The 15th Annual Cherokee Gourd Artists’ Gathering | Cherokee, NC

How will Cherokee affect you?

The 15th Annual Cherokee Gourd Artists’ Gathering

Thursday, May 31 from 9:00 am to Saturday, June 2 at 5:00 pm

The Cherokee Gourd Artists’ Gathering presents the opportunity for gourd artists from across the United States and Canada to meet for one weekend a year to exchange ideas and collaborate on gourd art. Classes provided at this event include wood burning, carving, painting and sculpting, and range from beginner to advanced levels. Other activities include silent auction, live auction, and raffles throughout the event. The Gourd Artists’ Gathering is free to the public. Class sizes and fees vary; classes often fill up quickly. To register, click here.

Come on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday to see our wonderful displays of finished gourds for raffle, auction, and theme contest. On Sunday, there will still be plenty of opportunities to shop, but our large displays will be dismantled as the display gourds will have been given to the various activity winners. Click here to download the schedule of events for 2018.


Location:

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

545 Tsali Blvd.
Cherokee, NC 28719

Contact: Suzie Nonn
Phone: 410.392.0003


2nd Annual Veterans Day Festival

Saturday, September 22 from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm

Honor, remember, and celebrate the men and women who have served in the United States armed forces during this three-day event, which takes place at the Happy Holiday RV Village and Campground. Admission is $10 on Thursday, $25 each day for Saturday and Sunday, or purchase a three-day event pass for $40.

Thursday

6:30 p.m.    Meet & Greet

7:00 p.m.    Music/Entertainment

10:00 p.m.   Day Ends
 

Friday

9:00 a.m.    Craft and Food Vendors Open & Storytelling

10:00 a.m.  Bike Show and Bike Rally

3:00 p.m.    Awards Ceremony

4:00 p.m.    Vegas Style Entertainment

10:00 p.m.  Day Ends
 

Saturday

9:00 a.m.    Car show

3:00 p.m.    Awards ceremony

4:00 p.m.    Vegas Style Entertainment

10:00 p.m.   Closing Ceremony


Indian Fair Parade 2018

Tuesday, October 2 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Experience the many sights and sounds of tribal entities, tribal athletics, Cherokee High School Band, and other festive Cherokee figures at Cherokee’s annual Indian Fair Parade between a soon to be determined starting location and The Museum of the Cherokee Indian. Spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs, as well as bags for the candy thrown from passing floats. All parking along the parade path and surrounding areas will cease 15 minutes prior to the parade and roads will not open again until the conclusion of parade festivities. Please come early before roads close at 3:30 p.m.


106th Annual Cherokee Indian Fair

Tuesday, October 2 from 10:00 am to Saturday, October 6 at 10:00 pm

It’s over a century old. It’s a cornucopia of sights and sounds—a treat for all your senses. It’s a carnival and an agriculture show. It’s an art show and a game show. There’s food, music, and rides. It's pure, unfiltered fair entertainment with that unmistakable Cherokee touch: a Ferris wheel, fireworks, and stickball.

Stickball has long been known as the “Little Brother of War,” and you’ll find thrilling demonstrations of it mixed into all the traditional fair fun and food. In fact, you’re going to find ample amounts of all sorts of authentic Cherokee culture, including archery and blowgun demonstrations, local art, dance, music, and more. 

General admission is $10 per person at the gate, Tuesday through Friday. Children ages 6 and under will be admitted for free. Admission on Saturday is $15. The headlining act that day will be The Legends of Country, which features Larry Stewart, the lead singer for Restless Heart, Tim Rushlow, the lead singer for Little Texas, and Jeff Cook the fiddle player and guitarist for Alabama. 

Enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other federally recognized tribes will receive free admission.

Celebrate a different emphasis each day you attend.*

Tuesday: Parade Day (gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 10 p.m.)

Wednesday: Children’s Day (gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.)

Thursday: Elder’s Day (gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 10 p.m.)

Friday: Veterans' Day (gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 11 p.m.)

Saturday: Community Day (gates open at 9 a.m. and close at midnight)

*Schedule is subject to change.


