Fall North Carolina Festivals
Check out this list of North Carolina fall festivals. I’m favorably impressed with the selection available to those of you visiting from North Carolina. You really don’t know how lucky you have it. In other states, you would have far fewer selections available. And you wouldn’t have nearly the diversity of seafood, beer, and music festival options available to you. Throw a North Carolina Oktoberfest party into the mix, and you have the potential for a party packed fall!
We hope you enjoyed last year’s list. We will be updating this information for 2016 over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
Last Major Update:
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North Carolina Apple Festival – Hendersonville, NC – September 2-5, 2016
Labor Day Weekend family festival for over 60 years celebrating the most important agricultural product in Henderson County. Street fair, arts & crafts, King Apple Parade, festival food, free entertainment.
Hopscotch Music Festival – Raleigh, NC – September 8-10, 2016
7th annual event with more than 140 bands over 3 days in downtown Raleigh. Offers rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental, and more. Art exhibition, photography exhibit.
Ayden Collard Festival – Ayden, NC – Sept 8-11, 2016
A popular event with pageant, parade, art show, eating and cooking contests, live entertainment including music acts and talent show.
National Folk Festival – Greensboro – September 9-11, 2016
This 3 day outdoor event features over 300 musicians, dancers, and craftsman on 7 stages. Includes workshops, demonstrations, children’s activities, southern food, and non stop music, dancing, parades, storytelling and more.
Mountain Song Festival – Brevard, NC – Sept 9-11, 2016
Features a covered 1800 seat main stage with additional lawn seats. Venue has plenty of food, music, children’s activities, picking sessions, and more for this 3 day event.
Goombay Street Festival – Asheville, NC – September 9-11, 2016
Enjoy sights and sounds of the African-Caribbean free weekend festival held at Park Square Park. Lots of live music, drums, gospel, reggae, funk and soul plus kids area, local dance troupes and food vendors.
17DAYS Festival – Greensboro – Sept 9-25, 2016
Experience over 100 main events during this 17 day festival. Activities include music, theater, dance, storytelling, art, and cultural activities. Enjoy local wine and brew tastings plus great food.
North Carolina Gourd Festival – Raleigh, NC – September 10-11, 2016
Annual event at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. 70 categories of competition for gourd growers and crafters. Admission fees cover building rental and insurance.
Clayton Harvest and Music Festival – Clayton, NC – September 14-18, 2016
Features include Clayton Idol, Zaxby’s Movie Night, The Catalina’s concert, Health and Fitness Village, Kid’s Corner, vendors, great food, midway, Squealin’ on the Square, and more.
Brewgrass Festival – Asheville, NC – September 17, 2016
An annual event held at Memorial Stadium in downtown Ashville. Experience include over 55 brewery tastings, food court, great music and arts.
Shine to Wine Festival – North Wilkesboro – Sept 17, 2016
12th annual event. Wine/beer/spirit tastings, live entertainment, art and food. General admission is free. Tasting ticket is $15 in advance or $20. It is held annually on the third Saturday in September.
Creedmoor Music Festival – Creedmoor, NC – September 17, 2016. Creedmoor invites you to their 24th annual music festival. Great music, food, and festival fans will converge on Main Street rain or shine. Bring the entire family for live music, handicrafts, gifts and family fun. Activities include a Kid’s Corner, bounce house, tee-ball, and more. Music ranges from top-notch local and regional bands playing bluegrass, gospel, classic rock, country, and dance music. TK’s Car Show is held next door at the same time.
Dublin Peanut Festival – Dublin, NC – September 17, 2016
Celebrate the harvest in the peanut capital of North Carolina. Peanut bakeoff contest, parade, pageant, car show, pedal tractor pull and more.
North Carolina Rice Festival – Belville – Sept 17-18, 2016
Rice cooking contest, live music, arts and crafts, art contest, kids play area and a beer garden. Held at Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville.
CenterFest Arts Festival – Durham – Sept 17-18, 2016
Voted one of the top 100 fine arts festivals in the country. Features continuous music, dance, entertainment by more than 70 performing acts. Also a featured kids zone area for hands on art activities and fun.
Pagan Pride Days Festival – Raleigh, NC – Sept. 17-18, 2016
Unusual pagan event attracts over 3000 participants for live entertainment and education with workshops, music, vendors and more. Held at the NC State Fairgrounds.
Mayberry Days – Mount Airy – Sept 21-25, 2016
Live music, comedy, magic shows, Barbecue Cook-off, parade, games and family fun. Hosted by the Surry Arts Council at various locations including the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Earle Theatre and Blackmon Amphitheatre.
Bluegrass Island Festival – Roanoke Island, NC – September 21-24, 2016
Enjoy Boomgrass fireworks, band competition, late night jamming, and over 40 top acts including the Soggy Bottom Boys, Tony Rice Tribute, Doyle Lawson, and so much more Mountain Music By The Sea.
