Charlotte Fall Festival Finder | Charlotte's got a lot | Charlotte NC Travel & Tourism
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Fall Festival Finder

Charlotte’s festival scene gets bigger and better each year, with more variety and more fun. Here’s a quick rundown of the best festival finds of the season.
You're guide to the best festival finds of the season.
You're guide to the best festival finds of the season.
When: Sept. 8-11
Where: Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 600 East Blvd.
Channel your inner Zorba and polish off a gyro or two at this four-day blow-out. Yiasou (Greek for "hello", "goodbye" and "cheers") is one of Charlotte’s largest cultural events. The youth of Holy Trinity perform traditional village dances in colorful Greek costumes throughout the Yiasou festival. Roughly 50,000 people are expected to sample the food, music, culture and art of this Mediterranean jewel. 
 
When: Sept. 9-17
Where: Cabarrus Arena & Events Center
Held every year in September, fair-goers will enjoy delicious fair food, thrilling rides, games, animals, on-stage entertainment and more.
 
When: Sept. 16 - Oct. 30
Where: Carowinds
Every fall, Carowinds theme park transforms into the stuff of nightmares. Get into the Halloween spirit and wander through five scare zones, seven horror-themed mazes and four live shows on site at the park. Thrill rides such as the Fury 325 and Nighthawk will also be operational at night for adrenaline-seekers.
 
When: Sept. 17
Where: Downtown Lincolnton, NC
The Lincoln County Apple Festival attracts more than 80,000 visitors to charming Downtown Lincolnton, NC every September. The festival features five local apple growers, a full-block farmer's market, local talent on three stages, food that includes whole apple pies, kid's activities and more than 200 vendors with crafts and exhibits to delight all ages.
 
When: Sept. 17-18
Where: Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
Soak up the crafts, vendors, food and dance from India’s various regions without ever leaving the Queen City. Festival of India holds an "American Idol"-style singing contest featuring some of the best aspiring vocalists in the Charlotte area.
 
When: Sept. 18-19
Where: Romare Bearden Park & BB&T Ballpark
Barbecue buffs, unite! This festival, a combination of the formerly separate Q-City Charlotte BBQ Championship and the Charlotte Beerfest, boasts beer, barbecue and bands.
 
When: Sept. 23-25
Where: Freedom Park 
This three-day family-friendly festival attracts close to 100,000 people annually. Initially created to stimulate interests in the arts, more than 150 artists and crafts people demonstrate and display their art here. The clown stage at Festival in the Park features facepainting, magic shows, clown games and skits.
 
When: Oct. 1
Where: AvidXchange Music Factory
Oktoberfest has been schooling Charlotteans about the craft brewing movement for 18 years. Add in the live music and a wide variety of pub food and you’ve got one of the largest beer festivals in the Southeast. That’s why it was named one of the Top-10 Fall Beer Festivals in the country.
 
When: Oct. 1
Where: Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall
Pop the cork on some serious fun! With 220 wines from 20 wineries to choose from, you’re sure to find the right pairing for the great food and music.
 
When: Weekends Oct. 1 - Nov. 20
Where: 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, NC
Whether its theater, jousting or music, rain or shine, this 16th-century show goes on for eight weekends! There’s no end to the games and rides at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Ride the world’s largest rocking horse, find your way through a maze or try your hand at Queen’s Darts! The Carolina Renaissance Festival is one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
 
When: Oct. 8
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway
Sparks will fly as the intensity heats up at the 57th annual running of the Bank of America 500, the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
 
When: Oct. 8
Where: Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall
For 26 years, the Latin American Coalition has been bringing the music, food and culture of our Southern neighbors to Charlotte. Meet artists and artisans on a stroll of the Plaza de Artistas at the Latin American Festival, where all varieties of visual art are on display and for sale. 
 
When: Oct. 21-23
Where: Statesville, NC
The Carolina Hot Air Balloon Festival is a fun-filled weekend of outstanding entertainment, attractions and family activities, with more than 50 colorful hot air balloons taking center stage as they launch twice daily.
 
When: Nov. 1
Where: Levine Museum of the New South
This colorful and vibrant event is a local, intimate recreation of the Mexican Day of the Dead tradition. The event features traditional foods, folkloric arts and crafts, traditional dances and fun activites for the kids.
 
When: Nov. 10-20
Where: The Park Expo and Conference Center

Charlotte's annual Southern Christmas Show features more than 400 merchants and vendors, as well as holiday-related entertainment. Browse mostly hand-made wares, admire holiday decorations, buy gifts, sample treats from food vendors and get into the holiday spirit.

 
This article ran in the September 2014 issue of Charlotte Happenings and was updated in June 2016.