2023 Fall Festivals near Nantahala River

by | Nantahala River

Fall will arrive soon with cooler temperatures that make you want to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors without the blazing hot sun making tempers flare. What better way to do that than going to fall festivals?  Carolina Outfitters white water rafting have put together some of the best fall festivals near the Nantahala River for you to enjoy. It’s still warm enough to white water raft, so BOOK a trip with Carolina Outfitters today for one more last of the season blasts!


Darnell Farms

Darnell Farms always has something fun going on during the fall season starting with their Apple Fest on 9/2/2023 to kick off Autumn in the south. From their apple festivals to their haunted corn mazes, you’re sure to find something entertaining to do. Their Fall Hayrides & Corn Mazes run from 9/16 – 11/5/23.  Each festival has a variety of vendors, including food, crafts, artists, music, and more. In the fall, you can take a hay ride to the pumpkin patch and choose your own pumpkin for pies or jack-o’-lantern carving. Don’t miss their Bluegrass River Jam on 10/07! Check out their website for a complete list of fall activities.


Youth Arts Festival September 16th, 2023


youth potters making pots during youth art festival dillsboro nc

The Youth Arts Festival is free and open to the public. This annual festival brings a celebration of art, music, green energy & community fun for the entire family! Watch demonstrations of glassblowing, blacksmithing, pottery, printing, torchworking and raku kiln firing. They’ll have live entertainment, good food and fun! While you’re there, check out their Trash Dragon!


Mountain Heritage Day – September 30th, 2023


mountain heritage festival poster with musicians playing guitars

Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day is packed full of fun and learning experiences–with festival activities, kids activities, Cherokee games, demonstrations, music, and so much more. The Mountain Heritage Festival will hold their annual chainsaw competition and the Andy Shaw Car Show. The Cherokee games are an important part of mountain heritage, so be sure to come on out and watch them demonstrate a game of stickball. Music will include Bluegrass, Acoustic, Old-Time, Roots, Country, Mountain Swing, Gospel, and more.


Smoky Mountain Farmers and Artisans Market

Smoky-Mountain-Farmers-Artisans-Market fall poster

The Smoky Mountain Farmers and Artisans Market is held every year May through October on weekends. If you don’t grow a garden of your own, or just don’t have a space for one, you can still enjoy the bounty of a garden when you buy from local farmers. The market also provides music and picnic tables to stop and get a bite to eat while listening to local bands. Check out local artisans and their handcrafted art. Just like white water rafting with Carolina Outfitters, this event goes rain or shine! 


Cherokee County Fair – October 13-15, 2020


Fall festival - andrews nc

Andrews, North Carolina will hold their annual Cherokee County Fair in October from the 13th to the 15th in the Valley. Come on out and enjoy Rides, Fair Foods, Food Trucks, Live Music, and much more! 


Stecoah Valley Harvest FestivalOctober 20-21, 2023


people gathered at the stecoah valley harvest festival

The Stecoah Valley Harvest Festival will be held at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. It’s a celebration of fall in the mountains. On Friday, October 20, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. enjoy a Harvest Festival campfire and roast marshmallows. Hotdogs, hot cocoa, and soft drinks will be on sale. On Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. the Harvest Festival of events begins including, music, food, art & crafts vendors, antique farming demonstrations, clogging, country fair, quilt exhibit and more. There is a charge of $5 per person (students K-12 are free) and parking is free.


Cherokee Indian Fair – October 3-7, 2023


little indian girl with a popsicle at cherokee indian fair 2023

The Cherokee Indian Fair promises to help you make lasting memories as you engage with native culture at their 111th annual fair. The fair will kick off with a parade through downtown Cherokee starting at the Casino Trail/intersection. Following is a week of activities and fun for the whole family, including captivating competitions to authentic crafts, delectable food vendors, exhilarating rides, and games!


Oktoberfest at Mountain Layers Brewing – September 15-16, 2023


fall festival - ocktoberfest poster

Join Mountain Layers Brewing Company in Bryson City, North Carolina for their annual Oktoberfest. Activities include, Paint n Sip, beer releases, food, music, and more. If you’re a beer lover and enjoy frequenting breweries, this is the place for you in the fall. 


Maggie Valley Arts and Crafts Festival – October 21-22, 2023


arts and crafts poster for maggie valley nc

Maggie Valley is about an hour and a half from the Nantahala River, but they have one of the biggest and longest running arts and crafts festivals in Western North Carolina. Artisans from all over the Southeast will gather to sell their arts and crafts which include yard art, paintings, photography, pottery, wooden bowls, furniture, jewelry, goat milk soaps and more! There will be chainsaw art demonstrations and lots of festival food. Great fun perusing the many offerings awaits you at the Maggie Valley Fairgrounds!


Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival – October 6–8, 2023


candied red apples on a popsicle stick at cashiers valley leaf festival

The Cashiers/Highlands area is one of the prettiest places in Western North Carolina to view fall colors. The Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival is a celebration of fall’s beginning when the crisp cool air blows in and leaf colors are at their peak. While you’re there, find some unique handcrafted wood, pottery, jewelry and much more on display and for purchase. Music for your entertainment and food trucks are available for your entertainment and to fill your belly with some good food.  

Festivals near Bryson City and Nantahala

apples in a basket at apples fall festival nantahala river

Check out the Bryson City Chamber of Commerce or Romantic Asheville for a complete list of fall events and festivals near Bryson City North Carolina and the Nantahala River. 


Margaret Marr, is a local author of paranormal, mystery, and suspense laced with romance. She has written over 15 books available on Amazon. 


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