Top 7 WNC Summer Festivals

Spring has sprung and the tough decision arises of just how much music, games, food, and dancing you can fit into one summer. Grab your sunscreen and get ready to enjoy great local brews and bites.  Do you prefer dancing the night away? We got you covered. Or maybe you just want to see local art and enjoy the outdoors. Believe us, there is something for everyone to celebrate the fun of summer with these top 7 must-do festivals.

1. Thunder in the Smokies

Date: May 5-7 & June 30-July 2, 2017
Location:
Cost: $20

This 15th annual event is the largest Motorcycle Rally in Maggie Valley and the Great Smoky Mountains. Packed with nightly concerts, bike games with cash prizes, bike show with cash prizes, cornhole tournaments, tour of the Blue Ridge Parkway and more! There is plenty to do so bring the whole family. The bike games alone will have you laughing to tears. http://handlebarcorral.com/

2. Ramp Festival

Date: May 6-7, 2017
Location: American Legion Field Post #47, 171 Legion Drive, Waynesville, NC 28786
Cost: FREE

The 85th Annual Ramp Festival highlights ramps (a native wild onion, harvested in the spring from the mountainsides, which can be eaten raw or cooked)-a true culinary delicacy celebrated for its pungent aroma and the bold flavor it brings to food. Ramps are so cherished they were even featured in Garden & Gun’s Celebrate the South Article (No. 22). Come out for crafts, live music & more!

3. Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration

Date: June 10, 2017
Location: Downtown Waynesville, NC
Cost: FREE

Mountain heritage comes alive in downtown Waynesville for the Seventh Annual Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration on Main Street. The event is a celebration of traditional mountain craft, food, and entertainment. Exhibits include vendors demonstrating and selling handmade Appalachian art and crafts such as blacksmithing, leatherworking, quilting, weaving, pottery, wood working/carving, painting, and more. In addition to craft vendors, the event showcases a variety of Appalachian life skills such as storytelling, native plants, beekeeping, and food preservation. Festivities take place rain or shine. A friendly reminder, by Town ordinance, no animals are allowed at downtown events. http://www.downtownwaynesville.com/AL.html

4. Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Festival

Date: July 8-9, 2017
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Cost: FREE

Now in it’s 26th year of success, this festival is one of the longest running events in Maggie Valley. Artisans and crafters from all over the southeast will join together in selling their talents and treasures. Exciting chainsaw art demonstrations will keep you on your toes as well as a variety of shopping for seasonal items, yard art, paintings, photography, pottery, wooden bowls, furniture, jewelry, goat milk soaps and more. Even if you don’t buy anything it’s fun to walk around and see all the creations! http://www.maggievalley.org/arts-and-crafts.html

5. WNC BBQ Festival

Date: July 21-22, 2017
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Cost: Adults $6 (Two-Day Pass $10), Kids $1

No doubt about it, BBQ is a southern tradition made mostly with secret family recipes that were memorized and never written down. Here is your chance to taste the most top-secret, mouth-water’n BBQ of the region! Local restaurants and caterers will compete for their honor and cash prizes on Friday with ticket holders being the judges! Saturday, Kansas City BBQ Society Professional cooking teams will compete with profession judges deciding their fate. Ticket holder submit their favorites for the People’s Choice Award. There will also be live entertainment, authentic arts and crafts fair, kids zone including bouncy house, 9 hole mini golf course, face painting, yard games and Jinks the Entertainment Robot, and chainsaw art demonstrations. Adventure lovers there’s something you too; tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting) Saturday, July 22 10 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. http://wncbbqfestival.org/

6. Folkmoot USA International Dance & Music Festival

Date: July 20-30, 2017
Location: Asheville, Cherokee, Franklin, Maggie Valley and Bryson City
Cost: Depends on Event

This Folkmoot Festival has a little bit (actually, tons) for everyone, spanning 10 days with over 200 international dancers and musicians, this year coming from India, Netherlands, Slovenia, Russia, Argentina, Israel, Canadian-Welsh and a special US-African collaboration. The festival will also include performances by the Eastern Band of Cherokee and other local Appalachian groups. Two events to see all the groups for free are the Parade of Nations (July 22, 2017 at 10 AM) and International Festival Day in downtown Waynesville (July 29, 2017 from 10-5). Tickets go onsale to general public in May. www.folkmootusa.org

7. Hillbilly Jam

Date: July 28-29, 2017
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, 3374 Soco Road, Maggie Valley, NC 28751
Cost: $10/day, Under 10 free

No better way to end the summer than with a lil’ bit of rock n’ roll and a lil’ bit of country. This Jam fest will be sure to satisfy your guitar riff cravings or classic banjo and bluegrass jam needs. There will or course be loads of live Music, but also rood, crafts, cornhole, car & bike Show, TV Celebrities and Moonshiners. That’s right, MOONSHINERS, maybe you’ve seen them running from the law on TV, but here they are free to roam and jam as they please. http://thehillbillyjam.com/

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Jack Townsend
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This looks like fun !!

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