Archived Arts & Entertainment

Time of the season: WNC falls into October

Amid the innumerable reasons we love Western North Carolina, the fall foliage of October might be the common denominator that resides on everyone’s list.

As the leaves change from green to yellow, orange and red, and the air gets a tad crisp in nature, so does the uptick in local and regional festivities.

Whether it be the elaborate arts and crafts shows, community gatherings, or simply finding a picturesque corner of the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge mountain ranges to call your own, the essence of the fall season is getting out and about, capturing the last of our backyard beauty before we hunker down for the impending winter.


Folk School ‘Fall Festival’

The annual “Fall Festival” will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 7-8 at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown.

As fall’s vivid colors begin to transform the Southern Appalachian Mountains, communities large and small come together to honor the region’s vibrant culture.

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This year’s “Fall Festival” has special significance, as the Folk School has dedicated the event to the North Carolina Arts Council’s 50th birthday celebration. The Folk School’s enduring commitment to the arts is evident in two vibrant exhibitions showcasing the School’s Visual Arts and Quilting and Surface Design Programs. Davidson Hall will house works by accomplished painting, drawing, and mixed media instructors. The Pitman Fiber Arts Building will feature a display of over 30 striking quilts made by the school’s instructors.

Festivalgoers will be welcomed by over 250 local and regional craftspeople displaying artwork for sale. Visitors will browse basketry, glass, jewelry, pottery, weaving, and woodturning exhibits, and more. Folk School studios will host over 30 traditional and contemporary craft demonstrations. Talented artisans will offer up-close views of blacksmithing, clay, jewelry, spinning, woodcarving, and many other works in progress.

“Fall Festival” weekend also features lively music and dance performances on the Festival Barn and the Shady Grove stages. Acclaimed regional musicians will share old time, country, bluegrass, Celtic, French, gospel, and blues tunes. Impressive performances by the Campbell Folk School Cloggers, Kudzu Kickers, and Brasstown Morris & Garland dancers are also scheduled for the Festival Barn Stage.

High-energy children will discover numerous activities. At the Cherokee County Arts Council’s Kids’ Art tents, near the gardens and petting zoo, youngsters can complete several free children’s art projects. Options include puzzle making, mask making, bead stringing, simple drawing and coloring, felting, leaf or quilt block collages, and Halloween decoration making. Face painting and pony rides will be available, and animal-loving attendees will visit the Valley River Humane Society’s pet adoption exhibit. Hungry festivalgoers will find a variety of lunches and desserts, with community and non-profit groups receiving the concession proceeds.

The Folk School’s acclaimed Craft Shop has long been an integral part of the “Fall Festival.” This well-stocked gallery features craft items from over 300 juried regional artists, plus an extensive collection of craft and music books. During the festival, visitors can enter to win a $100 gift certificate.

This year, the Craft Shop’s Mary Doornbos and Registrar Kate DeLong are organizing the “Fall Festival.” Doornbos emphasizes the event’s contribution to the larger community.

“The festival’s craft vendors are local and regional artisans, and the food vendors are nonprofit and local community groups who benefit from the festival as their primary fundraiser of the year,” she said.

The free on-campus shuttle bus will also return, traveling between the Craft Shop and Festival Barn gates and parking areas.

No ATMs are available on campus. While many vendors accept credit/debit cards, festivalgoers should bring cash for tickets and food. Please leave your pets at home.

Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for ages 12-17, and free for children under 12. Parking: The Murphy High School Shooting Team will manage the free on-campus parking. Donations are encouraged, with proceeds helping the team to learn shooting sports in a safe, positive environment.

For more details, visit or call 800.365.5724.


ColorFest returns to Dillsboro

The ninth annual ColorFest will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, in downtown Dillsboro.

Come spend the day in a walk-about mountain town filled with color and history. It’s the perfect place to showcase authentic works of the hand, and the perfect place for you to enjoy a day of fun, entertainment and shopping.

Featured in this year’s ColorFest are some of the best fine artists and fine crafters in Western North Carolina; plus many festival foods and great entertainment. Artisans will be displaying authentic Cherokee art, pottery, jewelry, photography, loom beading, handmade soaps, many kinds of needle work, Christmas ornaments, pine cone wreaths, candles, rustic furniture, chair caning, baskets and much more. Most of the artisans will be demonstrating their work and striving for the prizes awarded for first, second, third place (plus honorable mentions), sponsored by Champion Credit Union in Canton.

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The festival has many great visual artists this year who will be demonstrating their expertise. Sheila Bowers and Doreyl Ammons Cain hail from Tuckasegee and share their love of nature in completely different art forms. Bowers specializes in acrylic contemporary poured art, natural landscapes, and abstract fantasy. She also enjoys blending her love of artwork into jewelry making. Inspired by her beloved Smokey Mountains, Bowers enjoys caring for her farm animals and horseback riding as well as creating beautiful works of art.

Cain’s nature art is also a celebration of life. Using vivid colors she explores shapes, design and expression. Coming from a career in biological art, she enjoys exploring the endless forms of natural life. Painting in pastels, acrylics and mixed media on various surfaces, she creates commissioned art for books, exhibits, collectors and hand signed and numbered fine art prints for festivals.

