Posted on: May 16, 2024 Posted by: Sarah Giavedoni Comments: 0
Memorial Day events across WNC

Last Updated on May 16, 2024

Memorial Day holds an important spot on our calendar as the unofficial start of summer. More significantly, it’s an opportunity to recognize and honor the servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice, while carrying on the spirit of their legacy.

There are many ways to celebrate the holiday weekend this year. Communities across Western North Carolina are holding plant sales, street festivals, and of course, memorial ceremonies. Whatever your interests, there is an event for you. Stay close to home or venture further afield to enjoy these 2024 Memorial Day events in Asheville and across WNC.

Asheville Beer Week

May 16–26, 2024 | Downtown Asheville and beyond

If you haven’t already, use Memorial Day weekend to catch the tail end of Asheville Beer Week, a brew-centric celebration of experiences, connections, and enjoyment of WNC’s craft beer ecosystem. The multi-day, multi-venue calendar features beer tastings, craft beverage dinner pairings, and panel discussions. This year, the focus is on arts, craft, and creativity within Asheville and the ever-evolving beverage industry.

Learn more: exploreasheville.com/asheville-beer-week 

GRINDfest

May 24–26, 2024 | Asheville

GRINDfest is back with three days of free and ticketed events—all celebrating the success of Black entrepreneurs and business owners in Asheville. This block-party-style event at AB-Tech Conference Center includes a weekend full of music, games, live performances, food, and local vendors. There will also be plenty of learning, employment, and partnership opportunities. Saturday’s concert to benefit Black Wall Street features Slick Rick and Doug E Fresh at Salvage Station.

Learn more: grindfestavl.com

20th Annual White Squirrel Weekend

May 24–26, 2024 | Downtown Brevard

Brevard loves its white squirrel population! The annual White Squirrel Festival combines a stellar live music line-up, a smorgasbord of tasty offerings from vendors and local craft breweries, and an assortment of treasures from dozens of craft and retail vendors into one fantastic event. The weekend also features the WSW Auto Show featuring the Transylvania Cruisers, Hoopjam Hula Hoop Dance, and balloon artists. Music headliners for the weekend include Paul McDonald & the Mourning Doves, The Hip Abduction, and Sensational Barnes Bros.

Learn more: brevardnc.org/white-squirrel-weekend-2024 

15th Annual Concerts on the Creek

May 24, 2024 @ 7:00–9:00 PM | Sylva

The Town of Sylva, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department, and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce team up each summer to produce the 15-week Concerts on the Creek series every Friday at the Bridge Park gazebo in Sylva. This year’s kickoff event on Memorial Day weekend will feature classic rock covers by TLQ+2. These events are free with donations encouraged. Dogs must be on a leash. No coolers or tents, and no smoking/vaping. Food trucks will be available on select nights.

Learn more: mountainlovers.com/concerts-on-the-creek

Garden Jubilee

May 25–26, 2024 @ 9:00 AM–5:00 PM | Main Street, Hendersonville

More than 200 plant and craft vendors will line Main Street during Garden Jubilee, one of the largest gardening shows in WNC. The two-day garden and plant extravaganza features local and regional nurseries selling thousands of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, and hard-to-find plants. Crafters will offer distinctive garden art, and there will be handmade lawn furniture, jewelry, garden tools, planters, wind chimes, birdhouses, soaps, and pottery. Visitors can also learn the latest techniques and tips from gardening experts.

Learn more: visithendersonvillenc.com/garden-jubilee

NC Arboretum Rose Exhibition

May 25–26, 2024 @ 9:00 AM–5:00 PM | NC Arboretum, Asheville

Need one more reason to visit the North Carolina Arboretum? The annual Rose Society exhibition promises to be the most spectacular exhibition of roses in Western North Carolina! Over 100 varieties of fragrant, WNC-grown roses will be on display, including rare and beautiful blooms from some of the region’s most admired gardens, along with lovely easy-care roses perfect for your garden. Rose experts will be available to offer helpful gardening tips and answer your questions. Event free with Arboretum parking fee.

