The 15 Best Fairs in North Carolina to Visit (2022)

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Fall in North Carolina is a wonderful time, particularly in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where the leaves put on amazing shows and the cooler weather seems to summon us all outside.

For those of us who love festivals and fairs in North Carolina, no season is more alluring than autumn! 

North Carolina fairs are at their finest from August to November, and the NC State fairgrounds seem to be constantly humming.

Autumn events in North Carolina are happening every single weekend, and often on weekdays as well. 

Besides the fiddlers’ conventions and other North Carolina music festivals, there are an abundance of NC fairs for visitors and locals to enjoy.

There are big regional events, including the NC Mountain State Fair in Fletcher and the NC State Fair in Raleigh. There are also agricultural fairs to showcase local farms, and arts and craft fairs that are perfect for Christmas shopping.

Read on for our guide to 15 great fairs in North Carolina, including info on attractions, dates, hours, parking, and other pertinent details to help make your fair experience more than middling.

READ MORE: Autumn at Land of Oz: A Wizard of Oz Theme Park Near Banner Elk NC

Fall Fairs in North Carolina Guide

  1. Macon County Fair (Franklin, August 1-6)
  2. Mount Mitchell Craft Fair (Burnsville, August 5-6)
  3. Surry County Agricultural Fair (Mount Airy, August 5-14)
  4. Blowing Rock Juried Art in the Park (Blowing Rock, August 13, September 10, October 1)
  5. Iredell County Agricultural Fair (Statesville, September 2-10)
  6. NC Mountain State Fair (Fletcher, September 9-18)
  7. Village Art and Craft Fair (Asheville, September 10-11)
  8. Central Carolina Fair (Greensboro, September 10-18)
  9. Stokes County Ag Fair (King, September 13-17)
  10. Madison Country Fair (Marshall, September 23-24)
  11. Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace (Charlotte, 1-November 20)
  12. Haywood County Fair (Waynesville, Oct 5-9)
  13. NC State Fair (Raleigh, October 13-23)
  14. Valle Country Fair (Valle Crucis, October 15)
  15. Tis the Season Holiday Fair (Fletcher, November 18-20)

 

north carolina fairs - Macon County Fair
Macon County Fair, photo via Facebook

1. Macon County Fair

Franklin NC, August 1-6

Official Website

The Macon County Fair celebrates four decades of fun in 2022, and local farms are front and center in the festivities.

Field crop contests and animal shows are a huge part of this fair, as are pageants.

Live entertainment at the Franklin NC fair includes a 4-wheeler motorcycle rodeo, lawn mower pull, tractor pull, and live music by the Flat Rock Ramblers.

Other events to check out include a talent show, cornhole tournament, iron skillet contests, backyard cook-off, and more.

There are also loads and loads of exhibits here, covering everything from fine art and photography to gardening, home cooking, and needlework.

READ MORE: Apple Picking in North Carolina: The 15 Best NC Apple Orchards

Rachel Gunsch of SunRay Pottery at Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair
Rachel Gunsch of SunRay Pottery, photo via Explore Burnsville

2. Mt. Mitchell Crafts Fair

Burnsville NC, August 5-6

Official Website

Held in the Town Square of Downtown Burnsville (less than an hour north of Asheville), the Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair is full of small town vibes.

The Burnsville fair has unique crafts, art, entertainment and good food from local restaurants in Burnsville NC, and admission to it is free!

There are even shuttles to help guests get to and from the heart of the town.

Celebrating its 65th year, the 2022 Mount Mitchell Craft Fair is August 5-6 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

This is a great spot to find one-of-a-kind pottery, fine woodwork, jewelry, stained glass, woven baskets, and more.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Burnsville NC

NC Fairs - Surry County Agricultural Fair via Facebook
Surry County Agricultural Fair, photo via Facebook

3. Surry County Agricultural Fair

Mount Airy NC, August 5-14

Official Website

Held at Veterans Memorial Park in Mount Airy NC, the Surry County Agricultural Fair has been around for over 75 years.

This NC fair is held in conjunction with American Legion Post 123 and Veterans of Foreign War Post 2019, and showcases artwork, cooking, crafts, livestock, Appalachian music, and more.

There are serious competitions, educational exhibits, fun contests, craft booths, baked goods, and all sorts of other stuff related to farms and homesteading.

The 2022 Surry County Ag Fair schedule is from August 5-14, with hours from 5:00PM – 11:00PM on weekdays and 2:00 PM– 11:00PM on weekends.

General admission is $6, but children under 3 are free with a paying adult, and senior citizens get in for just $3. Note that the carnival-style rides cost an additional fee.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Elkin NC (Blue Ridge Parkway MM 229)

Events in Blowing Rock - Blowing Rock Art in the Park via Facebook
Blowing Rock Art in the Park, photo via Facebook

4. Blowing Rock Juried Art In The Park

Blowing Rock NC, August 13, September 10 & October 1

Official Website

The beloved Blue Ridge Mountain town of Blowing Rock has been having Art In The Park Saturdays for 60 years now, with artists jury-selected and curated to include a broad variety of mediums.

