What's on Tap

What's on Tap

2022 North Carolina festival guide: Festivals in NC for spring and beyond

Posted March 28, 2022 6:00 a.m. EDT
Updated May 9, 2022 4:09 a.m. EDT

Festivals in NC: Thousands of hip-hop fans flocked to Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, N.C. for the inaugural Dreamville Festival on Saturday, April 7, 2019. (Photo By: Baird Photography / WRAL.com)

— Spring, summer and fall mean it's festival time in North Carolina!

Whether you're in the mood for music, shopping, food, camping, fitness or arts and crafts, festivals in NC offer something for all ages and interests. Some of our favorites include Dreamville at Dix Park, Brewgaloo in downtown Raleigh, Spring Daze in Cary, That Music Festival in Durham and the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival.

There are also festivals celebrating every type of food you can imagine, like strawberries, potatoes, blueberries, yams, barbecue and more.

Here's a month-by-month look at festivals in NC from the mountains to the coast.

April festivals in NC

NC Science Festival (April 1-30) - With both virtual events and events across the state, this festival features more than 600 events, including an engineering competition and Gravity Games.

Dreamville Festival (April 2-3) - Hip hop artist J. Cole, who was born in Germany but was raised in Fayetteville, is presenting this festival at Dix Park. This year's lineup includes Lil Baby, T-Pain, Ja Rule & Ashanti, WizKid, Kehlani, Moneybagg Yo and more. There will be live music, food and vendors.

Festivals in NC: Dreamville Festival

NC Azalea Festival (April 6-10) - This annual festival is held in Wilmington. There be a street fair, community events, and performances by REO Speedwagon, Brantley Gilbert and others.

PirateFest (April 8-9) - 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.

NC 'Cuegrass Festival (April 16) - Enjoy a day of bluegrass, local brews and great barbecue in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District during this annual festival.

Broadway Our Way Festival (April 16) - Festival events in downtown Broadway include a street fair, food vendors, classic cars, kid's activities, and live entertainment featuring Britton Buchanan, Nu Blu, Potter's Will and Sweet Potato Pie.

Fayetteville Dogwood Festival (April 21-24) - This annual festival includes carnival rides, a cornhole tournament and live music.

Hip Hop South Festival (April 22-23) - Widely-known and local hip hop artists perform at venues throughout Chapel Hill. There will also be academic gatherings, late-night beat and dance battles, visual art and more.

Brewgaloo Craft Beer Festival (April 22-23) - Sample and enjoy dozens of beers and food trucks in downtown Raleigh.

Festivals in NC: Brewgaloo 2014

NC Pickle Festival (April 23) - Mount Olive hosts this annual festival, which includes a pickle eating contest and more fun.

Mebane Dogwood Festival (April 23) - A tradition since 1988, this festival includes a golf tournament, a 5K and live music.

Grifton Shad Festival (April 27) - This is one of the oldest festivals in the state. There are parades, carnival rides, an art show and more.

Spring Daze (April 30) - This arts and crafts festival at Bond Park in Cary features over 170 local artists, live music, food and more.

MerleFest (April 28-May 1) - Since its founding in 1988, MerleFest has operated as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and so much more. This year's headliners include Josh Turner, Old Crow Medicine Show and others.

May

NC Strawberry Festival (May 5-7) - Chadbourn celebrates this tasty fruit each year. There will be seed spitting contests, a parade and more.

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival (May 5-8) - Enjoy four days, four stages and over 50 bands in Chatham County.

Festivals in NC: Shakori Hills

BBQ Festival on the Neuse (May 6-7) - Head to downtown Kinston for this annual celebration of great food and music.

Strawberry Jammin’ (May 6-7) - This one-of-a-kind strawberry-themed event is in downtown Sanford.

Nashville Blooming Festival (May 6-7) - There will be live music, parades, carnival food and more fun.

MayFest (May 6-8) - Held annual in Pilot Mountain, this festival includes arts and crafts, plants and flowers, local musicians and food.

