Charlotte’s Fall Festivals and Fairs: 2023

From fairs and festivals to cultural exhibits and Halloween activities

Matthews Alive Labor Day Festival

Sept. 1-4

Come for the food vendors, Kids Connection area, games, rides and multiple entertainment stages. Don’t miss the parade at 9:30 a.m. Saturday!

Location/Cost: Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St. Free admission. Individual tickets for rides and games are $2 and are also available in sheets of 25 ($35) and 50 ($50).

Hours: Fri., 6-10 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 1-10 p.m.; Mon. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Best Wurst Fest

Sept. 2-3

Sausage, sausage and more sausage in the Biergarten. Test you skills in the Sausage Toss Game, or just enjoy some live music.

Location: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Road.

Hours: Opens 11 a.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. Sun.

Yiasou Greek Festival

Sept. 8-10

Come enjoy cultural exhibits, folk dancing, live music, authentic Greek cuisine and the Kids Playland with rides, children’s activities and cotton candy.

Location/Cost: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd. $5. Children 12 and younger free.

Hours: Fri. and Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Img 4180 2

Courtesy, Yiasou Greek Festival

Cabarrus County Fair

Sept. 8-16

Experience rides, food, horticulture and craft exhibits, a petting zoo and racing pigs.

Location/Cost: Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4759 NC Highway 49 N., Concord. $6-$8, children 5 and younger free. Rides are $1 for one credit, $18 for 18 credits, 62 credits for $58 and 108 credits for $98; wristbands for one day’s unlimited mechanical ride access are $35.

Hours: Fri., 4-11 p.m..; Sat. 1-11 p.m.; Sun. 1-10 p.m.; Mon.-Thurs. 4-10 p.m.

By the Sweat of Our Brows

Sept. 9

Visit Historic Brattonville for a demonstration of the daily life and work of enslaved people who once worked Bratton Plantation. Meet the descendants of the community as they share stores of their ancestors. Enjoy children’s activities, woodworking,  basket weaving, quilting, cooking demonstrations, tours and a musical demonstration.

Location/Cost: Historic Brattonsville, 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells, SC. $5-$8.

Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Charlotte International Arts Festival

Sept. 15-Oct. 1

This multi-week festival features immersive experiences from local, national and international artists such as larger-than-life bird puppets, bubble and percussion shows, glow yoga, a rock wall and the El Grito Festival, which celebrates Mexican Independence Day. Visit the website for location and parking information.

Location/Cost: Throughout Charlotte. Some experiences are free, others are ticketed.

Hours: Varies by activity


Sept. 15-17 & 22-24

Enjoy traditional German food and live music in the Biergarten, and participate in 1-liter Das Boot and stein-holding contests.

Location/Cost: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery, 4150 Yancey Road.

Hours: Opens 11 a.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m. Sun.

Sept. 16

Discover different cultures through arts, music, fashion, dance and food.

Location/Cost: Harrisburg Park, 191 Sims Parkway, Harrisburg. Free.

Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Flow Fest

Sept. 16

Flow into a Saturday full of yoga. Among the practices are puppy yoga, SUP yoga, Vinyasa yoga, meditation and breathwork. See website for full schedule. Look for kombucha sampling, vendors and live music in the evening.

Location/Cost: U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center. Online registration required. $6 for parking.

Hours: First session begins at 8:30 a.m. The event ends with Glow Yoga at 8 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin Fest

Sept. 16-Oct. 29

Carowinds presents family-friendly Halloween attractions for young children, including Lucy’s Mummy Pit, Peppermint Patty’s Hay Bale Maze, Woodstock’s Kookie Corn Maze and Linus’ Pumpkin Patch. There’s also trick-or-treating around Camp Snoopy. Wear your favorite costume!

Location/Cost: Carowinds Amusement Park, 14523 Carowinds Blvd. Tickets start at $39.99.

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Festival in the Park 

Sept. 22-24

Freedom Park will be a hub for music, food and art vendors.

Location/Cost: Freedom Park, 1900 East Blvd. Free.

Hours: Fri., 4-9 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

0130 Fest In Park2014


Festival of India

Sept. 23

The cultural festival showcases the diversity of Indian dance, film, food, art and music. Guests can enjoy yoga, henna tattoos and a kids’ art corner and competition.

Location/Cost: Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St. $6

Hours: Noon-8 p.m.

Union County Heritage Festival

Sept. 23

Expect live entertainment, food, vendors, educational and creative activities for kids, free talks, art, raffles, a 5K race and cooking demonstrations.

Location/Cost: Union County Agricultural Center, 3230 Presson Road, Monroe. Free.

Hours: Race begins at 8 a.m.; festival opens at 9 a.m.

Gold Hill Founders Day

Sept. 23

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of Gold Hill with arts, crafts, a parade, bluegrass music, food, gold panning, hay rides and an axe-throwing competition.

Location/Cost: Gold Hill Mines Historic Park, 735 Saint Stephens Church Road, Gold Hill. Free.

Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Indian Land Fall Festival

Sept. 30-Oct. 1

This annual festival features live music, arts and crafts, a farm zone, food trucks, bingo and hay rides.

Location/Cost: Indian Land High School, 8063 River Road, Indian Land. $5.

Hours: Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m; Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Sept. 30-Nov. 19

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is filled with charming cottages, castles, kitchens and pubs, all with simulated architecture of a 16th century European village. Interactive entertainment takes place all day long, and there’s an open-air artisan market with arts, crafts, games and rides.

Location/Cost: 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville. $20-$32.

Hours: Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Carolina Renaissance Festival

Ballantyne Brunch Festival

Oct. 7

Do brunch and give back. There will be live music, brunch bites, specialty drinks, family-friendly activities, all benefitting the Isabella Santos Foundation.

