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.

2015: Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec

A Time to Remember: A Month Long Appalachian History Presentation
Date(s): May 01, 2015 - May 31, 2015
Where: Fontana Village Resort, Fontana Dam

Our fifth annual celebration to honor the people of Western North Carolina who gave up their homes, land and way of life so that World War II could be won. Hosted by Fontana Village Resort, The Proctor Revival Organization and GREAT (Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team). More info

Oconaluftee Indian Village
Date(s): May 01, 2015 - Oct 17, 2015
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

West Side Story Presented by the Asheville Lyric Opera
Date(s): May 01, 2015
When: 7 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
West Side Story Presented by the Asheville Lyric Opera

This most loved show is an adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set in 1950's Manhattan. Rival gangs the American "Jets" and the Puerto Rican "Sharks" battle for control of the historic Upper West Side of New York City. In the midst of the tensions blooms the romance of Tony, a former Jets member and Maria, sister of Bernardo, founder of the Sharks. The Asheville Lyric Opera brings this famous 1957 Broadway classic to the stage where audiences will be treated to classic hits including "Tonight," "America," "One Hand, One Heart," "Somewhere" and "I Feel Pretty." More info

Twelve Hours of Tsali
Date(s): May 02, 2015
Where: Tsali Recreation Area

Annual mountain bike race on some of the most famous trails in the Eastern US. Solo and team relay format. Team and solo competition. Free t-shirts to the first 100 entries. Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes for men and women. Sponsored in part by Bryson City Bicycles. Limited to 350 entrants. Friday, 9 am - 5 pm opening riding; noon - 5 pm registration. Saturday registration opens at 8 am; race is from 10 am - 10 pm. Vendors on site. NC Hwy 28 N. west of Bryson City. More info

Taste of Home Cooking School
Date(s): May 02, 2015
When: 6:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
Taste of Home Cooking School

America's leading cooking school program inspires more than 300,000  consumers each year at 300 events across the country. You'll experience a 2-hour demonstration of exciting recipes, cooking tips and innovative products. The Culinary Specialists will show step-by-step instructions on how to create satisfying and flavorful dishes to enjoy at home or while entertaining. Additionally, everyone will receive a gift bag full of recipes, coupons and sample products. More info

Caleb Johnson in Concert
Date(s): May 02, 2015
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center
Caleb Johnson in Concert

All ages show. Winner of the thirteenth season of American Idol, North Carolina native, Caleb Johnson, has electrified audiences of millions with his commanding vocals and a fiery energy. More info

Annual West Swain Volunteer Fire Dept. Bass Tournament
Date(s): May 02, 2015
When: 7:00 am
Where: Almond Boat Park

$100 entry fee per boat (2 fishermen per boat) includes launch and BBQ lunch. First place takes home $1500 based on combined weight of maximum 5 fish. Cash prizes awarded through 10th place. Additional prize for the biggest fish. You can pick up an entry form and regulations at Almond Boat Park, Smoky Mountain Lakes Marina, Smoky Mountain Bait & Tackle and Clampitt's Ace Hardware. $1 tickets will be available for a raffle of a variety of items. For your info: call Jim at 828-488-6423.

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam
Date(s): May 02, 2015
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and Third Saturdays, all year. 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

Mother's Day Weekend
Date(s): May 08, 2015 - May 10, 2015
Where: Fontana Village Resort, Fontana Dam

Treat Mom and the family to a weekend of fun including Sunday Brunch in the beautiful Mountview Restaurant. Call 800-849-2258 for more information or reservations or click here.

Concert Featuring Laura Story
Date(s): May 08, 2015
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC
Concert Featuring Laura Story

Laura Story wrote the No. 1 worship hit "Indescribable" which was recorded in 2004 by Chris Tomlin. Soon after, she signed an artist deal with the INO Records and her 2008 national debut won a Dove Award for Inspirational Album and earned Laura two consecutive nominations for Female Vocalist of the Year. Singing and teaching in churches across the United States, Western Europe, and South America, Laura believes through music and prayer, this is her chance to share the gospel. More info

Classic Hike of the Smokies: Lake Shore Trail
Date(s): May 12, 2015
Where: Lake Shore Drive, Bryson City
Classic Hike of the Smokies: Lake Shore Trail

Learn the rich history of the southern end of the Smokies on the May Classic Hike on Lake Shore Trail. Join Friends of the Smokies on this guided 9.4-mile round trip hike which is moderate in difficulty and has a total elevation gain of 1,370 feet. This Classic Hike features Friends’ support for the equestrian Leave No Trace training program. A $10 donation for Friends members and $35 for non-members is requested to benefit the Smokies Trails Forever fund. More info on all hikes & registration

Bluegrass Festival
Date(s): May 16, 2015
When: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Where: Stecoah Valley Center
Bluegrass Festival

During the day, various groups perform traditional Appalachian music on the outdoor stage, with arts, crafts and food vendors throughout the grounds. The Schoolhouse Cafe will be open all day. More info

