Dive into summer, grab your friends and family and celebrate the season with big booms, outdoor music, natural wonders and more surrounded by the awe-inspiring beauty of our small towns! Whether you're a local, visiting for vacation or just cruising through, we have the hot ticket to all the summertime fun! So, break out the sunscreen and plan your next getaway around our ultimate guide to all of the annual festivals, live entertainment and sizzling events that Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills area has to offer.
Red, White and Blue Ridge Fireworks
On July 3rd bring your picnic, chairs and blankets to Morse Park or the Beach at Lake Lure to watch a stunning display of fireworks over the lake as the town celebrates our nation’s freedom. Call ahead or arrive early and grab a seat at one of the restaurants nearby offering special menus and seating times for great views of the show.
Forest City: https://www.forestcitybaseball.com/landing/index
Celebrate Independence Day with America’s favorite pastime at McNair Stadium. On July 4th, bring the whole family out to the ballpark and catch a Forest City Owls baseball game. Immediately following the game, stick around for an electrifying fireworks show that is as quintessential as the surrounding small towns. You can also watch the fireworks for free along Main Street in downtown Forest City!
Learn from Nature’s Best
Reconnect with nature and experience an in-depth look at the rare flora and fauna of Chimney Rock State Park with one of the park’s upcoming Naturalist Niche series. Take a hike off-the-beaten paths to parts that are seldom explored and learn all about the different seasons of birds, native plants and trees that are over 200 years old, and the geology and history of the state park from those who know it best. A different series occurs each month, participants are encouraged to sign up online as the events fill up fast. Upcoming summer hikes include Old Growth Frolic, Top of the Mountain Trek and Migration Bird Walk. Visit https://www.chimneyrockpark.com/events/list/ for the full summer schedule.
WNC’s Premier Destination Sports Event
From the shores of Rumbling Bald Resort to the peaks of Chimney Rock State Park, spectators will take joy in cheering on athletes from across the nation as they compete in challenging race competitions at the 14th annual Lake Lure Olympiad, August 10-12. Featuring the Ultimate “3 Races in 3 Days” Challenge, this athletic event weekend includes a 10K Dam Run, the Lake Lure Triathlon and the Race to the Rock 5K Run and 25-Mile Bike. Kids can join in on the action too, participating in games and fun courses for a chance to take home medals of their own in the Junior Olympiad. On Friday evening, kick-off the weekend festivities with family and friends at the Opening Ceremony on the beach at Rumbling Bald Resort. Everyone will have a blast with the Build a Box Boat Race, lighting of the torch, water ski performances, live music and a beach-side cookout.
Calling all Car Lovers
Each year over the third week of August, historic Forest City closes its main drag for Hot Nights, Cool Rides, one of the largest car shows in the Southeast. Attracting thousands of auto enthusiasts, the downtown fills with hundreds of vehicles from custom-built Rat Rods and decked out motorcycles to antique Model T’s and classic Mustangs. The fun starts pumping on Friday night, August 17, at 6:30pm with a cruise-in and live music at the newly constructed Pavilion on Park Square just off Main Street. The festival kicks into high gear on Saturday, August 18 starting at 9am when over 60 classes of cars, trucks and motorcycles take over Main Street. There is plenty of entertainment to keep the party moving throughout the day featuring three regional bands, a DJ and everyone’s favorite deputy, Barney Fife. Vendors from the local area will energize visitors with an assortment of delicious fair food and sweet treats, plus the various restaurants in downtown will be open. The car show and cruise in are both free to attend and open to the general public.
The Dirty Dancing Festival
Have the time of your life this summer reliving your favorite moments from the timeless classic movie Dirty Dancing at the 9th annual Dirty Dancing Festival held August 24-25. Amidst the breathtaking backdrop of the namesake film, visitors from all over flock to Lake Lure to learn how to dance like Johnny and Baby, carry a watermelon and watch as couples attempt the famous, and often humorous Lake Lift. In honor of scenes filmed in and around the lake, the festival pays tribute with a weekend full of live music, movie-inspired dance lessons, shag socials, contests, games and the fan favorite-Lakeside Film Screening of Dirty Dancing on Friday night. Throughout the two days, fans will enjoy homemade arts and crafts from local and regional artisans, official festival merchandise, area food trucks and sweet treats, plus the Club House Garden serving beer, wine and cider. Hosted by the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge, proceeds during the festival are raised to benefit the towns of the gorge as well as raise awareness for pancreatic cancer research in honor of Patrick Swayze.