This past weekend, Waynesville hosted the popular and festive event known as Folkmoot. It’s one of the bigger events of the year and it kicks off a season where the town hosts some awesome events on both Main Street and other areas of the town. While Waynesville does host fun events all year round, there is an abundance during the summer and fall months. It makes for an amazing “Main Street America” ambiance throughout our small town, particularly as our town is full of thriving, locally-owned small businesses. We’ve gathered a list of some of the more popular events in Waynesville (and other towns) that could definitely add some Appalachian charm and fun to your vacation plans! We hope you check some out and visit us at the Inn during these times! Asheville is also just a short drive away and has many festivals and events that would make great day trips from the Inn. Enjoy our list below!
Weekend / Yearly Events
Folkmoot – This is one of the largest and longest-running international dance and culture festivals in the United States. It is an annual tradition here in Waynesville and features festive music and dancing from world-renowned groups. This year, the Folkmoot festival was centered around Main Street and featured great live performances and pop-up vendors. This celebration usually occurs in late July each year.
Church Street Arts & Crafts Show – Occurring annually each year in mid-October, this is a very popular festival as Western North Carolina is a hub for great local arts and crafts. Similar to other festivals, Main Street will be packed full of fun vendors, live performances, and the best handmade products you can find (pottery, jewelry, woodworking, watercolors, photography, fiber art, candles, quilts, and more).
Apple Harvest Festival – Produced by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, the Apple Harvest Festival in downtown Waynesville is the best event of the year. As one of the finest Apple-growing regions in the world, our town showcases the best of Western North Carolina agriculture with a buzzing celebration of all things Apple. Local vendors will be selling apple-themed products and you can stock up on Apple Cider! This festival is also held in mid-October and is usually one week after the Arts and Crafts Show.
Whole Blooming Thing – Returning to the festival scene in 2023 was the Whole Blooming Thing Festival, celebrating the beginning of the growing season. This festival is centered around the revitalized Frog Level area in Waynesville.
Canton Labor Day Festival – Taking on new meaning this year with the closing of the Canton paper mill, this festival is the oldest Labor Day festival in the country. Canton is two towns over from Waynesville and features a charming downtown and park area. The Labor Day festival will feature unique music groups, like local favorites Balsam Range.
Of course, the above list is just a sampling of the events and celebrations that happen in Waynesville and Haywood County. Other popular events include Independence Day fireworks at Lake Junaluska, Jeep Fest and Thunder in the Smokies in Maggie Valley, as well as Halloween and Christmas celebrations along Main Street in Waynesville.
Also right near the Inn on select Fridays in the fall are the Friday Night Lights of the Tuscola Mountaineers high school football team, who play their games in nearby CE Weatherby Stadium. The rivalry and pageantry when Tuscola and Pisgah football face off each year is something special and a fun time if you happen to be in the area when the game is scheduled.
And if music is your thing, then our area also features some great festivals like the Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds and the Cold Mountain Music Festival in nearby Lake Logan area
Ongoing / Weekly / Monthly Events
And of course, we have tons of fun and unique events happening periodically throughout the year. In the warmer months, there are classic events like the Summer Street Dances, Art after Dark, and the Haywood County Farmer’s Market in Waynesville, plus popular events in nearby towns like Pickin in the Park in Canton and the Arts and Crafts Festival in Maggie Valley. During the summer, one of our guest favorites is heading over to Cherokee and catching a performance of “Unto these Hills”, an outdoor drama featuring the story of the Eastern Band of Cherokees. Closer to the Inn, you could also catch a show at the HART Theatre, which is less than 10 minutes from the Inn and features popular plays and musicals throughout the year.
Not to be outdone, there’s always something going on at the Smoky Mountain Event Center. Over the course of the year, there are multiple events like Rodeos, Flea Market, Food Truck Festival, Roller Derby, Wrestling, and more, plus the featured event of the year, the Haywood County Fair in Late September/Early October!
For more detailed list of happenings in our area, one of our best resources is visitncsmokies.org, the website of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
We hope to see you at the Inn soon!
Brenda and Peter