Waynesville is known as a center for folk culture and art. In the summer months, the community hosts a wide variety of local events. Folkmoot USA is an international dance festival that features art walks, parades and arts and crafts festivals such as the Church Street festival. Other fun events include bi-weekly tailgate markets featuring local plants and produce, and occasional sidewalk sales by area merchants. Downtown Waynesville hosts an annual sculpture exhibit called StreetSCAPES. The exhibit is open to the public and showcases artwork at various locations along Main Street.
Some of Waynesville’s popular seasonal events include the Earth Day Celebration in April, the Ramp Festival in May, the Stars and Stripes Celebration in July, the Smokey Mountain Folk Festival in August, the Haywood County Apple Harvest Festival in October and the Waynesville Christmas Parade and Luminaire Festival in December. Mountain Street Dances are also held each Friday night in front of the stately Haywood County Courthouse.
This unique city is home to many exciting and educational cultural facilities. Residents and visitors can explore Waynesville’s crafting heritage at the nearby Shelton House and the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts. The Haywood Arts Repertory Theatre group puts on five performances each year. Local art galleries celebrate the community’s unique cultural history and showcase works by locally and nationally-known artists.
Waynesville is located near some of the most outstanding natural areas in the country. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers more than half a million acres, making it the largest in the eastern United States. The park is easily accessible from downtown via the Blue Ridge Parkway. Known as the most popular scenic drive in America, the Blue Ridge Parkway is the southernmost stretch of road in the county. The peaks of Waterrock Knob and Richland Balsam—reaching more than 6,000 feet in elevation—offer spectacular overlook views and walkways along the parkway. Within the eastern part of the county is the Pisgah National Forest, which offers opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and mountain biking.
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