 6 – 7 

Maggie Valley Arts and Crafts Festival

Free event featuring local handmade arts & crafts with a variety of food vendors on site at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.

36th Annual Folkmoot Festival – July 18 – 28

Folkmoot Festival

This 2 week long festival bring cultures from around the world together for celebration of international folk, filled with dancing performances, live music demonstrations, theater acts, and interactive music and dancing experiences throughout WNC.

Hillbilly Jam 2019 – July 26 – 27

Hillbilly Jam in Visit NC Smokies

Grab your best pair of jorts or cowboy boots and head to this festival featuring live rockin’ music, TV moonshiner meet & greets, food vendors and a hillbilly good time.

“Folkmalt” – July 26

The inaugural Falkmalt will feature live music, international pavilions, and expertly-brewed craft beer from the folks at BearWater Brewing.

Sowo Fall Tour @ Maggie Valley Festival Grounds – August 17

The finest European rides will cruise into the Valley for a day filled with food trucks, distillery tours, vendors, and a relaxing road tour.

49th Annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival – August 30 – 31

Smoky Mountain Folk Festival at Lake Junaluska

We’re celebrating all things Appalachian at this festival, featuring clogging performances, dancing lessons, mountain music and more at the beautiful destination of Lake Junaluska.

Canton Labor Day Festival – September 1 – 2

Canton Labor Day Festival

Grab your lawn chair and head to Canton for the 2 day Labor Day festival featuring bluegrass, americana, and folk music. The festival takes place in the heart of downtown Canton and you’ll be walking distance to Bear Waters Brewery and other great shops and restaurants!

Smoky Mountain Elk Fest – September 13 – 15

The first-ever Elk Fest is going to be an outdoor event unlike anything you’ve ever seen on this side of the Smokies. Can I get a Hay Now?!


That’s it for our Summer Festival Event Guide, we hope you find the perfect event for you! When you attend make sure to tag us on social media using #haynow and @visitncsmokies.

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