Sandburg’s family used to gather on the porch at Connemara to listen to him sing and play guitar. That tradition continues with this annual festival, but it’s not just folk music you’ll hear. Enjoy up-tempo jazz from The Gypsy Swingers, bluegrass from Nitrograss, and blues from Peggy Ratusz and Daddy LongLegs. You can visit with the property’s goats and tour the house, too, as well as browse the bookstore. Seating can be found in the barnyard amphitheater, but it fills up fast. Attendees are encouraged to bring a chair or blanket. » Carl Sandburg Home, 81 Carl Sandburg Ln.; Monday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 693-4178; www.nps.gov/carl

Form a team and, well, get outside for this inaugural 208-mile hub relay race through Alleghany County. Unlike standard relays, it starts and ends in the same spot. Runners will camp, eat, sleep, and relax at headquarters, called GOMR Nation. Another difference from traditional team races? The organizers are taking care of transportation to the exchange locations, letting runners focus solely on running. » Blue Ridge Christian School, 122 Glade Valley Church Rd.; Friday & Saturday, 5 a.m. start; regular team (7-12 runners) $1,920, ultra team (4-6) $1,280; (336) 363-4984; www.getoutsidemountainrelay.com

While the Toe River December Studio Tour is the perfect time to stock up on holiday gifts, the June event is a great time to find pieces for yourself—and soak in the sites as you drive from Mt. Mitchell to Roan Mountain in the warmth of summertime. A reception Friday at the Toe River Arts Council’s Spruce Pine Gallery offers a chance to meet the artists. Find a guide to participating studios online. » Multiple venues; Friday, reception 5:30-7:30 p.m., tour Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 682-7215; www.toeriverarts.org

Once you arrive at this race, from Pisgah Productions, things can only go downhill—literally. The race offers a chance to test your downhill mountain bike skills on seven different timed sections. (Rides between downhill sections won’t be timed.) One-day and two-day competition categories are available. » Camp Grier, 985 Camp Grier Rd.; Saturday, 8:45 a.m. start, Sunday, noon start; pisgahpro@gmail.com; www.pisgahproductions.com

Take off from Pack Square and race through the streets of Asheville and along the French Broad River, no matter which course length you choose. Along the way, local musicians will perform, providing energy-boosting entertainment. A festival at the finish, with food, drinks, and more entertainment, rounds out the day. There is no race-day registration. » Pack Square Park, 80 Court Plz.; Saturday, 7 a.m.; half $85, 10K $55; (828) 200-5498; www.ashevillehalfmarathon.com

Now in its seventh year, this event vows to once again deliver on everything its moniker promises: It will showcase nearly 80 artists and crafters; the Hiwassee River, via rides led by volunteers from the river’s watershed coalition; and musicians such as Wyatt Espalin, Heidi Holton, and others. There’ll be food and drinks, too, from vendors including longtime festival supporter Doyle’s Cedar Hill restaurant. Murphy River Walk, adjacent to the L&N Depot, 4 Railroad St.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; free, (828) 835-0550; www.cherokeeartscouncil.org

Relive those carefree childhood days and splash in the mud and muck during this three-mile course dotted with exciting obstacles and brain teasers. The annual event raises funds for Hands On! A Child’s Gallery, a local children’s museum that, like the race, provides opportunities for interactive play and learning. New this year, organizers are offering a Choose Your Challenge option, which allows individuals or teams of four to register in timed or untimed races. Don’t want to get dirty? An all-day festival with food, craft beer, and live music accompanies the run. » Berkeley Mills Park, 69 Balfour Rd.; Saturday, noon-7 p.m.; $55 timed individual, $50 untimed individual, $200 team of four; (828) 697-8333; www.madmountainmudrun.com

Go long or go “lite” this year with the race’s usual 13.1-mile course or new 6.5-mile Charity Chase Lite option. Each summer, the event raises and distributes more than $30,000 for local nonprofits, including youth, education, and family support charities such as the Hickory Soup Kitchen, Women’s Resource Center, and the Hickory Landmark Society. » Union Square, near 356 Main Ave. NW; Sunday, 6:30 a.m.; $80 Half, $65 advance, $40 Lite, $30 advance; (828) 358-0407; www.charitychase.com

The center, now in its 81st season, has mastered packing as many performances as possible into one summer. In just over 10 weeks, 80 events are scheduled with some of the most notable names in music—from bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs to pianist Garrick Ohlsson to violin virtuoso Sarah Chang. They’ve even planned a festival within the festival to honor composer Kurt Weill, known for The Threepenny Opera and his famous song “Mack the Knife.” There will also be a showing of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial with a live symphony accompaniment. The celebration also marks the 10th anniversary for Artistic Director Keith Lockhart. » Multiple venues at Brevard Music Center, 349 Andante Ln.; days, times & prices vary, some events are free; (828) 862-2100; www.brevardmusic.org

