AIKEN BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
MAY 8-10 H AIKEN, S.C. H AIKENBLUEGRASSFESTIVAL.COM
Drew Emmitt, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Hackensaw Boys, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge, and others get together for this annual bluegrass blowout and fundraiser benefit.
CROZET ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL
MAY 10-11 & OCTOBER 11-12 H CROZET, VA.
One of Central Virginia’s finest collections of crafters, with well over 100 artists hawking their wares.
XTREMEFEST OF THE BLUE RIDGE
MAY 17 H WAYNESBORO, VA. H WAYNESBORO.VA.US
Enjoy the expertise of the Shenandoah Valley’s top local outfitters as they offer their insight on climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking.
ASH LAWN-HIGHLAND WINE FEST
MAY 17-18 H CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. H ASHLAWNHIGHLAND.ORG
Enjoy gourmet food, some Brazilian music, and fantastic wine in the shade of President Monroe’s towering trees.
CENTRAL VIRGINIA SPIRIT OF SURVIVORSHIP BIKE FESTIVAL
MAY 18 H FOREST, VA. H CVBIKEFEST.COM
Celebrate cancer survivorship with a great ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
DR. RALPH STANLEY’S MEMORIAL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
MAY 22-24 H COEBURN, VA. H DRRALPHSTANLEY.COM
Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Cherryholmes, and more come up to Ralph Stanley’s homeplace to celebrate good ol’ Appalachian pickin’.
MAYHEM ON THE MOUNTAIN
MAY 23-24 H FAIRVIEW, W.VA. H MAYHEMONTHEMOUNTAIN.COM
Mountain views, yummy fare provided by the Hillbilly Roadkill Chefs, and tunes from the Hillbilly Gypsies and Woody Pines & The Lonesome Duo. A mountain lover’s dream!
KAYAKS, TUNES, AND BREWS EXTRAVAGANZA
MAY 24 H DEEP CREEK LAKE, MD. H GARRETTCHAMBER.ORG
It will be tough to beat this trifecta of fun at the Adventure Sports Center International.
SPOLETO FESTIVAL USA
MAY 23 – JUNE 8 H CHARLESTON, S.C. H SPOLETOUSA.ORG
17 days of the finest in music, dance, jazz, opera, and theater, all in one of the South’s most beautiful coastal cities.
GATHERING IN THE GAP
MAY 24 H BIG STONE GAP, VA. H GATHERINGINTHEGAP.COM
This festival, just in its second year, is bound to become a Southwest Virginia tradition. Appearing this year are The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Dirk Powell, and 3 Fox Drive.
VALLEY FEST BEER & WINE FESTIVAL
MAY 24 H MASSANUTTEN RESORT, VA. H HRCHAMBER.ORG
Central Virginia Fans of all things fermented should head to Masanutten for Valley Fest; fine beer and wine tastings, crafts, and musical entertainment await.
WHITE SQUIRREL FESTIVAL
MAY 24-25 H BREVARD, N.C. H WHITESQUIRRELFESTIVAL.COM
Brevard’s annual street festival includes great live music, 5K and 10K runs, and the always exciting soap box derby race.
CLINCH RIVER FESTIVAL
MAY 30 – JUNE 1 H ST. PAUL, VA. H CLINCHRIVERFESTIVAL.COM
Each year, St. Paul comes alive with all the best that Southwest Virginia has to offer: local history, art and photography, bluegrass, carnival games, and even local wines. Hike along the river, enjoy the Saturday night beach party, and soak up the scenery.
VINTAGE VIRGINIA WINE FESTIVAL
MAY 31 – JUNE 1 H CENTREVILLE, VA. H VINTAGEVIRGINIA.COM
50 of Virginia’s finest wineries will be offering over 350 of their wines during one of Virginia’s longest running wine festivals.
W.C. HANDY BLUES & BARBEQUE FESTIVAL
JUNE 7-14 H HENDERSON, KY. H HANDYBLUES.ORG
Blues and barbeque just seem to go hand in hand.
