TRAVEL GUIDE TO BRYSON CITY AND THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS

THINGS TO DO IN THE SMOKIES

Highlights of the
Bryson City and Great
Smokies Events Calendar

February
Be My Valentine Charlie Brown Train
Nantahala River Glacier Breaker

March
Bank of America US Whitewater Open

April
Green Thumb Day
Knobscorcher Bike Race
Easter Beagle Train

May
West Swain VFD Bass Tournament
Strawberry Jam
Twelve Hours of Tsali

   BBQ & Brew Trains (May-August)
Heritage Festival

June
Music in the Mountains Series

   Fontana Classic Bass Tournament
Cherokee Voices Festival
Women's Work Festival (GSMNP)

July
Music in the Mountains Series
Freedom Fest
Festival of Native Peoples
Folkmoot
Dinosaur Train

August
Music in the Mountains Series

   Dinosaur Train
Childrens Fishing Derby

September
Music in the Mountains Series
Horace Kephart Days
Railfest & Mountain Craft Fair
Mountain Life Festival (GSMNP)
Mountain Heritage Day (WCU)

October
Music in the Mountains Series

   Great Pumpkin Patch Express
Cherokee Indian Fair
Stecoah Harvest Festival
Maple Leaf Festival
Bryson City Chili Cookoff
Downtown Trick or Treat

November
The Polar Express
WNC Pottery Festival
Mountain Shapes & Colors
Stecoah Artisans Studio Tour
Spirit of Christmas

December
The Polar Express
Christmas Parade

Monthly Calendar of Events in Bryson City and the
Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina

Use the mini calendar on the right to bring up the events on an upcoming month or specific date.

2014: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

Oconaluftee Indian Village
Date(s): May 01, 2014 - Nov 08, 2014
When: Mon-Sat, 10 am - 5 pm. Closed Sundays.
Where: Oconaluftee Indian Village

Mon-Sat; closed Sundays. As you step into the Oconaluftee Indian Village, you’re transported back to witness the challenges of Cherokee life at a time of rapid cultural change. Tour guides help you explore the historic events and figures of the 1760's. Visitors can interact with villagers as they  participate in their daily activities. The Village also hosts live reenactments, interactive demonstrations, and Hands-On Cherokee Pottery for Kids classes. More info

LakeAlooza Party on Fontana Lake with Fireworks
Date(s): Aug 29, 2014 - Sep 01, 2014
Where: Fontana Village Resort, 300 Woods Road, Fontana Dam, NC 28733

Our fifth annual LakeAlooza Lake Party on Fontana Lake. Join us on Saturday, August 30th for live musical entertainment, lake games, cookouts and much more on the docks of the Marina! Don't miss the best fireworks in the Smokies on the Village Green, Saturday at 10:00pm. For more information call 828.498.2211 or click here.

Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper Demomstration
Date(s): Sep 04, 2014
When: 6:15pm
Where: Swain County Center for the Arts, 1415 Fontana Rd., Bryson City, NC

Join regional rtist, Barbara Brook of Waynesville, NC, as she demonstrates "Watercolor Batik on Rice Paper" for Art League of the Smokies. Sponsored by Swain County Center for the Arts and Swain County Schools, anyone who is interested is invited to attend the demonstration free of charge. This demo will put a new twist on the ancient art of batik, which is traditionally a wax resist and layers of dye on fabric.

A self-portrait painted by her grandmother in watercolor was the inspiration for Barbara Brook to begin painting in watercolor in 1991 after many years of painting with oils. She selects her subject matter from photos she has taken during her travels around the US and in Europe, Asia and Scotland. Her paintings have earned recognition and numerous awards. "Tropicana" (shown here)was selected for the annual exhibition of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. She is also a member of the Southern Watercolor Society and the Watercolor Society of North Carolina. Her paintings are exhibited in galleries in Waynesville, NC, and in Florida.

The Qualla Country Trout Tournament
Date(s): Sep 05, 2014 - Sep 07, 2014
Where: Cherokee Indian Reservation

$11 entry fee and $20,000 in tagged fish in the rivers on the Cherokee Reservation (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch and release waters) Hundreds of specially tagged fish will be stocked in the Cherokee public fishing waters. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Registration necessary to redeem cash prize. More info

Nantahala Brewing's Music on Tap Series
Date(s): Sep 05, 2014
When: 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Where: Nantahala Brewing Company, 61 Depot Street, Bryson City, NC

The Preston Cate Trio

The Preston Cate Trio is a return to the guitar/organ/drum trios of the 60's, but placed in a modern context. "This format let's you play anything. Jazz, funk, pop, soul, it's just good music!" says Cate. The trio is supported by Sean Mason on Drums and Lenny Pettinelli on keys.

