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

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama
Date(s): May 31, 2014 - Aug 16, 2014
When: Mon-Sat, 8:00 pm performance. Closed Sundays.
Where: Mountainside Theater in Cherokee

Mon-Sat, closed Sundays. This acclaimed outdoor drama traces the Cherokee people through the eons, through the zenith of their power, through the heartbreak of the Trail of Tears, finally ending, appropriately, in the present day, where the Cherokee people, much like their newly re-scripted drama, continue to rewrite their place in the world ...a place based on traditional Cherokee values and modern sensibilities.  Preshow at &:30 pm. Main performance at 8:00 pm. More info & ticketing

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Jul 31, 2014 - Aug 02, 2014
When: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Islands Park

Relax by the bonfire and river, roast marshmallows and enjoy some of Cherokee's best storytellers entertain you and your family with Cherokee myths, legends and passed on stories.

The bonfire is FREE for the entire family, including the marshmallows. If you haven't seen this, it is worth the drive! More info

Dinosaur Train
Date(s): Aug 01, 2014 - Aug 03, 2014
When: Friday & Saturday departures, 11:30am & 3pm, Sunday departures, 3pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

Based on the popular PBS Kids Television series, Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train™, all ages are sure to enjoy this adventure filled train ride with music, stories, Nature Trackers Club guidebook and activities area! Plus, an opportunity to meet your favorite T-Rex, Buddy! Leaves from Bryson City Train Depot. Call 800-872-4681 to make your reservation or click More info

Lake Fontana Paddle Grapple
Date(s): Aug 01, 2014 - Aug 02, 2014
When: All day
Where: Tsali Boat Ramp, Lake Fontana & Nantahala Outdoor Center, 13077 Hwy 19 West, Bryson City, NC

Don't miss this first annual SUP/Surfski race on beautiful Lake Fontana. This multi-discipline event offers participants a three and six mile option, both of which circumnavigate two islands near the Tsali Recreational Area. Enjoy the cool waters of Lake Fontana and views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as you race SUP, Surfski, marathon or recreational kayaks and canoes. More info

The Bankesters In Concert
Date(s): Aug 02, 2014
When: 7:30 pm.
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

An acoustic bluegrass/americana band known for their stellar vocals and beautiful harmonies. Their most recent CD "Looking Forward" has achieved heavy airplay on Sirius/XM radio's Bluegrass Junction channel. This February, "Looking Forward to Looking Back" hit the #1 spot on BluegrassToday.com's national radio airplay chart. Emily Bankester received the innaugural IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Momentum Award for Vocalist of the Year in 2012. More info

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland in Concert
Date(s): Aug 02, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

In Sugarland I have learned much of both who I am and who I am not. Even with all of our success, I have had the deep desire to share other parts of myself. To prove some things to myself. And, to just simply shake it up and do something different, perhaps scary, and certainly fresh and new. Upon the release of "That Girl" the album, it will have been almost four years since I started steering my ship in the direction of a solo venture. Reinvention takes processing, evaluation, planning, time. And so, four years ago, I began. Again. More info

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Presents Beer Camp Across America
Date(s): Aug 03, 2014
When: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Where: Mills River, NC

Huge Craft Beer festival held at the new Sierra Nevada Brewing Facility in Haw River, NC. Over 100 breweries from the South East.

Music, fun and most importantly beer!

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Aug 07, 2014 - Aug 09, 2014
When: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Islands Park

Relax by the bonfire and river, roast marshmallows and enjoy some of Cherokee's best storytellers entertain you and your family with Cherokee myths, legends and passed on stories.

The bonfire is FREE for the entire family, including the marshmallows. If you haven't seen this, it is worth the drive! More info

Nantahala Racing Club hosts 2014 Junior Olympics
Date(s): Aug 09, 2014 - Aug 11, 2014
When: All day
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, 13077 US Hwy 19 West, Bryson City, NC

Youth paddlers! Come to the Nantahala to compete in SUP, freestyle, slalom, downriver, raft, and, in general, goof off and have a great time on the river! More info

 

The Jeff Little Trio in Concert
Date(s): Aug 09, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Much influenced by mountain flat-picked guitar tradition, his style is breathtaking in its speed, precision and clarity. Jeff is conversant with traditional jazz, old-time, country, bluegrass, rockabilly, and blues. Accomplished musicians Steve Lewis on guitar and banjo, and Josh Scott on upright bass round out the trio. More info

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Aug 14, 2014 - Aug 16, 2014
When: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Islands Park

Relax by the bonfire and river, roast marshmallows and enjoy some of Cherokee's best storytellers entertain you and your family with Cherokee myths, legends and passed on stories.

