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  • Writer's pictureLeniece Lane

2-Day Hilltop Fall Festival and Soapbox Derby Race

Get READY, Get SET, and GO to Rutherfordton for a 2-Day Fall Festival Weekend you won’t believe.

All the actions kicks off Friday night at the annual Soapbox Derby “Race for the Gold”. Cheer on your favorite team as they race down Main St. in a custom built soapbox car of their own engineering. These competitors take this race very seriously and we have seen quite the creative inventions in past years. We’ve seen a bike/car hybrid, a tank, a rocket ship, and even a horse trough. Practice runs begin at 6:00 with the race kicking off at 7:00. Best of all, when it gets dark the lights come on and the final teams race to take home the gold!

As if Friday night’s Soapbox Derby wasn’t enough, we have a fun filled day of activities all day Saturday to at the annual Hilltop Fall Festival. This event is a local tradition and one of our favorite festivals of the year.

At 8:30 am the annual Overmountain Victory Trail 5k starts things off with a run commemorating the Overmountain Men’s historic march to defeat the British at the Battle of King’s Mountain. Up next at 9:30 is the Tour de Pumpkin Bike Ride in its 12th year, featuring 50K and 100K rides. Riders from all over line up to participate in one of the most scenic rides in NC. For more information or to sign up for either event visit

Now it’s festival time! Get a jump start on your holiday shopping and take advantage of our huge selection of vendors from all over the region. It is the best place to find unique, hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind items. Many of our downtown merchants will also be open with special promotions and sales going on throughout the day. Other activities include face painting, rock walls, inflatables, and more.

Throughout the day some of the best bands of the region fill our Courthouse Stage with music that will have your toes tapping. Champagne Charlie hits the stage at 11:00 followed by Project X at 3:00. In between bands you can enjoy a Canine Costume Contest that is just the most adorable thing you have ever seen. These dogs go all out to strut their stuff down Main Street!

Be sure to check out all the entries to our annual Scarecrow Contest. A longstanding Rutherfordton tradition that decorates our downtown and brings charm and whimsy to the season. And last, but definitely not least, we can’t go without food! The best in festival food, irresistible homemade desserts, and cuisine from all over the world including Mexican, Greek and Thai awaits for your enjoyment.

Make plans to join us the first weekend in October in downtown Rutherfordton as we kick off fall with a bang!

Visit to start your adventure.#FunMintedHere



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