For more information about this event and future events, please click here

Old-Time Music Jam Sessions
Date(s): Sep 06, 2014
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and third Saturdays of each month at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor in 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. It is held year-round. In warmer months, the jam takes place outside on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. In colder months, the jam is moved indoors to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

Balsam Range in Concert
Date(s): Sep 06, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Enjoy the acoustic bluegrass "dream team", a perennial favorite on the Grand Old Stage. All the fellows - Tim Surrett, Buddy Melton, Caleb Smith, Darren Nicholson and Marc Pruett - grew up steeped in traditions of The Grand Ole Opry ...as well as the important influences of the Scotch-Irish settlers of the Southern Mountains, English ballads, and Western songs. Winner IBMA 2013 Album of the Year for "Papertown." More info

Jo Dee Messina in Concert
Date(s): Sep 06, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
Jo Dee Messina in Concert

Jo Dee Messina fans will soon get what they've been clamoring for as the multi-platinum, award- winning country singer/songwriter has just announced that her new full-length album will be released Tuesday, March 18. With its title ME chosen by fans, the album marks Jo Dee's most personal album to date as she wrote or co-wrote many of the songs and will release it on her own newly established label, Dreambound Records. More info

Tsali Challenge
Date(s): Sep 06, 2014 - Sep 07, 2014
When: 9am - ?
Where: Tsali Recreation Area, Hwy 28N, Bryson City, NC

Team and solo competitions. Paddle for three miles, run for five, and bike for twelve in this demanding competition on some of the worlds best bike trails.

Click here for more information.

Free Concert Featuring The Rye Holler Boys
Date(s): Sep 06, 2014
When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
Free Concert Featuring The Rye Holler Boys

The Rye Holler Boys are a local band known for their lively bluegrass and gospel performances. The band has appeared on the Ernest Tubbs Radio Show, at numerous festivals, and have opened up for The Isaacs. Band members consist of Will Howell on guitar and vocals, Tim Williams on bass and vocals, Adam King on mandolin and vocals and Alan King on banjo. Rain or shine. Bring a chair. On the depot porch.

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 09, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 11, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

13th Annual Railfest Celebration
Date(s): Sep 12, 2014 - Sep 14, 2014
When: Times vary
Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC
13th Annual Railfest Celebration

Celebrate the 26th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad! This festival offers guests a taste of railroad food, memorabilia, storytelling, dance, music, special excursions and events that happen only once a year.

Complete Schedule and More information. Reservations: 800-872-4681.

Nantahala Brewing's Music on Tap Series
Date(s): Sep 12, 2014
When: 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Where: Nantahala Brewing Company, 61 Depot Street, Bryson City, NC

Shane Mead and The Sound

His music captivates the imagination, and audiences connect to his inspirational lyrics and universal subject matter. His unique and soulful style helps deliver an engaging live performance that is both powerful and uplifting.

For more information on this and other events at the Nantahala Brewing Company, click here

Free Concert Featuring Larry Barnett & Friends
Date(s): Sep 13, 2014
When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
Free Concert Featuring Larry Barnett & Friends

Larry Barnett of Grandpa's Music has been a staple of the music scene in Bryson City for over a decade. He plays a variety of instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and squeeze box and was a co-founder of the Sawmill Creek Porch Band. The friends are Push McCann, on guitar, and Sarah Ogletree, a talented young fiddler with a beautiful singing voice.

Nantahala Racing Club hosts Southeastern Youth Championships
Date(s): Sep 14, 2014
When: All day
Where: Nantahala River Gorge

Youth paddlers from across the Southeast are invited to compete at the Southeastern Youth Slalom Championships at the Nantahala Bridge Gates. The race is open to youth paddlers aged eighteen and under. More info

 

Riders in the Sky in Concert
Date(s): Sep 14, 2014
When: 3:00 pm
Where: Western Carolina University, Bardo Center
Riders in the Sky in Concert

Riders In The Sky are stars of the stage, screen, the Grand Ol' Opry, National Public Radio, XM Satellite Radio, Saturday morning TV, and are the only exclusively Western artist to have won a Grammy Award. The best in Western music since 1977. Award-winning harmonies, wacky Western wit and high-yodeling adventures for the entire family. More info

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 16, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

Cooperative Extension Centennial Celebration
Date(s): Sep 16, 2014
When: 3 - 7pm
Where: Swain County Extension Center, 60 Almond School Rd., Bryson City, NC

Celebrate with us as we showcase Swain County's heritage and the impact Cooperative Extension has had on the people and economy over the last 100 years.

Featuring educational booths, a history wall, food, give-aways, 4-H activities, traditional music, and clogging.

For more information: 828-488-3848

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 18, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

Come Paint with Charles Adult Program!
Date(s): Sep 19, 2014
When: 5:30pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

What a great night out - wine, hors d'ouvres, and art that is all yours to take home!

$35 per person includes all of the above with all materials provided

Call 828-538-2054 to register or click here for more information

Bret Michaels in Concert
Date(s): Sep 19, 2014
When: 9:00 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center
Bret Michaels in Concert

Staying true to his “Road Dog” moniker, Bret Michaels is hitting the road and rockin’ Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort Event Center this September. Don’t miss out, secure your advance tickets today before they are gone! This show is sure to be a rock and roll party you won’t want to miss!

