Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. One of the largest crafts events in the Southeast, the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands is held for three days twice a year, in mid-July and mid-October. More than 200 of the 900 members of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, who qualify after a stringent jurying process, take over both the concourse and arena of the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville to display and sell their clay, wood, metal, glass, fiber, leather, jewelry, and other crafts. The fair, which was in its 70th year in 2017, also features live mountain music. U.S. Cellular Center, 87 Haywood St., Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina. 828/298–7928; www.southernhighlandguild.org. $8. Fri.–Sat. 10–6, Sun. 10–5.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival. The oldest folk music festival in the country was established in 1928 by the folk music collector Bascom Lamar Lunsford. It takes place annually "along 'bout sundown" (in fact, 7 to 10 pm) for three nights (Thursday through Saturday) the first weekend of August. You'll see and hear the real thing here—old-timey Appalachian pickers, singers, clog dancers, and more. Tickets can be purchased at the door but it's best to order in advance online. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 340 Victoria Rd., Mission Health Conference Center , Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/398–7901; www.folkheritage.org. $22 a night, 3-night package $60.
Shindig on the Green. Pack a picnic and bring a folding chair or blanket for this free mountain-music concert. Shindig on the Green has been held for more than 50 years most Saturdays from late June through August. The shows, held in Pack Square Park in the heart of Asheville, run from around 7 to 10 pm. Pack Square Park, 121 College St., Roger McGuire Green, Downtown, Asheville, North Carolina, 28801. 828/258–6101; www.folkheritage.org/shindigonthegreen.htm. Free.