Click on a month or an underlined date to view scheduled events.
Planning a trip to see the Smokies' fabulous wildflowers? Click to view the blooming calendar.
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. Children ages 6 and under will be admitted for free. 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
Wednesday: Children’s Day
Thursday: Elder’s Day
Friday: Veterans & Visitor Appreciation Day
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 crackle from 7:00–9:00 p.m. on the following dates at Oconaluftee Islands Park, on Tsali Blvd.: Wednesdays, Fridays & Saturdays, May 22 - October 12. Expanded schedule for July 1-6. No bonfires in September.
The second Saturday of every month, 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. For example, January, the windy month, will include workshops on how to play the Cherokee flute, blowgun demonstrations, and an outstanding panel of storytellers.
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.
Cast your line for a chance to compete with other anglers for thousands of dollars in prizes at the Cherokee KOA Fall Fishing Tournament this October. Fishing permits, required for Cherokee streams or ponds, are $10 per person 12 years and older. Permits are available at a variety of business entities within Cherokee or can be purchased online at FishCherokee.com. There is a $11 per person admission fee for this event, in addition to the permit fee. Accommodations available at KOA.com. This event is only open to KOA campground guests.