Kernersville Spring Folly Festival (May 6-8) - This music festival is held annually the first full weekend of May and attracts more than 20, 000 people.

Taylorsville Apple Blossom Festival (May 7) - There will be entertainment, food and fun.

Fest in the West (May 7) - This festival in west Cary features two stages, food trucks, a beer garden, a vendor market, pie eating contests, a petting zoo and more at the USA Baseball Training Complex.

Smithfield Ham and Yam Festival (May 7) - Thousands flock to downtown Smithfield for this annual event, which features inflatables and more.

Apex Peak Fest (May 7) - Arts and crafts, inflatables, live music and food will be available at this festival in downtown Apex.

Festivals in NC: Apex celebrates 36th annual PeakFest

Carthage Buggy Festival (May 7) - 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.

Wampus Cat Fest (May 13-15) - The name for this Sanford-area festival comes from the North Carolina folktale of the Wampus Cat, a mystical cat like creature that has been reported to have been sited in the area going all the way back to the colonial times.

Jiggy with the Piggy Fest (May 13-15) - This Kannapolis festival features a Kansas City Barbeque Society Competition, carnival rides, outdoor movies and barbecue and wing tastings.

Race City Festival (May 14) - This event includes an outdoor street fair, NASCAR displays and souvenirs, live music and food trucks in downtown Moorseville.

Beaufort Music Festival (May 20-21) - Past BMF performers include the Avett Brothers, St Paul and the Broken Bones, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Mandolin Orange, American Aquarium, Donna the Buffalo, Yarn, River Whyless, AJ Ghent Band, Chatham County Line and more.

Got to be NC Festival (May 20-22) - A "mini state fair," this fest boasts rides, fried food and shows.

NC Potato Festival (May 20-22) - Food, arts and crafts, contests, live entertainment, carnival rides and more highlight this annual celebration in downtown Elizabeth City.

52nd Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival (May 21) - This family oriented event is a celebration of African and African American history, culture, arts and traditions at Rock Quarry Park in Durham.

Durham Blues and Brews Festival (May 21) - 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.

Festivals in NC: Beer, bourbon and BBQ  49

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival (May 21) - This festival for foodies will be held in Charlotte in May and at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary in August.

36th Annual Carolina Blues Festival (May 21-22) - Enjoy blues music performances, shop craft vendors and eat delicious food from onsite vendors at LeBauer Park in Greensboro.

Artsplosure (May 21-22) - This spring festival started in 1980 in downtown Raleigh. There are vendors, live music, children's activities and more.

First Fruits Farm Memorial Balloon Festival (May 27-30) - This Louisburg festival honors those service members who gave all and salutes their families with balloon rides and festivities.

June

NC Black Bear Festival (June 3-4) - Mark your calendar and plan to attend this unique event in Plymouth on the first weekend in June each year. There are more than 30 activities including wild bear tours.

Ocrafolk Festival (June 3-5) - Get your toes tapping in the Outer Banks with an island celebration of musicians, storytellers, artisans, local food, and so much more.

The Gathering at Paint Rock Farm (June 3-5) - This new family-friendly festival features live music, arts and camping spanning across 160 acres of land overlooking the French Broad River in Hot Springs.

Festivals in NC: Chirba Chirba food truck

Raleigh's International Food Festival (June 4) - Over 30 countries are represented at this celebration of Raleigh's diversity, art, culture, traditions and history. Enjoy free admission and over 30 food trucks and dessert trucks from around the globe and the largest outdoor international dance party with non-stop performances.

Cold Mountain Music Festival (June 4) - Lake Logan’s first annual music festival, Cold Mountain Music will feature music, food, and entertainment for all ages.

Cherry Bounce Festival (June 10-11) - Named after moonshiner Amos Owens' corn whiskey-based "Cherry Bounce" moonshine, the Cherry Bounce Festival features art from local and regional artists, live bluegrass/Americana music, moonshine and cherry-inspired items by local restaurants and businesses.

