Asheville Mardi Gras Parade


To the people who live in the Blue Ridge Mountains, no amount of celebration is enough. Artists are inspired by mountain landscapes and rich traditions, longtime residents grow to love the particular seasonal changes near their homes, and holidays bring together whole towns of people to drink, eat, listen to live music, appreciate local art, dance, and generally enjoy life.

Festivals along the Parkway

In the cities and towns along the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are more festivals than we could possibly list. Especially in warmer seasons, live music can be seen almost any day of the week. Below is a list of some of the largest festivals along the Parkway.


MerleFestMerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate “traditional plus” music. Music presented includes the very best of bluegrass, contemporary acoustic, blues, folk, old-time music, Cajun, jazz, and singer-songwriter combo music. The festival is held the last weekend in April and is hosted by legendary guitar player Doc Watson.


FloydFestFloydFest is an annual world music and arts festival that is held in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Floyd, Virginia. Seven stages are featured, along with on-site camping, local arts and crafts, dance workshops, story telling, morning yoga, and children’s events. The festival lasts four incredible days and is held at the end of July.