Liberty Antiques Festival – Liberty, NC – September 23-24, 2016
An annual event with over 400 dealers and thousands of pieces of 18th-20th century items from furniture, glass, pottery, military, toys, dolls, jewelry, art and so much more. Children and parking are free.
Carolina in the Fall – Wilkesboro – September 23-24, 2016
Muscadine Festival – Kenansville, NC – September 23-24, 2016
Celebrate North Carolina’s State Fruit at Duplin County Events Center. Amateur wine making contest, cooking contest., live music, food, arts, crafts, fun and over 30 local wineries. Held at the fairgrounds.
Festival in the Park – Charlotte – Sept 23-25, 2016
52nd annual event. Festival food, clowns, karaoke, aerial dance, arts & crafts and family fun zone.
Mountain Heritage Day – Wilkesboro – September 24, 2016
Held at Courthouse Square it features the best folk and roots music bands in the area. Sample local wine and brews plus great southern styled foods.
Carrboro Music Festival – Carrboro, NC – September 24-25, 2016
Free two day event with local music performances, food and crafts.
North Carolina Seafood Festival – Morehead City, NC – Sept 30 – October 2, 2016
Family fishing tournament, boat show, flounder fling, sailing regatta, road race and fireworks. Music from blues to jazz geared for the whole family. Enjoy Cooking with the Chefs.
Wilmington Riverfest – Wilmington, NC – October 8-9, 2016
150,000 visit the three day celebration located from Market Street to Cape Fear Community College. Live music, dancing and more on multiple stages. Kids zone includes facepainting, airbrush tattoos, mardi gras mask making, inflatables and more.
Pleasure Island Seafood Blues and Jazz Festival – Carolina & Kure Beach, NC – Oct 8, 2016
A weekend of non stop musical talent on both the Jazz Stage and Blues Stage complete with nightly headliners Jonny Lang and Samatha Fish. Enjoy the Arts & Wine Garden, crafts, wine tasting, food, and Kidz Zone.
Great Grapes Wine, Arts & Food Festival – Charlotte, NC – October 1, 2016
Casual wine tasting event with hundreds of wines available for tasting from 20+ wineries. Festival food, live music, arts & crafts, and free kids area. Souvenir tasting glass with admission. Kids and parking are free. Held annually at Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall.
Phoenix Fest – Durham – October 1, 2016
Celebrate African American cultural traditions with music, a parade and family friendly activities.
Brushy Mountain Apple Festival – Wilkesboro, NC – October 1, 2016
One of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast. Free admission. 4 different music stages, folk dancers and other live entertainment. Attended by over 160,000. Activities begin on Friday night with the “Apple Jam.”
Randolph Arts Guild Fall Festival – Asheboro, NC – October 1-2, 2016
A wonderful combination of street fair, bazaar, and homecoming with a 10K road race, live music, crafts, Heritage Village and more. 43rd annual event features over 400 vendors, amusements, livestock show and more.
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Fall Festival of Music & Dance – Pittsboro, NC – October 6-9, 2016
Four days of music, dance, art and education with more than 60 bands on 4 stages.
John Blue Cotton Festival – Laurinburg, NC – October 8-9, 2016
33rd annual event. Home tour, hayrides, crafts, pony rides, food and children’s games.
Autumn Leaves Festival – Mount Airy, NC – October 14-16, 2016
50th anniversary event. Nearly 200,000 typically attend over the course of the weekend. Toe tapping, foot stomping, hand-clapping music with arts & crafts and great food choices. Known for its old time Bluegrass and Gospel music. Admission is free.
Cashiers Leaf Festival – Cashiers, NC – October 7-9, 2016
More than 10,000 visit this mountain village for the changing leaves and 100 artisans and merchants. Free admission. Plenty of food and drinks and lots of live music choices on various stages.
mumfest – New Bern, NC – October 8-9, 2016
Enjoy the 36th annual event attended by more than 90,000 every fall to enjoy the family fun, entertainment, foods and attractions. Country music artists perform at Tryon Palace.
Swansboro Mullet Festival – Swansboro, NC – October 8-9, 2016
Duck Jazz Festival – Duck, NC – October 9, 2016
Free festival showcasing national, regional and local jazz musicians in Duck Town Park. Bring your food coolers, chairs, blankets, pets and kids to this family friendly event. Downtown business including eateries are open to help you enjoy this great event.
Lake Eden Arts Festival – Black Mountain, NC – October 20-23, 2016
For over 20 years LEAF has put on this non profit event filled with art, crafts, learning experience, food and lots of local live music concerts.
North Carolina State Fair – Raleigh, NC – October 13-23, 2016
Nearly one million attend each year. Folk festival, fireworks, flower & garden show, local wine and craft beer exhibit, grandstand shows and more. Held annually at State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raleigh, NC.
Appalachian Harvest Festival – Robbinsville, NC – October 14-16, 2016
Three day harvest festival with free Friday evening campfire and music jam, 5K race and one mile fun run, live music, demonstrations of apple cider pressing, and more. Admission only $3 for adults, kids and parking are free.
