The Top Events in Black Mountain, NC
By Del Holston
Black Mountain, a small town only 15 miles east of Asheville, is home to a robust lineup of annual events. These popular festivals and gatherings showcase the lively culture of Black Mountain and attract big names in the world of art and music.
Here’s a list of the top events Black Mountain has to offer throughout the year in chronological order.
Black Mountain Marathon and Mount Mitchell Challenge
February 29, 2020
One of the most challenging races in Western North Carolina, the Mount Mitchell Challenge takes runners on a 40-mile journey from Black Mountain to the top of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi. That’s an elevation gain of over 4,000 feet! If that sounds a little too daunting, then the Black Mountain Marathon might be the better bet. You’ll run along the same course, but for only a mere 26 miles.
April 11, 2020
Tap into the spirit of historic Black Mountain College with performances, installations and experiences from local and international artists. Black Mountain College was considered one of the most highly-respected and innovative experimental art colleges in the U.S. before it closed its doors in 1957. That legacy is carried on today throughout the area, including the Black Mountain Museum and Art Center which helps organize this event.
May 14-17, 2020 AND October 22-25, 2020
Black Mountain has a profound history in the arts world, and LEAF, originally known as the Lake Eden Arts Festival, honors that tradition with two massive events each year. This family-friendly celebration of world culture spotlights music and art from diverse viewpoints. Taking place every May and October, LEAF offers you the opportunity to enjoy live music, dance and art demonstrations in a beautiful mountain setting.
Rock the Taste
May 2020 (date to be announced)
This annual celebration of the Black Mountain culinary scene has local restaurants and artisan food makers competing for “best of” titles and bragging rights for the next year. This is a great way to sample the best food and craft beverages the Swannanoa Valley has to offer.
Art in Bloom at Black Mountain Center for the Arts
May – July, 2020 (date to be announced)
Featuring some of the best artists from galleries around the region, Art in Bloom at the Black Mountain Center of the Arts is a two-month celebration of flowers. Mediums range from glass to paintings to sculpture.
Black Mountain Old Depot Art by the Tracks
June 6, 2020 & October 24, 2020
For more than two decades, the Old Depot Association has highlighted the best art and crafts from around the region. The show is juried and proceeds go to fund heritage arts grants. Expect to find ceramics, quilts and more at this Appalachian-inspired event.
Downtown Street Dance and Fireworks
July 4, 2020
A Fourth of July tradition in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the Black Mountain annual street dance. This family-friendly event includes live music, food, crafts, games, and ends in a dazzling fireworks display.
August 8-9, 2020
This annual summertime festival is a celebration of gourmet sourwood honey and includes tastings and bee demos. There are more than 200 vendors selling arts, crafts, and food. This family-friendly festival has rides and face painting for the kids as well as live music and dancing in the streets.
The Holly Jolly event is a celebration of small town holiday traditions with street musicians and carolers. Even Santa loves to attend this event. The stores stay open late and offer seasonal treats while you shop. Holly Jolly is on a Friday evening each year.
Black Mountain Christmas Parade
The holidays are one of the most festive and joyous times to be in Black Mountain. The Christmas parade, each year on a Saturday, travels through the streets of downtown and includes floats, performances, and a special visit from the one and only Santa Claus!
Deck the Trees
Each year local businesses in Black Mountain compete in a tree trimming competition called Deck the Trees. This Yuletide celebration is hosted at the Monte Vista Hotel, and the public is invited to come view and vote on their favorite trees during the month of December.
Photo credits: Both LEAF photos by David Simchock. Art in Bloom photo provided by Black Mountain Center for the Arts. Sourwood Festival and Deck the Trees photos by Jason Tarr.