Its just about time for the kids to head back to school, but before your daily routine turns into bagged lunches and carpools, pack the kids up and head to the mountains for a quick weekend getaway to end Summer with a bang.
Franklin is the perfect weekend get-a-way as it is just a few hours from Asheville, Knoxville, Charlotte, and Greenville and with endless activities for the whole family, its a great way to have one final relaxing weekend before getting back into the swing of things.
The Little Tennessee River is a 135 mile stretch of water that flows right through the heart of Franklin with access points all along the river, there are numerous opportunities for a quick dip or a day’s trip seeing Franklin by boat. Franklin’s business community has grown to cater to the asset of the river so you can rent a tube or boat at Primitive Outback in Otto or rent a stand-up paddle board from Outdoor 76 on Main Street and explore the Little Tennessee.
2) Gem Mining
After all, Franklin is the Gem Capital of the World, so what better way to see all the town has to offer than to stop in at any one of Franklin’s dozen gem mining shops to try your luck at finding some authentic mountain gems. Mining for ruby and sapphire began in Macon County in 1870.
3) Take a hike!
Franklin sits right off the Appalachian Trail making it an ideal location to get some mud on your boots and get lost in the woods. Franklin has hiking for all experience levels ranging from short .3 miles just out side of town to day hikes that can turn into a camping trip such as the Standing Indian Mountain Long Loop. Franklin is known for a trail town and the businesses and locals alike are natural pundits when it comes to steering you in the right direction.
4) Take in a show
The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts is in the middle of their summer line ups and still have a full schedule of gospel greats, country favorites, and world class tribute acts slated for the Summer. Before a night of entertainment at the center, stop into the Factory of Franklin and let the kids try out the newly opened trampoline park to burn off some energy.
Nothing screams summer in Franklin more than the annual BBQ festival held at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center. This year’s two day event is scheduled to kick off on August 12 and makes the eight annual festival and will feature authentic, mouth-watering BBQ, live entertainment, a car show, crafters and tastin’ tent!
Whether you’re planning a day adventure, a weekend escape or a week’s vacation in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Franklin has plenty on the schedule to keep the whole family entertained and happy this Summer.
The world famous pumpkin role, a Halloween parade down main street and a nine foot tall dragon are just a few of the things coming to Franklin for the 19th annual PumpkinFest. Right when the leaves are at their peak and the mountains of western North Carolina are set on fire with rich reds, golden yellows, and lushes oranges, the town of Franklin hosts the biggest annual fall festival in the south!
19 years ago the leaders of Franklin set out to host a family-friendly celebration of the Autumn season along a bustling main street, and nearly two decades later PumpkinFest continues to grow with this year’s event planning to be bigger than ever!
“We have expanded the Pumpkin Roll this year so more pumpkins will be able to roll at a time,” said Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard. “This will allow more “rollers” to participate and cut down on wait times. One of the best balloon artist’s in the southeast will be thrilling the kids as well as street performers including a roving magician. The magician will also perform a stage show. Be on the lookout too for a knight riding a dragon. There will also be live music from guitarist Ronnie Evans and the classic rock of Tea 4 Three plus a record 90 vendors in attendance featuring everything from arts & crafts to great food.”
For the first time in the festival’s history, there is a waiting list of vendors to set up at PumpkinFest, promising that those in attendance have the best arts, crafts, and fall specials available. From kid friendly games and hand carved wooden toys to locally crafted pottery and deliciously served up food, vendors play a huge part in ensuring PumpkinFest is the perfect kick off to the holiday season.
PumpkinFest is Franklin’s biggest festival and the world famous pumpkin roll down Frogtown, paired with the always entertaining pumpkin pie eating contest on the square, the festival has a little something for everyone. The festival keeps growing each year and to help with some of those growth pains, the town of Franklin is bringing a shuttle option to the table that will expand parking. Macon County Transit will be shuttling people to and from PumpkinFest free of charge this year from Franklin High School.
“We work hard each year to keep the festival fresh,” said Woodard. “Yes we have standard events, but we bring new elements to the festival each year. It also goes back to family. There are activities for all age groups to enjoy in a family-friendly atmosphere.”
Grab your family or grab a friend, throw on your best costume and join Franklin in welcoming Fall as you march down main street in your Halloween best for the 19th annual PumpkinFest. PumpkinFest kicks off downtown Franklin at 9 a.m. and the fun doesn’t stop until 4 p.m.
Fall in Franklin North Carolina is truly a sight to behold.
Here are 6 reasons why Fall in Franklin North Carolina is something you should not miss!
1) Experience the Wonders of Nature!
There is nothing quite like Fall in the mountains of Western North Carolina and Macon County has some of the best spots around to see the electric colors of the season.
2) Navigate the winding mountain highways.
Fewer sights are more remarkable than those found along U.S. 64 connecting Franklin and Highlands or those found along Wayah Road connecting Franklin and Nantahala.
3) Enjoy the last purely agricultural fair in North Carolina!
You might not find carnival rides and games at the annual Macon County Agricultural Fair, but as the last purely agricultural fair in the state, the annual event is nothing shy of a good time for the whole family.
4) Compete in the world famous Pumpkin Roll down Frogtown.
Its tough to pin down the best part of Franklin’s annual PumpkinFest. Who can chose between the Pumpkin Pie eating contest, the costume parade and contest down main street featuring the most darling princesses and adorable clowns, or the World Famous Pumpkin Roll that launches pumpkins 100 yards down Phillip Street’s steep incline. Whatever your vice, this annual Fall festival has a little taste of everything.
5) Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches
All Fall long local farmers such as Deal Farms have fresh picked harvests like apples and pumpkins and just when the cool crisp air begins to tingle your skin, the corn field is carved out in a maze for a fun day of adventure.
6) Race in the cool mountain air.
All year long Franklin has a busy schedule of foot races planned ranging from 80s themed 8ks to benefit for the Shriner’s Hospital to 5ks downs main street while sporting a kilt for the annual Father’s Day weekend Braveheart run, but there is just something about the Fall weather that makes races a little more enjoyable. If you’re looking for a longer distance run, check out the annual Conquer the Mountain half Marathon on November 7 or if you want to get funky, put on your best turkey costume and race along the Greenway for the annual Cold Turkey 5k on Thanksgiving morning.
Photos provided by Eric Haggart of Timeless Moments Imaging. Timeless Moments Imaging is Franklin, NC photographer specializing in weddings, engagements, family photos and stunning scenic portraits in and around Macon County.
The Little Tennessee River Basin boasts an incredible amount of ancient artifacts and spectacular views to coincide with a plethora of wildlife. If you think about it, objectively, it’s one of the prime areas within the Great Smoky Mountains. It’s understandable why the Town of Franklin spawned on the banks of the Little Tennessee River long ago. Civilizations dating back long before Christ were uncovered here, demonstrating the sustenance and beauty that this land provided – and continues to provide for towns like Franklin today.
With various access sites along the Little Tennessee River throughout Franklin and the Macon County area, anglers and water recreationists continue to enjoy one of Franklin’s greatest assets.
Speaking of wildlife and having fun on the water; On Saturday, Aug. 23, the Little Tennessee River will be bombarded with ducks and hand-crafted rafts. The first ever Franklin RiverFest of 2014 is coming to Franklin this Saturday. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Franklin – Daybreak, the festival will feature several activities in an effort to raise money for local humanitarian organizations; such as CareNet, the Franklin High School Interact Club, Community Care Clinic, and many more.
The day will kick off at 9 a.m. with a 5K race on the Little Tennessee River Greenway, at the Tassee Shelter on Ulco Drive. Runners can register online at franklinriverfest.com. A duck derby will get underway at 10:30 a.m., with prizes that include get-a-ways to Myrtle Beach, Lake Chatuge and Hilton Head. The climax is the “Anything that Floats Raft Regatta.” Home-made rafts will trek 1.5 miles down the Little Tennessee, with $1,500 in prize money available to the best raft-builders.
Please come out and support a good cause, and help build what is sure to be an ongoing, fun-filled event for everyone. Visit franklinriverfest.com for more information about the first ever Franklin RiverFest.
Franklin Folk Festival 2014
Heritage means a lot to the people of Franklin, as it should. Although it’s somewhat cliché to say, it’s also undoubtedly true that you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been. That’s largely why the annual Franklin Folk Festival is so important to our community.
The Town of Franklin annually celebrates the past, a history inundated with rich Appalachian culture, with this wonderful festival that helps to keep traditions alive. On Saturday, July 19, the town hosted the 11th Annual Franklin Folk Festival, an event that had plenty to offer everyone.
Civil War Re-enactors, quilting, wood carving, an antique car show, youth heritage contest, and basket making are just a small list of activities folks were able to see. Mountain Bluegrass Jam Sessions were also featured, and if you happen to play, bring your instrument with you next year and strum along.
Franklin and Western North Carolina has changed substantially since the town was incorporated in the 19th century, but one thing remains constant – and that is our heritage. Make sure to attend our 12th Annual Festival next year www.FranklinFolkFestival.com. Here’s what people experienced this past weekend:
- 100+ Heritage Demonstrations/Exhibits
See Appalachian Artisans in action as they offer living demonstrations of their craft passed down from generation to generation.
- Antique Car Show
Always a popular attraction of the Franklin Folk Festival featuring dozens of antique rides.
- Civil War Re-enactors
Encamped off Main Street on Phillips Street, the reenactors demonstrate life from the Civil War era including live artillery fire and skirmishes.
- Live Heritage Entertainment
Hear the sound of Authentic Appalachian music throughout the day at the Gazebo Stage, Church in the Wildwood, and Town Hall Jam Tent.
- Heritage Alive Youth Talent Show
3:00 p.m. at the Gazebo Stage. For more information contact Heather Gordon at (828) 586-4009.
- Quilt Show & Indoor Exhibits
See a Special Exhibit of the Cabarrus Quilt, Celebrate America Autograph Quilt, and others at Tartan Hall of First Presbyterian Church and more exhibits in the Fellowship Hall of Franklin First Baptist Church.
- Authentic Appalachian Crafts
Returning this year is Crafter’s Lane On Main offering you the opportunity to take a piece of authentic Appalachian Arts & Crafts back home.
- Bluegrass Jam Sessions
Hear local talent or play along, so be sure to bring an instrument if you play. In addition to the Main Street Jammin’ Tent, sessions will be located at the Fire Department Area/Macon Bank parking lot, Life’s Bounty Bakery & Café, Paradise Music Store, Outdoor 76 and the Rathskellar Coffee Haus.
- Children’s Heritage Activities
100 Years ago there were no XBoxes. Your young ones can participate in free heritage activities and learn how kids of yesteryear passed the time.
- Author Autographings
(Books Unlimited on Main Street)
Various Authors including Bob Plott with Nannie – 11:00 AM Touching the Face of History: the Story of the Plott Hound, NC’s State Dog. This project is made possible by a grant from the NC Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.