Things to Do

Charlotte Fall Festival Guide

Leaves are on the ground and cooler temperatures are in the air. Celebrate the changing seasons with this roundup of outdoor gatherings, food festivals and cultural events around the Queen City.

Check out a list of Charlotte festivals you won’t want to miss.

The Great Pumpkin Fest - Photo courtesy of Carowinds

The Great Pumpkin Fest

When: Saturdays & Sundays, September 18 - October 31
Where: Carowinds

Halloween festivals don’t have to be just ghosts and goblins. Carowinds hosts their Great Pumpkin Fest before the park turns on the scare for SCarowinds in the evenings. The family-friendly event transforms Camp Snoopy with the seasonal additions of a hay bale maze, costume contest, trick-or-treating with the Peanuts gang and a full schedule of live entertainment. The littlest members of the family will also still be able to enjoy their favorite rides including Snoopy’s Junction and Charlie Brown’s Wind-up.

Photo courtesy of Carolina Renaissance Festival

Carolina Renaissance Festival

When: Saturdays & Sundays October 2 through November 21

The Carolina Renaissance Festival isn’t just turkey legs, jousting knights, artisan shops and swordsman shows. It’s a chance to step out of your comfort zone, use your imagination and be transported to a different era. Break out your best medieval attire and travel back in time for the day.

Charlotte Pride Season Events

When: October and November
Virtual and Uptown

Celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community with pop-up shops, a scavenger hunt, a “Mask-Queerade Bar Crawl,” an interfaith service livestream and more. Keep an eye on the Charlotte Pride website for the latest information.

Downtown Davidson Fall Arts Festival

When: Saturday, October 9
Downtown Davidson

There’s something for everyone at this local art festival hosted in downtown Davidson. Stroll the streets and enjoy offerings from some of the area’s best artisans. Expect to find a variety of pottery, jewelry, photography, fine art, metal work, textiles and more. It’s never too early to start crossing off your holiday gift list, and this fall art festival is the perfect place to start.

Fort Mill Fall Festival

When: Saturday, October 9
Walter Elisha Park - Fort Mill, SC

This spirited event features a costume contest and trick or treating from vendors. Food trucks will keep you satiated while live music drifts across the neighborhood park.

Photo courtesy of the Hola Charlotte Festival

Hola Charlotte Festival

When: Saturday, October 9

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in Charlotte with the Hola Charlotte Festival. The region’s largest Hispanic heritage event brings together the culture of 15 Latin American countries through authentic foods, dance performances and a cultural pavilion for hands-on experiences.

Waxhaw’s Autumn Treasures

When: October 9-10
Downtown Waxhaw

Music fills the streets and local crafters display their wares in this annual event. Your mouth will water at the smokey-sweet smell of barbecue from the Grill’n & Chill’n BBQ Cook-Off, where over 30 professional teams compete for prize money and state championship titles.

Jewish Deli Fest in Davidson

When: Sunday, October 10
The Village Green in Davidson

Enjoy Jewish delicacies like New York kosher-style deli sandwiches, potato knishes, black and white cookies and rugelach. Don’t miss the Yiddish dancing by Steven Weintraub and music by the Bandana Klezmer Band. You can also have your name written in Hebrew and shop for unique arts and crafts at the vendor fair.


Charlotte Film Festival

When: October 13-17
Ayrsley Grand Cinemas

Named “Best Festival” by Charlotte Magazine, The Charlotte Film Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary of bringing independent films to the masses this year. The theme of the festival is “discover different,” and prizes are awarded in the categories of documentary, narrative feature, student narrative and social justice.

Música Matthews — Hispanic Heritage Celebration

When: Friday, October 15
Stumptown Park, Matthews

Bring a blanket or chair and enjoy an evening of Latin food, artist exhibits and performances by Flute Praise Latin Band and West End Mambo Band. Rumbao Latin Dance Troupe will also be performing and offering dance instructions throughout the event.

Pineville Fall Fest

When: October 15-16
Pineville Lake Park

From pie-baking contests to pie-eating contests, the fun doesn’t get any more wholesome than the Pineville Fall Fest. The fest also serves up live music, fireworks, a children’s art show and more.

Build Your Own Boat Competition - Photo courtesy of U.S. National Whitewater Center

Build Your Own Boat Competition

When: Saturday, October 16
U.S. National Whitewater Center

Relive the high school physics class days of popsicle stick bridges and egg drops by crafting your own boat to sail down the US National Whitewater Center’s competition channel. The festival also includes cider sampling and yoga sessions offered throughout the day.

Fall for Matthews and Kids in Nature Day

When: Saturday, October 16
Where: Matthews

Sip and stroll your way through charming downtown Matthews at the annual Fall for Matthews. Enjoy live music, arts and crafts and delicious offerings from local food vendors.

Little nature lovers can visit Squirrel Lake Park in Matthews from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for Kids in Nature Day. This family-friendly park event will feature a scavenger hunt, nature walks, STEM activities, animal explorations and nature crafts.

Oktoberfest in Rock Hill

When: Saturday, October 16
Fountain Park in Rock Hill, SC

Don the Lederhosen and join in the festivities. Pumpkin bowling, a strolling accordion player, stein hoisting competitions and the Wiener Dog Race are just a few of the ways you can celebrate German culture at this annual festival.

Mint Hill Madness

When: October 21-23
Downtown Mint Hill

Get into the fall spirit at Mint Hill’s family fun festival celebrating the founding of the town. Gather your family, friends or coworkers and participate in the scarecrow decorating contest that takes place through October 31. Take your photo in the pumpkin patch, race through the obstacle course and enjoy the fantastic family carnival. There’s also a children’s arts and crafts center where kids can paint rocks like those hidden throughout Mint Hill.

Asian Festival and Dragon Boat Race

When: Saturday, October 23
Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius

Honor Asian culture and traditions at this annual event with live performances and signature dishes from numerous vendors. The adrenaline of the Dragon Boat race is palpable, with the rhythm of the drum keeping rowers on beat.

Frank’s Chili Fest

When: Saturday, October 23
Plaza Midwood

This community street festival raises funds for unexplained pediatric death research and family grief support. Live music and beer are the perfect backdrop for the main event: a good old fashioned chili cook-off!

Kings Drive Art Walk

When: October 30-31
Little Sugar Creek Greenway

Enjoy a weekend of arts and entertainment at this community event that features works by fine and emerging artists. The peaceful paths and skyline views make for an inviting outing for the whole family.

Muddy River Fest

When: Saturday, November 6
Muddy River Distillery

Enjoy a variety of libations, riverfront views and live music at this family-friendly festival. Proceeds benefit Catawba Riverkeepers, who help to keep the waterways clean and safe.

Pawsitively Matthews

Where: Saturday, November 12
Stumptown Park

Join your four-legged fur-pal for a day full of play. Peruse the pet-friendly vendors, sip on some craft beer and watch the Dare Devil Dogs Frisbee Show while grooving to upbeat tunes.