It just wouldn’t be Labor Day weekend in Western North Carolina without hitting the downtown streets of Hendersonville for the annual North Carolina Apple Festival, turning 72 this year with the theme “Apple State of Mind.” Henderson County’s apple growers generate about $22 million per year, and this is the region’s biggest harvest festival, welcoming more than 250,000 visitors. Attractions include the King Apple Parade, live music, rides, art and craft, hundred of vendors, sidewalk sales, and, of course, lots and lots of locally grown apples. More than a dozen regional growers will have booths, selling heirloom and new-varietal apples, plus all the beloved offshoots: apple jam, apple butter, baked apple pies, fried apple pies, apple cake, cider, cider slushies, candied apples, caramel apples, and more. August 31-September 3: 10am-10pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 10am-4pm Monday. For more information, see ncapplefestival.org.