Rutherford County Events

MayFest: Saturday May 4th, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Local Boy Scouts host their district Pinewood Derby Race in addition to interactive booths, a tee-pee exhibit and scouts dressed in Native American regalia. There are also plenty of activities for kids including Play Land (with a wide assortment of inflatables, rock climbing walls, pony rides and face painting). A hundred vendors line Main Street, representing the best in local and regional talent, handcrafted goods and food.  Dance presentations, martial arts exhibitions, local bands, radio station broadcasts and even a good old-fashioned dunking booth are just some of the other interactive activities.

Gears and Gables Fundraising Ride: Saturday, May 4th beginning at 8:00 am.

Beginning in downtown Rutherfordton at the First Baptist Church, 246 N. Main Street in Rutherfordton. The ride will feature a 24-mile, 41-mile and 62-mile route through the scenic backroads of Rutherford County and the Blueridge foothills.

Annual Spring Concert

Hosted by the Symphony of Rutherford County. Sunday, May 5th from 3pm to 5pm. Location: Foundation Performing Arts & Conference Center, 286 ICC Loop Rd. Spindale, NC. An exciting program of old and new favorites.

Beyond Basic Burgers at the Old Rock Café:  May 9th, 2019 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Old Rock Café, 431 Main St., Chimney Rock Village

Join Old Rock Café’s Chef Randall Spencer for this two-hour class focused on using non-traditional meats like ground elk, turkey and chicken to create burgers your guests won’t forget. You’ll also learn how to make quick summer slaw and hand cut fries that are the perfect sides for any grilled item. This class includes a serving of each dish, recipe cards for each attendee and a glass of soda, craft beer or wine. Call 828-625-9611 to register.

Lake Lure Annual Boat Parade: May 10 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM and 11th, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM  Lake Lure

Annual parade of boats around Lake Lure. Classic Boats from all different categories will be in the parade, and you can watch the parade from the shores of Lake Lure! Tickets may be purchased at 

Annual SpringGo & Outdoor Symphony Concert:  May 11, 2019 Location: The Gathering Place Amphitheater, 109 Terrace Dr. Chimney Rock Village

$20 for adults and $10 for kids 6-11. Children under six admitted free of charge. 

A quirky festival that blends the sophisticated refinement of a Symphony with the “excesses” of a few dairy cows and then wraps it all into a celebration of spring renewal. Lineup includes:

Cows in the Pen all day for CowPie Bingo Raffle
World’s Shortest Parade complete with our own Mascot dressed like a dairy cow
Catered dinner (included in the admission price to the symphony)
Spring Concert by the Symphony of Rutherford County
Intermission: Winner of the CowPie Bingo Raffle Announced

Mother’s Day Weekend Special: Chimney Rock State Park

Valid May 11-12, 2019 only, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Buy one regular-price adult ticket and mom or grandma receives one free with our online coupon.

Coupon available at: Ticket must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase (in print or on your mobile device).

Naturalist Niche: Spring Wildflowers May 11, 2019 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Cost: Includes Park admission: $23 Adult, $8 Annual pass holder, $13 Youth (ages 5-15), $6 Rockin’ Discovery Pass holder. Advanced registration required.

This moderate hike will help you learn about our colorful spring flowers. You will descend the Four Seasons Trail from the top lot, but you won’t have to hike back up. Transportation is provided.

Lake Lure Arts and Crafts Festival, May 25, 2019 – May 27, 2019 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM , 119 Arcade Street Lake Lure

Free Arts and Crafts show with over 90 artisans, over 10 food vendors and continuous entertainment, and activities for children.

Forest City Owls Baseball, various dates between May 30th and August 3rd McNair Field 214 McNair Dr. Forest City

The Forest City Owls Baseball team is a member of the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer baseball league featuring top notched college players from throughout the nation. The Coastal Plain League has fourteen teams in cities throughout North and South Carolina and Virginia. Visit the Owls website for specific dates and times.

A Gorge-ous Evening Out: Chimney Rock State Park, June 1st, 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM.

Cost: $20 Annual Passholder, $5 for Rockin’ Discovery Passholders.

Enjoy an intimate evening celebrating the Gorge’s natural features and locally made gourmet appetizers by the Old Rock Cafe, artisanal cheese made by The Esmeralda Inn & Restaurant, craft beer from a local brewery and wine from Burntshirt Vineyards as the sun sinks behind the mountains. Preregistration is required. Deadline to register is Tuesday, May 28.

NC Foothills Farm Tour June 8, 2019 Rutherford and Polk Counties, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

We will have over 20 stops on the tour this year with everything from produce, dairy, flower, microgreen, garlic and livestock farms to wineries. This is a perfect chance to get to know your farmer, and learn where your food comes from. $25 for as many people as you can fit into a car, gets you admission to all the farms on the tour the day of. For more details and ticket information, go to

Park in the Dark Fundraiser for the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock State Park, June 8, 2019, 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM Price: $15 per adult; 5 per child ages 5-15; Free for children 4 and under.

Celebrate the beginning of summer vacation by seeing day turn to night from the top of the Rock. Your family will enjoy hands-on activities, nature stations, and storytelling around the campfire, s’mores and more during this fundraiser for the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park, who support the Park by helping build and maintain trails, and purchase educational supplies for outreach programs.

Cherry Bounce Festival: June 14, 2019 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM – June 15, 2019 10:00 AM – ?, 153 Park Square Forest City

Named after moonshiner Amos Owens’ corn whiskey-based “Cherry Bounce” Festival features art from regional artists, live bluegrass/Americana music, and cherry inspired items by local restaurants and businesses. The festival kicks off on Friday night with a free concert and continues on Saturday with art vendors and live music.

Submitted by Karen Tegen, Rutherford County TDA Project Manager/Welcome Center Manager.