Asheville Beer Week
Celebrate Asheville’s renewed dominance as Beer City USA at the inaugural Asheville Beer Week, taking place May 25 through June 1, culminating in the Beer City Festival on June 2. The week will include seminars, tastings, dinners, music and other special events around the city from more than 40 breweries that are slated to appear at Beer City Festival. ashevillebeerweek.com or beercityfestival.com. May 25-June 1, Asheville, N.C.
Get in touch with your inner lumberjack at the nation’s premier lumberjack competition, the Stihl Timbersports US Pro and Collegiate Championship. Only the nation’s top competitors have advanced, and they’ll exhibit their chopping, sawing and axing moves in the kind of action you’d usually only see in logging camps or on ESPN. ESPNU itself, along with the Outdoor Channel and TUFF TV will have crews onsite to film, and competitions will run live each day from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at The Lumberjack Feud. 865.428.8688 or stihltimbersports.us. June 7-9, The Lumberjack Feud, Pigeon Forge, Tn.
Wine, Blues and Barbecue Festival
Nolichucky Vineyard will host their 3rd annual Wine, Blues and Barbecue Festival, where you can take in some summer music and a glass of wine and, of course, some delicious barbecue along the banks of the Nolichucky River. Live music will include Gene and Danny Lee’s Loudpack, Eliza Rodriguez and Big John and The Nationals. Tickets are $15 in advance and $25 at the gate, and the barbecue is included in the price. 423.586.8889 or nolichuckyvineyard.com. June 8, Nolichucky Vineyards, Russellville, Tn.
Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration
Waynesville will host a full-day celebration of mountain heritage, music, dance, craft, and Appalachian life skills at their Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration. The event will feature craft demonstrations such as basketry, wood carving and quilting, along with storytelling, traditional mountain music, clogging and old-time food vendors. 828.456.3517 or downtownwaynesville.com. June 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Waynesville, N.C.
Rafters and Crafters Festival
Celebrate traditional mountain crafts and enjoy lively regional musicians, dancers and storytellers at Dillsboro’s Rafters and Crafters Festival. In addition to Dillsboro’s shops and studios, Front Street will be lined with tents featuring a variety of art and fine crafts including basketry, pottery, weaving, quilting, woodworking, jewelry, stained glass, painting, photography and more, as well as a ton of tasty food from the area’s restaurants and local street vendors. 828.586.1439 or dillsboronc.info. June 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dillsboro, N.C.
Cherokee Pow Wow
Tradition and competition come together in the Cherokee Pow Wow, a three-day event full of authentic Indian dancing, drumming and tribal regalia. There are thousands in prizes for the top competitors in traditional, fancy shawl, grass, two step and jingle dances, as well as drum competitions. 828.554.6471 or cherokee-nc.com. June 14-16, Acquoni Expo Center, Cherokee, N.C.
Great American Backyard Campout
This summer is your chance to sleep under the stars at majestic Chimney Rock during the Great American Backyard Campout. After a taste of rock climbing, you’ll take a night hike with the park’s resident naturalist, before crowding around the campfire, cooking a few s’mores and tucking into your tent for the night. The event is part of a nationwide initiative by the National Wildlife Federation to get kids and families camping together. Space is limited to 40. 800.277.9611 or chimneyrockpark.com. June 22-23, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, N.C.
Maggie Valley Bike Fest
Come ride the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hear smoking hot bands playing for one cool price! Make plans to come for a jam-packed weekend of biker games, food, fun, and great riding. $5 admission daily ($10 weekend pass) Gates open Friday & Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Sunday, gates open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. All motorcyclists welcome. Beer onsite sales. 828.736.2217 or maggievalleybikefest.com. June 7-9, Maggie Valley, N.C.
WNC Highlands Celtic Festival
If you’re looking for Celtic music, the WNC Highlands Celtic Festival brings the region’s best and acts from around the world together in one weekend. The event features Celtic music & dance by Albannach, Rathkeltair, the Southern Highlands’ own Cutthroat Shamrock, plus Marcille Wallis & Friends, Stirling Bridge, My Three Kilts, the Montreat Scottish Pipes & Drums and the Moynihan School of Irish Dance. You’ll also find authentic Celtic and regional foods, Celtic vendors, Highland athletic demonstrations, a Border Collie demonstration, dance demonstrations and more. 828.280.3355 or celticheritageproductions.com. June 14-15, Asheville Outdoor Center, Asheville, N.C.
