What's on Tap

What's on Tap

2019 North Carolina Festival Guide

Posted March 12, 2019 8:30 a.m. EDT
Updated March 22, 2019 11:43 a.m. EDT

— The weather is starting to get warmer and that means festival time in North Carolina! Here's a month-by-month look at festivals across the state:


North Carolina Science Festival (April 1-30) - This statewide event features more than 600 events, including an engineering competition and Gravity Games.

Dreamville Festival (April 6) - Hip hop artist J. Cole, who was born in Germany but was raised in Fayetteville, is presenting this festival at Dix Park. There will be live music, food and vendors.

Lebanese Festival (April 13) - There will be food, dancing, Lebanese wine and beer, cultural and educational booths, belly dancing and more in Raleigh.

North Carolina Azalea Festival (April 3-7) - This annual festival is held in Wilmington. Tyler Farr with Josh Phillips and Hank Williams Jr. are headlining this year.

PirateFest (April 12-13) - Swashbucklers of all ages will converge on the banks of the Tar River in Greenville for this annual festival. There will be live music, arts and crafts for sale, mermaids, sword fights and a beer and wine garden.

Downtown Sanford StreetFest and Fireworks (April 13) - - Downtown Sanford will hold a day-long festival of music, art, and food that includes vendors, artisans, craft brews, corn hole and more.

Grifton Shad Festival (April 10-14) - In its 49th year, this is one of the oldest festivals in the state. There are parades, carnival rides, an art show and more.

NC Pickle Festival (April 13) - Mount Olive hosts this annual festival, which includes a pickle eating contest and more fun.

Pleasure Island Seafood Blues and Jazz Festival (April 13-14) - Enjoy smooth jazz, seafood and more during this two-day festival at Fort Fisher.

NC 'Cuegrass Festival (April 20) - Enjoy a day of bluegrass, local brews and great barbecue in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District during this annual festival.

MerleFest (April 25-28) - Since its founding in 1988, MerleFest has operated as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and so much more. This year's headliners include The Avett Brothers and Brandi Carlile.

Moogfest (April 25-28) - The festival, which is devoted to art, music and technology, will be held at several walkable venues throughout downtown Durham.

Mebane Dogwood Festival (April 26-28) - A tradition since 1988, this festival includes a golf tournament, a 5K and live music.

Spring Daze (April 27) - This arts and crafts festival at Bond Park in Cary features over 170 local artists, live music, food and more.

Fayetteville Dogwood Festival (April 25-27) - This annual festival includes carnival rides, a cornhole tournament and live music.

Brewgaloo Craft Beer Festival (April 26-27) - Sample and enjoy dozens of beers and food trucks in downtown Raleigh.


North Carolina Strawberry Festival (May 3-4) - Chadbourn celebrates this tasty fruit each year. There will be seed spitting contests, a parade and more.

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival (May 2-5) - Enjoy four days, four stages and over 50 bands in Chatham County.

BBQ Festival on the Neuse (May 3-4) - Head to downtown Kinston for this annual celebration of great food and music.

Thrive NC (May 9-10) - The festival, which is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, will be held at City Market. Each night will include chefs performing live demonstrations, samples from local restaurants and breweries and live music.

Cape Fear Bluegrass Festival (May TBD) - Enjoy BBQ and live music at this Wilmington festival.

RoseFest in Pink Hill (May 18) - The festival kicks off with a 5K race and Bubble Party. The following day there will be food, local crafts and more fun.

Durham Blues and Brews Festival (May 18) - This fifth annual event includes performances from three fantastic blues performers, samples from more than 20 North Carolina breweries and 10 food trucks at Durham Central Park.

Artsplosure (May 19-20) - This spring festival started in 1980 in downtown Raleigh. There are vendors, live music, children's activities and more.

Smithfield Ham and Yam Festival (May 4) - Thousands flock to downtown Smithfield for this annual event, which features pig races, inflatables and more.

Apex Peak Fest (May 4) - Arts and crafts, inflatables, live music and food will be available at this festival in downtown Apex.

