10 Popular Festivals In Asheville, North Carolina - Updated 2022

festivals in asheville nc

Thanks to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Asheville has become a favorite destination among travelers who wish to explore and enjoy the outdoor activities in and around the region, as well as check out Bitmore Estate, the home of the Vanderbilts. Recently, it has also slowly gained a reputation for its thriving culinary scene, giving its visitors the chance to indulge their taste buds in trying out different food and drink flavors. Did you know, however, that it holds fun festivals throughout the year as well? Check out this list of the most popular festivals in Asheville, North Carolina that you can attend while holidaying here.

1. Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

festivals in asheville nc | asheville fringe arts festival
Source: jenbenmedia on Instagram

Held annually every January since 2003, the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival is organized by the Asheville Fringe Society as a platform to showcase experimental and innovative performance arts - including dance, theater, improv, puppetry, and the like - throughout the town. Most of the performers are local up-and-coming artists, but the festival also occasionally sees performances from other acts, including those that have previously showcased their talents in other Fringe events in different parts of the globe.

Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

Address: 20 Commerce St, Asheville, NC 28801

Website: Asheville Fringe Arts Festival

Takes place: January

2. Mountain Dance & Folk Festival

Play me some mountain music... Tonight, the Mountain Dance & Folk Festival kicks off it's 86th year. Don't miss it! http://bit.ly/AVLFolkHeritage13

Posted by Visit Asheville on Thursday, 1 August 2013

The Mountain Dance & Folk Festival is one of the oldest festivals of Asheville and has been around for nearly 100 years. The first festival was held in 1928 as a way to share with people the beauty of the music and dance traditions of the Southern Appalachian region which were handed from generation to generation. The performances reflect a mix of Cherokee, African, Scottish, Irish, and English heritage. Attendees can also check out the exhibit that shows the different photos and other materials related to the festival. Proceeds will go to the Shindig on the Green, a free outdoor music festival held every Saturday during summer.

Mountain Dance & Folk Festival

Address: Lipinsky Auditorium, University of North Carolina-Asheville, 300 Library Lane, Asheville, North Carolina

Website: Mountain Dance & Folk Festival

Takes place: August

Price: From 5 USD

3. Asheville Yoga Festival

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

If you’re a firm believer in mind-body wellness, be sure to head to Asheville in July, which is when the Asheville Yoga Festival will be held. Renowned instructors offer classes, talks, and/or workshops during the three-day activity. Concerts are held here as well. Because yoga is a celebration of overall wellbeing, the festival also features healthy food and other kinds of wellness-related products such as essential oils, as well as other kinds of goodies. Be sure to get your ticket as early as possible because they’re known to sell out fast.

Asheville Yoga Festival

Address: Vance Monument Park, Asheville, NC 28801

Website: Asheville Yoga Festival

Takes place: July

4. Asheville Hemp Festival

It was awesome to walk around the Asheville Hemp Festival, and see so many thriving farms and businesses! This is just the beginning. #cbd #cbdflowers #cbdhealth #cbdmovement #cbdflower #cbdwholesale

Posted by Poplar Creek Farms on Saturday, 24 August 2019

This year, 2019, was the first time that the Asheville Hemp Festival was held. The activity was intended to educate the attendees on the laws and policies around hemp in the state. Local farmers, extractors, processors, and dispensaries served as the resource persons who provided the communities information about the uses of cannabis. The activity also featured live music, works of local artists, and food trucks.

Asheville Hemp Festival

Address: Asheville, North Carolina

Website: Asheville Hemp Festival

Takes place: Usually held in August

5. Asheville Herb Festival

Herbs are the key to great-tasting food and the fact that many of these help improve health only add to their value. If you’re a fan of herbs, schedule your trip to Asheville in May, which is when the annual Asheville Herb Festival, the biggest of its kind in North America, takes place. Over 60 exhibitors participate in this activity. During this activity, there are master gardeners who serve as resource persons who you can ask about the best growing conditions for your favorite herbs. You can also buy herbs for cooking or plants so you can grow your own. Herbal medicines, soaps, shampoos, and other products are sold here as well.

Asheville Herb Festival

Address: WNC Farmer’s Market, 570 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806

Website: Asheville Herb Festival

Takes place: May

6. Asheville Juggling Festival [Last event in 2019]

You don’t have to be a juggler to enjoy attending this activity! Open to the public, this family-friendly activity features a number of jugglers - as well as other variety acts - showing off their talents. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to juggle, head over to the “Construction Zone”, where you can get tips from an expert juggler on how to keep three balls up in the air. While you’re there, why not try your luck and enter the raffle as well?

Asheville Juggling Festival

Address: 30 George Washington CarverAsheville, NC 28801

Website: Asheville Juggling Festival

Takes place: September

Price: Free admission

7. Asheville Comedy Festival [Last event in 2019]

Get ready to exercise your funny bone, because Asheville plays host every August to the Southeast’s largest comedy festival. Among the members of the audience are casting agents, talent bookers, comedy club owners, and even major TV network executives scouting fresh talents. As such, you will get a front-row seat as over 50 comics try their best to impress and draw laughs from the crowd throughout the entire event, which runs for four days.

Asheville Comedy Festival

Website: Asheville Comedy Festival

Takes place: August

8. Asheville Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival [Last event in 2019]

#TBT The Asheville Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival is coming BACK to Asheville Outlets on Saturday, October 6th! Get...

Posted by Asheville Outlets on Thursday, 27 September 2018

Asheville has recently gained a reputation for being a foodie destination, offering fantastic food and drink options to visitors. Instead of visiting the different establishments one by one, head over instead to the town when they’re holding the Asheville Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival so you can indulge your taste buds in one venue. The food trucks and breweries come from all over North Carolina so you’ll have several options to choose from. Besides offering fantastic food and drinks, live music is played here, and there’s also an artisan market and games that you can check out during the festival.

Asheville Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival

Address: 800 Brevard Rd, Asheville, NC 28806, USA

Takes place: November

9. Asheville Goombay Festival

If you’re a fan of good food and live music and love to immerse yourself in culture, head to Asheville in September and be part of the Asheville Goombay Festival, which celebrates West African and Caribbean heritage. The vibrant event features the iconic music from the region, including gospel, reggae, funk, and soul sounds. Don’t be afraid to match the beats with your dancing! As you feast your ears on the amazing music, fill your mouth with the amazing flavors.

Asheville Goombay Festival

Address: Pack Square Park, One West Pack Square, Asheville, NC 28801

Website: Asheville Goombay Festival

Takes place: September

Price: Free

10. Asheville Beer Week

Asheville has not just made a mark in the food scene, its breweries have also achieved public recognition in the past years, and the Asheville Beer Week is a celebration of its beer scene. Besides featuring the different craft beers offered by the breweries in town, it also has beer education workshops and food pairing events. Do note that slots for these special events are on a first-come, first-served basis so be sure to get to these activities as early as possible so you don’t miss out.

Asheville Beer Week

Website: Asheville Beer Week

Takes place: May to June

Join the Asheville festivities

Downtown Asheville at dusk
Source: Photo by user Michael Tracey used under CC0

From arts and music to food and drink, there’s a wide variety of events and activities that await you in Asheville. Make sure to time your visit to the area just right so you can attend the festival of your choice!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Melanie is a freelance travel writer. She considers freelancing for Trip 101 to be a combination of two of the things she loves: writing and traveling.

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