2017 Labor Day Events in Asheville and WNC

The best part of a long Labor Day weekend is not laboring over anything—except maybe getting that old grill going. Labor Day marks the unofficial end to the summer season, and your last significant respite before after-school activities crank up, tourists rush in to see our beautiful fall colors, and (gasp!—already?) end-of-year holiday plans begin taking shape.

So why not end the season with a celebration? Whether you want to stay close to home or venture farther afield while the weather is nice, there are many entertainment options throughout our mountain towns. Here is a list of Labor Day weekend events in Asheville and WNC.

USEA American Eventing Championships at TIEC

WHEN: Wed, August 30 at 8:00am – Sun, September 3 at 5:00pm

Have you visited the Tryon International Equestrian Center yet? Here’s a great opportunity to see the equestrian triathlon, which tests a rider’s skill more than any other competition. Phases of the competition include dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. See the crowning of the national titles in several levels. Also this weekend is Gladiator Polo on Friday at 8:00pm. Championship and other events for Saturday Night Lights start at 6:00pm. Free admission.

Learn more: tryon.coth.com

71st Annual North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville

WHEN: Fri–Mon, September 1–4, all day

The North Carolina Apple Festival is held annually over Labor Day weekend in Hendersonville. It has been Western North Carolina’s premier family-friendly festival for more than 70 years. Enjoy four days of fun, including one of the most best known street fairs in the Carolinas. There will be freshly picked apples, arts and crafts, festival food, and free entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s beautiful Main Street. Don’t miss the King Apple Parade on Labor Day afternoon.

Learn more: ncapplefestival.org

47th Annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival in Lake Junaluska

WHEN: Fri–Sat, September 1–2, 5:00pm each day

Enjoy two nights of the finest Southern Appalachian traditional music and dance at the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival. The main shows begin at 6:30pm both Friday and Saturday on the grand stage of Stuart Auditorium at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Both nights will include a rich variety of the region’s finest ballad singers, banjo players, buck dancers, fiddlers, string bands, and square dance teams, as well as the marvelous sounds of bagpipes, dulcimer, harmonica, jew’s harp, saws, spoons, and folk ensembles.

Learn more: lakejunaluska.com

Asheville Tourists vs. Greenville Drive

WHEN: Fri–Mon, September 1–4, game times vary

The Asheville Tourists will be playing at home all Labor Day weekend! See them battle the Greenville Drive, with special promotions each night. Friday is Small Business Night, with $1 hot dogs all night and post-game fireworks. On Saturday, the first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a gray jersey, courtesy of Aaron’s. Watch the post-game fireworks from your seat or bring a blanket and watch from the field on Sunday. On Labor Day Monday, kids 12 and under eat free during an afternoon game (2:05pm).

Learn more: milb.com/schedule

26th Annual Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Festival

WHEN: Sat–Sun, September 2–3, 9:00am–4:00pm each day

Artisans from all over the Southeast will be in attendance at Maggie Valley’s largest annual arts and crafts fest. Seasonal items, yard art, paintings, photography, pottery, wooden bowls, furniture, jewelry, goat milk soaps, and more will be featured at the event. Shop a variety of handmade treasures, enjoy chainsaw art demonstrations, and partake of lots of festival food. Free admission and parking.

Learn more: maggievalley.org

Emerald Village Rock Fest

WHEN: Sat–Sun, September 2–3, 9:00am–6:00pm each day

Head out to Little Switzerland for a rocking good time. Activities include gem mining, gold panning, door prizes, exhibits, and special sales. Delicious food will be offered by the Switzerland Cafe. A free kid’s treasure hunt will be held on each day, as well as special guided hikes to a hidden mine, and a Black-Light Mine Tour on Saturday night.

Learn more: emeraldvillage.com

10th Annual Cashiers Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair

WHEN: Sat–Sun, September 2–3, 10:00am–5:00pm each day

The Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley presents ART FOR A CAUSE: two arts and crafts fairs that take place in the spring over Memorial Day weekend and in the fall over Labor Day weekend. Both events showcase some of the finest craftsmen and artisans from the Southeast, displaying pottery, artwork, furniture, quilts, jewelry, clothing, homemade jams and relishes and more. 100% of proceeds from the suggested entrance donation of $3–5 benefits the Cashiers Rotary Club Charities fund. To date, the club has distributed more than $1 million to area charities, schools, and nonprofits.

Learn more: cashiersrotary.org

Labor Day Weekend Family Fun at Chimney Rock

WHEN: Sat–Mon, September 2–4, 11:00am–4:00pm each day

Meet live woodland friends, including possibly a Red-tailed Hawk and Great Horned Owl, during the Family Animal Encounters program at 2:00pm each day. Hear about each animal’s role in the ecosystem, how they came to live at the park, and lessons on what you can do to help protect wildlife. Defy gravity on the Climbing Tower (open 11:00am–4:00pm), then round out the day by enjoying a hike along the Great Woodland Adventure trail with 12 interactive education stations. Cost included with park admission.

Learn more: chimneyrockpark.com

51st Annual Shindig on the Green

WHEN: Sat, September 2, 7:00–10:00pm

Bring your instruments, families, friends, lawn chairs, and blankets to the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Stage in Pack Square Park. Shindig on the Green features a stage show and informal jam sessions around the park. Locals and visitors alike come together downtown “along about sundown” until 10:00pm. Experience the beautiful music and dance traditions of Southern Appalachia on a summer evening in the mountains. Labor Day weekend closes out their 51st season. Free to participate. Concessions available.

Learn more: folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen

Labor Day Weekend Rummage Sale at CBI

WHEN: Sun–Mon, September 3–4, 8:00am–4:00pm

Come early to this wonderful opportunity to purchase great recycled household merchandise at super prices. The Congregation Beth Israel rummage sale is one of the oldest and biggest sales around. Their treasures amaze customers every year, including art, books, clothes, garden stuff, kids items, and much more. Free parking. Located off Merrimon Avenue near Weaver Park and UNC Asheville.

Learn more: asheville.com/event/labor-day-weekend-rummage-sale

14th Annual LAAF: Living Asheville Arts Festival

WHEN: Sun, September 3, 11:00am–9:00pm

Asheville, this free, family-friendly festival is for you. LAAF, Living Asheville Arts Festival, is held on Lexington Avenue from the corner of College Street to the intersection at I-240. Celebrate Asheville and all of the city’s unique qualities with local art vendors, fun activities, local food, and a kid’s space. Three stages will be packed with music from Asheville-based bands and performances from Asheville dance, theater, buskers, and more.

Learn more: facebook.com/events

111th Canton Labor Day Festival

WHEN: Sun, September 3, 12:00–9:30pm, and Mon, September 4, 10:00am–9:00pm

Since 1906, the Canton Labor Day Festival has offered food, fun, and entertainment in Sorrells Parks Park in downtown Canton. Billed as the oldest festival of its kind in the South, the festival draws up to 15,000 music lovers over the weekend. Headlining the event this year are the popular bluegrass acts Balsam Range (Mon. 5:45pm) and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder (Mon. 7:30pm). Additional acts include Joe Lasher Jr., Sam Bush, David Holt, and Chatham County Line. There is also a gospel showcase at 2:00pm on Sunday at the Historic Colonial Theatre, the Papertown Kid’s Village, a vintage car show, and the Labor Day parade at 10:00am on Monday.

Learn more: cantonlaborday.com

Know of additional Labor Day events around Asheville and WNC? Share them with us in the comments.


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