City of Marion

Experience Downtown

 Map of downtown Marion

The City of Marion is alive with activities for all ages and activity levels. There is shopping, dining, festivals, concerts, walking trails, boating, and so much more! There are new events and activities happening all the time! Check out the City of Marion Calendar of Events to see what’s in store this month, visit the Marion Business Association's Discover Marion website for a full listing of Downtown Marion Events for the current year or visit the McDowell County Tourism website to plan your next adventure. Don’t miss out on all that our community has to offer!

Shopping and Dining

Historic Main Street
Visit the Historic Main Street District in Downtown Marion to enjoy shopping, dining, and local heritage. Main Street offers a variety of gift shops, clothing boutiques, unique restaurants, arts and crafts, and beautiful historic buildings. Enjoy a cup of coffee while surfing the web by connecting to the City’s free public wireless access service.

Historic Downtown Marion Tailgate Market
Stop by Historic Downtown Marion Tailgate Market on Tuesdays, between May and October, from 3-6 p.m.; and on Fridays, between July and August, from 11a.m. – 3 p.m. Support local farmers and pickup the freshest, best-tasting and most nutritious produce, meats, cheeses, flowers, baked goods, and locally-made crafts that our community has to offer. The market is located at the intersection of West Henderson Street and Logan Street and admission and parking are free.

Events and Activities

Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of Marion’s Downtown Events have been postponed. Please check the City’s event calendar for the latest event dates and information.

Livermush Festival
The Livermush Festival celebrates the beloved local delicacy called livermush. The event features free livermush sandwiches given away courtesy of Hunter's Livermush of Marion, a live band and dancing on the street, numerous vendors selling food, drink and various items, inflatables and activities for children, a livermush eating contest and more. Make plans to come to Main Street in June and enjoy and evening of fun for the whole family.

For more information, please visit Marion Business Association's Hometown Marion website or Marion Events on Facebook.

WNC Bigfoot Festival

For years, Bigfoot 911 has explored the Mountains of Western North Carolina and beyond searching for the illusive Bigfoot. After several close encounters with Sasquatch, the non-profit group was inspired to hold the first WNC Bigfoot Festival in 2018 for believers and non-believers alike in the group’s hometown of Marion, N.C.

Bigfoot Festival

During the first two WNC Bigfoot festivals, more than 70,000 people enjoyed Bigfoot activities, educational panels and more. Whether you’re interested in learning more about the mysterious creature, trying food inspired by Sasquatch, or you want to try your hand at the Bigfoot Calling Contest, there’s something for everyone planned for 2020’s WNC Bigfoot Festival.

Find a schedule and additional information about the event at

Mountain Glory Festival
Mountain Glory Festival is a one day festival held the second Saturday of October each year, and is the largest annual event drawing tens of thousands people to historic downtown Marion.

Mountain Glory Festival

The Mountain Glory Festival is a celebration of autumn in beautiful downtown Marion. Festivities take place on the court house lawn and along three blocks of downtown. There is something for everyone with over 160 arts and crafts and food vendors, live entertainment, children’s activities, a 5K walk/run, pet show, and so much more. Please make plans to spend a day enjoying the Mountain Glory Festival and Marion in October.

For more information, please visit

Marion Cruise Ins
The City of Marion partners with local event promoter Doug McCraw/Encore Entertainment to host several cruise ins and car shows each year in Downtown Marion. The cruise ins and car shows take place one Saturday evening per month from April through October. All cruise ins and car shows take place in Downtown Marion, either on Main Street or at the Historic Marion Tailgate Market Shelter on West Henderson Streets.

Vehicles of all makes, models and ages are welcome. At past evens, hundreds of vehicles have been on display at cruise ins and car shows, which also featured music and vendors selling food, beverages and various items.

Please make plans to see many classic cars and trucks and to have a great evening of entertainment by attending Marion cruise ins and car shows.

For more information, please visit Marion Business Association's Hometown Marion website or Marion Events on Facebook.

National Night Out
On the first Tuesday evening of August, citizens are invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the annual National Night Out (NNO) crime and drug prevention event on Main Street in Downtown Marion. NNO is designed to:

  • Increase crime and drug prevention awareness
  • Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police/community partnerships
  • Generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs

National Night Out is a great chance to get out and meet your neighbors and enjoy an evening of family fun activities and entertainment.

Marion's National Night Out Celebration takes place on Main Street in Historic Downtown Marion on the first Tuesday of August beginning at 6:00 p.m. There will be food, games, music and fun for the entire family. Come out and join us and have a great time!

More Events and Activites
Foothills Community Theatre
Historic Carson House
McDowell Arts Council
McDowell County Library

Sports and Outdoor Activities

Map of the Marion Portion of the Blue Ridge

Whether it‘s taking a stroll along the Catawba River Greenway, fishing on Lake James, or playing disc golf at Cross Mill Park there is something for everyone to enjoy outdoors. The City of Marion offers many park amenities throughout the community including playgrounds, frisbee golf course, basketball and tennis courts, splash pad for kids, skate park, picnic areas, and greenways.

In addition, Marion’s close proximity to the region’s most valued outdoor treasures makes it an ideal base camp for outdoor enthusiasts. Marion sits at the base of Mt. Mitchell, elevation of 6,684 ft, the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest peak in eastern North America. Linville Gorge, considered the Grand Canyon of North Carolina, is the third largest wilderness area in the state is situated just northeast of Marion on US Highway 221.

Lake James, which straddles McDowell County, covers approximately ten square miles and 150 miles of shoreline, and is well known to boating enthusiasts for fishing, boating, and water skiing. Hugging Marion’s municipal boundaries is the Pisgah National Forest with over 10,000 acres of recreation area for camping, hiking, mountain biking, equestrian riding, fishing, hunting, and more. Explore all these areas and more via the Blue Ridge Parkway, the U.S. National Park Service’s All-American Road and National Parkway connecting the Great Smoky National Park in North Carolina to the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

More Sports
Corpening Memorial YMCA
Marion Lake Club and Golf Course
Marion Parks and Recreation
McDowell Parks and Recreation
McDowell Trails Association