The Hilltop Festival is held the first Saturday of October in our historic Downtown. It is our favorite way to usher in fall and one of the most popular festivals of the year. A true family-favorite, it all begins on Friday night with the annual Race for the Gold Soapbox Derby. Individual teams compete under the lights for the trophy and bragging rights for the next year!
Bright and early Saturday morning cyclists and runners line up to compete in the Tour de Pumpkin bike ride and Overmountain Victory Trail 5k. The Overmountain Victory Trail 5K provides participants an opportunity to follow in the brave footsteps of the Overmountain Men and their historic Revolutionary War march through Rutherfordton and runners take a similar path around downtown. The Tour de Pumpkin bike ride, sponsored by the Rutherfordton Outdoor Coalition, includes both 100k and 50k rides, and is among the most popular in Western North Carolina. The event draws cyclists from as far away as Tennessee.
After the race you'll fall in love with this festival as a number of events take over the streets:
- Rutherfordton's history comes alive when The Overmountain Victory Trail Association commemorates the Overmountain Men, their march through our town and their ultimate Revolutionary War victory at Kings Mountain
- Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and take advantage of our huge selection of vendors from all over the region. If you're looking for unique items or hand crafted one of a kind finds, this is where to find them.
- Special events and promotions from downtown merchants
- Face painting, rock walls, inflatables, pony rides and more await kids of all ages
- The best bands of the region fill our Courthouse Stage and the air with music that will have your toes tapping
- Be sure to check out all the entries to our annual Scarecrow Contest. A longstanding Rutherfordton tradition that decorates our downtown and brings charm and whimsy to the season
- And we can't have a celebration without food! The best in festival food and irresistible homemade desserts and more from local churches await you
- Main Street
- Rutherfordton, NC 28139
- Downtown Rutherfordton
- Recurring on the 1st Saturday of October