Artist tents spread from Main Street to Wallingford Street on Park Avenue, and there’s a free shuttle and free parking at the Tanger Outlets.

In addition to the art fair, visitors can also enjoy shopping and eating at restaurants in Blowing Rock, and the Sunday after each art fair has a concert in the park.

Reserving one of the many great Blowing Rock cabin rentals makes for a fun weekend getaway!

READ MORE: The 20 Best Things to Do in Blowing Rock NC

fairs in nc - Iredell County Ag Fair via Facebook
Iredell County Ag Fair, photo via Facebook

5. Iredell County Ag Fair

Statesville NC, September 2-10

Official Website

The Kiwanis Club of Statesville puts on this Statesville fair, using proceeds to sponsor lots of community projects.

The Iredell County Ag Fair has a ton of agricultural competitions, including crops, honey, and flowers, as well as canning, butters, jams, and juices.

There are rides and amusements every day, and live entertainment each night, including Moto Motion Stunt Shows, Circus Shane Shows, and Go Kart Racing.

The fair begins on Friday, Sept 2, and continues through Saturday, Sept 10. On Sept 3-5 (Sat-Mon) and September 10 (Sat), gates open at 3 PM. On all other days, the fair opens at 5 PM, and gates close at 11 PM nightly.

READ MORE: The 25 Best Pumpkin Patches in the NC Mountains

N.C. Mountain State Fair via Facebook
NC Mountain State Fair, photo via Facebook

6. NC Mountain State Fair

Fletcher NC, September 9-18

Official Website

Held in the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher NC (9 miles north of Hendersonville), the North Carolina Mountain State Fair is 10 days packed full of competitions, demonstrations, entertainment, and rides.

In addition to a full selection of fair games, there are 40+ carnival rides, and the entertainment line-up includes live music, magic, dancing, and acrobatics.

The heart of the NC Mountain State Fair is Western North Carolina’s livestock, crops, farm products, and crafts, with lots of demonstrations to showcase them all.

The 2022 fair runs from Sept 9 to 19, and the gates open at 9 AM on Friday and Saturday and 3 PM Monday through Thursday.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Hendersonville NC

craft fairs in nc - Village Art and Craft Fair via Facebook
Village Art and Craft Fair, photo via Facebook

7. Village Art and Craft Fair

Asheville NC, September 10-11

Official Website

The Village Art and Craft Fair in Asheville NC is sponsored by the New Morning Gallery and Bellagio Art to Wear. In 2022, the NC fair celebrates its 500year anniversary.

The fair is a weekend event on Saturday, Sept 10 (10 AM–6 PM), and Sunday, Sept 11 (Noon–5 PM). Admission is free.

Local artists design a super poster and t-shirts to memorialize each year’s fair, and there are over 100 exhibitors from just about every art media imaginable.

The fairground is located between the Cathedral of All Souls and historic Biltmore Village, and the church provides concessions and donates all proceeds to community outreach programs.

READ MORE: The 35 Best Things to Do in Asheville NC

Greensboro Fair - Central Carolina Fair via Facebook
Central Carolina Fair, photo via Facebook

8. Central Carolina Fair

Greensboro NC, September 10-18

Official Website

A big-time North Carolina fair, the Central Carolina Fair takes place at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in mid-September.

One of our favorite fall activities, the fair will have a number of rides, including the “Drop Tower” and “Zero Gravity,” as well as a merry-go-round and other classic carnival rides. 

Vendors will be selling traditional fair foods like corn dogs, funnel cakes, and turkey legs.

Entrance into the Greensboro fair is just $6, and there are unlimited ride bands available for purchase.

READ MORE: The 10 Best North Carolina Distilleries to Visit

NC Fairs - Stokes County Ag Fair via Facebook
Stokes County Ag Fair, photo via Facebook

9. Stokes County Ag Fair

King NC, September 13-17

Official Website

Stokes County Agricultural Fair is hosted by the King American Legion, and has been around for over 70 years now.

It takes place from September 13-17, opening at 5 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Friday the gates open at 4 PM, and on Saturday they open at 2 PM.

The fair has live entertainment, exhibits from community leaders, educational and commercial booths, as well as plenty of delicious food.

Events will include local farms showing goats, horses, and other livestock; nightly Bingo; and a ceremony for recognition of all Veterans.

