Promising a fun-filled day for the whole family, the Blowing Rock Trout Derby offers some of the best Southeast trout fishing against the backdrop of spring. Whether you’re there to fish or simply spectate, you’ll be able to cast a line to win a prize, get creative in the Art Contest for Kids, and visit local restaurants for a taste of trout too! » Blowing Rock Clubhouse, 108 Lakeside Drive; Saturday, sunrise-4:30 p.m.; free; (828) 295-4636; www.blowingrock.com

Banner Elk is putting on a day of Easter fun for kids and parents alike with separate events for younger and older children, a magician performance, and a free ice cream scoop. Located at the Tate-Evans Park situated in the heart of downtown, this event provides a morning of excitement, and only a short walk to exciting shops, art galleries, and local eateries, all with a spectacular view of towering mountains greening in the spring. » Tate-Evans Town Park, 210 Park Avenue; Saturday, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; free; (828) 898-8395; www.bannerelk.org

Celebrate mountain heritage and get a glimpse of what life was like in WNC during the 1800s at the Mountain Gateway Museum’s annual event. Expect music, food, and demonstrations like weaving, pottery turning, and hit- and miss- engines, and craft vendors displaying and selling their wares. » Mountain Gateway Museum, 24 Water St., Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 668-9259; www.mgmnc.org

Celebrating its 11th anniversary, the potters market once again will host more than twenty of the finest artists in Madison County and beyond. The region’s rich cultural and agricultural history provides a perfect backdrop for the market. The artisan’s wares will be on display in a historic school building that’s now home to Marshall High Studios. www.pottersofmadisoncounty.com

Pickleball has the community in a buzz, and this spring is a great time to try your hand at the fast-paced sport. With proceeds benefiting the Land of the Waterfalls Senior Games and Silver Arts, you’ll get a chance to play in picturesque Brevard, socialize with fellow players, and sharpen your skills in a competitive game that’s been skyrocketing in popularity. » Transylvania County Parks and Recreation, 1078 Ecusta Rd; Saturday, 9 a.m.; $15; (828) 884-3156; www.tcpr.recdesk.com

The annual festival is once again on tap for the spring. Now in its 19th year, the event brings more than fifty breweries together. All told, it’s a chance to sample from among 300+ different beers. Attendance is for adults 21 and over only, and no pets allowed. » Old Hickory Station parking lot, 232 Government Ave. SW.; Saturday, 1 p.m.-7 p.m.; prices vary; (828) 322-1121; www.hickoryhops.com

American poet Natasha Tretheway, who served two terms as Poet Laureate of the United States and boasts a Pulitzer Prize, will engage the audience with recitations of her vividly-written poetic prose. Known for exploring societal issues such as teen imprisonment, along with her own experiences as a Black woman, Tretheway is the author of five collections of poetry on the subjects. Her visit is sponsored by the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University. » Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, 733 Rivers St.; Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; free; (800) 841-2787; www.theschaefercenter.org

Come down to Hendersonville for a weekend celebrating food and drink. This three-day event partners with cideries and wineries to bring tours, tastings, food trucks, live music, and wine releases all in one place. Against the backdrop of fresh apple blossoms, explore and find new things to enjoy about this charming Blue Ridge Mountain town. » Locations vary; Friday-Sunday, times vary; costs vary; (828) 693-9708; www.visithendersonvillenc.org

This spring, witness a story set in our neck of the woods. Based on the Grammy-award winning bluegrass album Love Has Come for You, this story explores Alice’s life as a young girl, and then as a successful adult editor who comes to a stunning realization about her past. With music, lyrics, and story by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, this is a production you won’t want to miss. » Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St.; Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 2:30 p.m.; $18-$35; (828) 254-1320; www.ashevilletheatre.org

When flower buds start to appear, and the fresh greens of spring color the hillsides, it’s time for the Greening Up the Mountains street festival in the heart of Sylva. Once dedicated to Earth Day, this free festival celebrates everything spring by welcoming in a new season and thousands of onlookers each year. Heritage crafts, live music, traditionally-made food, and proximity to scenic towns make this event all the more inviting. » Downtown Sylva, Main Street; Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 554-1035; www.greeningupthemountains.com

The 73rd annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage greets spring with a multitude of professionally-guided walks, exhibits, and various learning opportunities to delve into the region’s natural and cultural abundance. Pilgrims from across world will convene to participate in a jam-packed program that covers fungi, ferns, wildflowers, insects, wildlife, journaling, art, photography, and the national park’s history. » Smoky Mountains National Park, locations vary; Wednesday-Saturday, times vary; $30-$150; www.wildflowerpilgrimage.org

