Fun October Festivals in the Triangle & Across North Carolina
Fall’s arrival means festivals and fairs are in full swing. Enjoy harvest festivals, family-friendly fun, music, and arts and crafts for all ages. Venture out for a weekend getaway or a day trip to one of the many festivals across the state.
In the Triangle
Railroad Days Festival
Oct. 3, 6-9 p.m.; Oct. 4, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Celebrate railroads and trains with a parade, live entertainment, vendors, rides and more. Free.
Autism Society of North Carolina Fall Carnival
Oct. 4, 6-8 p.m.
Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church
714 E. Whitaker Mill Rd., Raleigh
Take the family for crafts, games, pizza, face painting, a goodie gauntlet and more. Autism families welcome. Costumes optional. Registration required for pizza. Free.
Fox 50 Family Fest and The Great American Tobacco Duck Race
Oct. 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
American Tobacco Campus
Blackwell St., Durham
Live animals, face painting, a baby-crawling contest, appearances by Stormy and Wool E. Bull, and a rubber duck river race. Free.
Oct. 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Historic Oak View County Park
4028 Carya Dr., Raleigh
Live animals, antique farm equipment displays, heritage crafts, live music, antique cars and horse-drawn carriage rides. Free.
Festifall Arts Festival
Oct. 5, noon-6 p.m.
Downtown Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill’s annual celebration of the arts features an artist market, live entertainment, hands-on activities and local food. Free.
Oct. 5, noon-5 p.m.
Southern Boundaries Park
100 Third Fork Rd., Durham
Enjoy canine demonstrations, free caricatures, Skyhoundz Disc Dog championship and more. Free.
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance
Oct. 9-12; see website for hours and fees.
1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro
Family-friendly music festival features live performances, dance and art.
Logan’s Harvest Day
Oct. 11, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Logan Trading Co.
707 Semart Dr., Raleigh
Pumpkin painting, face painting, a bouncy train, a hayride and games. Free.
Mebane Autumn Fest
Oct. 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Kids area, hayrides, live music and a local farmers market. Free.
N.C. State Fair
Oct. 16-26; see the website for hours and fees.
1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh
Carnival rides, agricultural and heritage exhibits, livestock competitions, performances and more.
Oct. 18, gates open at 10:30 a.m.
8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary
Music and dance performances, handicrafts, exhibitions, and food in a celebration of India. Free.
Celebration of Children in the Arts
Oct. 18, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Cary Ballet Conservatory
3791 N.W. Cary Pkwy., Cary
Local visual and performing artists, pumpkin painting, make-and-take crafts and more. Free.
Creative Food Drive
Oct. 18, 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St., Durham
Live music, food trucks, kids zone and more. View sculptures that local companies and community members will build out of donated food items. Free.
Downtown Harvest Festival
Oct. 18, 2-6 p.m.
Carnival games, bounce houses, cornhole, food and live entertainment. Costumes are encouraged. Wristbands are $2 for ages 2 and older. Free for adults.
Oct. 25, 2-6 p.m.
Sunny Acres Pet Resort
5908 U.S. Hwy. 70 E., Durham
Families and their dogs enjoy games, contests, raffles, vendors and more. Vaccinated, even-tempered dogs of all breeds are welcome. Proceeds benefit Triangle Beagle Rescue. $5 per dog.
Oct. 25, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sugg Farm Park
2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs
Pumpkin-carving contest, live entertainment, inflatables, cornhole tournament, rides, food, and arts and crafts. Free.
Day in Downtown Street Festival and Chili Cook-off
Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Arts and crafts and a spirited chili competition. Free.
Elsewhere in the State
Oct. 3-5; see website for hours.
Fireworks, Kidz Zone, visiting ships, pirates, competitions, classic car show and more. Free.
Carolina Renaissance Festival
Weekends from Oct. 4-Nov. 23; see website for hours and fees.
16445 Poplar Tent Rd., Huntersville
Jousting tournaments, circus-style entertainment and medieval games, crafts and food.
Brushy Mountain Apple Festival
Oct. 4, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Downtown North Wilkesboro
Celebrate mountain heritage with exhibits, music, food and crafts. Pre-festival Apple Jam with live music on Friday at 6 p.m. Free.
Asheboro Fall Festival
Oct. 4-5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Fall celebration featuring 400 vendors, music, livestock show, heritage village and more. Free.
Oct. 4-5, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Dan Nicholas Park
6800 Bringle Ferry Rd., Salisbury
Crafts, food, live entertainment, games, children’s puppet theater, magician, log sawing, clogging barn, pumpkin painting and more. Free.
Cherokee Indian Fair
Oct. 7-11; 5-10 p.m. Oct. 7, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 8-11
Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds
512 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee
Games, rides, music, fireworks, art and crafts. $10. Free for ages 6 and younger.
Boone Heritage Festival
Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Daniel Boone Park
591 Horn in the West Dr., Boone
A celebration of Appalachian heritage with living history demonstrations, crafts, music and dance. Free.
Goldston Old Fashion Day
Oct. 11, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Bellevue Ave., Goldston
Crafts, music, food, children’s activities, homemade ice cream, hot dogs, Philly cheesesteaks, barbecue and more. Free.
The Gateway Festival
Oct. 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Downtown Kings Mountain
Classic car show, cute critters competition, live music and living history demonstrations. Free.
Oct. 11-12, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
286 Cabernet Ln., Dobson
Live music, grape stomping, face painting, hayrides and antique tractor competition. Food, crafts, pumpkins and locally grown produce available for purchase. Free.
Sugar Mountain Oktoberfest
Oct. 11-12, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sugar Mountain Resort
1009 Sugar Mountain Dr.
Children’s activity area, Bavarian cuisine, German beverages and arts and crafts. Free.
Lake Eden Arts Festival
Oct. 16-19; see website for hours and fees.
375 Lake Eden Rd., Black Mountain
Celebrate world folk arts with concerts, dancing, crafts, healing arts, poetry, “kidventures” and workshops. Advance tickets only. Free for ages 10 and younger.
Maggie Valley Fall Arts and Crafts Festival
Oct. 18-19, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds
U.S. 19, Maggie Valley
Local and regional craftsmen, food and chainsaw demonstrations. Free.
HardLox Jewish Food and Heritage Festival
Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Pack Square Park
121 College St., Asheville
Traditional Jewish food, dancing, crafts, a kids’ zone and more. Free.
Halloweenfest and Osktoberfest in Transylvania County
Oct. 25; 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Main and Broad streets, Brevard
Bicycle rodeo, bake-off, Tiny Tot Pumpkin Bowl, cookie decorating, The Little Blue Choo, games, costume parade and trick-or-treating. The Brevard Rotary Club’s “Flight of the Vampire” 5k Race ends the day. Free.
26th Annual NASCAR Day Festival
Oct. 25, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Crafts, food, games, music, NASCAR show cars, drag cars, vintage autos and more.
Held in conjunction with the Richard Petty Fan Club Convention. Free.
31st Annual Barbecue Festival
Oct. 25, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Crafts, food, rides, music and famous Lexington barbecue. Free.
Downtown Albemarle Fall Festival
Oct. 30, 4-6 p.m.
Festival and ghost walk with a costume parade and trick-or-treating. Free.
Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival
Nov. 8-9, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; see website for fees.
4431 Neck Rd., Huntersville
National Border Collie Sheepherding Championships, dog sports demonstrations, cooking and living history demonstrations, pumpkin chunkin, corn launching, kids activities and food vendors.