Milder temperatures and a change in the leaves tell us that fall is coming. Autumn in Appalachia is something to behold and definitely something to be celebrated. These festivals will give you a reason to celebrate fall all season long!
–The Water Lantern Festival Friday September 2, 2022- Experience a night like no other. Kingdom Come State Park invites you to the Water Lantern Festival! Sit lakeside with the magical glow of hundreds of lanterns illuminating the water. You can participate by purchasing a lantern kit complete with floating lantern, flying wish paper, and a floating tea light. Launch your lantern with the others as you light up the night. Free hotdogs will be served so you can enjoy the evening with family and friends. Don’t want the night to end? Contact the park about camping availability for an overnight adventure.
–Evarts Labor Day Block Party Saturday September 3, 2022- Gather at City Hall in Evarts for live music, food, and games! There will be a dunking booth, cornhole tournament, and a duck race. Kids can enjoy gemstone mining and other activities just for them. Shop with arts & crafts vendors and take home a unique souvenir. This festival coincides with the Labor Day Ride at Black Mountain Off Road Adventure Area so take a break from the trails and head into town.
–Pine Mountain Settlement School Fair Day & Sorghum Stir Off Saturday September 24, 2022- Don’t miss this century old tradition at the historic Pine Mountain Settlement School Campus. Visitors can visit exhibits of local foods and crafts, shop with local vendors, and listen to live bluegrass and gospel music. Throughout the day, fair goers can watch sorghum being made as it has been for generations and can even volunteer to help with the process! Enjoy the bounty of local food, the beauty of the mountains, and the culture of mountain people.
–Kingdom Come Swappin’ Meetin’ Friday & Saturday September 30 & October 1, 2022 – The Cumberland Campus of Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College will transform into a festive celebration of fall in Appalachia! You can expect live music, contests, children’s activities, vendors, and artisans demonstrating their work. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you’re reliving the nostalgia of past Swappin’ Meetin’ memories, this weekend won’t disappoint.
–Festival of the Mountain Masters Friday & Saturday November 25 & 26, 2022- For almost 40 years, the Festival of the Mountain Masters has served as the unofficial fall finale and start of the Christmas season in Harlan. In addition to the shops that call the Village Center Mall home year round, the mall welcomes dozens of vendors selling handmade, handcrafted, and home baked items. The talent and creativity of regional artists will be on display as shoppers gather one of a kind treasures you won’t find anywhere else. As you shop, enjoy live music and performances. It’s a yearly tradition for locals and visitors!
For more information on these events, please contact their organizers at the links provided. To stay up to date on events and celebrations happening throughout the year, follow Visit Harlan County!