The bonfire is FREE for the entire family, including the marshmallows. If you haven't seen this, it is worth the drive! More info

Dailey & Vincent in Concert
Date(s): Aug 15, 2014
When: 7:30pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts

In 2008, James Dailey and Darrin Vincent became the most heralded new act in bluegrass with their debut album "Dailey & Vincent". That same year, the group took home seven awards at the 2008 International  Bluegrass Music Awards Show, including Entertianer of the Yer and Album of the Year. Bluegrass musicians though and though, these "Borthers from Different Mothers" have found the closest thing to brotherhood- a true musical partnership. More info

Free Family-Friendly Movies On Outdoor Screen
Date(s): Aug 15, 2014
When: Dusk (approx. 8:45 pm)
Where: Behind Red Caboose on Everett St., Bryson City

The Karate Kid. Mid-June through late August. Family friendly movie selections are shown on a 12x17 foot outdoor movie screen (weather permitting). Park at any public parking spot in town so you can eat/browse through shops on Main Street and Everett Street (and beyond) before the movie. Don't forget your lawn chair! More info

Nantahala Outdoor Center's Canoe Club Challenge #3
Date(s): Aug 16, 2014
When: All day
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, 13077 US Hwy 19 West, Bryson City, NC

In 2014, the Canoe Club Challenge will feature a slalom component and additional fun event, which will be different for each round of the event. There's no better event in the Southeast to meet friendly paddling types, share some laughs and get fired up over a little good-natured competition. More info

The Dam Race 5K & 10K Foot Racing at Fontana Dam
Date(s): Aug 16, 2014
Where: Fontana Dam, NC 28733

Compete with other racers in 5K and 10K races along the shores of the historic Little Tennessee River below Fontana Dam in the Great Smoky Mountains on a relatively flat course. Races will be bracketed in 5 year divisions for both male and female participants. A "One Mile Fun Run" will be available for all ages. Enjoy a full day of outdoor activities such as whitewater rafting, zip line canopy tours, hiking, boating and everything else the Smokies have to offer. Relax in the evening at Fontana Village with dinner and live music. For more information call 828.498.2211 or click here.

Mac Arnold & Plate Full O' Blues in Concert
Date(s): Aug 16, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

In late 1966, at age 24, MacArnold got the opportunity of a lifetime to join the Muddy Waters Band and help shape the electric blues sound that inspired the rock and roll movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s. Later, he formed the Soul Invaders which backed up many artists, including The Temptations and B. B. King; he also worked on Soul Train as well as with Bill Withers. In 2012, Mac Arnold was nominated for best Traditional Blues Male Artist at the Blues Music Awards. More info

Shellem Cline Free Concert
Date(s): Aug 16, 2014
When: 7 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Meadows Campground
Shellem Cline Free Concert

Enjoy award-winning gospel artist Shellem Cline at the campground. Bring your own lawn chair. Cline has won multiple awards within Southern gospel and has numerous top 80 hits including his current single "Look Up' at #26 on the national chart. The concert will feature many gospel classics, new original tunes and even the comedy that Cline is known for. Parking and concert are free. Artist Website  Campground Website

Appalachian Fire Bluegrass Concert
Date(s): Aug 17, 2014
When: 3:00 pm
Where: Swain County Center for the Arts
Appalachian Fire Bluegrass Concert

Free Concert Location: Swain County High School. 1415 Fontana Rd., Bryson City. Appalachian Fire Bluegrass Band headquartered in Flat Rock, NC, will perform a concert of classic bluegrass and gospel music along with some original tunes. Immediately following the one-hour concert there will be a meet and greet reception for the five musicians and the 21 artists who have artwork in the community exhibit that is currently on display at the Center.

Song selections performed by Appalachian Fire range from contemporary sounds to classics like “Rolling in my Sweet Baby’s Arms” and Blue Moon of Kentucky.”  The group also performs a number of original tunes written by the members of the band, as well as rousing instrumentals, such as “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and “Salt Creek.”  They honor the gospel tradition with songs like “I’ll Fly Away,” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” and “Over in the Gloryland.”  Mix in some wholesome humor and there is bound to be something for everyone.

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Aug 21, 2014 - Aug 23, 2014
When: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Islands Park

Relax by the bonfire and river, roast marshmallows and enjoy some of Cherokee's best storytellers entertain you and your family with Cherokee myths, legends and passed on stories.

The bonfire is FREE for the entire family, including the marshmallows. If you haven't seen this, it is worth the drive! More info

Adult Night Out - Friday Goes to Pot
Date(s): Aug 22, 2014
When: 7-9pm
Where: Pincu Pottery, 80 Hwy 28 S, Bryson City, NC

No, it's not that kind of Friday night - but it's still lots of fun! Make a pot in only two hours with instruction and all materials provided. $30 per person (per pot). Limited seating. To reservea spot call 828-488-0480 or click here

Free Family-Friendly Movies On Outdoor Screen
Date(s): Aug 22, 2014
When: Dusk (approx. 8:45 pm)
Where: Behind Red Caboose on Everett St., Bryson City

Little Giants. Mid-June through late August. Family friendly movie selections are shown on a 12x17 foot outdoor movie screen (weather permitting). Park at any public parking spot in town so you can eat/browse through shops on Main Street and Everett Street (and beyond) before the movie. Don't forget your lawn chair! More info