SEEDTIME ON THE CUMBERLAND
JUNE 10-14 H WHITESBURG, KY. H APPALSHOP.ORG/SEEDTIME
Master storytellers, musicians, and artists convene during this annual Eastern Kentucky festival.
VIRGINIA BLUES & JAZZ FESTIVAL
JUNE 13-15 H HOTSPRINGS, VA. H VABLUESFEST.ORG
Warm Springs Mountain plays host to three days of great music. Take a soothing dip in the hot springs and listen to Taj Mahal, Tab Benoit, and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
BLUE RIDGE BARBEQUE FESTIVAL
JUNE 13-14 H TYRON, N.C. H BLUERIDGEBBQFESTIVAL.COM
Is there anything better than delicious barbeque on a warm summer day prepared by some of the South’s top teams? My belly thinks not!
JAMES RIVER ADVENTURE GAMES
JUNE 14-15 H RICHMOND, VA. H SPORTSBACKERS.ORG
Adventure athletes will have downtown Richmond bustling with running shoes, bikes, and boats. And they’ll raise some coin for the James River Park System while they’re at it!
JAMES RIVER BATTEAU FESTIVAL
JUNE 14-21 H JAMES RIVER STATE PARK, VA. H BATTEAUFESTIVAL.COM
This week long celebration calls to mind the historical wonders of boating life on the James River. Activities are scheduled from Lynchburg to Richmond.
EARHART MUSIC FESTIVAL
JUNE 20-21 H BRISTOL, TENN. H EARHARTMUSICFESTIVAL.COM
Now in its second year, the Earhart Music Festival is bringing some of the best in contemporary acoustic music to Southwest Virginia; The Steeldrivers, Red Stick Ramblers, Jan Smith, and The Grascals are scheduled to appear.
62ND ANNUAL ROAN MOUNTAIN RHODODENDRON FESTIVAL
JUNE 21-22 H ROAN MOUNTAIN, N.C. H ROANMOUNTAIN.COM
Turn on your inner botanist and come check out the largest display of blooming rhododendron in the world. It’s free, and there will be plenty of food, drink, and fun to go around.
NATIONAL CAPITAL BARBEQUE BATTLE
JUNE 21-22 H WASHINGTON, D.C. H BBQDC.COM
This tasty fest is guaranteed to restore in you the belief that something can get done in DC!
NELSON COUNTY SUMMER FESTIVAL
JUNE 28-29 H NELSON COUNTY, VA. H OAKRIDGEESTATE.COM
Live music, family friendly activities, and fine Blue Ridge wines have attracted festival goers to the grounds of the historic Oak Ridge Estate for over 15 years.
MOUNTAIN STATE ARTS & CRAFTS FAIR
JULY 3-6 H RIPLEY, W.VA. H MSACF.COM
Known throughout the region as one of West Virginia’s finest craft festivals, MSA&CF has long hosted the finest in Appalachian arts and heritage.
FESTIVAL FOR THE ENO
JULY 4-6 H DURHAM, N.C. H ENORIVER.ORG
Folk hero John McCutcheon and Alaskan bluegrass (say what?!) up and comers Bearfoot Bluegrass lead a big musical line. All proceeds from the fest go to purchasing and protecting parklands along the Eno River.
WINE DOWN THE MUSIC TRAIL
JULY 5-6 H FLOYD, VA. H WINEDOWNTHETRAIL.COM
Celebrate mountain crafts, fine wine, food, and entertainment just outside of Floyd and right off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN HIGHLAND GAMES
JULY 10-13 H GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN, N.C. H GMHG.ORG
Don your kilt (careful what you do – or don’t – put underneath!) and head to the North Carolina high country for the biggest Scot celebration this side of Edinburgh. Scottish dance, food and drink, and athletic feats aplenty are in store.
MOUNTAIN HERB DAY
JULY 12 H HELEN, GA. H GASTATEPARKS.ORG
Native flora and fauna have long been used for medicinal purposes. The rich tradition of plant medicine still survives today. Come out and learn just what plants you can use for medicines while in the wild.
BLACK DOG WINE & BLUES FESTIVAL
JULY 12 H FLOYD, VA. H CHATEAUMORRISETTE.COM
Wine lovers should converge on Chateau Morrisette, nestled just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, for fine wine and blues.