Bob Robinette from Waynesville will also be demonstrating his love of acrylic. Dina Deason from Bryson City is another acrylic/mixed media artist.

Entertainment, mixed with the aroma of exceptional food, will enliven the festive environment of the day. The entertainment stage will be centrally located at the foot of Church Street. Most musicians have a need to perform/compose through their strong love of music, and this certainly shows with the fine array of local performers lined up for daylong entertainment at ColorFest. Entertainers include Twelfth Fret, The Maggie Valley Band, J. Creek Cloggers, and The Elderly Brothers.

Besides the festival food offered, there’s also nearby restaurants: Kostas Family Restaurant, Jarrett House Restaurant, Haywood Smokehouse, Boots Saloon & Grill, Lee’s at the Depot, and the Well House.

For more information, call Connie Hogan at 828.586.3511 or visit


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Church Street Art & Craft Show

The 34th annual Church Street Art & Craft Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, in downtown Waynesville.

Attracting over 20,000 visitors each year, the festival features over 100 artisans and crafters. Vendors include fiber art, photography, glass, leather, jewelry, gourmet food, handcrafted items, garden accessories, and much more.

There will also be live entertainment, with bluegrass bands and clogging groups performing on both ends of Main Street. As well, there’s an abundance of food vendors and children’s activities.


Waynesville’s ‘Art After Dark’

The next “Art After Dark” will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, in downtown Waynesville.

Each first Friday of the month (May-December), Main Street transforms into an evening of art, music, finger foods, beverages and shopping as artisan studios and galleries keep their doors open later for local residents and visitors.

Participants include Burr Studio, Cedar Hill Studios, Earthworks Gallery, Haywood County Arts Council’s Gallery & Gifts, The Jeweler’s Workbench, Moose Crossing Burl Wood Gallery, T. Pennington Art Gallery, Twigs and Leaves Gallery and The Village Framer.

“Art After Dark” is free to attend.


Apple Harvest Festival

The annual Apple Harvest Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, on Main Street in downtown Waynesville.

This beloved festival has grown into the region’s premier juried arts and crafts event and celebration of all things apple. This year’s event will feature exhibitors, artisan demonstrations, live entertainment and great food.

Hailed as one of the “10 Best Fall Harvest Festivals in the Nation,” Apple Harvest Festival is a celebration of the autumn harvest and Haywood County’s agricultural heritage. Countless booths of fresh apple pies, tarts, caramel apples, ciders, jewelry, pottery and yard art.

Try your hand at hand-cranking ice cream or pressing apple cider, then taste the fruit of your labor. Music, dancing, crafts, and old-fashioned games make this event fun for the whole family.

The festival is free to attend. All are welcome.


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‘Singing in the Smokies’

The annual “Singing in the Smokies” fall festival will be held Oct. 12-14 at Inspiration Park in Bryson City.

Live performances by The Inspirations, Chuck Wagon Gang, The Kingsmen, The McKameys, and The Diplomats. Nearby lodging, camping and RV parking available.

Tickets are $20 per night. For more information, visit


Cashiers Leaf Festival

The Leaf Festival will be held Oct. 6-8 on the Village Green in Cashiers.

Arts, crafts, food vendors, live music, and much more. Presented by the Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association.

Free admission.


Autumn Leaves Craft Show

The annual Autumn Leaves Craft Show will be held Oct. 12-14 at the Macon County Fairgrounds in Franklin.

Handmade crafts, food vendors, and more. Free admission, but there is a request for a can of Friskies as a donation to the Catman 2 Cat Shelter. Booths still available.

828.349.4324 or


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Mountain Heart to headline Stecoah fest

The annual “Harvest Festival” will be held Oct. 20-21 at the Stecoah Valley Center in Robbinsville.

• 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20: storytelling, Marshmallow roast, hot cocoa, and more.

• 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21: artisan crafters, clogging, country fair, and quilt exhibit.

• 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21: Americana/bluegrass performance by Mountain Heart.

The two-day festival is free to attend. The Mountain Heart show is $25 for adults, $10 for children and students grades K-12.


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Maggie Valley quilt show

Hosted by the High Country Quilt Guild, the 27th annual quilt show, “High Country Autumn,” will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 12 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 13-14 at the First Baptist Church in Maggie Valley.

There will be 80 to 100 quilts of all sizes from wall hangings to kings on display as well as two craft rooms where we’ll be selling articles such as wall hangings, hot pads, decorative items and more, all handmade by the guild members.

Vendors include J Creek Fabrics, Lisa’s Quilting Shed, Shakerwood Woolens, Elaine’s Attic SC, Quilters On The Go, and Sherry Verse Sew New Again.

There will also be a display of quilts from our Quilts for Heroes project. You will have a chance to see some of the quilts members have made to send off to the USO in Germany to give to returning service men and women who have been wounded in action. These will join the 70 quilts we have already sent this year. The donation quilt to be raffled off takes the Smoky Mountains for theme. Tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.

High Country Quilters is a nonprofit organization. Funds collected from the sale of raffle tickets for the theme quilt are used for local scholarships and charities.


Cowee ‘Fall Festival’

The “Fall Festival” will be held starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Cowee Gift Shop & Mason Mountain Mine in Franklin.

Live music, artisan crafters, exhibits on mining, and more.

For information, call 828.524.4570 or visit

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