Celebrate a summer of arts and crafts by visiting the most popular festivals in and around the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.
Every year when the weather warms up, towns and cities in and around the Blue Ridge host events featuring work by some of the region’s most talented artists. You’re never far from a summer festival, so you can easily build your vacation around them.
From a traditional Arts & Crafts street festival next door to the nation’s largest privately owned house to craft expos set high on a mountain, there’s something for the entire family with plenty of music, home-grown food and one-of-a kind arts and crafts.
Our Top Picks for Arts and Crafts Events This Summer
This popular arts and crafts event always draws a crowd and this year promises more of the same. Sponsored by New Morning Gallery and Bellagio Art to Wear, the fair takes place August 3-4, 2019 on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls in Historic Biltmore Village and hosts 110 artists from 20 states. Discover unique gifts for friends, family and yourself! Admission is free rain or shine.
Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair
Burnsville hosted the first Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair 63 years ago to celebrate the talent and dedicated work of the people in Burnsville and Yancey County. Today the tradition continues on August 2-3, 2019. The two-day event draws artists, craftspeople, musicians and food vendors from North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and beyond, and attracts thousands of people to the Burnsville Town Square.
You’ll find some of the country’s best artists in the town of Valdese for the annual Waldesian Festival on August 9, 2019. The festival celebrates the “Glorious Return” of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. Since 1976, the Waldensian Festival concentrates on unique crafts, great food, and top-quality entertainment. There’s always great food, craft vendors, rides and live music.
Best of the Rest: Can’t-Miss Mountain Festivals
Nothing tops the fun of a summertime festival in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is something special around every corner and as many varieties of summer festivals as there are mountain ridges. Check out the absolute best summer happenings in and around the region, including:
Downtown Asheville Festival of the Arts, July 6-7, 2019: See 100+ regional, local and national art & craft artisans with fine jewelry, a big variety of art and handcrafted apparel and decor. Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville.
The Big Crafty, July 14, 2019: Showcase of 150+ local artists, crafters, makers with food, drink and music in Pack Square Park downtown Asheville.
Open Studios Art Tour at Grovewood Village, July 20, 2019: The 11 resident artists at Grovewood Village open up their studios for visitors to gain insight into their creative process and view their most recent works. Tours are free and self-guided.
Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, July 19-21, 2019: Held inside the US Cellular Center in downtown Asheville, find the best juried work by members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, with members throughout the mountain regions of nine states.
LEAF Downtown Asheville, August 2-3, 2019: International music festival with plenty of art in Pack Square Park.
Wood Day, August 3, 2019: Woodworkers of the Southern Highland Craft Guild come together to demonstrate a wide range of woodworking techniques and skills at the Folk Art Center.
Sourwood Festival, August 10-11, 2019: 200 vendors with original art and gifts at this free street festival in downtown Black Mountain to celebrate bees and honey.
Open Studios Art Tour at Grovewood Village, August 17, 2019: The 10 resident artists at Grovewood Village open up their studios for visitors to gain insight into their creative process and view their most recent works. Tours are free and self-guided.
Come to Leicester Studio Tour, August 17-18, 2019: Take a free, self-guided tour to 20+ studios and shops in Leicester, a community nestled in the mountains near Asheville. A detailed tour map will be available at every tour stop.
NC Apple Festival, August 30-September 2, 2019: Many events with plenty of apples, art and entertainment in downtown Hendersonville.
Goombay! September 7, 2019: Find international art at this celebration of African-Caribbean culture in downtown Asheville.
Heritage Weekend, September 14-15, 2019: This is the Southern Highland Craft Guild’s weekend to celebrate heritage crafts of the Appalachian Mountains. See craft techniques with hand tools, native materials and lots of ingenuity through demonstrations in the native arts at the Folk Art Center.
Art in Autumn, September 21, 2019: Downtown Weaverville street festival features more than 100 juried artists and craftspeople, along with an exciting array of food and live music.
Open Studios Art Tour at Grovewood Village, September 21, 2019: The resident artists at Grovewood Village open up their studios for visitors to gain insight into their creative process and view their most recent works. Tours are free and self-guided.
North Carolina Ceramic Arts Festival, September 21, 2019: See ceramic artists from across the country in Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville
Art on the Island, September 21, 2019: A fun fair on Blannahassett Island in the French Broad River in Marshall.