First beginning in 1988, Merlefest offers an exciting lineup with artists like the Avett Brothers, Maren Morris, Little Feat, and many more. Spend a weekend in the rolling foothills and taking in a variety of musicians and vendors fill the festival. For those looking beyond the stage, hikes and jam sessions will be offered to round out the experience. » Wilkes Community College, 1328 S Collegiate Dr.; Thursday, 1:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m.; $75-$110; (800) 343-7857; www.merlefest.org

Bear Shadow music festival will be putting on a spectacular three-day Appalachian experience. Music, camping, and daytime events like fly fishing and musician clinics offer festival-goers plenty to enjoy while supporting conservation and preservation efforts of the highlands plateau. » Base Camp at Winfield Farm, 250 Winfield Farm Rd.; Friday & Saturday, 5 p.m., Sunday, noon; $65-$775; info@bearshadownc.com; www.bearshadownc.com

This annual celebration honors the art and history of blacksmithing with demonstrations, hands-on experiences, multiple vendors, and competitions. Some thirty-five exhibitors, including featured artist Rick Smith, are expected to show off their skills in this non-juried event. The blacksmiths will be crafting sculpture, jewelry, furniture,  and more. This festival is the largest of its kind on the East Coast. www.discoversprucepinenc.com

The first event of its kind at the North Carolina Arboretum, Bloom with a View will showcase an immersive floral installation on the grounds, offering visitors a way to engage with flowers up close. Throughout the gardens, colorful and festive planters will elevate thousands of blooms to eye level, and guests will be able to explore and even lose themselves among the flowers. For two weeks, the gardens, walking paths, and promenades will be transformed into a virtual sea of blooms, and guests will have an amazing opportunity to take photos and videos of themselves surrounded by a bevy of blossoms. www.ncarboretum.org

Hendersonville Theater aims to bring new stories to the stage, with a focus on transformative theatrical experiences for all. Spend an evening watching the comedic story of four unique Southern women looking to jumpstart their lives unfold. With laughter, misadventure, and an unexpected happy hour, fate encourages these middle-aged women to discover new friendships with each other and find a renewed inspiration to live in the moment. » Hendersonville Theatre, 229 S. Washington Street; Friday & Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, 3 p.m.; $17-$25; (828) 692-1082; www.hendersonvilletheatre.org

Jump into a ten-day celebration of music with the Asheville Symphony hosted in multiple venues across the region. Take in the multitude of sounds of Americana like bluegrass, pop, rock, and folk while enjoying some of the country’s best musicians, artists, and breweries. Headliner Béla Fleck and featured guest artist Kishi Bashi will take you on an innovative musical journey as dynamic as the mountains. » Asheville Symphony, 27 College Place; Thursday-Sunday, times vary; prices vary; (828) 254-7046; www.ashevillesymphony.org

Kick off spring with a traditional Botanical Gardens plant sale on University of North Carolina in Asheville grounds. Select from a wide variety of native trees, shrubs, and flowers. With free parking and free entry, this is the perfect opportunity to help a garden dedicated to the study and promotion of native plants and habitats. You’ll also be able to take in the ten acres of green space, and learn about efforts to restore regional landscapes. » The Botanical Gardens at Asheville, 151 W.T. Weaver Blvd; Friday, noon-6 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.; free; (828) 252-5190; www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org

An award-winning festival, Foothills Folk Art Festival is the place for enthusiasts of Southern folk art. This juried event is a day to get out on the town and revel in the art of Western North Carolina. Unique folk art will be available for purchase directly from artists, and the day will be accentuated with live music at the amphitheater, artist demonstrations, tasty food vendors, beer gardens, and other special activities. » Downtown Newton, Courthouse Square; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; (828) 695-4360; www.foothillsfolkartfestival.com

Dance into spring with Franklin’s decades-old Pickin’ on the Square right in the center of town. Come early to enjoy a local restaurant, and take in the sunset to the sounds of rotating artists playing ballads of bluegrass, country, oldies, and even gospel. If you're looking to stay awhile, be sure to bring your own lawn chair for a laid back vibe and an evening of entertainment in the Nantahala National Forest. » Downtown Franklin; Saturday, 6 p.m.; free; (828) 524-2516; www.franklinnc.com