MINERAL BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
JULY 17-19 H MINERAL, VA. H AANDABLUEGRASS.COM
The legendary Del McCoury Band and hotshot newcomers Dailey-Vincent Band anchor this always popular traditional bluegrass fest.
JULY 18-20 H BALTIMORE, MD. H ARTSCAPE.ORG
One of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier arts events, with a collection of well over 100 artisans and craftspeople from across the country, live music and performing arts, and family friendly activities.
VIRGINIA HIGHLANDS FESTIVAL
JULY 26 – AUGUST 10 H ABINGDON, VA. H VAHIGHLANDSFESTIVAL.ORG
This festival offers something for everyone: world class drama at The Barter Theater, juried art and photography competitions, antiques, music, and arts and crafts.
AUGUST 1-2 H CLIMAX, VA. H MOONSHINERSJAMBOREE.COM
Tip your Mason jar and sip some white lightnin’ while listening to local Southwest Virginia favorites The Midnight Ramblers.
MOUNT MITCHELL CRAFTS FAIR
AUGUST 1-2 H BURNSVILLE, N.C. H YANCEYCHAMBER.COM
Mount Mitchell in early August is an absolute must for lovers of traditional Appalachian crafts.
BLACKBERRY HARVEST FESTIVAL
AUGUST 4 H NELLYSFORD, VA. H HILLTOPBERRYWINE.COM
Get your hands purple and sticky while you fill your basket with fresh blackberries. Picnic foods and live music also available.
ROMP, STOMP, & CHOMP AT WINTERGREEN WINERY
AUGUST 30-31 H NELLYSFORD, VA. H WINTERGREENWINERY.COM
Nothing like a little grape stomping—and a pleasant buzz from some tasty Virginia wines to help bid summer adieu!
FESTIVAL OF THE RIVERS
AUGUST 30-31 HINTON, W.VA. H HINTONWVA.COM/FESTRIVERS
A free festival located at the confluence of the Greenbrier, Bluestone, and New Rivers featuring folk legend Mike Seeger.
AUGUST 31 – SEPTEMBER 1 MAX MEADOWS, VA
Josiah’s GrahamFest is southwest Virginia’s best kept secret! From the haunted Major Grahams Mansion Ghost Walk Tour to the powerhouse of music talent showcased on three magnificent stages, GrahamFest invites everyone to come and feel the spirit.
SEPTEMBER 6 H ASHEVILLE, N.C. H ORGANICFEST.ORG
Pack Square will be exploding with all things organic and green—from locally grown food to enviro-friendly goods and clothing.
MOUNTAIN HERB FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 13-16 H CONFLUENCE, KY. H
With a focus on alternative healing, the environment, and multiculturalism, this young festival seeks to break the bonds that divide us.
SEPTEMBER 20 H ASHEVILLE, N.C. H BREWGRASSFESTIVAL.COM
Brewgrass is the annual seven-hour marathon of beer and bluegrass—two of life’s sweetest creations. Over 30 American breweries showcase more than 100 different beers, while a handful of bands provide a long day of picking.
FLAT ROCK MUSIC FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 26-28 H FLAT ROCK, N.C. H FLATROCKMUSICFESTIVAL.COM
You can’t go wrong when a musical festival brings in an amazing line up and the benefits go to local charities, including Camp Merry Times, a retreat for kids with cancer, and ECO, which promotes local environmental awareness.
OCTOBER 4 H MT. AIRY, N.C. H BIKESTOCKFEST.COM
Come out and pedal for charity (multiple road routes/distances available) and then kick back and listen to some great music.
WORLD BEER FESTIVAL
OCTOBER 4 H DURHAM, N.C. H ALLABOUTBEER.COM
The historic Raleigh Athletic Park is turned into a beer lover’s paradise with over 150 world class crafters pouring their brews.
2ND STREET FESTIVAL
OCTOBER 4-5 H RICHMOND, VA. H VENTURERICHMOND.COM
Jackson Ward, Richmond’s historic African-American neighborhood, welcomes thousands of visitors for food, dance, music, and good times.