Carolina Balloon Fest – Statesville, NC – October 21-23, 2016
Watch 50 hot air balloons. Tethered balloon rides are $5-10. Proceeds from the event benefit local nonprofits. Live music entertainment on 2 stages, plus a kids zone, artisan marketplace, 5k run, wine and beer tasting and more.
Yadkin Valley Grape Festival – Yadkinville, NC – October 15, 2016
Their 12th annual festival with live entertainment, food, fun, and of course wine events. Wine tasting tickets are $15 (advance) and $20 (door).
NC Oyster Festival – Ocean Isle Beach, NC – October 15-16, 2016
Local cuisine, arts and crafts, children’s activities, live music, Oyster Stew Cook-off Contest and the Oyster Shucking Contest. Describes itself as a Food Festival, Arts Festival, Oyster Festival and a Music Festival. Held 8 East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach, NC.
Autumn with Topsail – Topsail Beach – Oct 15-16, 2016
Arts, food and beach music including arts & crafts, and children’s activities including sand art, inflatable rides and more. Over 100 regional artists plus live music, amazing food, beer, wine and games.
Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival – October 18-23, 2016
More than 400 species to spot. Guided birding trips, art and photography workshops, tram tours, kayak and canoe tours, and more. Over 100 guided programs for enthusiasts during this event. Call 252-216-9464 with questions.
Barbecue Festival – Lexington, NC – October 22, 2016
Free admission for over 100,000 people to the barbecue capital of the world. Great food, live entertainment, and the finest exhibits along with a wine garten, barbecue carnival, sand sculpture make this a fun day.
Lighthouse Beer & Wine Festival – Wilmington, NC – October 29, 2016
Sample from the 100 craft breweries and wineries in one place. Held for over 15 years in Wrightsville Beach.
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair – Fletcher – October 28-30, 2016
Fleece show, workshops, demonstrations, shopping, contests and more. Held at the WNC Agricultural Center. Children under 13 are free.
Colfax Persimmon Festival – Oak Ridge – October 22, 2016
An annual event at the historic Stafford farm. A celebration of persimmon and historic farming. Admission fee is $7. $5 suggested donation for parking and shuttle. Also enjoy the live music and demonstrations.
North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival – Whiteville, NC – Nov 5, 2016
Features the Columbus Cooks Pecan cooking contest, kid’s block, Tri Beach Cruisers car show, art show, boat show, festival food, craft demonstrations, 5k run, festival parade, and of course lots and lots of pecans.
WNC Pottery Festival – Dillsboro – Nov 5, 2016
A juried art event with 40+ master potters. Demonstrations and silent auction. WNC Clay Olympics competition precedes the festival.
Wilson Whirligig Festival – Nov 5-6, 2016
12th annual event. 35,000 attend. Arts & crafts, food vendors, 5K, live music and contests. Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of its top 20 fall events.
Cucalorus Film Festival – Wilmington, NC – Nov 9-13, 2016
Founded in 1994 this annual festival screens over 200 films at several area venues. Dress up for the red carpet and enjoy your nights out.
NC Comicon – Durham – Nov 11-13, 2016
Enjoy a weekend of fantasy, superheroes, wizards and cosplayers. Costume contest and film festival as well.
Future Events – 2017
If we find the dates for a festival next fall (September or October 2017) which does not have an event in 2016, we will post them here.
Bull Durham Blues Festival – Durham – Sept 11-12, 2015
A two day blues and roots music festival.
Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition – Outer Banks, NC – September 12-13, 2015
Regional kite competition with free family fun fly day (Saturday) and demos. Watch the talented kite fliers on Sunday with performances synchronized to music.
World Beer Festival – Durham, NC – October 10, 2015
20th annual event. Sample beers from breweries around the world. Several festivals here, including the North Carolina Beer Festival with some of the state’s best, a Cask Ale Festival, Cider Garden and Belgian Bier Festival. Don’t miss the new Friday night happy hour.
Queen City Fair – Charlotte, NC – October 2015
Young Bosses United Festival – Wilmington, NC – Oct. 24, 2015
We would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to the INAUGURALYOUNG BOSSES UNITED FESTIVAL (“YBU”) on October 24, 2015 at 11a.m at the Legion Sports Complex. Business owners under the age of 30 are encouraged to participate in the Young Bosses United
Festival. Our festival’s mission is to promote the developing entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Seeing these vendors will encourage the minds of our young festival goers to believe in their dreams. The Young Bosses United Festival announces its Call for Entries and Volunteers up to 30 years of age. YBU Festival will have live music, children entertainment, vendors and the networking impact will be huge.
Crossroads Festival – Linden, NC – October 25, 2015
Event features a parade, crafts, cornhole tournament, apple pie and paper airplane contest, bingo, great food, and live bands.
Albemarle Harvest Festival – Albemarle, NC – Nov 7, 2015
15th annual event by Vintage Virginia Apples and the CoveGarden Ruritan Club. Workshops, local musicians, hayrides, food & craft vendors, Apple Pie Contest and more.
Find other fun things to do in North Carolina: