As the summer ends, families from across the state can have one last hooray at the 67th annual North Carolina Apple Festival, held annually over Labor Day Weekend in Hendersonville. It has been Western North Carolina’s Premier Family Festival for over 60 years.
This year's theme, “Harvest of Fun,” is scheduled for Aug. 30-Sept. 2. Visitors and guests can enjoy four days of fun including one of the most best known Street Fairs in the Carolinas with freshly picked apples, arts and crafts, festival food and free entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Hendersonville’s Beautiful Main Street. The nine block street fair has over 200 vendors including quality arts and crafts vendors and wonderful festival food. The North Carolina Apple Festival is considered one of the finest street fairs in the southeastern part of the United States. Our attendance averages over 250,000 people each year. You can also purchase fresh apples from one of our 14 local growers or enjoy a caramel apple or fried apple pie. All day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there is free live entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Main Street. There are also children and youth activities. Operation hours on Friday to Sunday are from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. On Labor Day, the hours are from 10 a.m. until the end of the parade. Labor Day Monday, we have a mini-street fair with 90 arts and crafts, food and apple grower vendors.
Start your day off with one of the breakfasts and then spend the rest of the day enjoying the excitement of Main Street as well as many other activities across the community. And on Labor Day, don’t forget the King Apple Parade.
While checking out all the street vendors guests are welcome to enjoy any of the scheduled events that pack the square each year. Friday, Aug. 30, visitors can enjoy an Apple Orchard Tour. The tour begins at 9 a.m. and concludes at 1:30 p.m. The tour includes Apple Variety Block, CL Henderson's and a Blue Ridge Farm Direct Market. Advanced registration is required for the tour. For more information or to register for the event, call 828-697-4891.
Another big event celebrating 32 years is the Gem and Mineral Spectacular. The event runs the entire weekend, Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The special feature for the year is “Opals From Around the World.” Dealers will be selling minerals, gemstones, jewelry, fossils, lapidary equipment and more. There will also be mineral hobby demonstrations and mineral related exhibits throughout the Whitmire Activity Center where the event is being held. Admission is $4 for years 13 and up. For more information about the Gem and Mineral Spectacular, call 828-877-4073.
To end the festival, take in the outdoors during the Tour d’ Apple, a 100-mile, 63-mile and 25-mile bike ride through Henderson County apple orchards, mountains, waterfalls and views. All routes include rest stops and a post ride meal. Registration is required for the event. Early registration is $40. After the cut off date registration is $50. Visit www.active.com  to register. For more information call 828-674-8584.