Events | Cherokee, NC

How will Cherokee affect you?

Make a special event the centerpiece of your vacation in Cherokee.

Events, festivals, fairs, and more abound in Cherokee throughout the spring, summer and fall, all of them as diverse as they are delightful. They’re a great way to have a great time, and often they provide an easy opportunity to absorb some intriguing Cherokee culture through dance, food, craftmaking, and more. But some Cherokee events are simply a fun way to spend time with your friends and family. Take a quick tour of the event lineup below, pick a few, and add them to your itinerary.

The Cherokee Fly-Fishing Championship Series.

Saturday, February 22 to Sunday, February 23

Four tournaments. Four chances to turn passion into profession.

Cherokee is hosting its first-ever fly-fishing tournament series, with competition that’s not only strong—it's limited to just 40 anglers. Dubbed the Cherokee Fly-Fishing Championship Series, it consists of four two-day tournaments culminating in a championship finale in 2020. You’ll be fishing various locations across the coveted Tribal Enterprise Waters, competing within the 2.2 miles set aside for trophy fly-fishing.

Anglers will be trying to land not just the biggest trout, but cash prizes, fishing gear, and an annual EBCI fishing permit (one per tournament). The top 24 advance to the championship finale in April 2020 for a chance to win $3,000.

Registration is required and limited to the first 40 anglers. Special EBCI fly-fishing permits (valued at $25 each) will be provided by Cherokee Fisheries & Wildlife Management. Daily Tribal fishing permits are required, and will be available for purchase. The daily cost is $10 for everyone 12 and older. Fishing permits are available throughout Cherokee, NC and can be purchased online at FishCherokee.com. Anglers of all ages and styles are welcome. EBCI fishing laws apply.

Hours:
Tribal Enterprise Waters are open to fishing from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset each day.

Admission: 
$75 registration fee, plus a $10 daily fishing permit.

Prize redemption:
Redeem your prizes at Rivers Edge Outfitters at 61 Big Cove Road, Cherokee NC.


The Cherokee Fly-Fishing Championship Series.

Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 15

Four tournaments. Four chances to turn passion into profession.

Cherokee is hosting its first-ever fly-fishing tournament series, with competition that’s not only strong—it's limited to just 40 anglers. Dubbed the Cherokee Fly-Fishing Championship Series, it consists of four two-day tournaments culminating in a championship finale in 2020. You’ll be fishing various locations across the coveted Tribal Enterprise Waters, competing within the 2.2 miles set aside for trophy fly-fishing.

Anglers will be trying to land not just the biggest trout, but cash prizes, fishing gear, and an annual EBCI fishing permit (one per tournament). The top 24 advance to the championship finale in April 2020 for a chance to win $3,000.

Registration is required and limited to the first 40 anglers. Special EBCI fly-fishing permits (valued at $25 each) will be provided by Cherokee Fisheries & Wildlife Management. Daily Tribal fishing permits are required, and will be available for purchase. The daily cost is $10 for everyone 12 and older. Fishing permits are available throughout Cherokee, NC and can be purchased online at FishCherokee.com. Anglers of all ages and styles are welcome. EBCI fishing laws apply.

Hours:
Tribal Enterprise Waters are open to fishing from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset each day.

Admission: 
$75 registration fee, plus a $10 daily fishing permit.

Prize redemption:
Redeem your prizes at Rivers Edge Outfitters at 61 Big Cove Road, Cherokee NC.


Cherokee’s Annual Opening Day Fishing Tournament

Saturday, March 28 to Sunday, March 29

For 2020, Cherokee's fishing season “opening day” will be March 28, and we are offering you 20,000 reasons to get excited about it.

Our Opening Day Fishing Tournament requires a $15 entry fee and a $17 two-day fishing permit to compete for $20,000 in tagged fish. You’ll be competing in the rivers on the Qualla Boundary (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters). Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes ranging from $25 to $5,000 at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office located at 517 Sequoyah Trail off Hwy 441.

Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or online at FishCherokee.com by Friday, March 27, 2020. Fishing will start one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Prize redemption will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each tournament day. 


Fire Mountain Inferno

Saturday, May 2 from 10:00 am to Sunday, May 3 at 4:00 pm

Ready for your next big adventure? If you think life is simply better on two wheels, join us this spring for an exciting weekend of mountain bike racing at Fire Mountain Trails. Cross-country racing for all levels of experience will take place on Saturday and enduro-racing happens on Sunday. With prizes, vendors, and food trucks, it's bound to be a stellar weekend on the trails.

Registration
Online registration is open now and closes on April 30, 2020.
On-site registration will be open on the dates and times shown in the schedule below.

Limits
There is a limit of 120 participants in the Enduro races on Sunday.

