Fall Fests & Fairs Around the Carolinas

Enjoy the simple life this year with a trip to one of the Carolinas' many fall festivals and fairs. While we have festivals all year long to enjoy, there's something about the crisp autumn air that attracts visitors from miles around. This year, pack up the family and make some memories at one of these popular age-old events:


Head to Columbia, South Carolina, September 16th for Jubilee: Festival of Black History & Culture. Now in its 39th year, this free festival boasts musicians, artisans, dancers and storytellers coming together to celebrate South Carolina's black history and culture. Don't miss this year's head-lining performance from Cheri Maree, international recording artist, songwriter, and author. 


The Muscadine, that sweet southern grape that we use for fruit and wine, takes center stage at the North Carolina Muscadine Harvest Festival. Held in Kenansville, North Carolina September 29 – September 30th, this two-day event is filled with live music, family fun and of course, sweet Muscadine wines! Try your hand at the cooking and wine contests where every submission requires at least one cup of Muscadine grapes. 


Head to the Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville, North Carolina for a magical trip back to medieval times. This huge festival runs weekends September 30th – November 19th and offers numerous attractions, an artisan marketplace, and a wide assortment of meats, stews, and confections. Make sure to catch the exciting jousting tournament fought three times daily to win the queen's favor. AAA members receive one free child admission.


The beautiful mountain village of Cashiers, North Carolina comes alive October 6th – 8th for the 9th annual Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival. Surrounded each year by brilliant changing leaves, this free festival will welcome more than 100 artisans, merchants, and musicians. Shop for handcrafted wood, pottery, jewelry as well as plenty of food and drink options available throughout the weekend. 


The South Carolina State Fair, held in Columbia, South Carolina from October 11th through October 22nd, is South Carolina's largest annual event, attracting over 400,000 visitors annually. Operated by the State Agricultural and Mechanical Society of South Carolina, this fair offers a variety of exhibits, thrilling rides, and unique foods like chocolate-covered bacon, doughnut burgers, and fried Coca-Cola! The fairgrounds are located across the street from Williams-Brice Stadium, home of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, so you may be able to visit the fair and take in a football game!


Nothing could be finer than a visit to the 150th North Carolina State Fair, held in Raleigh, North Carolina from October 12th through October 22nd. Organized by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the North Carolina State Fair has been held in three different locations near Raleigh, finding its current home in 1928. This fair attracts more than a million visitors each year with its various agricultural exhibits, livestock competitions, live entertainment, fireworks, carnival rides, and local food and drink options. 


Spend a day of fun at the Barbecue Festival in Lexington, North Carolina, where you will experience the world's best barbecue cooked to perfection. Held on October 28th this year, the Barbecue Festival will celebrate its 34th year in Uptown Lexington over a 10-block stretch of Main Street. Enjoy the antique car show, concerts, carnival attractions, unique competitions, and of course the best barbecue you have ever tasted. 


The South Carolina Pecan Festival celebrates that rich, buttery nut that can be eaten freshly cracked or cooked into an authentic southern dessert. Held November 4th of this year, the Pecan Festival hosts over 50,000 people in the charming downtown of Florence, South Carolina. Enjoy live entertainment, amusement rides, antique car and tractor shows, over 250 food and craft vendors and much more. 


Before you take off to a fall festival, visit your local AAA Car Care location for all of your car maintenance needs, including battery checks. Contact your local AAA travel agent to help make your planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, TripTiks — AAA's exclusive travel planner — and AAA's mobile app. Before leaving town, make sure your home is secure, and that you are covered with the right vehicle and homeowner's insurance for any unexpected situation. You can easily manage your AAA Membership online, or call 1-866-593-8626 while on the road.

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