Willow Oak Park Bluegrass Festival (June 16-18) - This Roxboro festival is a throw-back festival from the time that festivals were friendly gatherings with plenty of social time and jamming. There will be workshops, storytelling and a jamming tent set up during the day. Both national and local bands will be part of our stage show.

NC Blueberry Festival (June 17-18) - 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.

NC Rhododendron Festival (June 17-18) - Bakersville hosts this annual event, which includes a pageant, craft fair, live music, 10K and classic car show.

Rogallo Kite Festival (June 17-19) - See amazing 30-100 foot kites on top of Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Fly a kite of your own, take part in free stunt kite lessons, kite coloring for the kiddos, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular kites.

Juneteenth Festival (June 18) - The 2022 festival will feature 40 Black-owned companies, crafts, culture, performances, art, kids games and more.

That Music Fest (June 24-25) - This two-day music festival at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park celebrates the artists who make music right here in North Carolina.

Triad Vegfest (June 25) - This pet-friendly, family-friendly event features food trucks, education about veganism and eating sustainability, music, prizes and games.

Out! Raleigh Pride (June 25) - There will be a day full of fun, vendors, kids activities, a parade and more.

July

Christmas in July (July 1-2) - Held in historic West Jefferson, this festival features traditional mountain music, arts and crafts, festival food and children's activities.

Graham County Heritage Festival (July 1-2) - This is a gathering of crafts, games, food, music and fireworks.

NC 4th of July Festival (July 1-4) - This days-long Southport celebration features an arts and crafts fair, children's activities, a beach day and more.

Festival for the Eno (July 2 and July 4) - Over 70 bands, crafts and artisans, food and drink on the river in Durham.

Festivals in NC: Festival for the Eno

Festival on the Square (July 9-10) - This Hayesville festival begins with a street dance on Friday and arts and crafts, food and entertainment on the Courthouse Square on Saturday.

NC Peach Festival (July 14-16) - Candor hosts this annual festival, which includes cooking contests, a parade and live music.

Avery Fine Art Festival (July 15-17) - Held in Sugar Mountain, this juried fine art and master crafts festival features hand-crafted wares from more than 90 vendors, including photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture and pottery.

China Grove Farmers' Day (July 16) - This annual event includes hundreds of vendors, music, live entertainment and fireworks.

Love, Shine, Play Festival (July 28-31) - The festival classes take place in beautiful venues throughout downtown Asheville and in nature. You will be able to choose from a variety of offerings including yoga classes, meditation, talks, hikes and more.

Folkmoot 2022 Summerfest (July 28-31) - On Saturday of this days-long festival, enjoy over 75 craft vendors, food trucks and live music on Main Street in Waynesville.

August

Outer Banks Watermelon Festival (Aug. 4) - There will be face painting, arts and crafts, music lessons, watermelon bowling, competitions and more at at Kitty Hawk Kites in Nags Head.

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival (Aug. 4-6) - Watch and listen to some of the finest Appalachian ballad singers, string bands and square dance teams at the nation’s longest running folk festival.

Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Festival (Aug. 5-6) - This festival for foodies is held at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary.

Avery Fine Art Festival (Aug. 12-14) - Held in Sugar Mountain, this juried fine art and master crafts festival features hand-crafted wares from more than 90 vendors, including photography, paintings, jewelry, sculpture and pottery.

NC State Bluegrass Festival (Aug. 18-20) - The Larry Stephenson Band is one of many performances happening in Marion.

Bull Durham Blues Festival (Aug. 26-27) - The festival has become one of North Carolina’s largest celebrations of the blues, recognizing Durham’s rich musical heritage as an important center of Carolina and Piedmont Blues.

Festivals in NC: Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival

Lazy Daze (Aug. 27-28) - This large festival in downtown Cary features juried artists, performances, food, drink, music and more.

