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Hilltop Fall Festival in Rutherfordton NC
Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021
10 AM - 5 PM
Race for the Gold Soapbox Derby
Friday, Oct. 1, 2021
6 - 10 PM

The Hilltop Fall Festival is one of the longest-running events in Western NC and is held the first Saturday of October in downtown Rutherfordton. It is our favorite way to usher in fall and one of the most popular festivals of the season. A true family-favorite, it all begins on Friday night with the annual "Race for the Gold" Soapbox Derby. Individual teams race down Main Street under the lights in a trilling competition to win the coveted trophy and bragging rights for the next year!

Bright and early Saturday morning runners and cyclists line up to compete in the Purple Martin 7K and the Tour de Pumpkin bike ride. The Purple Martin 7K, taking off at 8:30 a.m., partially follows in the brave footsteps of the Overmountain Men and their historic Revolutionary War march through Rutherfordton on the Overmountain Victory Trail. Runners will also get to experience the Purple Martin Greenway, which follows the same historic creek as the Overmountain Trail. The Tour de Pumpkin bike ride, starting at 9:00 a.m. and sponsored by Rutherfordton Outdoor Coalition, includes both 100K and 50K rides, offering beautiful scenery around Rutherford County.

After the race you'll fall in love with this festival as a number of events take over the streets:

  • Join us as we celebrate this years festival with music from Rocky Yelton and The Hired Guns & Rutherford County Line

  • Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and take advantage of our huge selection of vendors from all over the region. If you're looking for unique items or handcrafted one of a kind finds, this is where to find them.

  • Special events and promotions from downtown merchants.

  • Face painting, rock walls, inflatables and more await kids of all ages.

  • Local performances from dance groups.

  • The 2nd Annual Tractor and Truck Show.

  • Be sure to check out all the entries in our annual Scarecrow Contest. A longstanding Rutherfordton tradition that decorates our downtown and brings charm and whimsy to the season.

  • And we can't have a celebration without food! Food Trucks and irresistible homemade desserts await.



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