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Summer Festivals & Gatherings in the Smokies

Greening up the Mountains festival. Downtown Sylva.
A summertime visit to the Great Smoky Mountains is truly a special treat, featuring wildflower-filled wooded hikes, beautiful waterfalls, and icy cold swimming holes. The downhome small-town celebrations make everyone feel welcome, with the main goal being to have a good time. Here are some summer festivals and events you should check out while planning your visit, organized by date.

June Events

June 6th-8th Cherokee Bluegrass Festival
  • Location: Happy Holiday RV Park, Cherokee, NC
  • Details: Three days packed full of smokin’ hot bluegrass music, a musical style that originated right here in the Smoky Mountains.

June 8th Flame Azalea Festival
  • Location: Robbinsville High School campus, Robbinsville, NC
  • Time: 10 AM – 4 PM
  • Details: Enjoy live music all day, an antique tractor show, guided hikes, and more activities to entertain the entire family.

June 15th-16th Sapphire Valley Arts and Crafts Festival
  • Location: Jackson County, NC
  • Details: Mountain crafts, folk art, live music, fine jewelry, and plenty of games and fun for the kids. This is a pet-friendly event.

June 15th-16th Maggie Valley Fly Fishing Festival
  • Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, Haywood County, NC
  • Details: Experience all things fly fishing, plus food and live music.

June 22nd Wanderland Kids Day
  • Location: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City, NC
  • Time: 11 AM – 4 PM
  • Details: Family and kid-friendly activities hosted by Darnell Farms.

July 4th Festival in Sylva
Image Courtesy of Jackson County TDA

July Events

July 4th Independence Day Celebrations
  • Locations: Hayesville, Franklin, and Sylva, NC
  • Details: Patriotic parades, kid’s activities, local food and vendors, and fireworks after dark.

July 6th-7th Maggie Valley Arts & Crafts Show
  • Location: Maggie Valley, Haywood County, NC
  • Details: The longest-running and largest annual arts and crafts show in Maggie Valley, featuring over 90 Southeast artisans, food vendors, and great people-watching opportunities.

August Events

August 3rd-4th Sapphire Valley Arts and Crafts Festival
  • Location: Jackson County, NC
  • Details: A repeat of the June festival with mountain crafts, folk art, live music, fine jewelry, and kid-friendly games.

August 9th-11th Camp Wesser
  • Location: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City, NC
  • Details: Nostalgic summer camp vibes for adults, hosted by Darnell Farms.

Ongoing Summer Events

Concerts on the Square
  • Location: Hayesville, Clay County, NC
  • Time: Fridays, Food and drinks at 6 PM, Music at 7 PM
  • Details: Free music series featuring regional musicians performing on the town square.

Pickin’ on the Square
  • Location: Franklin, NC
  • Time: 2nd and 4th Saturdays, through mid-October
  • Details: Free outdoor music and fun, featuring banjos, mandolins, and some square dancing.

Trout Fishing Tournaments
  • Location: Cherokee County, NC
  • Details: Multiple trout fishing tournaments held throughout the summer, offering competition and big prizes, or just the joy of being in nature.

Darnell Farms Events
  • Location: Swain County, Bryson City, NC
  • Details: Multiple weekend events and celebrations on their second-generation family farm along the banks of the Tuckasegee River, featuring 100s of fruits and vegetables, hayrides, and family fun.