Calendar of Events

Click on a month or an underlined date
to view scheduled events in Cherokee.

S M T W T F S
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14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3

106th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair
Date(s): Oct 02, 2018 - Oct 06, 2018
Where: Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

It’s over a century old. It’s a cornucopia of sights and sounds—a treat for all your senses. It’s a carnival and an agriculture show. It’s an art show and a game show. There’s food, music, and rides. It’s pure, unfiltered fair entertainment with that unmistakable Cherokee touch: a Ferris wheel, fireworks, and stickball.

Stickball has long been known as the “Little Brother of War,” and you’ll find thrilling demonstrations of it mixed into all the traditional fair fun and food. In fact, you’re going to find ample amounts of all sorts of authentic Cherokee culture, including archery and blowgun demonstrations, local art, dance, music, and more. 

General admission is $10 per person at the gate. Children ages 6 and under will be admitted for free. Enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other federally recognized tribes will receive free admission.

Celebrate a different emphasis each day you attend.

Tuesday: Parade Day 

Wednesday: Children’s Day 

Thursday: Elder’s Day 

Friday: Veterans & Visitor Appreciation Day 

 

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Oct 05, 2018 - Oct 06, 2018
When: 5-7p
Where: At the Intersection of 441 and Hwy 19 in Oconaluftee Island Park

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from June 26–July 1, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.

Fall Festival
Date(s): Oct 06, 2018 - Oct 07, 2018
When: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown

Visit over 240 fine craft exhibitors and watch more than 40 artisans demonstrate traditional and contemporary crafts. Fill your ears with bluegrass, gospel, folk, and Celtic music on both days. Tap your toes to clogging, Morris, and Garland dance performances throughout the weekend. And don't forget all the tasty treats, pony rides and petting the alpacas. 
For more information call 800-FOLK-SCH or click here

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam
Date(s): Oct 06, 2018
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

Bring an acoustic instrument and join in on this old-time jam. Or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds as others play traditional Appalachian Music. On the covered porch at the visitor center. More info

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Oct 12, 2018 - Oct 13, 2018
When: 5-7p
Where: At the Intersection of 441 and Hwy 19 in Oconaluftee Island Park

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from June 26–July 1, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.

Cherokee Heritage Day
Date(s): Oct 13, 2018
When: 10a-5p
Where: Museum of the Cherokee Indian

The second Saturday of every month, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian offers a family-friendly fun day of free cultural activities including traditional dancing, storytelling, cultural arts demonstrations, genealogy workshops, hands-on craft workshops and more. Traditional food is available on-site, weather permitting. The Cherokee Friends offer workshops on traditional dancing and cultural arts demonstrations including wampum belt making, moccasin making, stickball stick making, wood carving, fire making, and more. Hands-on workshops are taught by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and often include making a clay medallion or a traditional Cherokee pot stamped with wooden paddles carved with designs. Different members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians share stories and flute music. Robin Swayney, genealogist, offers workshops on genealogy for those who are interested in finding their Cherokee ancestors. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. For example, January, the windy month, will include workshops on how to play the Cherokee flute, blowgun demonstrations, and an outstanding panel of storytellers.

Activities are sponsored by the Museum, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Regular prices apply to food and to admission to Museum exhibits.

KOA Fall Fishing Tournament
Date(s): Oct 13, 2018
When: 7:30 am to 6:00 pm
Where: 92 KOA Campground Road Cherokee, NC 28719

Cast your line for a chance to compete with other anglers for thousands of dollars in prizes at the Cherokee KOA Fall Fishing Tournament this October. Fishing permits, required for Cherokee streams or ponds, are $10 per person 12 years and older. Permits are available at a variety of business entities within Cherokee or can be purchased online at FishCherokee.com. There is a $11 per person admission fee for this event, in addition to the permit fee. Accommodations available at KOA.comThis event is only open to KOA campground guests.​

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Oct 19, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018
When: 5-7p
Where: At the Intersection of 441 and Hwy 19 in Oconaluftee Island Park

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from June 26–July 1, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.

Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run
Date(s): Oct 19, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018
When: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Where: 545 Tsali Blvd. Cherokee, NC 28719


Enjoy a vintage car show at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds featuring hundreds of restored and enhanced vintage cars. Chat with their owners to get each car’s unique history, enjoy pristine paint jobs, and have your fill of polished chrome. This show will have food, memorabilia, and automobile parts vendors and will be hosted with music by a professional DJ for lots of old-fashioned fun. Admission is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the event. 

Harvest Festival
Date(s): Oct 19, 2018 - Oct 20, 2018
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Every October this two-day event begins with a Friday evening campfire and storytelling. On Saturday, the Festival gets underway at 11am with crafts, country fair, weaving and knitting demonstrations, quilt exhibit, antique tractors, corn grinder, music and dance, food and much more.  More info

Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon and 5K
Date(s): Oct 20, 2018
When: 6:00 am to 11:30 am
Where: Acquoni Expo Center 1501 Acquoni Road Cherokee, NC 28719

The Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon is back! Join us for the return of this great fall race in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. This event is famous for its generous swag package, picturesque courses, local culture, and amazing post-race metals.

Half Marathon Entry Fees:
Now–April 30 - $45
May 1–September 30 - $50
October 1 - $55
Online Registration

5K Entry Fees:
Now–April 30 - $25
May 1–September 30 - $30
October 1 - $35
Online Registration

Entertainment and Event Schedule
Friday, October 19
4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.  Packet pick up and late registration at Acquoni Events Center

Saturday, October 20
6:00 a.m.–7:45 a.m.  Packet pickup and late registration at Acquoni Events Center
7:45 a.m.  Assemble for Start of Half Marathon 
8:00 a.m.  Half Marathon Starts 
8:05 a.m.  Assemble for Start of 5K
8:15 a.m.  5K Starts

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam
Date(s): Oct 20, 2018
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

Bring an acoustic instrument and join in on this old-time jam. Or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds as others play traditional Appalachian Music. On the covered porch at the visitor center. More info

Fall Hike Week
Date(s): Oct 21, 2018 - Oct 26, 2018
Where: Fontana Village Resort

Includes guided hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as many other scheduled events. Join other guests for an assortment of evening lectures and programs. Contact our Outdoors Program for more information

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Oct 26, 2018 - Oct 27, 2018
When: 5-7p
Where: At the Intersection of 441 and Hwy 19 in Oconaluftee Island Park

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from June 26–July 1, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.

Downtown Trick or Treat
Date(s): Oct 31, 2018
When: 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Where: Downtown Bryson City

Enjoy a fun, safe and small town trick or treating experience this Halloween! With the streets closed, the kids are out in full force to fill their bags with candy from the costumed downtown merchants. For more information call 800-867-9246 or click here