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Labor Day the Haywood Way

Labor Day grill
Kick off the last month of summer with an adventure packed Labor Day weekend. 10 things to do in Haywood County while enjoying your long weekend:
1. Visit Wheels Through Time

A museum like no other, grab the whole family and head to Maggie Valley to see over 350 rare american machines at Wheels Through Time. Swing by the Visit NC Visitor Center before you go to get a discount coupon for admission!

2. Canton Labor Day Festival, Sept 2-3

Canton’s Labor Day Festival began in 1906 as a celebration of the Western North Carolina worker whose grit and fierce determination led to the construction of the Champion Fibre Company paper mill that would persevere through a great depression, two world wars, and two buy outs. Now a subsidiary of Evergreen Packaging, the mill employs 1,200 workers and boasts 600 union jobs. To continue the celebration of hard work and determination enjoy this two day festival on September 2-3 boasting a music line up with Balsam Range, and others. Food, vendors, Labor Day Parade and much more, you don’t want to miss it! For tickets and more information visit:

3. See live music

Haywood County has plenty of great spots to see live music and this weekend is no exception!
Sept 1 – Redleg Husky @ Rendezvous, Maggie Valley
Sept 1 – Scoundrel’s Lounge @ Boojum’s GEM, Waynesville

4. Take a hike

We have plenty of trails, short and long, to get your outdoor fix. Swing by our Visitor Center in Maggie Valley for trail maps and more or check out these hikes: Purchase Knob, Art Loeb, Boogerman Trail, Max Patch

5. Smoky Mountain Folk Festival, Sept 1-2

Two nights of a variety of the region’s finest fiddlers, banjo players, string bands, ballad singers, buck dancers, and square dance teams as well as the marvelous sounds of dulcimer, harmonica, jew’s harp, bagpipes, spoons, saws, and folk ensembles. The 47th Annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival is held at Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center offering the best traditional music and dance of the Southern Appalachian Region. Learn more here:

6. Eat BBQ (of course!)

Who doesn’t enjoy BBQ on Labor Day weekend? Stop by Haywood Smokehouse in Waynesville or Butts on the Creek in Maggie Valley – make sure to waive to the dancing pig, or Willie Brooks BBQ in Waynesville!

7. Arts & Crafts Labor Day Fest, Sept 1-2

Saturday and Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Maggie Valley’s largest gathering of artisans and crafters come together to sell their handmade treasures. Artisans from all over the Southeast will be in attendance. Chainsaw art demonstrations and lots of festival food.

8. Visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

The elk have just begun their bugling and it sure is a sight to see AND hear! Drive up to Cataloochee Valley to catch them at dusk or dawn or enjoy the curves of the Parkway and you just may see them grazing the sides of the road. Don’t forget to read our Elk Watching 101 Guide. 

9. Try your hand in a Sunflower Maze

Head to Ten Acre Garden in Canton for a donation based sunflower maze (that also makes the perfect backdrop for group pics and your next profile picture) and stick around for some fresh produce sold at the market stand out front.

10. Jump in a swimming hole

It may be getting a little chilly in the mornings but midday Sunburst Swimming hole and Midnight Hole are great spots to cool off and squeeze the last bit of summer swimming that you can in!

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