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

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

Mountain Farm Museum
Date(s): Oct 01, 2014 - Dec 31, 2014
When: Dawn to dusk
Where: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Mountain Farm Museum

Walk down to the farm for a glimpse into the past. Self-guiding brochures are available and some days you may find demonstrations such as blacksmithing, hearth cooking, gardening, or weaving taking place. Located at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee (US 441 N). Accessible.

Old-Time Music Jam Sessions
Date(s): Nov 01, 2014
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and third Saturday of each month at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Center 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.

WNC Pottery Train
Date(s): Nov 01, 2014
When: 11:00 am
Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Enjoy a full day in the mountains by riding the Tuckasegee River Excursion and visiting the Western North Carolina Pottery Festival during the 2-hour layover in Dillsboro. Add a $3 admission ticket to the purchase of your train ticket and have full access to this festival during the layover. Pottery festival admission tickets can be picked up at the historic Bryson City depot in addition to purchased train tickets.

Area potters will be displaying their most prized pottery pieces, and much more will be available for purchase! This juried event showcases more than 40 master potters, with many demonstrations in a variety of techniques. Come see why it's become a top arts event in the mountains. More info

WNC Pottery Festival & Clay Olympics
Date(s): Nov 01, 2014
When: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where: Downtown Dillsboro

This juried event showcases more than 40 master potters, with many demonstrations in a variety of techniques. Come see why it's become a top arts event in the mountains, attended annually by a few thousand aficionados of pottery. Admission is $5 per person and includes a ticket for a day-long raffle. Kids under 12 admitted free!

The fun actually begins a day earlier (Friday)with the WNC Clay Olympics and the lighting of a wood-fired kiln. The kiln is opened on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Come see different artisans compete and display their skills with clay. For more information go to www.wncpotteryfestival.com.

Nantahala School for the Arts: Visiting Artists Night
Date(s): Nov 03, 2014
When: 6-9pm
Where: Nantahala School for the Arts, 60 Almond School Road, Bryson City

Join us for an educational evening of fun with visiting ceramic artists Bruce Johnson, Steve Cunningham, and Mark Skudlark.

For more information call 828-366-2000 or click here

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Nov 04, 2014
When: 4pm
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): Nov 06, 2014
When: 4pm
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

 

The Polar Express
Date(s): Nov 07, 2014 - Nov 08, 2014
When: Nov. 7: 5 & 6:35pm, Nov. 8: 5pm, 6:35pm, 8:15pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a special visit at the "North Pole." Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. The train arrives to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards the train greeting each child and presenting them with their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations. More info

Daughtry in Concert
Date(s): Nov 08, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center
Daughtry in Concert

Chris Daughtry stands as one of American Idol's most beloved — and commercially successful — rock and roll alums. Immediately following his adrenalin-filled run on the show in 2006, Daughtry formed his eponymous band, topping the Billboard 200 just a few months later with a self-titled debut album. Since then, the band has continued to give the epic performances fans remember from Daughtry's Idol days, hitting the road again in 2014 with the Goo Goo Dolls and the Plain White T's for one of the year's most anticipated rock tours. Tickets

Nantahala Outdoor Center's Cyclo-Cross
Date(s): Nov 08, 2014
When: All day
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, 13077 US Hwy 19 West, Bryson City, NC

Cyclo-cross returns to Nantahala Outdoor Center! Great venue, spectacular amenities, and a challenging course make this event a hot ticket for 2014! More info

 

Tim Hawkins in Concert
Date(s): Nov 08, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin

Since giving up his job as a grocery truck driver in 2002, Tim Hawkins has been forging the magical blend between two comedic ideals:A genuinely funny comedy show that caters to the entire family. Is it realistic? Hawkins believes so. With over 100 million views on YouTube, 120+ sold out shows every year, and a motley crew of 200K+ Facebook fans, Tim has started a gut-busting grassroots revolution of multi-generational proportions. More info

Mountain Shapes & Colors
Date(s): Nov 08, 2014
When: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Where: Nantahala School for the Arts

Join us for our annual celebration of art and craft. 20 craft vendors, food, music and studio demonstrations throughout the day. Come find that one-of-a-kind Christmas gift. At SWCC Swain Center on US 74 West of Bryson City. More info

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Nov 11, 2014
When: 4pm
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): Nov 13, 2014
When: 4pm
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

 

The Polar Express
Date(s): Nov 14, 2014 - Nov 15, 2014
When: Nov. 14 & 15: 5, 6:35 & 8:15pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a special visit at the "North Pole." Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. The train arrives to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards the train greeting each child and presenting them with their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.  More info

Old-Time Music Jam Sessions
Date(s): Nov 15, 2014
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and third Saturday of each month at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Visitor Center 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.

Who's Got Talent?
Date(s): Nov 15, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
Who's Got Talent?

