North Carolina Festivals
From the mountains to the coast, experience our state’s culture, foods and history at these annual festivals
Soak up North Carolina mountain culture at these annual festivals across the state, categorized by the mountains, Piedmont and coastal regions, and listed in order of date.
Hillbilly Jam, Maggie Valley
July 21–23, 2022
Maggie Valley’s largest festival celebrates North Carolina’s music and moonshine history and heritage. Discovery Channel’s “Moonshiners” will attend, along with crafters, and car and motorcycle enthusiasts.
Mayberry Days, Mount Airy
September 19–25, 2022
Celebrate “The Andy Griffith Show” in Griffith’s hometown. Journey back in time when life was simple: The town’s sheriff carried no gun, children fished in ponds and everyone knew each other’s names.
Woolly Worm Festival, Banner ElkOctober 15–16, 2022
Located near several North Carolina ski resorts, celebrate the upcoming ski season with a Groundhog’s Day–esque woolly worm forecast by a fuzzy caterpillar that predicts the severity of the coming winter.
More Festival Fun
MerleFest, Wilkes County
April 27–30, 2023
Christmas in July Festival, West Jefferson
First weekend in July
Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, Asheville
August 4–6, 2022
Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain
August 13–14, 2022
Dirty Dancing Festival, Lake Lure
September 10, 2022
Cashiers Valley Leaf Festival, Cashiers
October 7–9, 2022
Apple Harvest Festival, Waynesville
October 15, 2022
Highlands Food & Wine Festival, Highlands
November 10–13, 2022
Got to be NC Festival, Raleigh
Celebrate what makes North Carolina great each May at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Offering carnival games, rides, live music, food fair, pig races and livestock shows, it’s spring’s answer to fall’s state fair.
Benson Mule Days, Benson
September 22–25, 2022
Consider this North Carolina’s answer to the Kentucky Derby. Instead of horses, mules take the spotlight. Enjoy a parade featuring local bands, floats, antique tractors, beauty queens, horses, wagons, buggies and, of course, mules.
North Carolina State Fair
October 13–23, 2022
Explore North Carolina’s agriculture, agribusiness, arts, crafts and culture at this annual fair featuring amusement rides, live performances and culinary delights. From fried Oreo’s and donut burgers to atomic tots and lobster pops, you’ll find a wide range of twisted treats to try.
Barbecue Festival, Lexington
October 22, 2022
The age-old battle of eastern versus western barbecue divides families more than Tobacco Road basketball. The Barbecue Festival welcomes nearly 250,000 visitors, doing its part to prove that North Carolina is the barbecue capital of the world.
More Festival Fun
North Carolina Pickle Festival, Mt. Olive
Dreamville Festival, Raleigh
Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, Fayetteville
Durham Blues & Brews Festival, Durham
Pimento Cheese Festival
Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas, Charlotte
Festival for the Eno, Durham
July 2 and 4, 2022 (not held July 3)
IBMA World of Bluegrass, Raleigh
September 27–October 1, 2022
Carolina BalloonFest, Statesville
October 14–16, 2022
North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival, Cary
November 2023–January 2024
North Carolina 4th of July Festival, Southport
July 4, 2022
This quintessential patriotic celebration featuring a flotilla procession and parade, has been hosted in Southport for more than 200 years, welcoming upwards of 50,000 revelers annually.
The Beaufort Pirate Invasion, Beaufort
September 23–25, 2022
Batten down the hatches! Every year, pirates invade Beaufort, once home to the infamous Blackbeard. This 1747 battle reenactment, when the town was attacked by Spanish pirates, features sea battles, sword fights, pirate pleasures and mermaids that will shiver your timbers.
Swansboro Mullet Festival, Swansboro
October 8–9, 2022
The oldest festival on the Crystal Coast began as a tribute to the small, bony fish that fed workers building the White Oak River Bridge in 1954. Nowadays, the festival features fish fries, live music and a parade.
More Fun in the Sun
North Carolina Azalea Festival, Wilmington
April 12–16, 2023
Outer Banks Watermelon Festival, Nags Head
August 4, 2022
Fig Festival, Ocracoke
August 6–7, 2022
Outer Banks Kite Festival, Nags Head
September 9–11, 2022
The North Carolina Seafood Festival, Morehead City
September 30–October 2, 2022
Ocean Fest, Surf City
October 7–8, 2022
Mumfest, New Bern
October 8–9, 2022
Holiday Flotilla, Beaufort
December 3, 2022