Learn more: ncarboretum.org

Mama T’s Summer Celebration

May 25, 2024 @ 10:00 AM–4:00 PM | Sorrells Street Park, Canton

Usher in a sundrenched summer with this free, family-friendly extravaganza! Enjoy a free petting zoo, face painting, balloon twister, bouncy house, cotton candy, live music, and more! Shop local craft vendors and food trucks, and don’t miss the Flamingo Float Race. At 1:00 PM, floating flamingos purchased at the Flamingo Tent or in various Canton businesses will be released down the Pigeon River in a race to the finish. Proceeds go toward Canton’s All Abilities Playground.

Learn more: downtownwaynesville.com/events

3rd Annual Downtown Asheville Memorial Day Weekend Festival of the Arts

May 25–26, 2024 @ 10:00 AM–5:00 PM | Downtown Asheville

Known for its unified support of visual arts, Asheville is welcoming back the Downtown Asheville Festival of the Arts this Memorial Day Weekend. Residents and visitors will see some of the finest locally made art alongside national artists’ works during this free, outdoor event. A scenic stroll amongst sparkling jewels, one-of-a-kind paintings, exquisitely crafted glasswork, stunning sculpture, and every medium of hand-made art—all in the artist’s mecca that is downtown Asheville—rounds out the perfect Memorial Day Weekend for art appreciators around the county. The show is set up on the streets of South Pack Square, Reuter Terrace, and Pack Square Park.

Learn more: artfestival.com

2 Asheville Community Band Memorial Day Concerts

May 25, 2024 @ 3:00 PM | Rabbit Rabbit, Asheville

May 26, 2024 @ 2:00 PM | Biltmore Estate, Asheville

The Asheville Community Band was organized in October 1979 and now features more than 90 musicians ranging in age from high school to octogenarian. They truly represent Western North Carolina, with members from six counties. Asheville Community Band’s fun-filled, family friendly, all-American free concerts feature military music, marches, and wind band favorites. Bring a chair and enjoy the show. Free (with Biltmore admission for estate performance).

Learn more: ashevillecommunityband.com/concerts 

Saturday Night Lights

May 25, 2024 @ 4:00–10:00 PM | Tryon International, Mill Spring

Visit Tryon International on select Saturday nights May–October to enjoy the signature “Saturday Night Lights” event series. These action-packed nights feature free family fun, live music, entertainment, and a carnival atmosphere from 6:00–8:00 PM in Legends Plaza, followed by the $78,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* in Tryon Stadium at 8:00 PM. Grab dinner at one of the center’s on-site restaurants, enjoy a beverage at the Silo Bar, and cheer on your favorite horses and riders as they soar over massive jumps and race through the timers!

Learn more: resort.tryon.com/events

Lake Lure Memorial Day Service

May 27, 2024 @ 9:00 AM | Lake Lure Veterans Memorial, Lake Lure

Join the Lake Lure community to honor and commemorate the sacrifices of those military men and women who laid down their lives in service to our nation. The Lake Lure Veterans Memorial is located across from the Lake Lure Beach and Waterpark.

Learn more: townoflakelure.com

Highlands Memorial Day Service

May 27, 2024 @ 10:00 AM | Veterans Plaza, Highlands

Join the Highlands American Legion Post 370 for their annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veterans Plaza across from the Highlands Police Department. The Highlands American Legion Post 370 supports veterans through proactive programs such as the Plateau Warriors Program’ “Battle Buddies” group, Visit-A-Vet, and events and ceremonies throughout the year. 

Learn more: highlandschamber.org/events 

Weaverville Annual Memorial Day Service

May 27, 2024 @ 11:00 AM | Weaverville Community Center, Weaverville

The general public is warmly invited to attend the Weaverville Annual Memorial Day Observance, with a picturesque view of Lake Louise. The day’s program is filled with a diverse range of activities, including an invocation and benediction led by Rev. Mike Holder, patriotic melodies performed by the Reuter Center Singers, a video showcasing the Rifle Salute by the Weaverville Police, Taps played by the Fire Department, and the classic “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes by Howard Dusenbery. This year’s guest speaker is Lieutenant General (3 stars) Kathleen Gaines, USA (Retired).

Learn more: tribpapers.com

Where will you be celebrating Memorial Day in Asheville or surrounding WNC communities this year? Let us know in the comments.

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