Kernersville Spring Folly Festival (May 3-5) - This music festival is held annually the first full weekend of May and attracts more than 20, 000 people.

Jiggy with the Piggy Fest (May 3-4) - This Kannapolis festival features a Kansas City Barbeque Society Competition, carnival rides, outdoor movies and barbecue and wing tastings.

MayFest (May 10-12) - Held annual in Pilot Mountain, this festival includes arts and crafts, plants and flowers, local musicians and food.

Nashville Blooming Festival (May 10-11) - There will be live music, parades, carnival food and more fun.

Epicenter Festival (May 10-12) - Held at the Rockingham Festival Grounds, this music festival will include performances from the Foo Fighters, Korn, Tool, 311 and Rob Zombie.

Race City Festival (May 11) - This event includes an outdoor street fair, NASCAR displays and souvenirs, live music and food trucks in downtown Moorseville.

Got to be N.C. Festival (May 17-19) - A "mini state fair," this fest boasts rides, fried food and shows.

North Carolina Potato Festival (May 17-19) - Food, arts and crafts, contests, live entertainment, carnival rides and more highlight this annual celebration in downtown Elizabeth City.

Montford Music and Arts Festival (May 18) - In its 16th year, this free Asheville festival includes 100 vendors and a music stage. .

Freedom Balloon Festival (May 24-27) - Enjoy hot air balloons, food trucks, demos, shopping, services, a veterans memorial and more in during this four-day festival. The location is TBD.

Carthage Buggy Festival (May 11) - This festival is held each year to commemorate the Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory, which made carriages that were essential to life in rural North Carolina. There is a classic car and truck show, in addition to a buggy and tractor show.


Mondo Roots Cultural Arts Festival (June 1) - This 4th annual Clayton festival features artists from across the state and Nappy Roots headlining.

Washington Summer Festival (June 7-8) - Live music, arts and crafts and a free street fair highlight this annual event.

N.C. Blueberry Festival (June 14-15) - Held annually in Burgaw, this festival attracts more than 30,000 people. There are more than 20 events including a car show, street fair, barbecue cook-off, 5K and more.

N.C. Rhododendron Festival (June 21-23) - Bakersville hosts this annual event, which includes a pageant, craft fair, live music, 10K and classic car show.


Festival for the Eno (July 4 and 6) - Over 70 bands, crafts and artisans, food and drink in Durham.

Christmas in July (July 6) - Held in historic West Jefferson, this festival features traditional mountain music, arts and crafts, festival food and children's activities.

China Grove Farmers' Day (July 20) - This annual event includes hundreds of vendors, music, live entertainment and fireworks.

N.C. Peach Festival (July 19-20) - Candor hosts this annual festival, which includes cooking contests, a parade and live music.

Midtown Farmers Market July 13, 2013

N.C. Watermelon Festival in Fair Bluff (TBD) - Pageants, parades and lots of watermelon highlight this annual event.

N.C. Watermelon Festival Murfreesboro (July 31-Aug. 4) - Downtown Murfreesboro hosts this annual celebration, which also includes carnival rides, live music and fireworks.


Historic Valdese Waldensian Festival (Aug. 9-10) - Since 1976, on the second Saturday in August, Valdese hosts this annual festival featuring unique crafts, great food and top-quality entertainment.

Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival (Aug. 9-11) - Local seafood, beer and wine and a parade are all part of this annual event.

Winterville Watermelon Festival (Aug. 22-25) - Watermelon eating contests, a parade, live music and more fun are on the schedule for this event.

Lazy Daze (Aug. 24-25) - This large festival in downtown Cary features juried artists, performances, food, drink, music and more.

Matthews Alive Labor Day Festival (Aug. 30-Sept. 2) - Live music, a parade, carnival rides and great food highlight this festival.

N.C. Apple Festival (Aug. 30-Sept.2) - This Hendersonville event includes a parade, street festival and children's activities.


Hopscotch Music Festival (Sept. 5-7) - This annual music festival takes place at clubs and larger venues throughout downtown Raleigh.

Historic Morganton Festival (Sept. 6-7) - Concerts, vendors, food and more.