Washington Summer Festival (Aug. 27-28) - Live music, arts and crafts and a free street fair highlight this annual event.

Triangle VegFest (Aug. 28) - Enjoy food trucks, cooking demos and speeches inside the Durham Convention Center.

September

NC Apple Festival (Sept. 2-5) - This Hendersonville event includes a parade, street festival and children's activities.

Matthews Alive Labor Day Festival (Sept. 2-5) - Live music, a parade, carnival rides and great food highlight this festival.

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

Festivals in NC: Hopscotch Music Festival

Historic Morganton Festival (Sept. 9-10) - Concerts, vendors, food and more.

Eden Riverfest (Sept. 16-17) - A festival celebrating Eden's art and history.

Festival in the Park (Sept.16-18) - This art and music festival takes place in Charlotte.

Creedmoor Music Festival (Sept. 17) - Enjoy music and food on Main Street.

Yadkin Valley Harvest Festival (Sept.17) - Festivities include activities for every member of the family, live music, food vendors and more.

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

CenterFest Arts Festival

Centerfest Durham (Sept. 17-18) - This art lover's festival takes place in Durham.

Benson Mule Days (TBD) - 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. 19-25) - This Mount Airy festival attracts up to 10,000 fans of The Andy Griffith Show.

Everybody's Day Festival (Sept. 24) - Thomasville hosts arts and crafts, music, carnival rides and great food.

Carolina Indie Fest (Sept. 24-25) - Carolina Indie Fest is a free two-day multi-stage music festival located in downtown Sanford. There will be two outdoor stages, and one stage inside Hugger Mugger Brewing, which will also act as the hub of the festival.

International Folk Festival (TBD) - This Fayetteville festival celebrates music from around the world.

IBMA Bluegrass Live! (Sept. 30-Oct. 1) - This multi-day music festival takes over stages in downtown Raleigh.

NC Seafood Festival (Sept. 30-Oct. 2) - This Morehead City festival celebrates local seafood.

Art of Cool Festival (TBD) - A downtown Durham music festival.

October

Farm City Day (Oct. 1) - 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. 1) - More than 100 vendors, crafters, food services and non-profit organizations.

Nascar Day Festival (Oct. 1) - This Randleman festival pays homage to racing heritage.

National Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 1-2) - The town of Spring Hope hosts this fest the first weekend of October.

Eastern Carolina BBQ Throwdown (Oct. 7-8) - The event is held in Rocky Mount.

Wilmington Riverfest (Oct. 7-9) - Artists, live music, shopping and more.

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

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

Mountain Glory Festival (Oct. 8) - 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.

Duck Jazz Festival (Oct. 8-9) - The event showcases national, regional and local jazz musicians on two stages.

Mumfest and Mumfeast (Oct. 8-9 and Oct. 21-22) - The New Bern festivals celebrate fall with food and flowers.

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

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

Pineville Fall Fest (Oct. 14-15) - Celebrate fall in Pineville.

Autumn Leaves Festival (Oct. 14-16) - Enjoy soul food, bluegrass music and more in Mount Airy during this three-day festival.

Carolina Balloon Festival (Oct. 14-16) - Hot air balloons and more in Statesville.

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

Valle Country Fair (Oct. 15) - Music, arts and crafts, foods and baked goods all during the peak of fall foliage between Boone and Banner Elk.

Woolly Worm Fest (Oct. 15-16) - At this Banner Elk festival, Woolly Worm predicts the High Country's weather.eet rods and classics.

NC Oyster Festival (Oct. 15-16) - Ocean Isle is home to this festival.

Sneads Ferry Shrimp Festival (Oct. 21-22) - Local seafood, beer and wine and a parade are all part of this annual event.

The Barbecue Festival (Oct. 22) - This Lexington fest boasts some of the best BBQ.

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

Clayton Harvest and Music Festival (Oct. 27-30) - 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.

This list is constantly being updated! Check back soon for more 2022 festivals.