“Where Main Street Meets The Mountains”
Tucked into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Marion boasts a bustling downtown district with art, local theaters, restaurants, independent shops, antique stores, and breweries. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and awarded the Small Town of the Year (2018), McDowell’s county seat has a rich history and bright future.
The town hosts several festivals including arts and crafts, holiday celebrations, and our unique Bigfoot, Donut, and Livermush festivals to name a few. Marion also has a vibrant tailgate market that operates year-round, live concerts during the summer months, and several parks and greenways.
With a population of about 7,600, Marion is home to the McDowell Economic Development Association (MEDA), which recruits and assists industries in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The Marion Business Association works with MEDA and the Chamber to meet the needs of downtown businesses. The city’s open-door policy, proximity to Interstate 40 and both Asheville and Charlotte airports along with modest business tax rates are among Marion’s business-friendly attributes. As a Main Street city, Marion participates in the national program that works to generate economic development through assistance to small businesses with business plans, an entrepreneurship class and other initiatives.