The Best Western North Carolina Events
Western North Carolina is a picturesque region that plays host to a variety of events throughout the year. From movie and food festivals to live music concerts, our area has something for everyone. Read on to discover more than 40 unique events in Western North Carolina! Afterward, find more fun things to do in our Lake Lure/Chimney Rock Vacation Guide. Our guide is full of information on entertainment, dining, and outdoor recreation, so that you can spend less time planning and more time having fun!
A Calendar of the Best Events in Western North Carolina
One of the best ways to celebrate the new year in North Carolina is the Lake Lure Polar Plunge. Each January, hundreds of brave (and crazy) people support local charities by jumping into the frigid water. Costumes, bonfires, hot chocolate, and a live DJ complete the affair. January is also an exciting month at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant, as we host a variety of cooking classes and culinary events. Mark your calendar for the following:
- First Day Hike, January 1, 8 – 10am, at Chimney Rock (reservations required)
- Winter Night Photography Class, January 16, 6 – 8pm, at Chimney Rock (reservations required)
- Culinary Class, January 22nd - 23rd, 2021, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- Cork N Brush Class, January 22nd - 23rd, 2021, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- Spa Weekend, January 22nd - 23rd, 2021, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- Asheville Restaurant Week at participating Asheville area restaurants
This February, surprise your loved one with a romantic mountain getaway and a delicious Valentine’s Day dinner at the Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant. February is a quiet time of year, which makes this the perfect time to explore natural treasures like Looking Glass Falls and Hickory Nut Falls. During your visit, you can also check out the following events at our inn:
If you’re in need of some retail therapy, check out Vintage Market Days of Asheville. This upscale, vintage-inspired market is held in cities across the country and features original art, antiques, clothing, and food. It’s a one-of-a-kind shopping experience for customers of all ages.
If you are looking for something fun to do with the kids, then take them to Earth Day at Chimney Rock State Park! This educational and interactive event happens each April; it’s a free event that takes place rain or shine. Learn about the great work being done to protect our beautiful landscape.
- Easter Brunch, April 4th, 2021 from 10am - 2pm, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- Earth Day at Chimney Rock
- The Biltmore Blooms Festival of Flowers at Biltmore Estate
- Sweet Treats of the Carolinas in downtown Marion, NC
- Easter Sunrise Service at Chimney Rock State Park
- Weaverville Art Safari Spring Studio Tour in Weaverville, NC
The Asheville Herb Festival is the greatest herb festival in the Southeast, and it takes place each May in the heart of Asheville. The festival features products from a wide variety of gardeners and herbalists. Festival-goers can stop by for herbal ointments, balms, soaps, teas, medicines, and more!
- Mother's Day Lunch, May 9th, 2021 from 11am - 3pm, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- Wine Dinner, Sunday, May 16th, 2021 at 6pm, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- The Asheville Herb Festival at The WNC Farmers Market in Asheville
- MayFest in Rutherfordton, NC
- The Carolina Class at Tryon International Equestrian Center
- LEAF Festival in Black Mountain, NC
- Lake Lure Annual Boat Parade at Lake Lure
- Classic Boat & Auto Show in Lake Lure, NC
- Annual SpringGo & Outdoor Symphony Concert at The Gathering Place Amphitheater in Chimney Rock Village
- Asheville Beer Week in downtown Asheville
June is an exciting month for festivals in Western North Carolina! During the Drums & Dragons Race, participants paddle 250 meters down a chosen local river in 30-foot-long dragon boats, dressed in dragon heads, tails, and scales! Another one of our favorite June events is A Gorge-ous Evening Out at Chimney Rock State Park. You’ll enjoy locally crafted foods, wines, and so much more at this family-friendly event.
- Cherry Bounce Festival in Forest City, NC
- Drums & Dragons Race at Lake Julian Park
- Waterfalls & Wine Tour at Pisgah National Forest
When it comes to Independence Day celebrations, no place does it better than Lake Lure. Gather your family and friends for a fun evening by the water! Some other exciting summer events in July are:
- The Lake Lure Fireworks Celebration at Morse Park Meadows
- July 4th Weekend Family Fun at Chimney Rock State Park
- NC Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands in downtown Asheville, NC
- Beats, Burgers, and Brews at Chimney Rock State Park
For more 4th of July events, read our blog on Independence Day celebrations!
The Dirty Dancing Festival in Lake Lure, NC, is one of the most exciting events of the summer. Attendees can enjoy dancing lessons, games, live music, arts and crafts, and exciting dance competitions in Lake Lure where part of the movie was filmed. Whether you decide to jump in and dance or sit back and watch, we guarantee that you will have the “time of your life!” If you are visiting in August, don’t miss these other fun events:
The North Carolina Apple Festival takes place each Labor Day weekend in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Guests can enjoy four days of fun with arts and crafts, free entertainment, baked goods, and plenty of freshly picked apples. Yum! Here are a few more of our favorite events in September:
There are so many ways to celebrate Halloween in Western North Carolina! Don’t miss Halloweenfest in downtown Brevard. Then, watch as vampires, zombies, and ghosts participate in the Flight of the Vampire Run! You can also look forward to a spooky parade, chili cook-off, pumpkin carving contest, haunted house, and masquerade ball. A few other popular events in October include:
The Biltmore Estate Christmas Celebration kicks off in November. This century-old tradition delights thousands of visitors with over 50 decorated Christmas trees, 65 adorned fireplaces, and countless twinkling lights. Tour the incredible property for a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll never forget. Mark your calendar for the following events this November as well!
Lake Lure and Chimney Rock become a winter wonderland in December, so this is one of the most magical times to visit. Watch Santa scale the world’s largest chimney at Chimney Rock State Park, or watch as millions of sparkling lights illuminate Rutherfordton. Then, join us for our famous Wine Dinner and New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant. You won’t want to miss out on the following festivities:
- Santa on the Chimney, December 5 & 12 between 11am – 2pm, at Chimney Rock State Park
- Olde Fashioned Hendersonville Christmas in Hendersonville, NC
- Small Town Christmas in Rutherfordton, NC
- Winterfest in Tryon, NC
- Now through December 24, Chimney Rock’s annual passes will be offered at a special holiday rate
- New Year’s Eve Dinner, December 31, at The Esmeralda Inn, Restaurant & Spa
- New Year’s Eve beachside bonfire with fireworks will be held at the beach in Lake Lure
BOOK YOUR STAY AT THE ESMERALDA INN & RESTAURANT
Now that you’ve found the best events in Western North Carolina, it’s time to plan your trip! Our Chimney Rock bed and breakfast is the perfect place to stay and offers top-notch accommodations and amenities. Rest up in one of our comfortable guest rooms, or reserve a cozy cabin. Complimentary breakfast, spa services, and dinner at our award-winning restaurant are a few perks to enjoy during your stay.
When you are ready to plan your next getaway, check our current specials and book your stay. We can’t wait to host you at The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant!