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Buncombe County Parks & Recreation Announces 2024 Event Lineup

Buncombe County Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce its 2024 event calendar, featuring family-friendly events, festivals, guided hiking, fishing tournaments, a bike safety rodeo, and more. This lineup promises something for everyone, from nature enthusiasts to birders, to families and young anglers.  

Dog Eggstravaganza: Kicking off the 2024 event calendar is the Dog Eggstravaganza, which will be taking place at Buncombe County Sports Park’s dog park on March 23 at 12 p.m. This event will offer some springtime fun for our four-legged friends, and will consist of a small and large dog division. Each division will have approximately 30 minutes to find as many hidden eggs (filled with treats) as possible. In addition to hidden treats, dogs who collect the most eggs will receive a special prize. While admission is free, pre-registration is required as there are limited spots available. Registration opens on March 4 and closes March 20. 

Birding: For the birdwatchers, there will be monthly bird excursions at Lake Julian Park. The birding events will occur at 8:30 a.m. on the last Saturday of every month from March through October. These events allow participants to enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds of various avian species in Buncombe county. Fun fact: Lake Julian Park is home to a successfully paired eagle couple that has raised at least 6 eaglets over the past 3 years! Admission is free. Pre-registration is required. 

Spring Break Day Camps: This year, Buncombe County Parks & Recreation is offering a new spring break day camp program for youth ages 8-12. These day camps will take place on April 2 at Charles D. Owen Park and on April 4 at Lake Julian Park from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. These nine-hour days will be filled with various workshops and skills courses by Asheville Sailing Club, Buncombe County’s Environmental Educators, and Parks & Recreation staff. Workshops vary by location and date. The cost per day camp is $10. Pre-registration is required. While snacks and beverages are provided, students must bring their own lunch. Registration opens on March 4 and closes on March 27.  

Kids Fishing Tournaments: For young anglers, the first kids fishing tournament will be taking place on April 13 at Charles D. Owen Park from 8-11:30 a.m. There will also be kids fishing tournaments at Lake Julian Park on May 4 and August 24, from 8-11:30 a.m. These events are open to all youth 15 and under. Competitors will be divided into age groups (0-5, 6-10, and 11-15) with prizes in each for biggest fish caught, smallest fish caught, and most fish caught. The admission for these fishing tournaments is $10, which includes bait, beverages, and grab-n-go breakfast items. Pre-registration is encouraged. 

Earth Day: Earth Day Cleanups help keep Buncombe County’s beautiful parks green and pristine. Help staff work on trash pickup or landscaping at various locations. In addition, there will be an Earth Day Symposium from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Buncombe County Sports Park that will feature environmental education workshops, free eco crafting, and more. This is an excellent opportunity for nature enthusiasts, and students seeking volunteer hours. Admission is free. Register here. 

Family Campouts: Buncombe County Parks & Recreation’s beloved Family Campout events are returning. These family campouts feature a no-frills camping experience; all guests need to bring is a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. Lake Julian Park, which typically does not allow overnight camping, will open its gates strictly for this event. In addition to an overnight camping experience, there will be educational outdoor skills workshops, fishing, nature walks, s’mores, campfire songs, and more. These events will be taking place at Lake Julian Park on June 1-2, and August 17-18. Dinner and breakfast are included in the $40 per family registration fee. Up to 30 families can participate in the event. Pre-registration is required.  

Adult Sports Day: For adults craving some outdoor fun, mark your calendars for the Adult Sports Day that will be taking place at Buncombe County Sports Park on June 27 from 4-9 p.m. This event will be filled with beginner-friendly outdoor recreational activities such as outdoor sport workshops for adults. Admission is free. 

July 4 Firework Display: Celebrate the spirit of July 4 at Lake Julian Park for BCPR’s annual firework display. Starting at 2:30 p.m., food trucks will be available. In addition, there will be live music right before the dazzling fireworks display begins at sundown! Parking will be at Estes Elementary, and a shuttle will be transporting guests to and from the parking lot. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and/or lawn blankets. No pets or alcohol permitted. Admission is free. 

Bike Safety Rodeo: Young cyclists can improve their bike safety skills during the Bike Safety Rodeo taking place on September 21 at Buncombe County Sports Park from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This event will feature bike safety education, basic bike maintenance, helmet fittings, and a bike skills course. Plus, see Buncombe County emergency service community partners’ impressive services and vehicles! Admission is free. 

Fall-O-Ween Fall Festival: As the autumn leaves begin to fall, Buncombe County residents, families, friends, and neighbors are invited to experience a spooktacular celebration filled with fall jubilance. The Fall-O-Ween Fall Festival will be taking place at Lake Julian Park on October 26 at 2 p.m. There will be pumpkin painting, a haunted trail, a cake walk, food trucks, and a scarecrow and costume contest. Admission is free. 

Guided Hiking: For nature enthusiasts and avid hikers, be sure to attend one of the guided hikes. These hikes take place at various trails, and give participants the opportunity to see the spectacular views of Buncombe County while making friends, and getting those steps in. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the hikes will take place on September 18, October 2, October 16, and October 30. Admission is free. Pre-register and view location options here. 

IDD Fishing Tournament: The fishing tournament for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be taking place at Charles D. Owen Park on October 11 at 10:30 a.m. This fishing tournament provides a unique opportunity for individuals to engage in a safe, comfortable, fun, and inclusive fishing experience while they meet friends, and enjoy the beauty of the park! Light grab-n-go snacks such as granola bars, applesauce pouches, juice boxes, and water will be available. A delicious hamburger or veggie burger lunch will be served. Admission is free. Limited spots available. Pre-registration is required. 

Festival of Lights: Finally, the Festival of Lights will be taking place in December 2024 at Lake Julian Park. A long-time mountain family tradition, this captivating event creates a magical wonderland filled with sparkling lights and celebration around the park. A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to support the Special Olympics of Buncombe County. The first two nights (Dec 1-2) will feature a special walk-thru, where guests can walk through the lights by foot from 6-8 p.m. There will be s’mores, holiday crafts, and more. Admission for the walk-thru nights is $5 for anyone 16 and older. Kids ages 16 and under get in free, but must be accompanied by an adult.  

From December 3 to 23, the Festival of Lights will only be accessible via vehicle. Vehicles will be allowed into the park nightly from 6-9 p.m. Visitors are invited to watch the lights twinkle over the lake and listen to their favorite seasonal tunes while driving through the magical wonderland. Admission ranges from $10-$50 per vehicle, depending on the vehicle type and size.  

For questions or for more information about these events, please call (828) 250-4260 or email

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Updated Mar 08, 2024 02:21 PM
Published Mar 01, 2024 02:52 PM

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