North Carolina Fall Events

North Carolina Fall Events

As the sweltering summer heat gives way to crisp mornings and the leaves begin to transform into a vibrant tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows, North Carolina awakens to its most enchanting season: fall. This is a time when the state comes alive with a cornucopia of events, festivals, and activities, all celebrating the magic of autumn. In this extensive guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the best North Carolina fall events in 2023, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of this remarkable season in the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina Fall Events

Table of Contents:

  1. North Carolina Fall Events – Western North Carolina
    • 1.1 Asheville Oktoberfest
    • 1.2 The North Carolina Mountain State Fair
    • 1.3 Art in the Park, Blowing Rock
    • 1.4 Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival
  2. North Carolina Fall Events – Central North Carolina
    • 2.1 North Carolina State Fair
    • 2.2 Saxapahaw Oktoberfest
    • 2.3 Bull City Rumble
    • 2.4 Pumpkin Patches + Mums
  3. North Carolina Fall Events – Eastern North Carolina
    • 3.1 Mumfest, New Bern
    • 3.2 North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival
  4. North Carolina Fall Events – General Fall Events
    • 4.1 Biltmore’s Harvest Festival
    • 4.2 Carowinds’ Great Pumpkin Fest
    • 4.3 Carolina BalloonFest
    • 4.4 Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk

1. Western North Carolina Events

1.1 Asheville Oktoberfest

Location: Asheville

Date: Late September

Kicking off the fall festivities in Western North Carolina is the Asheville Oktoberfest. This celebration of all things Bavarian features traditional German music, food, and, of course, plenty of beer. Held in downtown Asheville, this event combines the city’s vibrant arts scene with the fun and frivolity of a traditional Oktoberfest. Visitors can enjoy craft beers from local breweries, sample bratwurst and pretzels, and dance to live polka music.

1.2 The North Carolina Mountain State Fair

Location: Fletcher

Date: Early to Mid-September

For a taste of classic Americana with a dash of North Carolina flair, head to the North Carolina Mountain State Fair. This annual event celebrates the agricultural heritage of the region, featuring livestock competitions, carnival rides, live entertainment, and a wide variety of food vendors offering everything from funnel cakes to deep-fried Oreos. It’s a family-friendly event that captures the essence of fall in the mountains.

1.3 Art in the Park, Blowing Rock

Location: Blowing Rock

Dates: Multiple Saturdays in September and October

Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park is a unique event that combines the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains with the creativity of local artists. Held on select Saturdays, this outdoor art show features a wide range of artistic styles, including paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and more. Stroll through the park, admire the art, and enjoy the crisp mountain air.

1.4 Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival

Location: Lake Lure

Date: Late October

Lake Lure, with its stunning mountain backdrop and crystal-clear waters, provides the perfect setting for the Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival. This event showcases the work of talented artisans from the region, offering everything from handmade jewelry to woodcrafts. It’s an excellent opportunity to find unique gifts and immerse yourself in the arts and crafts scene of Western North Carolina.

North Carolina Fall Events

2. Central North Carolina Events

2.1 North Carolina State Fair

Location: Raleigh

Dates: Mid-October

The North Carolina State Fair is a cherished tradition that attracts visitors from all over the state. This massive event features agricultural exhibits, a midway with thrilling rides, live music, and a plethora of food vendors serving up everything from deep-fried treats to award-winning North Carolina barbecue. Don’t miss the nightly fireworks displays and the chance to see the best in agriculture and livestock.

2.2 Saxapahaw Oktoberfest

Location: Saxapahaw

Date: Early October

Saxapahaw, a charming riverside village, hosts its own Oktoberfest celebration, highlighting the local community’s spirit. This family-friendly event offers live music, a costume contest, craft beer, and delicious food options. Take in the beautiful fall scenery along the Haw River and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.

2.3 Bull City Rumble

Location: Durham

Dates: Early September

For motorcycle enthusiasts and vintage lovers, the Bull City Rumble is a must-visit event. This vintage motorcycle rally and scooter rally feature stunning classic bikes, a vintage fashion show, and a ride through the picturesque streets of Durham. It’s a unique event that combines the love of motorcycles with a celebration of retro culture.

