Rainbows & Ramps | Cherokee, NC

How will Cherokee affect you?

You are invited to

Rainbows & Ramps

Come celebrate the nearing of springtime, mark the beginning of fishing season, honor the elders and enjoy regional entertainment.

Birdtown Gym
1212 Birdtown Road, Cherokee, NC 28719
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March 25, 2023
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Rainbows & Ramps Schedule of Events

10:00 a.m.
Doors Open

10:30 a.m.
Invocation/Blessing/Chief & Vice Chief

10:45 a.m.
Wiregrass Band

11:00 a.m.
Serve Elder’s Lunch

12:00 p.m.
Dancing by J. Creek Cloggers

12:30 p.m.
Cherokee Museum Dancers

1:00 p.m.
Door Prizes Drawn

3:00 p.m.


What are Ramps?

For the uninitiated, ramps are a type of wild onion, sometimes called “mountain leeks,“ and are one of the first green vegetables to appear in springtime in the Appalachian Mountains. Ramps are prized for their unique flavor, tasting like a mix between onion and garlic, and they’re only available for a few weeks each season, making them highly desirable to chefs and foodies across the country. As a green, ramps are delicate. Fresh, they only last a couple of days, although they can be pickled or frozen for longer enjoyment.

For the Rainbow and Ramps festival, local Cherokee members gather the wild ramps from their family ramp patches in locations that are kept secret. Carefully, they harvest the young tips, leaving the roots intact so that the plants continue to grow. For Cherokee, ramps are so much more than a gourmet onion–they are an important part of their history and culture. For over 12,000 years, Cherokee have ceremoniously gathered ramps each spring for eating and cooking, as well as for medicinal purposes due to their high levels of vitamin C and antibiotic properties.


Rainbows Stretching Over 30 Miles

While ramps are somewhat fleeting, rainbow trout courses through the rivers in and around Cherokee, and can be easily caught with a permit. Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management stocks 30 miles of mountain streams twice weekly, and there are wild varieties in the mix as well. For anglers, the Rainbow and Ramps festival marks the official start of the fishing season, and a chance to compete for $20,000 in tagged fish in the Opening Day Fishing Competition.

Sample Trips