The mountains are a dream in the summertime—waterfalls, hikes, spectacular views, and those high-elevation breezes are can’t-miss staples of a Franklin getaway.
There’s so much more in store for your summer weekends here, too! Take a break from outdoor adventuring and head around town for some funnel cakes, broadswords, kilts, quilts, blooming onions, and bicycle stunt shows!
The Airing of the Quilts – May 11
Around here, we’re known for our beautiful handmade items that call back to Appalachian family heirlooms—and the Airing of the Quilts stands out in a vibrant display of craftmanship from the past and the present.
More than 30 of our Main Street merchants sponsor the festival where businesses and homeowners alike gather to drape quilts from store fronts, railings, and porches for a springtime burst of color throughout the Town of Franklin, NC.
As you browse the quilts, you can also dip in to see the vendors lining the street to sell quilting materials, arts & crafts, food, and more! Quilting demonstrations and giveaways run for the duration of the festivals, too, so you can learn and possibly win big just by showing up.
A Taste of Scotland Festival – June 13 – 16
Speaking of our heritage, there’s no better way to officially ring in the summer months than our Taste of Scotland festival! Whether you come to peruse the broadswords, kilts, or jewelry, visitors from all over will have plenty to explore and learn about the Scots who settled here so many years ago.
Come enjoy a day of Scottish fun, food, fashion, music, highland games, clans, border collie demonstrations, crafters, Cherokee and re-enactor demonstrations, seminars, and culture for the whole family!
The 4th of July
Okay America—it’s your birthday, and Franklin knows how to celebrate like you wouldn’t believe! From Main Street to the Macon County Veteran’s Park, the party stretches all over the town and all through the day.
Catch a wave of patriotic fun on Main Street from 10:00am to noon with our 4th of July Parade, and even join the march decked out in your own red, white, and blue party clothes! No registration is required for the parade; just join us at the lower level of Franklin Town Hall to line up between 9:30 and 10:00.
After the parade, the celebration is in full swing with free watermelon and popcorn, an inflatable Kid’s Zone, a Little Miss and Mr. Firecracker costume contest, a patriotic pet contest, and the one and only Dialed Action Bicycle Stunt show! Everything takes place between 10:00 and 12:00pm.
Once that wraps up at 12:00pm, head over to the Macon County Veteran’s Park (south of Franklin on U.S. 441) and join the cornhole championships, vendors, and outdoor fun as we count down to dark and start the fireworks show!
Appalachian Heritage Festival – July 20
Late July is the height of summer, and what better time to celebrate all things mountaineer than at the Appalachian Heritage Festival? brings a day of free fun for all ages on Saturday, July 20, 2019 from 9:00am to 4:00pm!
Between 9:00am and 4:00pm, you’ll get the full life-in-Appalachia experience as nearly 50 live demonstrations showcase the best our mountain life and history have to offer. Quilters, wood carvers, and canoe builders weave their magic on display, and you can even try your hand at finding buried treasure at a live, working gem mining flume.
No Appalachian festival would be complete without music, though, and the sweet sounds of guitar, dulcimer, banjo, flute, and piano float down Main Street as you explore vendors and local flair including a firetruck display and face painting for the kids.
Think you could give us a run for our homestyle money? Try your hand at our checker tournament at the Macon County Historical Museum for a blast from the past!
Franklin Folk Festival – August 17
When the first notes of cool weather start breezing through Franklin, we welcome travelers and locals alike to celebrate all things Western North Carolina at the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center’s Franklin Area Folk Festival!
Immerse yourself with live music that’s open for anyone to join at the SEBA (SouthEast Bluegrass Association) Jammin’ Tent or the Old-time music group jam. Jammin’ will occur throughout the day and for the novice picker, a special beginners slow jam session will be held at 3:15 on the Outdoor Stage.
Want to travel back in time to the golden age of automobiles? Don’t miss the antique car display from 10 am – 2 pm at the lower level parking lot of Town Hall. Contact John Waldroop (828) 342-2506 for more details about the show.
Once you arrive at Cowee School, be sure to jump into the awesome activities lined up! You’ll be sure to find fun as you visit Grandpa’s Woodshop, scour the area in a Scavenger Hunt with the Blacksmith, and create take-home memories with a Smoky Mtn. Quilters Guild Make It/Take It project or clay (pottery/raku).
Be sure to also check out the FFA “Mock Wooden Cow,” library activities, old fashioned games, Toy Museum, dulcimer lessons on the Back Porch, and loom for kids to try their hand at weaving!
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a festival without food! The cafeteria and grounds vendors will offer BBQ, hamburgers, hotdogs, tomato biscuits, roasted corn, ice cream, milk shakes, floats, snow cones, cobbler, baked goods, lemonade, and more!
Don’t miss out this summer!
Franklin loves a celebration, especially in the great outdoors—and where better place to soak up the sun than in the gorgeous Western North Carolina mountains? Whether you come for our hands-on history, lip-smacking good food, or rich historical roots, you’re sure to find a vacation destination as unforgettable as it is fun!