Can’t-miss fall festivals and fairs

Fall is usually the season of festivals and fun in the Carolinas, but this year many longtime favorites such as the Carolina Renaissance Festival have been canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, we found a few events that are still happening.

Zootastic Fall Festival

Zootastic Park in Troutman will host its annual Fall Festival over two weekends, Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Activities include pumpkin decorating, train rides, giraffe feeding and more.

Admission is $13 for children ages 2-11 and $15 for adults.

Some activities are included with admission, while some will cost around $3 extra.

For more information, click here.

Dallas Lavender Lane Farm Fall Festival

Dallas Lavender Lane Farm will host its first Fall Festival Oct. 24-25. There will be local vendors, games, crafts and a petting zoo. Admission costs $5 per vehicle, cash only.

For more information, click here.

South End Wine and Hops Festival

The 6th annual South End Wine and Hops Fest has expanded from a one-day festival to six smaller events that offer a VIP-style experience. Events will be held from Oct. 21-25. The main event takes place Oct. 24 at Unknown Brewing, 1327 S. Mint St. Admission includes 3 hour tasting of wine, cider and craft beer. $20-$55. For more information, click here.

State Fairs

North Carolina State Fair

The North Carolina State Fair was canceled but you can still get your fill of fair food Oct. 14-25 at the fairgrounds in Raleigh. This event is takeout only.

For more information, go to

South Carolina State Fair

This year, the South Carolina State Fair will host its first-ever, free drive-thru fair Oct. 20-21. There won’t be any rides, but visitors can see exhibits, crafts and animals from the safety of their car.

Fair food will be available for purchase Oct. 20-25.

The fairgrounds are at 1200 Rosewood Drive in Columbia, about an hour and a half from Charlotte.

Admission is free.

For more information, go to

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