Spruce Pine

Spruce Pine is host to many unique festivals annually. These festivals bring tens of thousands of attendees to the small town to discover what makes Spruce Pine unique.

  • The NC Mineral & Gem Festival: By far the most well known and established festival in Spruce Pine, it is truly world famous. The first Mineral and gem Festival in Spruce Pine was produced by the Spruce Pine Chamber of Commerce and was called the Spruce Pine Mineral and Gem Festival. Chamber President Harold Van Day and Secretary Susie English Stoppard decided to organize a festival to bring tourists to the area and spotlight the mining heritage of the area. The manager of the festival was Mr. Peter Lowe. It was first held August 5-7th 1959 at Harris High School. Later the name was changed to the NC Mineral & Gem Festival and in 2019 it celebrated it’s 60th year.
  • Fire on the Mountain: Fire on the Mountain is an annual celebration of the art of the blacksmith, held the last Saturday in April in downtown Spruce Pine. The event is a partnership between Spruce Pine Main Street, Penland School of Crafts and the Toe River Arts Council. Each year the festival contains a month long exhibit of new work by artist blacksmiths culminating in a closing reception Friday night before the festival. A featured blacksmith demonstrate their craft multiple times, presents a lecture at Penland school and conducts a Master Demonstration workshop the ready before the festival. The festival contains demonstrators to showcase their talents, tool vendors, a free hands-on tent and of course great local food.
  • Troutacular: The first Saturday in June Spruce Pine celebrates its Mountain Heritage Trout Waters designation by hosting a free event designed to educate children on one of Mitchell Counties greatest resources, trout fishing. The one day event starts at sunrise and is free for children ages 14 and under to compete in a fishing tournament and enjoy other activities.
  • Spruce Pine BBQ & Bluegrass: Come chill with the most sizzling BBQ competition teams in the southeast and the hottest bluegrass in the Nation! The festival occurs in July at Rotary park.
  • Spruce Pine Alien Conference & EXPO - S.P.A.C.E.: The most unique festival in Spruce Pine celebrates the fact Mitchell County is host to more UFO sightings than anywhere else in North Carolina. Spruce Pine raw materials were used to create the great lens in the Palomar, Hubble and many more great telescopes. Spruce Pine has the purest quartz in the world utilized in the creation of all computer chip based technology and used on the tiles of the Space Shuttle. These connections to space exploration and the unidentified flying object phenomenon combined, made Spruce Pine the perfect place to host what will soon be the east coasts largest alien festival. This annual event is typically the second weekend in June and features speakers from televisions Ancient Aliens (to include past guest Mike Bara), local and national authors, alien researchers, live music, costume contests, vendors of alien merchandise, beer/food vendors and more. The event is free to attend with some paid events to see speakers and trips to the observatory.
  • Toe Jam Rockin’ Music Festival - This annual event is Saturday Labor Day weekend. The event showcases the local regions best Rock bands on a full concert stage on lower street in Spruce Pine. The all day event is free to attend and features live music, watermelon eating contests, hula-hoop contests, hot wing eating contests. For the kids there is a zip line, a water slide, make your own tie-dye t-shirt, face painting, dance competitions and more. For adults there is a costume contest, beer vendors, shopping. The event also raises money for local charities to include the Shepard Staff Food Bank & Toe River Valley Watch.
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