The Mountaineer

October 22, 2023

Relish fall beauty while enjoying music all afternoon long, at the Smoky Mountain Bluegrass Festival from 11 a.m.- 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, at the Maggie Valley Fairgrounds.

Hear five bands with great music including Haywood Ramblers in a community jam, The Blue Ridge Girls, Wildfire, Appalachian Road Show — and Haywood County favorite Balsam Range. Rachel Hilton, radio host with Celtic Winds on WNCW, will be the emcee.

The event is hosted as a fundraiser for the Haywood County Arts Council, which brings artists together for a truly one-of-a-kind musical experience. The HCAC has presented the festival annually during peak leaf season since 2021 and it has a lot to offer again this year.

Headliner Balsam Range, two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year and winners of numerous band and individual musician awards, continue to delight audiences with their chart-topping range of songs and phenomenal musicianship. The band, a bluegrass sensation, is proud to call Haywood County home.

Appalachian Road Show combines the award-winning talents of lead singer and banjoist Barry Abernathy with a band of accomplished musicians, honoring the music and history of the Appalachian people, while forging fresh musical trails.

“We also have a great lineup of artisans with handmade hats, leather craft and jewelry,” said Tonya Harwood, director of HCAC. “Some of our artist members will have art for sale and demonstrate their craft.”

The festival will feature tasty local food trucks, including Appalachian Smoke BBQ, Angels Wood Stove Cookin,’ Woof Street Bistro, Grillmore Girls and more. Boojum Brewing will be back this year, serving its well-loved, locally crafted beer and cider.

Since the festival is happening just before Halloween, there will be a themed art activity area for children of all ages, as well as lawn games like corn hole and badminton.

“It’s a great way to spend the day, listening to award-winning music with friends and family,” said Harwood.

HCAC is also looking for volunteers for this event.

“We could use people to help with things like check in and managing the silent auction,” Harwood said. “Everyone who volunteers will get a free T-shirt and free entry to the event, so it’s a win for everyone. The festival would not be possible without strong partnerships and generous sponsors, including presenting sponsor Mast General Store, along with Visit NC, The Print Haus and Boojum Brewing.”

A limited amount of folding chairs will be available for rent, otherwise bring a lawn chair and umbrella for shade. Attendees can also book a rental chair with the purchase of a ticket now to ensure availability of chairs.

Tickets for this all day event are $55; children under the age of 12 are free. Tickets can be purchased and volunteers can sign up by visiting