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Downtown Franklin, NC

Historical Downtown Franklin, NC is enriched with culture and adventure. There are four museums located in Downtown Franklin: the Scottish Tartans Museum, the Macon County Historical Museum and the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum (located in a 19th Century jailhouse) and Ruby City Gems and Minerals. Throughout the year there are parades and events in the downtown area such as: Pickin’ on the Square, Pumpkin Fest, Franklin Folk Festival and the Scottish Tartan Festival. There is something for everyone to enjoy and to take with them that cannot be found any place else.

Downtown Franklin is also home to many great shopping opportunities. From quaint boutiques to historic merchants that have been part of the community for more than 100 years, artisans have preserved art forms that have been handed down for generations. Quilts, original paintings, hand blown glass and wood working and more will inspire you with their authentic beauty and quality of craftsmanship, enjoy the good food and drink as well.

One can easily get lost in the surrounding mountains that are off in the distant view from Franklin’s downtown vista. Come walk where the last "Confederate Surrender" east of the Mississippi took place, which is on Main Street at Dixie Hall which was located at the site of the current Macon County Courthouse. Come have a seat at the Clock Tower, which is part of the original Macon County Courthouse Tower, which was built at its current site by LBJ Conservation Center and the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture working together with the U.S. Forest Service Department of Labor in 1985 (please see picture of clock below).

 
Downtown Clock Tower Franklin, NC 

Downtown Events

Pickin’ on the Square

On warm summer nights Pickin' on the Square is just another one of Franklin's simple downtown pleasures. The entertainment is fun, free and on just about every Saturday night throughout the summer. The fun begins at 6:30 PM with open mike, so you can show off your talent or the lack thereof, whichever the case. The main entertainment will begin at, or around, 7:30 PM so bring a chair and leave your cares, and spend an evening under the stars at Pickin' On The Square. For additional information please call Donnie Clay at 828-524-2516 (please see photo below).

Pickin' on the Square

Pumpkin Fest

Autumn in the mountains of Western North Carolina is unsurpassed and when you combine a fall weekend in the mountains with Franklin's Pumpkin Fest Street Festival. Children and adults alike will have a blast taking part in traditional fun that starts on Friday afternoon. The fun begins along Franklin's Highlands Road as old fashioned Hayrides get Pumpkin Fest off to a great start at The Shops at Riverwalk. This is just the beginning of the fun weekend. Saturday's events bring new challenges and fun for everyone. Historic Downtown Franklin is in full tilt with everything pumpkin on Saturday. You are welcome to bring your own pumpkin or purchase one downtown to sign up for the World Famous Pumpkin Roll. The Costume Parade and Contest is another highlight of the day, along with great food and drink, mountain arts & crafts, and entertainment including roving street performers for family and friends to enjoy as well.

Pumpkin Fest for 2011 falls on the weekend of October 21st and 22nd, for questions and additional information please call (828) 524-2516 (please see photo below).

 
Pumpkin Fest

 Franklin Folk Festival

The Franklin Folk Festival is sponsored by the Folk Heritage Association of Macon County and funded in part by the Franklin Main Street Program. The Franklin Folk Festival is a two-day celebration of our mountain way of life and is held annually on the third Saturday in July. The Franklin Folk Festival helps preserve and educate the rich heritage of Franklin, NC and Macon County, visitors will have the opportunity to experience what mountain life was like when Franklin was first established some 150 years ago.

The Franklin Folk Festival draws thousands each year to downtown Franklin and is packed with living exhibits by people who grew up in these mountains and who have learned the nearly lost mountain arts at their parents` knee. The Festivities begin on Friday evening with an “ole’ timey” pinto beans and cornbread supper and the full day of Folk Festival activities follows Saturday beginning at 9 am. The day's events include mountain music, heritage parade, plenty of great food and drink, antique car show, and much more (please see photo below).

In addition, Civil War Re-enactors are also encamped just two blocks below Main Street during the festival and a candlelight tour of their camp along with skirmish reenactments is offered up as a fantastic time for all to enjoy, admission and parking for the Franklin Folk Festival are free.

 
Franklin Folk Festival

 Scottish Tartan Festival

The Scottish Tartan Festival is held each year on Father's Day Weekend in June, the annual Taste of Scotland Festival in Franklin, NC is filled with Scottish fun, food, fashion, music, dance, and culture. The festival celebrates Franklin's Scots-Irish Heritage very appropriately as we have one of the highest concentrations of Scots-Irish decedents in the country.

This is truly unique Scottish festival is far different than Highland Games. Think of it as a sampling of everything Scottish! At the Taste of Scotland you can enjoy authentic Scottish Foods, Music, Dancers, Clans, Border Collie Demonstrations, Parade of Clans & Tartans, Scottish Crafters and Children's Highland Games and continuous live entertainment.

The fun kicks off on Friday night with a CEILIDH (that's Scottish for PARTY!). Then the main event gets underway at 9:00 a.m on Saturday all throughout downtown Franklin. Several outdoor venues feature some of the finest Scottish performers and Celtic dancers in the USA. There will be pipes and drums galore and also enjoy demonstrations of sword fighting, border collies, and Highland wrestling.

The weekend's events whine down on Sunday with the Kirkin' of the Tartan at Franklin's First Presbyterian Church during the morning. And on Sunday afternoon, learn more about Scottish history with "The Montgomery Tour". For additional information please contact the Scottish Tartans Museum at (828) 524-7472 or visit the museum’s website at www.scottishtartans.org (please see photo below).

Scottish Tartan Festival