Cherokee Bonfire

Friday, October 5 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Bonfire

Saturday, October 6 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Bonfire

Friday, October 12 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Heritage Day

Saturday, October 13 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

One Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Museum of the Cherokee Indian offers a family-friendly fun day of free cultural activities including traditional dancing, storytelling, cultural arts demonstrations, genealogy workshops, hands-on craft workshops and more. Traditional food is available on-site, weather permitting. The Cherokee Friends offer workshops on traditional dancing and cultural arts demonstrations including wampum belt making, moccasin making, stickball stick making, wood carving, fire making, and more. Hands-on workshops are taught by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and often include making a clay medallion or a traditional Cherokee pot stamped with wooden paddles carved with designs. Different members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians share stories and flute music. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. 

Activities are sponsored by the Museum, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Regular prices apply to food and to admission to Museum exhibits.

Monthly Themes
May 12 - Anisgvti (Planting Month) 
June 9 - Cherokee Voices Festival
July 14 - Guyegwoni (Corn in Tassel Month)
August 11 - Galoni (End of Fruit Month)
September 8 - Dulisdini (Nut Month)
October 13 -  Duninvdi (Harvest Month)
November 10 - Nvdadegwa (Hunter Month/Big Moon)
December 8 - Vsgiyi (Snow Month)


Cherokee Bonfire

Saturday, October 13 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run

Friday, October 19 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Enjoy a vintage car show at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds featuring hundreds of restored and enhanced vintage cars. Chat with their owners to get each car’s unique history, enjoy pristine paint jobs, and have your fill of polished chrome. This show will have food, memorabilia, and automobile parts vendors and will be hosted with music by a professional DJ for lots of old-fashioned fun. Admission is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the event. 


Cherokee Bonfire

Friday, October 19 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon and 5K

Saturday, October 20 from 6:00 am to 11:30 am

The Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon is back! Join us for the return of this great fall race in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. This event is famous for its generous swag package, picturesque courses, local culture, and amazing post-race meals.

Half Marathon Entry Fees:
Now–April 30 - $45
May 1–September 30 - $50
October 1 - $55
Online Registration

5K Entry Fees:
Now–April 30 - $25
May 1–September 30 - $30
October 1 - $35
Online Registration

Entertainment and Event Schedule
Friday, October 19
4:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.  Packet pick up and late registration at Acquoni Events Center

Saturday, October 1 
6:00 a.m.–7:45 a.m.  Packet pickup and late registration at Acquoni Events Center
7:45 a.m.  Assemble for Start of Half Marathon 
8:00 a.m.  Half Marathon Starts 
8:05 a.m.  Assemble for Start of 5K
8:15 a.m.  5K Starts


Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run

Saturday, October 20 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Enjoy a vintage car show at the Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds featuring hundreds of restored and enhanced vintage cars. Chat with their owners to get each car’s unique history, enjoy pristine paint jobs, and have your fill of polished chrome. This show will have food, memorabilia, and automobile parts vendors and will be hosted with music by a professional DJ for lots of old-fashioned fun. Admission is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. Tickets can be purchased at the event. 


Cherokee Bonfire

Saturday, October 20 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Bonfire

Friday, October 26 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Cherokee Bonfire

Saturday, October 27 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Amazing tales as told by the Cherokee storytellers themselves.

Imagine you’re gathered around a roaring bonfire, the occasional spark shooting high into the night sky, as a strong but gentle voice begins a story you’ve never heard. As the drama builds, you’re nearly breathless, your own heartbeat matching the occasional beat of the hand drum the storyteller uses. Drawing from a rich oral tradition dating back millennia, the Cherokee Bonfire series runs throughout the tourism season, and is an enchanting way to interact with the rich details of the Cherokee people and their stories. Get your room reserved in Cherokee, grab a blanket and someone close to you, and enjoy a cultural experience only Cherokee can offer.

The Bonfire stories crackles from 5:00–7:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.:

Fridays & Saturdays, May 25–October 27, 2018.

