Things to Do in Asheville This Weekend - October 6-8, 2017
By Jason Tarr
With October finally here, fall festival season is now in full swing in Asheville! Drink it all in with a celebration of Oktoberfest or treat your ears to the sounds of the season.
As you enjoy these great festivals, you'll be able to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage decorating the mountainsides. Check out our weekly fall color report to see where to go and what to do to best enjoy autumn in Asheville.
Saturday, 1-6 p.m.
Pack Square Park, Asheville
Raise a glass in the spirit of Oktoberfest at Asheville’s official Oktoberfest celebration! More than 30 breweries, cideries and wineries will give you a taste of the local beer scene. Many of them will be pouring seasonal ales. For your entertainment while you sip, yodelers, dancers and polka musicians take over the main stage. Be sure to save some energy to compete in the Oktoberfest Games with challenges such as the pretzel toss and keg roll! Tickets are just $40.
5th Annual CiderFestNC
Saturday, 1-5 p.m.
Salvage Station, Asheville
Mix delicious cider with the tastes of fall harvest at CiderFestNC, the state’s premier hard cider tasting event. The event brings together 15 regional cider and mead makers. Popular Asheville buskers (street performers) are among the strong music lineup.
Hey Day at the Nature Center
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WNC Nature Center, Asheville
Bring the family to this celebration of the environment, culture and community of Western North Carolina. The WNC Nature Center offers a wide variety of exciting wildlife. In addition, this 41st annual celebration will feature games, arts and crafts, educational animal programs, live music and local food vendors. There will also be a raffle with a chance to win great prizes! Standard WNC Nature Center admission rates apply for non-members.
Thomas Wolfe 8K Race
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (race start time)
Look homeward, Thomas Wolfe fans, as you run in Asheville's oldest race. The 41st Annual Thomas Wolfe 8K (TW8K) takes runners through the historic Montford Neighborhood through the cemetery where the author is buried and back to the Thomas Wolfe House (52 N. Market Street) in downtown for a big party. You’ll be celebrating Thomas Wolfe’s birthday, which falls just four days before this year’s race.
WNC Garlic Fest
Saturday, 12-6 p.m.
243 Haywood St., Asheville
Take part in exciting and eclectic garlic experiences! The 4th Annual WNC Garlic Fest celebrates local food and local business by providing garlic eating, preserving and growing workshops. The event is free to attend and family friendly.
Downtown Asheville Art Walk
Friday, 5-8 p.m.
Visit more than 20 galleries within a half-mile radius of Asheville’s city center. Discover the art scene that contributes to Asheville’s reputation as “The Paris of the South.” Among those galleries, you’ll find unparalleled diversity including fine studio crafts, glass, photography, folk, contemporary painting, metalwork, textiles and jewelry.
Ultimate Air Dogs Competition
Friday (5-7 p.m.), Saturday (1-7 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
The Asheville Outlets, Asheville
It’s high-flying fun all weekend long at the Asheville Outlets. The Asheville Outlets, Ingles and iHeart Radio team up to host the 3rd Annual Air Dogs Competition. For three days, shoppers can enjoy watching the competitors jump, catch, dive and retrieve in a 90-foot pool set up in the parking lot in front of Field & Stream.
It’s a busy weekend on the stage at Asheville area music venues.
On Thursday night at Trinity Episcopal Church (60 Church St., Asheville), enjoy a free concert by Pan Harmonia, which features musicians on the flute, the bassoon and the guitar. Music will include works by Swedish sound designer Fredrik Holm, JS Bach and Brazilian Choro master Ernesto Nazareth. Make advanced dinner reservations at Chestnut restaurant and they will make a donation to Trinity Place, a shelter for runaway teens.
In nearby Black Mountain, the Marcus King Band and their family and friends will descend on Pisgah Brewing on Friday and Saturday for the inaugural Marcus King band Reunion, a two-day music festival. Single day passes and weekend passes are available.
New Mountain AVL is the venue for the 9th Annual Hellbilly Hootenanny, a music festival with a car and bike showcase featuring pre-1973 hot rods and Kustom Cars. Bands will play all day beginning at Noon on Saturday for this 9th annual festival put on by the Bootleggers Car Club.
And in Mars Hill, about 20 miles north of Asheville, celebrate the music and dance traditions of the mountains at the Heritage Festival and Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. On Friday and Saturday, the festival draws the area’s finest mountain music and bluegrass musicians for performances and informal jam circles.
Forest Festival Day
Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest
Meet traditional craftsmen, exhibitors, forestry students and entertainers as they gather at the Cradle of Forestry to celebrate the forest and its heritage. This tradition began in 1908 when Dr. Carl A. Schenck hosted the Forest Fair at Biltmore Estate. To coincide with Forest Festival Day, students from Haywood Community College organize the Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet annual lumberjack competition. Athletes from several colleges compete in events such as archery, axe throwing and pole climbing. Admission is just $6.