Phillips, Craig & Dean in Concert
Date(s): Sep 19, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC

Phillips, Craig and Dean are a contemporary Christian music trio composed of Randy Phillips, Shawn Craig, and Dan Dean. Since forming in 1991, they have released 12 albums and earned 18 No. 1 radio singles. The group has received nine GMA Dove Award nominations, and sold over two million units, receiving two Dove Awards for participating in the special event album My Utmost for His Highest in 1996, and also took the 2010 Dove Award for Inspirational Album of the Year, Fearless. More info

Nantahala Brewing's Music on Tap Series
Date(s): Sep 19, 2014
When: 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Where: Nantahala Brewing Company, 61 Depot Street, Bryson City, NC

Somebody's Child is a local duet group with a great sound. 

For more information about this and other events at the Nantahala Brewing Company, click here.

 

Gaither Vocal Band in Concert
Date(s): Sep 19, 2014
When: 7 pm
Where: Western Carolina University, Ramsey Center
Gaither Vocal Band in Concert

A full evening of entertainment and meaningful music is a rare treat anytime, but when the occasion includes the best-loved voices in gospel music ... it's a must-see celebration! It will leave you encouraged, grateful and most certainly smiling! More info

Old-Time Music Jam Sessions
Date(s): Sep 20, 2014
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and third Saturdays of each month at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor in 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. It is held year-round. In warmer months, the jam takes place outside on the porch of the Oconaluftee Visitor Center. In colder months, the jam is moved indoors to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

Youth Arts Festival
Date(s): Sep 20, 2014
When: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Jackson County Green Energy Park

Our annual Youth Arts Festival is the GEP's largest celebration of art, music, green energy & community fun!

You and your family can enjoy painting, drawing, throwing pots, clay hand-building, weaving, chalk art, face painting, and recycled craft making. Also demos of blowing glass and hammering steel. Live music. More info

Mountain Life Festival
Date(s): Sep 20, 2014
Where: Mountain Farm Museum, Cherokee

Celebrate the fall harvest as the Mountain Farm Museum comes alive with history. Walk around the farm and get a glimpse into the past as you watch demonstrators as they make soap, apple cider, sorghum molasses, hominy, music and more. Located at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  More info

Free Concert Featuring Chris Monteith as Elvis
Date(s): Sep 20, 2014
When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
Free Concert Featuring Chris Monteith as Elvis

If you are an Elvis fan you will find no one who will look or sound more like the King himself than Chris Monteith. Although Monteith bears an uncanny resemblance to the young Elvis, he goes for the King's fashion flair of the 1970's and keeps an ample supply of scarves for tossing into the audience or wrapping around the napes of fans seeking a souvenir.

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 23, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 25, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

Guest Appreciation Festival at Nantahala Outdoor Center
Date(s): Sep 26, 2014 - Sep 28, 2014
When: All Day
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, 13077 US Hwy 19 West, Bryson City, NC
Guest Appreciation Festival at Nantahala Outdoor Center

Granddaddy of all used gear sales! Plus a full schedule of free events, family-friendly games and activities and a great line up of live music acts. Shuttles for the Cascades and Upper Nantahala recreational releases. Bike trials. More info

Nantahala Brewing's Music on Tap Series
Date(s): Sep 26, 2014
When: 8:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Where: Nantahala Brewing Company, 61 Depot Street, Bryson City, NC

The Fritz

For more information about this and other events at the Nantahala Brewing Company, click here.

Free Concert Featuring Somebody's Child
Date(s): Sep 27, 2014
When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
Free Concert Featuring Somebody's Child

Great guitar and harmonies from Bryson City's own Ashley Claxton & Cola Williamson. Influences include Jack White, Gilliam Welch and the blues (in general). More info

Mountain Heritage Day
Date(s): Sep 27, 2014
When: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: Western Carolina University

The annual Mountain Heritage Day is a combination old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachian music, arts, dance and song.

There will be 3 live entertainment stages, juried arts and crafts booths, children's activities, heritage demonstrations, Cherokee stickball games, Shapenote Singing, chainsaw competition, baking contests, wagon rides, antique car show and more.
More info

Jake Owen in Concert
Date(s): Sep 27, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

Guided by sheer musical instinct, a drive for self-improvement and a willingness to experiment, the singer-songwriter has crafted Barefoot Blue Jean Night as one of the most innovative and refreshing country collections of the year. The CD’s title tune is already exploding as the biggest hit of Owen’s career to date. More info

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Sep 30, 2014
When: 5pm
Where: The Charles Heath Gallery, 175 Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

A new project every week and guaranteed fun for your child!

$18 per child per class; includes materials and snacks

Please call 828-538-2054 to register

 

Chili Cook-Off
Saturday, October 18
Cooker Info / Application
Crafter Info / Application

 

 

Events Calendar
Click on a month or an underlined date to view scheduled events
 

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Bryson City - Swain County
Chamber of Commerce

210 Main Street
P.O. Box 509
Bryson City, NC 28713

Email

Karen Proctor Wilmot
Executive Director

800-867-9246 toll-free
828-488-3681 local
828-488-6858 fax