Fall 2018 Annual Events in Madison County, NC

With the backdrop of the beautiful fall colors, Madison County has one of the premier festivals in western North Carolina–the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival. On that same day, the town of Mars Hill is transformed during the day celebrating the Heritage Festival with arts and crafts and old-time craft demonstrations on the campus of Mars Hill University and spreading out onto Main Street. The County Fair rounds out the annual events recognizing the culture of the people of the county. Be sure to check for other events which are listed on the Events Page.

 Art on the Island Festival

September 29, 2018
Blannahassett Island, Marshall

Art on the IslandThe Madison County sponsored arts and music festival is set on beautiful Blannahassett Island just over the bridge from downtown Marshall. Still FREE! This venue allows the festival to put musicians on the new stage to offer many more opportunities to enjoy the day. Come out to browse through arts booths, sample local food and buy local products while listening to musicians perform throughout the day. For questions, contact the Madison County Arts Council at 828 649-1301.

Bascom Lamar Lunsford Music Festival

October 6, 2018
Mars Hill University

The Lunsford Festival is an all-day festival celebrating regional music and dance traditions. The event is the second oldest folk festival in Western North Carolina and was named in honor of co-founder Bascom Lamar Lunsford. Lunsford was a musician and folklorist who dedicated his life to collecting and promoting the music of the Southern Appalachians. Through his work he became known as the “Minstrel of the Appalachians.” The festival, which is now in its 51st year, brings out the region’s finest musicians and dancers. Join us in honoring the rich cultural traditions of the Southern Appalachians! There will be a concert on the Upper Quad from 10 until 5, musicians’ workshops (https://www.mhu.edu/about/what-to-do-and-see/ramsey-center/lunsford-festival/lunsford-festival-workshops/), an open jam, and a ballad swap. After the outdoor concert, there will be a community dance – squares, circles, and lines. All dance figures will be explained and absolutely no experience is necessary. All events (except for the musicians’ workshops) are free of charge. For more information: www.lunsfordfestival.com

Madison County Heritage Festival

October 6, 2018
Mars Hill, NC

Traditional mountain music and old-time craft demonstrations, local arts and crafts fill the town of Mars Hill and the Mars Hill Univeristy campus at this family-friendly festival. Imagine a picturesque southern town alongside the classic buildings and manicured lawns of a 150-year-old college. The lofty Blue Ridge Mountains surround, just showing the first hints of fall. Now imagine the streets and campus filled with traditional music, crafts, and succulent food. Your imagination just won’t equal the experience you’ll have at the Mars Hill Heritage Festival. For over 35 years this event has been held the first Saturday in October in Mars Hill, a short 20 miles drive north of Asheville, North Carolina.10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Madison County Fair

September 27, 28, 29, 2018
Madison County Fairgrounds
258 Carolina Lane, Marshall, NC 28754


Madison County NC FairThe Madison County Fair will be held on the fairgrounds of the Madison County Cooperative Extension Agency. Planned events include; rides, produce and cooking competitions, livestock competitions, special contests and exhibits, 4-H certified livestock and horse shows. Create some memories similar to the ones you have from growing up and going to the Fair with your family. Carnival rides are there for the delight of all as well as craft booth and food vendors. But, the most fun is viewing the competitions of livestock and all the other categories ranging from baking to photography.

Marshall Handmade Market

November 17 & 18, 2018
Marshall, NC

Join us for our tenth annual Handmade Market!
The Marshall Handmade Market will be held the weekend before Thanksgiving at Marshall High Studios in Marshall, NC, from 10am to 5pm. The studios are housed in a 1920’s two story brick high school, which is nestled on a little island in the French Broad River. On show day the spacious, sunny auditorium is filled with some of the best makers in the region, and the resident artists open the doors of their classrooms-turned-studios to visitors. We’ll have delicious Thai food from the Bun Intended food truck,sweet and savory pastries from OWL Bakery, a musician or two, and plenty of seating on the generous back deck. Our idyllic island setting, the charming historic high school and fantastic artists all combine to make the Marshall Handmade Market a favorite among holiday markets for locals and visitors.