World Kayak Pro-Am
Date(s): Aug 23, 2014
When: All day
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, 13077 US Hwy 19 West, Bryson City, NC

Paddlers - come out tho the Nantahala for a unique opportunity to have fun with your friends, compete with the pros and help raise money for First Descents, a non-profit that offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same. More info

The Henhouse Prowlers in Concert
Date(s): Aug 23, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Chicago’s Henhouse Prowlers have built a reputation for hard work and non-stop touring, playing music inspired by the roots of bluegrass while branching out into a sound uniquely their own. From lightning fast picking, to sentimental ballads—playing storied original material, traditional songs, and contemporary covers—The Prowlers’ live show leaves no one wanting. The Prowlers continue to push the envelope with their highly original songwriting, tight arrangements, and electrifying stage presence. More info

Masters of Illusion: Believe the Impossible
Date(s): Aug 23, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center

You’ll see grand illusions, levitating women, appearances and vanishes, escapes, comedy magic, sleight of hand and beautiful dancers…everything you could possibly imagine and performances that you never dreamed possible – all rolled up into a live show! More info

 

Cherokee Bonfire
Date(s): Aug 28, 2014 - Aug 30, 2014
When: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Islands Park

Relax by the bonfire and river, roast marshmallows and enjoy some of Cherokee's best storytellers entertain you and your family with Cherokee myths, legends and passed on stories.

The bonfire is FREE for the entire family, including the marshmallows. If you haven't seen this, it is worth the drive! 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.

The Whisnants & The Old Paths in Concert
Date(s): Aug 29, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
The Whisnants & The Old Paths in Concert

Over the years, many Southern Gospel groups have come and gone. But there is one group that has stood the test of time.The Whisnants have been singing and ministering through song across the United States and Canada for 43 years.

With loads of enthusiasm and ministry experience, the Old Paths Quartet materialized out of Atlanta, Georgia to become one of the most influential, trend setting Christian groups in Southern Gospel. More info

Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys in Concert
Date(s): Aug 30, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Hailing from all corners of the Great Lakes State of Michigan, Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys are giving a nod to American traditional music, while boldly taking their own songs in new directions. Distinct vocals, tight harmonies, instrumental expertise, and creative arrangements are all essential characteristics of their unique sound. The group focuses on the original tunes of Lindsay Lou Rilko, which include true-life tales of bank-robbing aunties, moonshinin' grandpas, and celebrations of love, life, and nature. More info

P.A.W.S. Wine Tasting and Silent Auction
Date(s): Aug 30, 2014
When: 7-9pm
Where: Lands Creek Log Cabins, 3336 Balltown Road, Bryson City, NC

Come out for a dog-gone good time and show your support for Swain County and Bryson City's only animal shelter, P.A.W.S.

This annual event is a community favorite and features a great selection of local items for auction, great wines, and live entertainment.

Click here for more information

BBQ and Brews Dinner Train
Date(s): Aug 30, 2014
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, Everett Street, Bryson City, NC

Join us for our BBQ and Brews dinner train. Enjoy slow-cooked BBQ prepared fresh and beer tastings showcasing the Heinzelmannchen Brewery in Sylva, NC. Tickets start at $69 and include a souvenir tasting glass for three samples ofthe finely crafted beer selections featured. For more information call 800-872-4681 or visit the website.

Bryson City Fire Rescue Day - 5K, Parade & Celebration
Date(s): Aug 30, 2014
When: All day
Where: Celebration - Riverfront Park, Bryson City
Bryson City Fire Rescue Day - 5K, Parade & Celebration

5K race registration begins at 7 am at the Swain County Rec Park on West Deep Creek Road. A parade of fire trucks and other emergency equipment will start at 9:30 am on Veteran's Blvd, travel Main and Everett streets, ending on Mitchell Steet at Riverfront Park. The celebration will begin at 10 am with a number of area fire departments participating. Food, kids games, demonstrations and competitions for the departments. Smokey The Bear will be on hand.

NRC Fall Racing Series
Date(s): Aug 31, 2014
When: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Where: Nantahala River Gorge

Open to paddlers of all ages and ability levels, these youth and beginner-friendly slalom races are fun for the whole family. Held at the Nantahala Bridge Gates unless specified otherwise, these races provide distinct paddling challenges in a low-key, supportive setting. More info

Tim McGraw
Date(s): Aug 31, 2014
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

“This last year was unbelievable, and I don’t have any plans to let off the gas now. We didn’t want to waste any time getting new music out,” said McGraw. “With every album, my approach is to push a few of my own boundaries and try things I’ve never done before. It was hard to choose a lead single off this project because I really felt like we had six or seven good options. I kept coming back to ‘That Girl’ because even though it may be a little different for me sonically, I couldn’t get it out of my head!” More info

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
 

S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

SHARE
FOLLOW US


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