Schedule
Friday, May 1
All Day – Enduro and Cross Country practice – Courses will be marked
5:00-7:00 PM Packet Pickup/Late Registration – Cherokee Festival Grounds (441 Sequoyah Trail, Cherokee)

Saturday, May 2
8:00-9:30 AM    Course open for practice
7:30-9:30 AM    Packet Pickup/Late Registration – Cherokee Fairgrounds (441 Sequoyah Trail, Cherokee)

Enduro Racing
9:15 AM    Rider meeting at trail head
9:30 AM   All racers up Uktena

Sunday, May 3
7:00-9:00 AM    Course open for practice
7:30-12:00 PM    Packet Pickup/Late Registration – Cherokee Fairgrounds

Cross Country Racing
10:00 AM            Beginner & Junior (17 & Under) Categories (M&F)
12:30 PM             Expert Category (M&F); Sport, Masters, Single Speed Category (M&F)

Entry Fees
Enduro
Now – April 30, 2020: $60 – All Categories
On-Site $75 – All Categories
Enduro Junior - $10

Cross Country
Now – April 30, 2020: $30 – Beginner, Sport, Single Speed & Expert Categories
On-Site $45 – Beginner, Sport, Single Speed & Expert Categories
Race Day: $10 – Junior (17 & Under)

Dante’s Double (Both Days)
Now – April 30, 202-: $85 – All Categories
On-Site $100 – All Categories
Junior - $10

Courses
The Cross Country races will start at the Cherokee Fairgrounds and begin with a climb on pavement to the trail head. The Enduro races will start near the trail head in the upper parking lot of the Oconoluftee Village.

Cross Country
Beginner & Junior – Start climb from the Fairgrounds up to the loop, .9 miles with 325 ft elevation gain: https://www.strava.com/segments/17644883. 3 laps of the beginner loop (2.3 miles each lap with 312 ft elevation gain): https://www.strava.com/segments/17644901. Then there is .9 miles back to the finish line at the fairgrounds. Total: 8.7 miles with 1261 ft elevation gain.

Sport, Single Speed – Start climb from the Fairgrounds up to the loop, .9miles with 325 ft elevation gain: https://www.strava.com/segments/17644883. 2 laps of the Sport/Expert loop (4.75 miles each lap with 650 ft elevation gain): https://www.strava.com/segments/17644917. Then there is .9 miles back to the finish line at the fairgrounds. Total: 11.3 miles with 1625 ft of elevation gain.

Expert – Start climb from the Fairgrounds up to the loop, .9miles with 325 ft elevation gain: https://www.strava.com/segments/17644883. 3 laps of the Sport/Expert loop (4.75miles each lap with 650 ft elevation gain): https://www.strava.com/segments/17644917. Then there is .9 miles back to the finish line at the fairgrounds. Total: 16.05 miles with 2275 ft of elevation gain.

Enduro
Up Uktena Trail then down Spearfinger Trail (Stage 1) – 2 miles with 630ft of elevation loss: (https://www.strava.com/segments/17644957)

Up Uktena Trail then down Kessel Run-Upper Half (Stage 2) – 1.4 miles with 486ft of elevation loss: (https://www.strava.com/segments/17644988)

Continue down Kessel Run-Lower Half  (Stage 3) – .6 miles with 200ft of elevation loss (https://www.strava.com/segments/20238652)

Up Spearfinger and down Uktena (Stage 4) 


Cherokee’s Memorial Day Trout Tournament

Saturday, May 23 to Sunday, May 24

Spend the long weekend with the boys: rainbow, brook, golden, and brown. Your $15 entry fee and $17 two-day fishing permit lets you compete for $10,000 in tagged fish within the beautiful freestone streams of Cherokee, NC; only the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters are excluded.

Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office located at 517 Sequoyah Trail off Hwy 441. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods.

Register for this tournament anywhere fishing permits are sold in and around Cherokee or online at FishCherokee.com by Friday, May 22, 2020. Prize redemption will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each tournament day. 


The Tim Hill Memorial Trout Tournament

Saturday, July 11 to Sunday, July 12

In honor of Tim Hill, a longtime employee at our very own trout hatchery who sadly passed away far too soon, we’re inviting you to fish and compete in this fun and lucrative tournament in his name. With a registration fee of $15 and a two-day fishing permit for $17, you’ll be fishing for your share of $10,000 by catching beautiful fish in rivers all across the Qualla Boundary (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters), which will be stocked with tagged fish.

Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office located at 517 Sequoyah Trail off Hwy 441. Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or at FishCherokee.com by Friday, July 10, 2020. Fishing will start one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Prize redemption will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each tournament day. 


The Qualla Country Trout Tournament

Saturday, September 5 to Sunday, September 6

It’s not too late to take home the summer’s biggest trout. Your $15 entry fee and $17 two-day fishing permit lets you compete for your share of $20,000 in the pristine, freestone streams of Cherokee (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters).

Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office located at 517 Sequoyah Trail off Hwy 441. Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or at FishCherokee.com by Friday, September 4, 2020. Fishing will start one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Prize redemption will run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day. 


Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly-Fishing Tournament

Saturday, November 7 to Sunday, November 8

Are you and your best fly-fishing buddy ready to rumble with the top anglers around? Then get your $300 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 cash prizes totaling $10,000*. Register for the event at River's Edge Outfitters by Monday, October 5, 2020. Registration is limited. Additional event details will be discussed on November 6 at 7 p.m. during the opening meeting. Open to all ages. 

*Payout subject to change.