Pisgah Legal Services’ biggest event, the Poverty Forum is part benefit, part opportunity to raise awareness about the complex problems of poverty faced by many in the region. This year’s event focus is the housing crisis, and Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize winner for Evicted, will share insights from his embedded experience living in a trailer park. Proceeds provide free civil legal aid to low-income community members; last year, the organization served 15,000 plus people. » UNC Asheville, Sherrill Center & Kimmel Arena, 227 Campus Dr.; Thursday, 5:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. forum; $50 reception & forum, $15 forum only; (828) 210-3444; www.pisgahlegal.org


The all-things-music festival celebrates its fifth year with an impressive lineup. Noted acts include Southern Culture on the Skids, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Shake It Like a Caveman, and, of course, Andrew Scotchie & the River Rats. (Scotchie started the event with friends in 2009.) New this year are VIP tickets (preferred parking + food and drink perks) and “Barn Burner” passes (for the whole weekend with camping). Proceeds benefit the Asheville Music School. » Franny’s Farm, 22 Franny’s Farm Rd.; Friday, 5-11 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; prices vary per day & package, free Sunday; avlbarnaroo@gmail; www.ashevillebarnaroo.com


Will true love find its way? Can one desire too much of a good thing? Watch the tale of The Bard’s arguably most charismatic and irresistible heroine, Rosalind, unfold from your lawn chair or blanket (no seating is provided).  » Southside Park amphitheater, 1775 Southwest Blvd.; Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; free; (828) 464-6128; www.thegreenroomtheatre.org


Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center and UNC Asheville present the Southeast premier of Black Mountain Songs, an expansive choral and visual work performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and curated by Bryce Dessner (The National) and Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire). Eight composers in total, including Dessner and Parry, along with Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw, Nico Muhly, Aleksandra Vrebalov, John King, Tim Hecker, and Jherek Bischoff, collaborated with filmmaker Matt Wolf to create the renowned piece celebrating the legacy of Black Mountain College. » Diana Wortham Theatre; 18 Biltmore Ave.; Friday & Saturday, 8 p.m.; $20, $12 18 & under; (828) 350-8484; www.blackmountaincollege.org


Theirs is a picking partnership like no other: a banjo duo with a deep bond both at home and on stage (they married in 2009). Fleck has 15 Grammy Awards to his name—he’s been nominated at least 30 times, in more categories than any instrumentalist in Grammy history—and is known for his virtuosic skills and work with New Grass Revival and Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Washburn is renowned for her strength as a clawhammer player and her ability to pair classical folk elements with far-flung sounds. Hear how their distinct musical personalities and styles interact in this banjo-centric performance. » Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, 1028 Georgia Rd.; Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; $25-$31; (866) 273-4615; www.greatmountainmusic.com


The day is both an old-fashioned mountain fair and a showcase for Southern Appalachian musicians, artists, and dancers—headlining musical acts are Mountain Faith, an America’s Got Talent finalist, and Country Current, the U.S. Navy’s bluegrass band. Participate in shape-note singing and learn other skills needed to preserve mountain heritage. »Western Carolina University, 1 University Way; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 227-3039; www.mountainheritageday.com


Grandfather Mountain’s rocks go back—way back, some 300 odd million years or so. Explore their long history with naturalist Corey White, who believes that when you do, you may just uncover a world so complex and amazing it’ll change your perspective on the Appalachian Mountains forever. The program is limited to 12 participants and is part of Grandfather’s ongoing adult field classes; these courses count toward the North Carolina Environmental Educator Certification Criteria II. Lunch will be eaten in the field. » Grandfather Mountain, 2050 Blowing Rock Hwy.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $40, $20 Bridge Club members; (828) 733-2013; www.grandfather.com


A classic murder mystery from Agatha Christie, the play gets you (and keeps you) asking, “Whodunit?” The spinster with a curious background? The architect who seems better equipped to be a chef? A retired army major with a suspicious story? Will the police officer figure it out? » Parkway Playhouse, 202 Green Mountain Dr.; Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; $20, $18 seniors & students, $10 children; (828) 682-4285; www.parkwayplayhouse.com


It’s fair fun with Cherokee flair—food, fireworks, rides, and stickball. Known as the “Little Brother of War,” stickball was once a way for tribes to settle disputes without going to battle; today, it’s less aggressive, albeit still intense. Watch demonstrations of the physically demanding game, along with archery and blowgun demos. Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan headline. Each day provides a different themed celebration. » Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds, 545 Tsali Blvd.; Tuesday-Saturday, times & daily prices vary; (800) 438-1601; www.visitcherokeenc.com

Bryson City

On the railroad this October, weekends are for two things: PEANUTS and pumpkins. Riders will hear a narration of the Charles Schulz classic It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while chugging along to the patch to pick out their own. The patch pit stop also includes campfire marshmallows, trick-or-treating, hayrides, and more. Halloween costumes are encouraged.  » Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, 45 Mitchell St.; Fridays, 3:30 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays, noon & 3:30 p.m.; $56 open-air & coach class, $32 ages two to 12, $68 crown class, $39 children, $10 infants; (800) 872-4681; www.gsmr.com