Expanded schedule for the 4th of July celebrations from July 1–7, 2018.

There will be no Bonfire Series events in September.


Kananegsi Basket Festival

Saturday, November 3 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Kananegsi Basket Festival celebrates the basket makers of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). Visitors can meet with artists, learn the details of basket making during a panel discussion, and purchase unique pieces to take home. The festival will also feature EBCI carvers and weapon makers. Admission is free to the public.

Entertainment/Event Schedule:

10:00a.m.—4:00p.m. - Marketplace

12:00p.m. - Storytelling

1:00p.m. - Weaver Panel Discussion


Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly Fishing Tournament

Saturday, November 3 to Sunday, November 4

Are you and your best fly-fishing buddy ready to rumble with the top anglers around? Then get your $250 entry fee together for this two-person team competition held exclusively in the catch-and-release section of Cherokee’s “trophy waters” known simply as Raven Fork. This tournament offers a payout* totaling $10,000 for the top teams. To enter this tournament you must first acquire a Cherokee fishing permit (a list of permit-selling locations may be found at FishCherokee.com), then register for the event at River's Edge Outfitter. Additional event details will be discussed on November 2 at 7 p.m. during the opening meeting. Open to all ages. 

*Payout subject to change.


Cherokee Heritage Day

Saturday, November 10 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

One Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Museum of the Cherokee Indian offers a family-friendly fun day of free cultural activities including traditional dancing, storytelling, cultural arts demonstrations, genealogy workshops, hands-on craft workshops and more. Traditional food is available on-site, weather permitting. The Cherokee Friends offer workshops on traditional dancing and cultural arts demonstrations including wampum belt making, moccasin making, stickball stick making, wood carving, fire making, and more. Hands-on workshops are taught by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and often include making a clay medallion or a traditional Cherokee pot stamped with wooden paddles carved with designs. Different members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians share stories and flute music. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. 

Activities are sponsored by the Museum, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Regular prices apply to food and to admission to Museum exhibits.

Monthly Themes
May 12 - Anisgvti (Planting Month) 
June 9 - Cherokee Voices Festival
July 14 - Guyegwoni (Corn in Tassel Month)
August 11 - Galoni (End of Fruit Month)
September 8 - Dulisdini (Nut Month)
October 13 -  Duninvdi (Harvest Month)
November 10 - Nvdadegwa (Hunter Month/Big Moon)
December 8 - Vsgiyi (Snow Month)


Turkey Strut 5K Walk/Run

Saturday, November 17 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm

Get ready for Turkey Day with a 5K. On-site registration will be available from 10:30–11:30 a.m. Or pre-register online at runsignup.com. The race begins at noon.

Pre-sale Tickets:
$15 for adults before November 13, and $20 after November 13 
$5 for adults ages 59 and up
$5 for kids ages 12 and younger


Cherokee Heritage Day

Saturday, December 8 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

One Saturday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Museum of the Cherokee Indian offers a family-friendly fun day of free cultural activities including traditional dancing, storytelling, cultural arts demonstrations, genealogy workshops, hands-on craft workshops and more. Traditional food is available on-site, weather permitting. The Cherokee Friends offer workshops on traditional dancing and cultural arts demonstrations including wampum belt making, moccasin making, stickball stick making, wood carving, fire making, and more. Hands-on workshops are taught by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and often include making a clay medallion or a traditional Cherokee pot stamped with wooden paddles carved with designs. Different members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians share stories and flute music. Every month includes activities related to that month’s theme. 

Activities are sponsored by the Museum, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Regular prices apply to food and to admission to Museum exhibits.

Monthly Themes
May 12 - Anisgvti (Planting Month) 
June 9 - Cherokee Voices Festival
July 14 - Guyegwoni (Corn in Tassel Month)
August 11 - Galoni (End of Fruit Month)
September 8 - Dulisdini (Nut Month)
October 13 -  Duninvdi (Harvest Month)
November 10 - Nvdadegwa (Hunter Month/Big Moon)
December 8 - Vsgiyi (Snow Month)


Plan
Trip
+
Sample Trips