READ MORE: Fall in North Carolina: 20 Great Places to See Fall Colors in Western NC

NC Fairs - Madison County Fair via Facebook
Madison County Fair, photo via Facebook

10. Madison County Fair

Marshall NC, September 23-24

Official Website

Not to be confused with the Iowa county made famous by Robert James Waller’s novel, The Bridges of Madison County, this fair is held in Marshall NC, about 12 miles northwest of Weaverville.

The Madison County Fair is another great North Carolina agricultural fair, this one hosted by the non-profit Madison County Fairgrounds Board.

The Madison County Cooperative Extension Center helps to host competitions for crafts and agricultural products (including ginormous pumpkins).

The fair also features Youth Livestock Shows.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Things to Do in Weaverville NC

renaissance festival nc - Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace via Facebook
Carolina Renaissance Festival, photo via Facebook

11. Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace

Charlotte NC, Saturdays & Sundays from October 1-November 20

Official Website

There is nothing quite like a Renaissance Fair for getting silly and a bit medieval. This festival is filled with hundreds of costumed enthusiasts recreating a 16th-century Europe marketplace.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is held on a 25-acre, open-air village in the forest, and includes castles, pubs, vendors, and stage shows.

Shows at the fair include comedy acts, musical performances, artisan demonstrations, and theatrical productions.

Day passes are limited and cost $32 for adults and $20 for children ages 5-12. Season passes are also available, and parking for the festival is free.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Places to Go White Water Rafting in North Carolina

NC Fairs - Haywood County Fair via Facebook
Haywood County Fair, photo via Facebook

12. Haywood County Fair

Waynesville NC, October 5-9

Official Website

Presented by the Haywood County Fair Committee, this annual fair is held to promote Haywood County agriculture, manufacturing, and Appalachian culture.

This year’s fair is being held at the Smoky Mountain Event Center in Waynesville NC on the evenings of October 5-7, and all day October 8-9.

In addition to the standard ag fair livestock competitions, local heritage artisans will be selling their handcrafted wares and demonstrating their skills.

There will also be live shows, dancing, rides, and games, as well as music from the area that gave us bluegrass legends like Raymond Fairchild and Don Reno. 

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Waynesville NC & Haywood County

State Fair NC - NC State Fair via Facebook
NC State Fair, photo via Facebook

13. NC State Fair

Raleigh NC, October 13-23

Official Website

The North Carolina State Fair is held annually at the Raleigh Fairgrounds. The 2022 event opens at noon on October 13, and at 9 AM every day after that until October 23.

This fair includes a horse and livestock competition, and there are lots of rides, musical performances, and educational demonstrations for visitors to enjoy.

This is a huge event, including an NC Public House for sampling the state’s best craft beer, cider, wines, and even soda.

Other popular attractions include Antique Farm Machinery, Heritage Circle, Flower and Garden Show, Field of Dreams, Village of Yesteryear, and the State Fair Ark.

READ MORE: The 15 Best NC Wineries to Visit

NC Fairs - Valle Country Fair via Facebook
Valle Country Fair, photo via Facebook

14. Valle Country Fair

Valle Crucis NC, October 15

Official Website

Located 12 miles from some of the best restaurants in Banner Elk NC, this fair is a one-day event held annually in the middle of October.

The 2022 Valle Country Fair takes place from 9 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, October 15.

This fair has lots of local flavors, including Brunswick stew, North Carolina BBQ, and homemade jams, jellies, and butters.

The Valle Country Fair has exhibits and vendors of local crafts, and plenty of Appalachian storytellers, musicians, and dancers providing entertainment.

The kids can enjoy animal encounters, face painting, fair games, and even bowling with pumpkins!

READ MORE: The 15 Best Things to Do in Banner Elk NC

NC Fairs - Tis the Season Holiday Fair via Facebook
Tis the Season Holiday Fair, photo via Facebook

15. Tis the Season Holiday Fair

Fletcher NC, November 18-20

Official Website

The Tis the Season Holiday Fair is great a way to kick off your 2022 Western North Carolina Christmas Events.

The entrance fee is just $6 (children under 12 are free), and the fair takes place at the WNC Agricultural Center in Fletcher NC on the weekend of November 18-20.

This is a great place to support local artists and crafters by buying unique holiday gifts for family and friends. There will also be a banquet of gourmet foods and NC wines.

The Tis the Season Holiday Fair is a fantastic way start to the holiday season, and it’s only a short drive away from the Biltmore Estate if you want more Christmas magic.  –Jonathon Engels, featured image via Canva

 

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Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

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After visiting the Western North Carolina for the first time, Jonathon Engels and his wife Emma spent two years looking for a few acres of property there to establish a permaculture homestead. During that search, he explored the Blue Ridge Parkway, surrounding towns, and parks. He has taught at both Blue Ridge Community College and Surry Community College, is a member of a long-established land conservation community near the town of Dobson, volunteers at the Surry Old Time Fiddlers Convention, and continues to explore the Blue Ridge, a place he now lovingly calls home.