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam
Date(s): May 16, 2015
When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and Third Saturdays, all year. 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's Memorial Day Trout Tournament
Date(s): May 22, 2015 - May 24, 2015
Where: Cherokee Indian Reservation

$11 entry fee and $10,000 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

Swain County Heritage Festival
Date(s): May 22, 2015 - May 23, 2015
Where: Riverfront Park, Bryson City
Swain County Heritage Festival

Friday night entertainment (6-9 pm) is loaded with local talent featuring an emphasis on old-time gospel. Saturday entertainment (9:30 am - 6 pm), features classic country and bluegrass, and clogging. In addition to music, the festival offers local arts and crafts, food, games for the kids, log-sawing contest, sack races and fun for the whole family. Schedule of events

Memorial Day Weekend Summer Kick-Off
Date(s): May 22, 2015 - May 26, 2015
Where: Fontana Village Resort, Fontana Dam

Join us for our annual Summer Kick Off. Get ready for live music and a full weekend of fun and entertainment at the resort. Load the car and bring the entire family! For more information call 800-498-2108 or click here.

Boston in Concert
Date(s): May 22, 2015
When: 9:00 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center
Boston in Concert

Boston’s self-titled debut album catapulted the band to stardom with the smash singles “More Than a Feeling,” and “Peace of Mind." Active for nearly 40 years, Boston’s combination of hard progressive rock, phenomenal guitar work, and soaring vocals is still as riveting and relevant as ever. More info

NRC Family Whitewater Weekend
Date(s): May 23, 2015 - May 24, 2015
When: 10:00 am
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City
NRC Family Whitewater Weekend

Families and youth paddlers gather in the Nantahala Gorge for a weekend of flat and whitewater activities, games and camaraderie. Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves to develop and use new skills in a fun, supportive environment and try their hand at slalom, freestyle and downriver. More info

Adventure Dash For All Ages
Date(s): May 23, 2015
When: 4:30 pm
Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City
Adventure Dash For All Ages

Participants negotiate a series of challenge elements while racing to the finish in this family-friendly adventure race along the Nantahala River near Bryson City, NC. Choose between the 5K Dash or a 1K Fun Run.

Kids aged 12 and under race free with a participating adult. More info

BBQ & Brews Dinner Train
Date(s): May 23, 2015
When: 7:00 pm
Where: Bryson City Train Depot
BBQ & Brews Dinner Train

Board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and enjoy the ride along with slow-cooked BBQ prepared fresh and beer tastings showcasing the Heinzelmannchen Brewery of Sylva, NC. Tickets start at $69 and include a souvenir tasting glass for three samples of finely crafted beer selections. Call 800-872-4681 or click here.

The Collinsworth Family in Concert
Date(s): May 23, 2015
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin
The Collinsworth Family in Concert

An Evening of Family Worship and Praise with The Collingsworth Family. Since their first engagement together as musicians for a church camp in Petersburg, Michigan in August, 1986 until now, the ministry God has given Phil & Kim has expanded and flourished until it is a full-time livelihood that involves their entire family. More info

Gourd Artist Gathering
Date(s): May 28, 2015 - May 31, 2015
Where: Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Featuring classes and workshops on all facets of gourd manufacture and design. Gourds for sale! Meet the artisans! All this in a fun and lively festival atmosphere. More info

Annual Gala and Benefit Auction
Date(s): May 30, 2015
When: 5:00 - 8:00 pm
Where: John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown

Please join us for an exciting evening of lively entertainment, delicious food, and traditional craft and fine art. Admission is $25 per person and covers food and drink. Proceeds to benefit the Folk School's craft programs. 

For more information click here or call 800-FOLK-SCH

PAWSitively Fun Kids Day
Date(s): May 30, 2015
When: 10:00am-2:00pm
Where: Riverfront Park, Mitchell Street, Bryson City

Come and enjoy a fun filled day of games, arts and crafts, live music, refreshments and much more. Admission is free and rabies and Pravo/Distemper vaccines will also be available for a fee. Click here for more information.

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama
Date(s): May 30, 2015 - Aug 15, 2015
When: Mon-Sat, 8:00 pm performance. Closed Sundays.
Where: Mountainside Theater, Cherokee
Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

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

Jay Leno
Date(s): May 30, 2015
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center
Jay Leno

Jay Leno began his career in night clubs, where he worked 300 nights a year before hitting it big in 1992 with The Tonight Show. Now he's back doing his hilarious stand-up routines around the country. More info

XTERRA Tsali
Date(s): May 31, 2015
When: 8:00 am
Where: Tsali Recreation Area
XTERRA Tsali

The ½ mile lake swim will start off the event as athletes will begin on East shore and swim out to a point in the lake marked with buoys and then back to the beach. After exiting the water the racers will face a short run to the transition area to begin the 5 mile run course on the "right loop alternate" trail. The mountain bike leg, which consists of a 10 mile loop will take the riders around the popular "left loop" to the finish in the transition area. NC Hwy 28 N., Bryson City. More info

 

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