2.4 Raleigh Pumpkin Patches + Mums – DJ’s Berry Patch

Location: Apex

Dates: September – November

Despite its name, DJ’s Berry Patch is about way more than just berries. In fall, this working farm offers gourds, Indian corn, hay bales, sweet potatoes, mums, and apples. The pumpkins are prepicked and priced according to size so you can choose just the right one for all your favorite pumpkin recipes. DJ’s Berry Patch offers lots of colors and varieties of mums at the Farm Market. Mums add a welcome splash of autumn’s finest colors to any North Carolina home.​

3. Eastern North Carolina Events

3.1 Mumfest, New Bern

Location: New Bern

Dates: Mid-October

New Bern’s Mumfest is a celebration of fall and community spirit. Named after the chrysanthemum, this festival features live music, art exhibits, craft vendors, and a wide variety of food options. The streets of historic downtown New Bern come alive with colorful displays of mums, making it a picturesque backdrop for your fall adventures.

3.2 North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival

Location: Whiteville

Date: Early November

Celebrate the fall harvest at the North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival. This family-friendly event in Whiteville showcases the state’s pecan industry with pecan-themed foods, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and a parade. Don’t forget to sample some of the delicious pecan pies and treats available throughout the festival.

North Carolina Fall Events

4. General Fall Events

4.1 Biltmore’s Harvest Festival

Location: Asheville

Dates: September through November

The Biltmore Estate, a year-round gem in Asheville, takes on a special charm during its Harvest Festival. Explore the meticulously landscaped gardens, visit the winery, and take in the breathtaking fall foliage on the estate’s grounds. Special events, wine tastings, and outdoor activities make this an exceptional way to experience the beauty of fall in a grand setting.

4.2 Carowinds’ Great Pumpkin Fest

Location: Charlotte

Dates: September through October

Carowinds Amusement Park in Charlotte hosts the Great Pumpkin Fest, a family-friendly Halloween celebration. Enjoy trick-or-treating, a petting zoo, costume contests, and rides suitable for all ages. The park transforms into a whimsical autumn wonderland, making it a perfect outing for families looking for a mix of thrills and fall fun.

4.3 Carolina BalloonFest

Location: Statesville

Dates: Mid-October

The Carolina BalloonFest is a mesmerizing event that takes place at Statesville Regional Airport. Watch as colorful hot air balloons ascend into the sky, creating a breathtaking display against the backdrop of the North Carolina countryside. The festival also features live music, wine tastings, and a wide variety of food vendors.

4.4 Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk

Location: Banner Elk

Date: Late October

The quirky Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk celebrates a unique North Carolina tradition. Legend has it that the bands on woolly bear caterpillars predict the severity of the upcoming winter. The festival features woolly worm races, crafts, live music, and delicious food. It’s a lighthearted and entertaining way to embrace the season’s folklore.

North Carolina’s fall events in 2023 offer a rich tapestry of experiences, from traditional harvest fairs to unique celebrations of art, culture, and community. Whether you’re drawn to the majesty of the mountains, the vibrant energy of the cities, or the coastal charm of the eastern region, there’s a fall event in North Carolina that’s perfect for you. So, mark your calendar, pack your bags, and get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting and diverse world of North Carolina’s autumn festivities. Fall has never looked so good in the Tar Heel State!

While researching North Carolina fall events, be sure to also check out The Top 10 Autumn Beauties. Be sure to also check out Dewberry Farms for year-round activities. Inquire out today to schedule your fall portraits here.

If you’ve found this blog post by looking for fall events in North Carolina, and you’ve never heard of North Carolina elopements — hey there! I’m Coby at JoLynn Photography…it’s great to meet you! My husband Roy and I live in Raleigh, and offer wedding and elopement packages across the East Coast. We absolutely love the Southeast, and thankful to call North Carolina home. I am a wedding and elopement photographer, who created a wedding business after our own wedding. If you’re planning to get married, or know someone who might be interested in an East Coast wedding, feel free to look around my site and with reach out today with any questions you may have!

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