Flat Rock

No, Rick Moranis won’t be on stage. But Flat Rock Playhouse favorites Mark Warwick (the dentist), Ryah Nixon (Audrey), and Preston Dyar (Mushnik) will, along with talented newcomers filling in the roles of Seymour and the “Urchins.” The account of a nerdy florist and his bloodthirsty plant is one of the longest running Off Broadway hits of all time. » 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

Oooh and ahhh over beautifully built and decorated homes during this two-day, self-guided home tour through Yancey County. One day features homes in Burnsville’s gated Mountain Air community; the other day includes houses spread throughout the county. Funds raised go toward Mayland Community College’s scholarships and programs. An information booklet and map will be provided with each ticket. A two-day ticket offers access to an evening viewing at Burnsville’s new Bare Dark Sky Observatory, where you can peer millions of light years into space through the largest public telescope in the state. » Multiple venues; Friday & Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $45 two-day pass + evening viewing at Bare Dark Sky Observatory, $25 one-day pass home tour only; (828) 766-1233; www.mayland.edu/foundation

North Wilkesboro

Of course, there’ll be apples—fresh apples, dried apples, apple cider—as well as music, dancing, food, and upwards of 400 arts and crafts vendors on Saturday. Bring your camera: Cash prizes will be awarded for the best festival photos. The Apple Jam kicks off the weekend on Friday at 6 p.m.  » Downtown; Friday, 6 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m-5 p.m.; free; (336) 921-3499; www.applefestival.net


The town’s 3,487-foot elevation provides a great vantage point to take in the season’s changing colors, while the event offers the chance to shop for unique handcrafted items from more than 100 artisans and merchants. Two stages will be filled with live music, and food vendors will be on hand. » Village Green & Commons park, crossroads of US 64 & NC 107; Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 743-8428; www.visitcashiersvalley.com


Over 100 local and regional contemporary folk artists are no doubt the stars of this show—their work will be for sale and many will offer demonstrations. Enjoy bites from food trucks with clever names like Hangry Hooligans, Emergensweets, Big Woodie, and Wingz on Wheelz, plus music from the likes of Sigmon Stringers, Sycamore Bones, the GMC Jazz Band, and others. The History Museum of Catawba County will be open during the festival with programming inside and out. » Downtown; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 695-4360; www.foothillsfolkartfestival.com


Every fall, John C. Campbell Folk School celebrates Appalachian culture with more than 240 fine craft exhibitors, 40 artisans demonstrating traditional and contemporary crafts, bluegrass, gospel, folk, and Celtic music, and clogging, Morris, and Garland dance performances. For the kids there’s face-painting, arts and crafts, and pony rides, plus pets to meet and adopt. Tip: Bring cash; there are no ATMs on campus and not all vendors accept cards. » John C. Campbell Folk School, 1 Folk School Rd.; Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $5, $3 ages 12-17, free kids under 12; (828) 837-2775; www.folkschool.org

Bryson City

Browse industry vendors (including locals) offering everything from rods, to flies, to apparel and accessories set up just a block from the Delayed Harvest waters on the Tuckaseegee River. Also enjoy casting demos and games provided by Fly Fishers International. To coordinate with the festival, the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians is organizing the Smoky Mountain Hook & Hackle Fly Tyers Retreat October 6-8 at the Swain County Parks and Rec Center. » Downtown, Frye St.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; free; (828) 488-3333; www.tuckflyshop.com


It’s all uphill at this inaugural race at the private Mountain Air community. Climb 1,800 feet to the runway at the top and celebrate with post-race festivities and unrivaled views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at 4,600 feet. For those wanting less of a challenge, there’s a run/walk on the half-mile airstrip. » Mountain Air, 337 Clubhouse Dr.; Saturday, 5 p.m.; $35, $30 advance, $10 fun run; (828) 400-5868; www.gloryhoundevents.com

Flat Rock

The first golf game ever played in Henderson County took place on what would later become Carl Sandburg’s property. What’s more, the poet was an avid golfer. With such historical connections, a tournament to kick off the historic site’s 50th birthday just made sense. Participants can play with replica clubs and balls, and awards will be given for best period attire. Proceeds benefit the Friends of Carl Sandburg at Connemara, which maintains the park and funds public programs. » Kenmure Country Club, 100 Clubhouse Dr.; Monday, 12:30 p.m. shotgun; $150 per golfer, $500 four-person team; (610) 917-1066; www.sandburggolf.com

Black Mountain

Come along and ride on a “Fantastic Voyage,” the theme for LEAF’s 45th festival. This fall’s musical acts will take you from the shores of Kingston, Jamaica, to the frozen tundra of Iqaluit, Nunavut, to the ancient forests of Estonia, and to the streets of East Los Angeles. Hear Toots & The Maytals, Los Lobos, The Jerry Cans, Trad.Attack!, and the list goes on—400+ performers in total. Also enjoy healing arts workshops, water sports, camping, and lots more. New in 2017: LEAF members get exclusive access to Weekend Plus tickets. The festival helps fund the nonprofit’s efforts to build community through the arts. » Lake Eden, 377 Lake Eden Rd.; Thursday, 4:30-10 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m., Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; $45-$65 day passes, $105-$180 weekend pass, free kids under 10; (828) 686-8742; www.theleaf.org