Ever wanted to show off? Here's your chance! The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts is proud to present Who's Got Talent?, a local talent competition featuring singers, dancers, musicians, variety acts and more. Experience the show while the audience votes for their favorite act and the winner of a cash prize. (auditions held previously). More info

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Nov 18, 2014
When: 4pm
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): Nov 20, 2014
When: 4pm
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

 

The Polar Express
Date(s): Nov 21, 2014 - Nov 23, 2014
When: Nov. 21 & 22: 5, 6:35 & 8:15pm, Nov. 23: 5 & 6:35pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a special visit at the "North Pole." Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. The train arrives to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards the train greeting each child and presenting them with their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.  More info

Appalachian Toymaker & Storyteller
Date(s): Nov 21, 2014 - Nov 26, 2014
When: 2 pm
Where: The Storytelling Center at the Train Depot
Appalachian Toymaker & Storyteller

2 pm each day. Take time for a visit with the old Appalachian Toymaker, located in the Storytelling Center across the parking lot from the train depot. Watch the toymaker create handcrafted wooden toys and listen to a holiday story or two. Full schedule

Scotty McCreery in Concert
Date(s): Nov 22, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center
Scotty McCreery in Concert

The surprisingly deep vocals of a 16-year-old Scotty McCreery not only snagged him a ticket to Hollywood in the 11th season of “American Idol,” but it also earned him the top spot and a record deal with Mercury Nashville. His 2011 major label debut “Clear as Day” topped The Billboard 200 upon its release, spreading his fresh take on throwback country across the continent. Tickets

The Polar Express
Date(s): Nov 25, 2014 - Nov 26, 2014
When: Both dates: 5 & 6:35pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a special visit at the "North Pole." Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. The train arrives to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards the train greeting each child and presenting them with their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. Call 800-867-9246 for reservations.  More info

Come Paint with Charles Kidz Program!
Date(s): Nov 25, 2014
When: 4pm
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

 

Thanksgiving Family Festivities at Fontana
Date(s): Nov 26, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014
Where: Fontana Village Resort, 300 Woods Road, Fontana Dam, NC 28733

Bring the family to the Smokies for endless fun, entertainment and a classic Thanksgiving feast at the Mountview Restaurant. We will have guided hikes, square dancing and much more! For more information call 828.498.2211 or click here.

Book Signing with George Ellison
Date(s): Nov 28, 2014
When: 10:30 am - 1:30 pm
Where: Swain County Visitor Center
Book Signing with George Ellison

Bryson City resident George Ellison will be promoting the new 3rd edition of Our Southern Highlanders for which he wrote a 55 page introduction on the life and works of author Horace Kephart. Mr. Ellison will be signing copies of his many other books as well. Elizabeth Ellison, who painted the water color for the book’s cover, will also be present.

The Polar Express
Date(s): Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014
When: All dates: 5, 6:35 & 8:15pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

The 1 ¼ hour round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a special visit at the "North Pole." Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story. The train arrives to find Santa Claus waiting. Santa boards the train greeting each child and presenting them with their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations. More info

27th Annual Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Crafts Show
Date(s): Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014
When: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: WCU Ramsey Center, Cullowhee, NC

Celebrate a Mountain Christmas Tradition with demonstrations and live music.

$4.00 for weekend pass, children under 12 are free.

For more information call 828-524-3405 or go to www.mountainartisans.net

Cherokee Lights & Legends Christmas
Date(s): Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014
When: Times vary
Where: Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Stroll under the lights, enjoy interactive displays, the 40-ft Christmas tree, a visit with Santa, a carnival ride or the synthetic ice rink. 5-9 pm (Wed-Thurs); 5-10 pm (Fri & Sat); 5 pm-12:30 am New Year's Eve. $5 for adults; kids under 5 get in free. Skate rental fee $3 for a 30-minute session. Enjoy entertainment: Elvis - December 6, 20 & 31 at 7 pm; Balsam Range - December 13 at 8 pm.

For more information: 800-438-1601 or click here

Appalachian Toymaker & Storyteller
Date(s): Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 30, 2014
When: 2 pm
Where: The Storytelling Center at the Train Depot
Appalachian Toymaker & Storyteller

2 pm each day. Take time for a visit with the old Appalachian Toymaker, located in the Storytelling Center across the parking lot from the train depot. Watch the toymaker create handcrafted wooden toys and listen to a holiday story or two. Full schedule

Stecoah Artisans Drive About Tour
Date(s): Nov 28, 2014 - Nov 29, 2014
When: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: Multiple Locations

Enjoy the works of local artisans by visiting different studios and galleries, meeting the artisans and watching them work. Bee Global Studio, Stecoah Valley Artisans Gallery, Yellow Branch Pottery, Pincu Pottery and others are all stops on this driving tour. More info

 

 

Smoky Mountain Christmas Choir
Date(s): Nov 29, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
Smoky Mountain Christmas Choir

$5 suggested donation. On this night of joy, local choirs perform their favorite arrangements. Join us to kick off your Christmas season! More info

Bryson City Spirit Of Christmas
Date(s): Nov 29, 2014
When: 6:00 - 8pm
Where: Meet at the Chamber Caboose on the corner of Mitchell and Everett Streets, Bryson City
Bryson City Spirit Of Christmas

Join friends and neighbors for caroling from the caboose to the town square for the town Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. Afterwards enjoy a Chistmas concert featuring the Josh Fields Band in front of the Visitor Center or stop inside the Center for hot cocoa and cookies, letter writing to Santa, and a visit with St. Nick himself! In the true Spirit of Christmas bring a canned good to donate to the food pantry or a new unwrapped gift for for the local toy drive! 

For more information: 828-488-3681

 

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