Festivals and Events

When the spring rains rejuvenate life back in the mountains of Southeast Kentucky each year, its people begin a non-stop succession of outdoor festivals and celebrations until the winter again pushes the celebration of mountain culture indoors. Each and every month there’s another chance to enjoy the rich music of Appalachia, explore the unique artistry of its craftsmen and eat tasty foods you may have never heard of. Come listen to the taste of the mountains through these unique Appalachian celebrations!

For specific dates, check our Events Calendar.


April

Wildflower Weekend
April, Harlan County
Pine Mountain Settlement School hosts the annual Wildflower Weekend. During this program, folks of all ages will participate in guided hikes along our forested trails, eat farm-fresh meals, and enjoy the beauty and relaxation of this environment.
Click here for more information…

may

Black Mountain Wildflower Weekend
May, Harlan County
Join us as we celebrate the unique and important ecosystem of Black Mountain. As the highest point in Kentucky, this mountain is home to many rare species of wildflowers including painted trillium, rosy twisted stalk, purple fringed orchid, and Kentucky’s largest population of Turk’s cap Lilly. On Friday evening, we will hear a lecture from an expert ecologist after supper. On Saturday, we will explore the mountainside in search of rare flowers and learn what makes this habitat so important. That evening we will return to a hot meal and lively music.
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Knott County Trail Ride
May, Knott County
Make plans now to join us for the Spring 2019 Knott County Trail Ride! 
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Southern Shine Crawl
Memorial Day weekend, Harlan County
Located at Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area
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Levitt AMP Whitesburg Music Series
Multiple events May through October, Letcher County
This concert series will allow our region to see, celebrate, and participate in culture and community. We believe that the most important thing we can do is to fill this space with the sound of joyous music.
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Mountain Music Weekends
Multiple events, Letcher County
Travel the Country Music Highway and enjoy the sounds of East Kentucky
from Letcher County to Pike County!
Click here for more information…

june

Poke Sallet Festival
First weekend of June, Harlan County
The Poke Sallet Festival is Harlan County's oldest continuous festival and also Harlan County's biggest festival! The festival always takes place on the first full weekend in June and is filled with food, contests, live music, carnival, a challenging 5k, the Miss Harlan County Pageant and much more!
Click here for more information…

Perry County Fair
June, Perry County
We provide free entertainment and you can spend a little money supporting great causes by purchasing delicious food to eat or finding unique crafts and antiques to take home! The fair plays host to vendors like school and church groups, volunteer fire departments and civic organizations (just to name a few) that need your support to keep worthwhile programs going. 
Click here for more information…

Lucy Braun Naturalist Weekend
June, Harlan County
This forest study workshop is named in honor of one of the first and foremost conservationists of the 20th century, E. Lucy Braun. Daily field trips will include 4-to-8-mile hikes to various forest types and habitats including remnant old growth forest and high elevation mixed mesophytic forests.
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Seedtime on the Cumberland
June, Letcher County
From blacksmithing to square dancing, Seedtime vendors, performers, and artists are preparing a festival like no other. As always, Seedtime is free and open to all.
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Rambling Grass Bluegrass Festival
First Weekend in June, Leslie County
Rambling Grass Bluegrass Festival located at the Pine Patch Park.
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august

The Osborne Brothers Hometown Festival
First full weekend of August, Leslie County
Every year, Leslie County celebrates bluegrass music and the accomplishments of The Osborne Brothers. 
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Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival
Last weekend in August, Letcher County
The Jenkins Homecoming Days Festival occurs during the last weekend of August each year. The festival committee is part of the City of Jenkins, KY Parks and Recreation Department.
Click here for more information…

september

Knott County Gingerbread Festival
First Thursday - Sunday after Labor Day, Knott County
This festival celebrates the mountain tradition of "encouraging" citizens to vote. World's largest gingerbread man. Crafts, music, contests, parade and lots of food and carnival rides.
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Isom Days
Labor Day weekend, Letcher County
Isom Days is an annual event held every Labor Day weekend at Isom Ky.
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Neon Days
September
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Black Gold Festival
Third Thursday-Saturday of September, Perry County
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Mountain Heritage Festival
Last full week of September, Letcher County
The Letcher County Mountain Heritage Festival was first celebrated in 1983. The year before the ideal for a festival began with a county wide pig roast, coordinated by the county judge, fiscal court, and county treasurer.
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october

Kentucky Black Bear Festival & Kingdom Come Swappin' Mettin'
First weekend of October, Harlan County
For more information call the Cumberland Tourism office at 606.589.5812
Click here for more information…

Annual Knott County Fall Trail Ride
First Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday in October
Guided trail rides, campfires, music, and food. Come see the fall foliage and hear the elk bugle!
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Mary Breckenridge Festival
First Sunday in October, Leslie County
The first Saturday in October, Leslie County celebrates The Mary Breckinridge Festival! With a parade, food booths and so much more, it's a fun weekend the whole family will enjoy! 
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Harlan Haunt Fest
First Saturday of October, Harlan County
Harlan Haunt Fest is a pop-culture/horror convention and festival in the mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky that features meeting genre celebrities from film, TV, music, art, and literature. Enjoy many special events, contests, prizes, cosplay, crafts, music, masquerade, and all sorts of paranormal fun celebrating our mountain heritage and Halloween.
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Fall Arts & Color Weekend
First Weekend in October
Skip the Smoky Mountain crowds and experience the unadulterated Appalachian fall beauty at Fall Color Weekend. This family-friendly event has activities for all ages including hikes, expert presentations, live music, and nature programming for children. Bring the whole family and mix-and-match workshops for a personal experience.   
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Blackey Day
Second weekend in October, Letcher County
Blackey Day is a festival held each year in October that includes music, arts, crafts & food. It is a homecoming for people who grew up in our area.
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Whitesburg Oktoberfest
October, Letcher County
Celebrate Oktoberfest in historic downtown Whitesburg with great food, great beer, and great local musicians at the Courthouse Square.
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Battle of Leatherwood
October, Perry County
This event commemorates the original battle of October 19, 1862 on the original site at Cornettsville, Kentucky, graciously made available by Dr. Marion Miniard and family.
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november

Festival of the Mountain Masters
Thanksgiving weekend, Harlan County
The Festival of the Mountain Masters is an award winning authentic handcraft show that displays the work of local artisans in the Southeast region. It is a wonderful festival full of great handmade items that make wonderful Christmas gifts for the whole family. There is also live entertainment, food, contests, and much more!
Click here for more information…

december

Christmas in a Small Town
December, Perry County
This is a 4-day fundraising event for the Perry County Fair. Activities include a 50'x60' ice skating rink and inflatables
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