Join in Celebration
When you live in a part of the country where pure goodness abounds, there’s plenty to celebrate throughout the year. In fact, our region’s diverse festivals draw crowds from all over the world. So while we recommend you check out all the natural beauty Unicoi County has to offer—including the Nolichucky River and white water rafting—if you can plan your trip to align with any of the area’s awesome festivals you’ll be in for quite a treat.
The Apple Festival is Unicoi County’s most renowned festival. It sees more than 110,000 attendees flooding the streets of Erwin, Tennessee, each October and has consistently held a spot as one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 events in the southeast, in addition to numerous other accolades. The festival plays host to arts and craft vendors from around the country, offers a range of delicious festival fare, and provides live entertainment. If you’ll be visiting earlier in the year, be sure to check out Unicoi County’s Fiddlers and Fiddleheads Festival which happens in April, or the Strawberry Festival and the Flag Pond Ramp Festival which happen in May. Though smaller in scale, all three of these festivals are sure to give you a sense of community and provide a fun, memorable experience.
Photo by: Parker Bohon
For outdoor lovers, the Rhododendron Festival in June and Meet the Mountains Festival in August are worth a visit. The Rhododendron Festival takes place less than 30 minutes away in scenic Roan Mountain, famous for its grand display of naturally growing Catawba rhododendrons. In Johnson City, just 15 minutes away from Unicoi County, Meet the Mountains boasts a display to make the heart of any outdoorsman or woman race with vendors, interactive booths, games, and more all dedicated to the great outdoors and sporting opportunities of Northeast Tennessee. Here attendees can try out fun experiences like kayaking, ax throwing, and more.
In Johnson City, the festival spirit is celebrated throughout the year. Ranked Top 50 Festivals in the US, Thirsty Orange happens each April and is a festival beer-lovers should plan to attend. Every June, downtown Johnson City comes alive with the Blue Plum Festival, which features multiple stages and celebrates what makes this region special—the music, flavors, arts, crafts, and people. Later, in August, Johnson City celebrates music again when multiple stages take over the streets of downtown for the Little Chicago Festival. And if you haven’t had enough music yet, just pop up to Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia for the Rhythm and Roots Reunion Festival, which unites this border community each September with multiple days of music and festivities, and draws visitors from around the world.
These are just a few of the many amazing large and small festivals you can enjoy when you plan a trip to Unicoi County.