Driving out to Lake Lure this spring will be much more worth it with an arts and crafts festival planned in support of Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach. The Outreach is dedicated to serving the Lake Lure community to eliminate hunger and provide emergency services for those who need it. This year’s festival promises excellent vendors and entertainment in an outdoor venue, with plenty to do in the surrounding gorge like visiting the lake, Chimney Rock, and attractions. » Town of Lake Lure, 119 Arcade St.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; free; lakelureartsandcraftsfestivals@gmail.com; www.lakelureartsandcraftsfestivals.com

Boasting culturally diverse backgrounds that underscore their musical aesthetics, the Grammy-recognized American Patchwork Quartet will perform their own unique interpretation of timeless American songs at Asheville’s Wortham Center. The New York City-based band focuses primarily on folk songs that showcase America's immigrant roots, reimagining them through creative arrangements that highlight our differences as well as collective togetherness. The Quartet is presented as part of the 2023 Asheville Amadeus Festival in conjunction with the Asheville Symphony. » Wortham Center for Performing Arts, 18 Biltmore Ave.; Thursday, 7 p.m.; $20-$48; (828) 257-4530; www.worthamarts.org

In what’s become a springtime tradition, the Saluda Downtown Foundation honors the town’s heritage and art culture with the 18th Annual Saluda Arts Festival, held along its historic Main Street. Almost every art medium will be represented including paint, pottery, metal work, jewelry, sculpture, fiber, and more. Last year’s event hosted more than ninety artists, with the anticipation of even more craftspeople expected for 2023. www.saluda.com

Lace up your sneakers for a good cause; hosted in the sprawling historic Biltmore Estate, which was constructed in the late 1800s by George Vanderbilt, these 5k and 15k runs benefit the Asheville Kiwanis Club. Take the opportunity to hit points of interest on the estate like the Bass Pond and Conservatory while supporting an organization focused on improving the lives of children in the community. » Biltmore Estate, 1 Lodge St.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. & 7:45 a.m.; $25-$90; info@kickitevents.com; www.biltmorekiwanisclassic.com

The famed white squirrels of Brevard have enchanted locals and visitors both, and now there’s an event named after the community’s affinity for the fluffy critters. This year’s White Squirrel Weekend offers a live music line-up, a variety of vendors, arts and crafts, local craft breweries, and plenty of family friendly activities to spend a relaxed Memorial Day weekend in the heart of Brevard. » Downtown Brevard, E Main St.; Friday & Saturday, times vary; free; (828) 884-3278; www.brevardnc.org

It’s time to get outside and run with friends in a relay celebrating Beer City. Starting in the South Slope brewing district, you’ll run out to the River Arts District before returning to partake in the afterparty or to enjoy a complimentary beer at Green Man Brewing. A portion of every entry fee will be donated to Consider Haiti, an organization centered on promoting the health and well-being of children in Haiti. » Green Man Brewery, 27 Buxton Ave; Saturday, 7:30 a.m.; $45-$180; leslie@kickitevents.com; www.kickitevents.com

Held four times a year, Art on the Greene features a plethora of handmade arts and crafts from regional and national artisans. Numerous specialties will be represented, including metal, ceramics, glass, wood, watercolors, acrylic, and oil. Festivities, which  include multiple food vendors and entertainment, take place on the green at the historic Banner Elk School. Proceeds from the shows benefit the restoration of the school, built in 1939, as a WPA project. The school serves as a showplace for the arts in downtown Banner Elk, home to the BE Artists Gallery, Ensemble Gallery, Ensemble Stage professional theater, a community book exchange, and more. www.townofbannerelk.org

Come out for Montford Neighborhood’s very own garden tour. With well-maintained beds on display outside homes that have stood for over a century in one of Asheville’s historic neighborhoods, you’ll have an opportunity to stroll through multiple gardens while taking in live music and contributing to community initiatives. A special garden sculpture is up for auction during the tour, and there will be some lunch options to consider along the way. » Historic Montford; Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; $25; www.montford.org

Zip over the Blue Ridge canopy and take in the Asheville city skyline to raise money for autistic children and adults to attend Black Mountain’s Camp Lakey Gap. All proceeds go towards funding exceptional recreational, educational, and therapeutic programming crafted specifically for campers and their families. Choose ziplines with views of the city, an adventure park with climbing and swinging, or both, and contribute to a great local community effort. » The Adventure Center of Asheville, 85 Expo Dr.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; $55-$124; (877) 247-5539; www.ashevilletreetopsadventurepark.com