Clayton Harvest and Music Festival (TBD) - There will be a vendor fair, carnival rides and games, a family movie night, concerts, a kid’s hot dog creation contest, a car show and more.

Bush Hill Heritage Festival (Sept. 14) - Over 200 vendors will be selling all types of food, homemade crafts, artwork, raffle tickets, pottery, baskets and more.

Creedmoor Music Festival (Sept. 21) - Enjoy music and food on Main Street.

Apex Music Festival (TBD) - 4 stages, 20 bands, food trucks and craft beer meet on Salem Street.

Centerfest Durham (Sept. 21-22) - This art lover's festival takes place in Durham.

Festival in the Park (Sept. 20-22) - This art and music festival takes place in Charlotte.

Eden Riverfest (Sept. 20-21) - A festival celebrating Eden's art and history.

Yadkin Valley Harvest Festival (Sept. 21) - Festivities include activities for every member of the family, live music, food vendors and more.

Benson Mule Days (Sept. 26-29) - The weekend is packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more.

Mayberry Days (Sept. 23-29) - This Mount Airy festival attracts up to 10,000 fans of The Andy Griffith Show.

International Folk Festival (Sept. 27-29) - This Fayetteville fest celebrates music from around the world.

Everybody's Day Festival (Sept. 29) - Thomasville hosts arts and crafts, music, carnival rides and great food.

Wide Open Bluegrass Festival (Sept. 27-28) - This two-day fest takes over downtown Raleigh.

2017 Wide Open Bluegrass

Art of Cool Festival (TBD) - This downtown Durham music festival keeps growing every year.


National Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 4-5) - The town of Spring Hope hosts this fest the first weekend of October.

Wilmington Riverfest (Oct. 5-6) - Artists, live music, shopping and more.

Farm City Day (Oct. 5) - Farm City Day features both antique and modern farm equipment, music, square dancing, clogging, arts and crafts, children's activities, games, demonstrations and plenty of food.

Sunset at Sunset (Oct. 5) - More than 100 vendors, crafters, food services and non-profit organizations.

Hilltop Fall Festival (TBD) - A street fair, activities, food and more fill the streets of Rutherfordton.

Duck Jazz Festival (Oct. 12-13) - The event showcases national, regional and local jazz musicians on two stages.

Beericana (Oct. 12) - Over 70 breweries and 15 food trucks meet in Holly Springs.

Reidsville Fall Jubilee (Oct. 19) - Entertainment, food, fun and a car show featuring more than 200 beautifully restored antique cars and trucks, street rods and classics.

Autumn Leaves Festival (Oct. 11-13) - Enjoy soul food, bluegrass music and more in Mount Airy during this three-day festival.

Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown (Oct. 11-12) - The event is held in Rocky Mount.

Mumfest (Oct. 11-13) - The New Bern festival celebrates fall with food and flowers.

Mountain Glory Festival (Oct. 12) - The Marion festival is three jam-packed blocks featuring locally made arts and crafts, lots of festival foods and a wide variety of live entertainment and old time mountain music.

Nascar Day Festival (Oct. 12) - This Randleman festival pays homage to racing heritage.

Carolina Balloon Festival (Oct. 18-20) - Hot air balloons and more in Statesville.

Fairmont Farmers Festival (TBD) - Celebrate farming history and more.

Pineville Fall Fest (Oct. 18-19) - Celebrate fall in Pineville.

Valle Country Fair (Oct. 19) - Music, arts and crafts and awesome foods and baked goodies all during the peak of Fall Foliage in the mountains between Boone and Banner Elk.

Taylorsville Hometown Apple Festival (Oct. 19) - There will be entertainment, food and fun.

Woolly Worm Fest (Oct. 20-21) - At this Banner Elk festival, Woolly Worm predicts the High Country's weather.

NC Oyster Festival (Oct. 19-20) - Ocean Isle is home to this festival.

The Barbecue Festival (Oct. 26) - This Lexington fest boasts some of the best BBQ.

NC Yam Festival (Oct. 26) - A whole week in Tabor City celebrates agriculture.

This list is constantly being updated! Check back soon for more 2019 festivals.