Location/Cost: The Amp Ballantyne, 11115 Upper Avenue.  General Admission – $25, Kids – $10, VIP – $125

Hours: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Curtin Farms Fest 2023

Oct. 7

Experience a relaxing, family-friendly day on the 100-year-old working farm with live music, antiques, food and crafts.

Location/Cost: Curtin Farms, 407 N. Paraham Road, Clover. $10, 10+; $5, 3-9 years; free for those 2 and under.

Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Dog Gone Good Time Festival

Oct. 7

Celebrate the Humane Society of York County at this festival that’s gone to the dogs. Break out your neon for this year’s ’90s-themed festival, with vendors, food trucks, a DJ, kid games and doggy games. Bring your pooch (up-to-date on its shots) to participate in all the fun.

Location/Cost: Walter Y. Elisha Park, 345 N. White St., Fort Mill. Free.

Hours: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Hola Charlotte Festival

Oct. 7

Celebrate Latin culture with food, music, dance performances and family activities.

Location/Cost: Uptown Charlotte, on Tryon Street from Brooklyn Village Ave. to 4th Street. Free.

Hours: Noon-6 p.m.

Catawba Fest

Oct. 14

The event features an arts and crafts show with wares from local artisans, a pumpkin pie-eating contest, fall plant potting education, food trucks, a kid’s zone and a Cupcake Challenge for all ages. The Ross Coppley Band takes the stage from 3-6 p.m.

Location/Cost: Catawba Park, 2351 New Gray Rock Road, Tega Cay. Free.

Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.


Oct. 14

Enjoy live music, NC beer, food trucks and a kid’s zone with crafts and games. All proceeds benefit Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists.

Location/Cost: Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road, Cornelius. Free.

Hours: 4-9 p.m.

Autumn Treasures

Oct. 14-15

Local crafters display wares on Main Street, while local musicians fill the streets with song. The Kids Zone features inflatables, carnival rides, pony rides, a petting zoo, children’s entertainment and crafts.

Location/Cost: Downtown Waxhaw. Street parking is available downtown, or park off-site and take one of the shuttles.

Hours: Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sun., noon-6 p.m.

Mint Hill Madness Family Fun Festival

Oct. 19-21

Come for three days of family entertainment, rides, great music and a fireworks spectacular to cap off the affair!

Location/Cost: Veterans Memorial Park, 8500 Fairview Road, Mint Hill. Free admission; rides are ticketed. $25 all-you-can-ride wristbands available Thursday only.

Hours: Thu., 4-9 p.m.; Fri., 4-10 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Fireworks start at 9:30 p.m. on Sat.

Pineville Fall Festival

Oct. 19-21

Come enjoy food, music, rides, art and vendors. Stay tuned to the website for updated information.

Location/Cost: Lake Park, 1000 Johnston Drive, Pineville. Free.

Hours: TBA

Carolina Balloonfest

Oct. 20-22

Bring your cameras, lawn chairs and blankets to experience a family-friendly festival featuring more than 50 hot air balloons, live music, food, wine and craft beer, a kids’ zone and an artisan marketplace.

Location/Cost: Statesville Regional Airport, 260 Hangar Drive, Statesville. $15-$45. General and VIP parking passes are available, or park for free at Troutman Park & Ride.

Hours: Fri., 3-8:30 p.m.; Sat., 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; Sun., 7 a.m.-6 p.m.

Photo by Cassandra Leaasou

Hot air balloons launch in the morning and late afternoon at the annual Carolina BalloonFest in Statesville.

Oct. 21

Stroll the historic streets of Downtown Davidson and browse fine art from 40 local artists. There are also handmade gifts and kids crafts. Stay for live music by Billy Jones on the Town Green and more live music at The Crazy Pig.

Location/Cost: Historic Downtown Davidson and South Main, Davidson. Free.

Hours: 4-8 p.m.

Lincoln County Apple Festival 

Oct. 21

This festival attracts more than 60,000 visitors each year, thanks to the food, crafts, entertainment, kids’ attractions and plenty of apples.

Location/Cost: Downtown Lincolnton, 115 W. Main St., Lincolnton. Free.

Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Pexels Elizabeth Tr Armstrong 635705

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Tr. Armstrong/Pexels

BooFest and Nightmare on Main Street

Oct. 28

Come to downtown Belmont for a hauntingly fun evening full of costume contests, a Jack-o-lantern contest, carnival rides, arts & crafts vendors, a spooky photo booth and candy for trick-or-treaters.

Location/Cost: Stowe Park, 24 S. Main St., Belmont. Free.

Hours: 2-7 p.m.

Halloween Treat Trail in Cornelius

Oct. 28

Local businesses hand out nut-free, packaged candy to kids 12 and under who come in silly or scary costumes. Look for festive games along the trail, a photo area and a Halloween-themed movie at sunset.

Location/Cost: Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road, Cornelius. Free.

Hours: 5:30-10 p.m.

Statesville Pumpkin Fest

Nov. 4

Details are still to be announced, but past fests have included pumpkin pie-eating contests and other pumpkin-themed activities for all ages, plus local food and craft vendors. Bookmark the website for event updates.

Location/Cost: Downtown Statesville, Statesville. Free.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Marius Ciocirlan T9pdhqcsyoq Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Marius Ciocirlan/Unsplash

Rural Hill Sheepdog Trials and Dog Festival

Nov. 4-5

Handlers command their dogs, mostly champion border collies, to round up herds of sheep at this 24th annual festival. Look for Canine Agility Club competitions, heritage-breed livestock, hayrides, historic crafty and cooking demos, pumpkin chuckin’ and much more.

Location/Cost: 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville. $6-$20.

Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Categories: The Buzz