Top Spring Events in Asheville 2017
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 by Jason Tarr
As the warmer temperatures bring beautiful blooms to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville’s calendar of festivals and celebrations also blossoms. Experience these colorful events that are sure to help you leave winter behind and put that spring back in your step.
Spring Flowers and the Outdoors Reign
These Asheville happenings embody the bright spirit of spring.
- Biltmore Blooms, March 20-May 25: Nothing says spring quite like the tens of thousands of blooms bursting on the grounds of Biltmore, America’s largest home. The three-month celebration kicks off with orchids in the conservatory and 50,000 tulips of all shades and hues. April brings irises, roses and azaleas. Pink and white Mountain Laurel and rhododendrons close the show.
- Asheville Orchid Festival, March 25-26 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.): World-class orchid growers and regional orchid societies exhibit brilliant displays of these beloved blooms at the North Carolina Arboretum. Orchids will be for sale by vendors from around the world during the festival, which is now in its 19th year.
- Asheville Herb Festival, May 5-7 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri./Sat., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sun.): The largest herb festival in the region is now in its 28th year. Learn from herb growers, herbalists and related businesses while also seeing demonstrations from experts on natural gardening and landscaping.
- Tour de Falls, May 13-14 (9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.): Explore some of the area’s most thundering waterfalls during this family-friendly bus tour in DuPont State Forest. The three-hour guided tour will take you to Triple Falls, High Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Lake Julia.
- Mountain Sports Festival, May 26-28: Celebrate the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains with other outdoor sports enthusiasts, gear makers, and adventure companies. In addition to adventurous competitions, this free event also features live music and great food!
Music in the Mountains
Get into a rhythm this season with these toe-tapping music celebrations.
- LEAF Festival (Black Mountain), May 11-14: Join together with 12,000 people on beautiful Lake Eden in the nearby town of Black Mountain to experience powerful music, art and culture. This 20-year tradition takes place on the site of the old Historic Black Mountain College. Macy Gray, Antibalas, and a Tribe Called Red headline the family-friendly music festival.
- Montford Music & Arts Festival, May 20 (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.): With tree-lined streets and historic homes, Montford Avenue provides the perfect stage for some of the best music, arts and crafts and food trucks together in one place for a one-day event. In this 14th year of the neighborhood festival, more than 20 musical acts will perform continuously throughout the day.
- French Broad River Festival, May 5-7: Spend the weekend along the banks of the French Broad River in beautiful Hot Springs at the Hot Springs Campground and Spa, just 35 miles north of Asheville. Listen to regional and national recording artists or try your hand at the river raft race or mountain bike race.
Art on Display
Asheville is known for its creative spirit. See hundreds of artists in action as you experience their creativity first-hand.
- Biltmore Exhibit “Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics,” February 10-July 14: Biltmore’s latest exhibit showcases more than 40 elaborate costumes from recent films inspired by the books in George Vanderbilt’s 22,000-volume library!
- Downtown Art Walks, 1st Fridays April-June (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.): Discover Asheville’s vibrant downtown as you venture to 20 galleries within a half-mile radius of the city center. Along the way, experience everything from fine studio crafts to glass, photography to folk art, and contemporary painting to metalwork.
- Weaverville Art Safari, April 29-30 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.): Make your way from one studio to another in the nearby community of Weaverville. The self-guided tour allows you to go behind-the-scenes with the artists at your own pace. Get a sneak peek at the art during the preview party April 28th from 6 to 8 p.m.
- Grovewood Gallery’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, May 20 (2 p.m. to 6 p.m.): For a quarter century, Grovewood Gallery (near The Omni Grove Park Inn) has showcased the finest American art and craft. Help celebrate this milestone by enjoying an outdoor sculpture exhibition, artist demonstrations, live music and a raffle.
- River Arts District Studio Stroll, May 20-21 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.): See more than 180 artists in action as they welcome you to their studios in Asheville’s lively creative hub, the River Arts District. It’s a special time to meet the artists and watch them give live demonstrations of their craft. The RAD (as the district is called) is also home to great breweries and restaurants to enjoy along the way.
Eat and Drink Well
With nicknames of “Beer City USA” and “Foodtopia,” Asheville has plenty to celebrate when it comes to its food and beer scenes.
- Asheville Beer Week, May 26-June 3: Be a part of this inaugural festival which dedicates nine full days to celebrating all things beer. Taste great local craft brews, pair beers with a smorgasbord of delicious food, and learn about brewing at events around town. More than 40 breweries are on tap to participate. Beer Week features the popular Beer City Festival in Pack Square Park, which celebrates the local brewing industry with taps from dozens of breweries and plenty of live music.
- Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest, April 23 (12 p.m. to 4 p.m.): Calling all “curd nerds!” Cheese fans will delight at this day-long celebration at Highland Brewing. Taste delicious cheeses, meet cheese makers and local livestock, and enjoy some friendly competition.
Top photo by David Simchock. Tulips photo courtesy of Biltmore. Designed For Drama costume photo courtesy of Biltmore. Beer photo by Steven McBride.