Fall Festivals


Autumn is the season to get outside and check out one of the Queen City’s vibrant festivals. Luckily, Charlotte has plenty to choose from, including the annual Yiasou Greek Festival in Dilworth. Here are a few more picks, plus a couple of out-of-town events that are worth the drive.


Festival in the Park

Photograph by Deborah Young Studio

Sept. 20-22: Now in its 55th year, this Freedom Park extravaganza is one of the city’s longest-running festivals. Listen to a spectrum of music ranging from classical to folk to jazz at the festival’s multiple stages, grab a bite to eat from local vendors, or simply feast your eyes on paintings, sketches, sculptures and more. Admission is free. festivalinthepark.org


Fall Festival

Oct. 5: Enjoy cider samples, fall-themed yoga, an obstacle trail race and a build-your-own boat competition at this daylong festival at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Free to attend; registration required for races and contests. usnwc.org


Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival

Oct. 5: Enjoy samples from more than 150 North Carolina wineries and listen to live music at the 17th annual Great Grapes Wine & Food Festival at Symphony Park at SouthPark mall. General admission tickets — souvenir wine glass and unlimited samples included — are $35 if purchased in advance. uncorkthefun.com/charlotte-nc/show-info


Pawleys Island Festival of Music & Art (Pawleys Island, S.C.)

Oct. 3-19:  In its 20th year, this Pawleys Island festival features a slew of musical performances, from Blood, Sweat & Tears to the Marshall Tucker Band. The event kicks off with the Pawleys Island Wine & Food Gala at the Reserve Golf Club, with more than 100 wines and appetizers from eight local chefs (limited tickets available). pawleysmusic.com


Chow Chow (Asheville)

Photograph courtesy of Bun Intended food truck

Sept. 12-15: This inaugural culinary festival is sure to become a regional favorite, with acclaimed Asheville chef Katie Button presiding. “What excited me about Asheville and why I ended up living here is because it’s this amazing community of makers: farmers, beekeepers, distillers, brewers, mixologists, chefs, potters, woodworkers, glassblowers,” Button says. “It’s a community of craftsmen, and we wanted a festival that gave them a platform to share what they do and their story.” Ticket prices vary. exploreasheville.com/chow-chow-culinary-festival

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