The annual Dirty Dancing Festival at Lake Lure. Photo by John Fletcher.

Have the time of your life with these 8 summer events in Western North Carolina

Fireworks and Festivals in Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills

LAKE LURE, N.C. (June 26, 2017): Steeped in tradition, summers in Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills are brimming over with family-friendly outdoor activities, down-home music, great food and unique festivals. From fireworks to film tributes, here are eight ‘not to miss summer events in Western North Carolina. Whether you come for a weekend or stay for the season, expect to have the time of your life!


July 3: Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration
Lake Lure, N.C.

Fireworks over the lake are a summertime tradition - watch brilliant color burst over the water on the eve of Independence Day! The festivities start at 6 p.m. from the Public Beach at Lake Lure, so bring the kids or just your sweetheart for an unforgettable show. Better yet, rent a pontoon boat from Lake Lure Tours or Lake Lure Adventure Company to enjoy a first-class seat.

July 4: Fourth of July Freedom Festival
Forest City, N.C.

The only thing more American than July 4th is baseball and pie – and this festival at McNair Field has both! Bring the entire family to the Forest City Owls Baseball Stadium for a fun filled day of parades, kids’ activities, a baseball game and fireworks! Stuff your face at the pie-eating contest and get competitive with sack races, balloon toss, corn hole and more! The action kicks off at 10 a.m. and goes till 4 p.m. Catch the Owls Baseball game at 7 p.m. for their Independence Game, complete with a team photo giveaway and fireworks directly after the game. You can also watch fireworks for free along Main Street in downtown Forest City!

July 4: Independence Day Celebration
Lake Lure, N.C.

A season favorite is the Beach Bonfire and Marshmallow Roast at Rumbling Bald Resort on July 3. Continue the fun on Tuesday at the annual July 4th resort celebration featuring a spectacular fireworks show, the Boardwalk Arts & Crafts sale, family games, children’s play area, beach cookout and more. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Foothills in a classic resort setting, enjoy the glittering views with your favorite people. While resort events are open to resort guests only, you can see the fireworks shining high above the lake in all directions.

July 4: July 4th Weekend Family Fun
Chimney Rock, N.C.

This Independence Day will be wild at Chimney Rock State Park! From Saturday, July 1st to Tuesday, July 4th, meet some of Grady’s real-life, woodland friends at Family Animal Encounters. Then, enjoy one free climb per person on the Climbing Tower! Grab a Track Trail brochure at Grady’s Animal Discovery Den and round out the day with a hike along our Great Woodland Adventure trail, complete with 12 interactive education stations. Making summer memories was never so easy!

Athletes Love Lake Lure Olympiad

August 11-13: 13th Annual Lake Lure Olympiad
Lake Lure and Chimney Rock, N.C.

The Lake Lure Olympiad hosts thousands of athletes, families and friends every year. The idyllic combination of vacation and competition brings runners, swimmers and cyclists back year after year to this weekend of lake and mountain fun! Try the "3 Races in 3 Days" challenge featuring the 10K Dam Run, Lake Lure Triathlon and Race to the Rock, or take the easy way out and just do one. Bring the kids and watch them compete for medals of their own in the Junior Olympiad. Spectators are welcome, too! Register for your events before July 26 to snag a free t-shirt.


Can't Get Enough of Dirty Dancing?

August 18-19: The Dirty Dancing Festival
Lake Lure, N.C.

A tribute to the classic movie filmed in and around Lake Lure, the 8th annual Dirty Dancing Festival features a weekend of live bands, dance performances by the Asheville Ballet, lessons and even our signature "lake lift" competition. Enjoy local food vendors, watermelon carrying games, cool merchandise and more. Funds are also raised to benefit pancreatic cancer research in honor of the film's late star Patrick Swayze. “Dirty Dancing” fans of all ages are welcome.

Hot Nights Cool Rides Car Show

August 19: Hot Nights, Cool Rides Auto Show
Forest City, N.C.

Known as the “Best Car Show East of the Mississippi,” admire and compare this incredible collection of more than 400 vehicles lining Main Street in Forest City including custom-built Rat Rods, decked out motorcycles, antique Model T’s and classic Mustangs. Roam historic downtown while checking out plenty of food vendors, sampling a variety of local eats, jamming to live bands and stargazing at classic rides. The fun starts at 9:30 a.m. and wraps up at 8 p.m.     


For more information on these and other events happening all year in Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills, visit

About Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills of Rutherford County, N.C.

Have the time of your life in Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills, the famous film site of “Dirty Dancing.” Here, retreat to a destination where simple pleasures outshine the digital-age spectacles – a place where main streets reign over mega malls; where nature delivers the best adventures; and where history lives boldly and visibly in architecture, story, song and spirit. Download an area travel guide or learn more at or by calling 800-849-5998.