The Asheville Contemporary Dance Theater and Open Hearts Art Center have teamed up to present a unique and uplifting showcase featuring participants of the nonprofit art center, which serves adults with developmental, mental, and physical disabilities. ACDT artists have learned to develop new ways of teaching, while participants have benefitted from the experience of creative expression. Funds raised benefit Open Hearts. » BeBe Theater, 20 Commerce St.; Thursday & Friday, 7 p.m., Saturday, 3 p.m.; $10; (828) 505-8428; www.openheartsartcenter.org

Lift your, ahem, spirits with a weekend dedicated to wine, craft beer, and other delectable (alcoholic) drinks. The festival kicks off Thursday with private wine dinners; Friday features a Craft Beer, Wine and Spirits Market; and the event ends Saturday with a grand gala, which will include an auction as well as dancing to the music of Class Act. Funds support The Bascom, a center for visual arts. Limited single tickets are available. » Multiple venues; Thursday, 6 p.m., Friday, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, 6-10 p.m.; $2,500 for all events, $1,000 for Thursday & Saturday, $750 Thursday wine dinner, $100 Friday market, $500 Saturday gala; (828) 526-4949; www.thebascom.org

This year’s event is jam-packed with bluegrass favorites, including Dailey & Vincent, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Gene Watson, and at least a dozen more. Food and art will also be on hand. »Happy Holiday RV Village & Campground, 1553 Wolfetown Rd.; Thursday-Saturday, noon-10:30 p.m.; $95 three-day pass, $90 advance,$45 day pass, $40 advance; (706) 864-7203; www.adamsbluegrass.com

See the classic tale of everyone’s favorite redhead, little orphan Annie, on stage at the Flat Rock Playhouse for the first time. Of course, Annie’s dog, Sandy, is a beloved character in the story, too. That’s why one of the show’s executive producers, the Blue Ridge Humane Society, will host on-site adoptions prior to many of the performances. » Flat Rock Playhouse, 2661 Greenville Hwy.; Wednesdays & Thursdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m., Fridays, 8 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m., Sundays, 2 p.m.; $15-$50; (828) 693-0731; www.flatrockplayhouse.org

The state park wants to encourage everyone to get active in nature for the 10th annual National Get Outdoors Day, so they’ve planned guided hikes with park naturalists, rock climbing opportunities with Fox Mountain Guide instructors, and much more. Activities are available for all ages. » Chimney Rock State Park, 431 Main St.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., program & hike times vary; free with $15 park admission, $6 youth; (800) 277-9611; www.chimneyrockpark.com

Tour the Blue Ridge Mountains in Alleghany Country by bike for 20, 35, 60 (metric century), or 100 miles (century). Soak in the countryside views, but don’t be too leisurely about it—it is a race, after all, with prizes up for grabs. Be prepared for challenging climbs—the 100-mile loop ascends 9,600 feet. » Alleghany Wellness Center, 508 Collins Rd.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m.; $45, $40 advance; (336) 372-2944; www.tourdemountains.com

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian’s festival celebrates its 20th year with the theme Passing the Knowledge—the Rising Generation. Each elder master artist will bring a young person with them, ages 18 to 40, who they’ve mentored or taught in their family or community. In addition, catch a blowgun contest and Warriors of AniKituhwa performance, and enjoy a traditional Cherokee meal (for purchase). The event is sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council; because of the museum’s work with Cherokee artists and support of the local arts community, it has been designated a State Arts Resource by the NCAC. » Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 589 Tsali Blvd.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 497-3481; www.cherokeemuseum.org

Originally begun to help prevent logging on Bluff Mountain, this music, dancing, storytelling, and arts festival now benefits the Madison County Arts Council through a silent auction and raffle. Don’t miss headlining musician Kate Campbell, whose storytelling has been compared to the likes of Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner, along with local and regional performers Midnight Plowboys, the Green Grass Cloggers, and more. No dogs allowed. » Hot Springs Resort & Spa, 315 Bridge St.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; free; (828) 649-1301; www.madisoncountyarts.com

Hitchcock fans won’t want to miss the stage version of this classic film, adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan. The entire play will be performed with a cast of only four: One actor is the hero, another plays the three women with whom said hero has romantic entanglements, and two others play every other character in the show. » Parkway Playhouse, 202 Green Mountain Dr.; Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m., Sundays, 3 p.m.; $20, $18 seniors, students & military, $10 children 17 & under; (828) 682-4285; www.parkwayplayhouse.com

Bring your sweet tooth, as this event features a dessert buffet of treats donated by the High Country’s leading restaurants. It will mark the culmination of a May fund-raising effort from the Ashe County Arts Council that includes dinners, picnics, brunches, and other special happenings. The gala will also feature a silent auction. Proceeds support the council’s community and school arts programming. » Ashe Arts Center, 303 School Ave.; Saturday, 8 p.m.; $40 suggested minimum donation, $35 minimum donation to attend a dinner event + gala; (336) 846-2787; www.ashecountyarts.org

The 71st North Carolina Rhododendron Festival happens in downtown Bakersville. An arts and crafts fair takes place both days and also features live music, food vendors, inflatables and train rides for kids, and a Ducky Derby race on the creek. The evenings bring street dances and the Rhododendron Festival Pagent. A classic car show and 10K run happens on Saturday.