Start an offbeat July Fourth tradition
Fourth of July is celebrated around the nation, from family barbecues to city-wide parties. But here’s a couple festivities a little more off the beaten path if you’re looking to herald independence a bit differently this year:
• Gatlinburg, Tn. takes pride in having the nation’s first July 4 parade – every year. The floats kick off at the stroke of midnight, beating out the rest of the country for first festivities.
• The Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tenn., will ring in the nation’s freedom with an anvil shoot, an old pioneer tradition that is exactly what it sounds like. The anvil will get shot throughout the day, and in between, you can hear Appalachian music, wander the museum’s grounds, or watch a few demonstrations. museumofappalachia.org.
Lake Junaluska’s Centennial
Lake Junaluska celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, and birthday festivities will be spread out over the whole week. There will be special musical guests, reunions, family Olympics, fireworks displays, a parade, a time capsule and quite a bit more to honor the historic bastion of Methodism. 828.452.2881 or lakejunaluska.com. June 30 – July 7, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C.
Festival of Native Peoples
Folkmoot USA, The State International Festival of North Carolina, is a two-week celebration of the world's cultural heritage through folk music and dance. Held each summer across Western North Carolina, Folkmoot features performances, a parade and workshops by up to 300 performers from about nine countries. Groups invited to perform in the 2013 Special Anniversary Festival include: France (Stilt-Walkers), Martinique, Thailand, Japan, Slovakia, Mexico, Canada (Scottish Highland Dance) and Paraguay. July 17-28. folkmootusa.org or 877.365.5872.
Franklin Folk Festival
The Franklin Folk Festival allows visitors to experience what mountain life was like in bygone eras. Woodcarving, moonshining, basket making, weaving and spinning, and many other traditional Appalachian arts will be demonstrated, along with Civil War re-enactors and plenty of local fare to satiate your appetite. Activities get underway at 9:00 a.m. and conclude with a mountain music jam in downtown Franklin. 800.932.5294 or franklinfolkfestival.com. July 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., downtown Franklin, N.C.
WNC Barbecue Festival
The WNC Barbecue Festival returns to Maggie Valley this summer in a two-day event featuring mouth-watering barbecue, live entertainment including bluegrass music and clogging, live chainsaw demonstrations, and crafters from across the Southeast. A barbecue cook-off will be held on Friday evening, where you get to be the judge. 800.624.4431 or maggievalley.org. July 26-27, Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, Maggie Valley, N.C.
Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby
It’s the kids’ turn to try their hand at the tackle box at the Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby. The fun starts at 6 a.m. on Saturday, with lots of prizes and free bait and tackle for the little anglers. Admission is free, but children must be registered and there will be a five-trout limit per child. 828.497.1826 or cherokeetroutderby.com. August 2-3, Oconaluftee Island Park, Cherokee, N.C.
Virginia Highlands Festival
The Virginia Highlands Festival rings in its 65th year this summer, with dining, music, shopping, cultural displays and more, spread out over four square miles of festival locations. Free trolleys and shuttle buses will help you make the most of the varied festival exhibits that stretch across nine full days. 276.623.5266 or vahighlandsfestival.org. August 9-11, Abingdon, Va.
Blue Ridge Breakaway
Laugh Your Asheville Off
GarlicFest is the 5th annual celebration of the Garlic harvest in north Georgia. There will be visiting chefs, creative food, cooking demos, tastings, live music, and of course, lots of garlic. 706.348.6068 or loganberryheritagefarm.com. August 31, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Logan Berry Heritage Farm, Cleveland, Ga.
What better spot for Oktoberfest than a German village, recreated in the heart of north Georgia? The 43rd Annual Oktoberfest is coming to Helen, spread out over two weekends and continuing for an entire month. Enjoy a selection of German music, food, drinks and dances such as waltzes, polkas and even the chicken dance. The celebration will run from September 12-15, then September 19-22, and reopening daily beginning September 26 and continuing through October 27. 706.878.1908 or helenga.org. Sept. 12-15 and 19-22, Helen Festhalle, Helen, Ga.
Battle of Bean Station
Guest Appreciation Festival
Each year, the Nantahala Outdoor Center puts on its Guest Appreciation Festival, featuring free, fun events, shows, and musical performances as a thank you to guests and supporters. Plus, paddlers can look for events like the GAF Gates Race and the GAF Hometown Throwdown, and a head-to-head kayak race through the Nantahala Falls and lots of sales as vendors get rid of this year’s gear at the end of the season. 888.905.7238 or noc.com. Sept. 27-29, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City, N.C.