Fall North Carolina Festivals
Check out this list of North Carolina fall festivals. I’m favorably impressed with the selection available to those of you visiting from North Carolina. You really don’t know how lucky you have it. In other states, you would have far fewer selections available. And you wouldn’t have nearly the diversity of seafood, beer, and music festival options available to you. Throw a North Carolina Oktoberfest party into the mix, and you have the potential for a party packed fall!
Last Major Update:
North Carolina Apple Festival – Hendersonville, NC – September 4-7, 2015
Labor Day Weekend family festival for over 60 years celebrating the most important agricultural product in Henderson County. Street fair, arts & crafts, King Apple Parade, festival food, free entertainment.
North Carolina Gourd Festival – Raleigh, NC – September 12-13, 2015
Annual event at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. 70 categories of competition for gourd growers and crafters. Admission fees cover building rental and insurance.
North Carolina Rice Festival – Belville – Sept 19-20, 2015
Rice cooking contest, live music, arts and crafts, art contest, kids play area and a beer garden. Held at Brunswick Riverwalk at Belville.
Mayberry Days – Mount Airy – Sept 23-27, 2015
Live music, comedy, magic shows, Barbecue Cook-off, parade, games and family fun. Hosted by the Surry Arts Council at various locations including the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Earle Theatre and Blackmon Amphitheatre.
Festival in the Park – Charlotte – Sept 25-27, 2015
51st annual event. Festival food, clowns, karaoke, aerial dance, arts & crafts and family fun zone.
Hop Scotch Music Festival – Raleigh, NC – September 10-12, 2015
6th annual event with more than 140 bands over 3 days in downtown Raleigh. Offers rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental, and more. Art exhibition, photography exhibit.
Bull Durham Blues Festival – Durham – Sept 11-12, 2015
A two day blues and roots music festival.
17 Days Festival – Greensboro, NC – September 11-27, 2015
A celebration of arts and culture. Opening weekend is September 11-13. Total attendance at the 100+ events over 2.5 weeks is more than 85,000.
Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition – Outer Banks, NC – September 12-13, 2015
Regional kite competition with free family fun fly day (Saturday) and demos. Watch the talented kite fliers on Sunday with performances synchronized to music.
Dublin Peanut Festival – Dublin, NC – September 19, 2015
Celebrate the harvest in the peanut capital of North Carolina. Peanut bakeoff contest, parade, pageant, car show, pedal tractor pull and more.
Shine to Wine Festival – North Wilkesboro – Sept 19, 2015
12th annual event. Wine/beer/spirit tastings, live entertainment, art and food. General admission is free. Tasting ticket is $15 in advance or $20. It is held annually on the third Saturday in September.
Clayton Harvest and Music Festival – Clayton, NC – September 19, 2015
CenterFest Arts Festival – Durham – Sept 19-20, 2015
41st annual event. Juried art competition, music, dance, kids zone. Local food and international cuisine. Located on Main and Chapel Hill Streets in the Five Points and CCB Plaza areas.
Outer Blanks Bluegrass Festival – Outer Banks, NC – September 23-26, 2015
Live bluegrass music, fireworks show set to bluegrass, band competition and more.
Muscadine Festival – Kenansville, NC – September 25-26, 2015
Celebrate North Carolina’s State Fruit at Duplin County Events Center. Amateur wine making contest, cooking contest.
Carrboro Music Festival – Carrboro, NC – September 26-27, 2015
Free two day event with local music performances, food and crafts.
Wilmington Riverfest – Wilmington, NC – October 2-4, 2015
150,000 visit the three day celebration located from Market Street to Cape Fear Community College. Live music, dancing and more on multiple stages. Kids zone includes facepainting, airbrush tattoos, mardi gras mask making, inflatables and more.
North Carolina Seafood Festival – Morehead City, NC – October 2-4, 2015
Family fishing tournament, boat show, flounder fling, sailing regatta, road race and fireworks.
Great Grapes Wine, Arts & Food Festival – Charlotte, NC – October 3, 2015
Casual wine tasting event with hundreds of wines available for tasting from 20+ wineries. Festival food, live music, arts & crafts, and free kids area. Souvenir tasting glass with admission. Kids and parking are free.
Phoenix Fest – Durham – October 3, 2015
Celebrate African American cultural traditions with music, a parade and family friendly activities.
Brushy Mountain Apple Festival – Wilkesboro, NC – October 3, 2015
One of the largest one-day arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast. Free admission. 4 different music stages, folk dancers and other live entertainment. Attended by over 160,000. Activities begin on Friday night with the “Apple Jam.”
Randolph Arts Guild Fall Festival – Asheboro, NC –
October 3-4, 2015
10K road race, live music, crafts, Heritage Village and more. 43rd annual event.
Shakori Hills GrassRoots Fall Festival of Music & Dance – Pittsboro, NC – October 8-11, 2015
Four days of music, dance, art and education with more than 60 bands on 4 stages.
Autumn Leaves Festival – Mount Airy, NC – October 9-11, 2015
49th anniversary event. Nearly 200,000 typically attend over the course of the weekend. Toe tapping, foot stomping, hand-clapping music. Arts & crafts, food. Admission is free.
Cashiers Leaf Festival – Cashiers, NC – October 9-11, 2015
More than 10,000 visit this mountain village for the changing leaves and 100 artisans and merchants. Free admission.
World Beer Festival – Durham, NC – October 10, 2015
20th annual event. Sample beers from breweries around the world. Several festivals here, including the North Carolina Beer Festival with some of the state’s best, a Cask Ale Festival, Cider Garden and Belgian Bier Festival. Don’t miss the new Friday night happy hour.
John Blue Cotton Festival – Laurinburg, NC – October 10-11, 2015
32nd annual event. Home tour, hayrides, crafts, pony rides, food and children’s games.
mumfest – New Bern, NC – October 10-11, 2015
35th annual event. Attended by more than 90,000 every fall to enjoy the family fun, entertainment, foods and attractions.
Duck Jazz Festival – Duck, NC – October 11, 2015
Free festival showcasing national, regional and local jazz musicians.
Lake Eden Arts Festival – Black Mountain, NC – October 15-18, 2015
North Carolina State Fair – Raleigh, NC – October 15-25, 2015
Nearly one million attend each year. Folk festival, fireworks, flower & garden show, local wine and craft beer exhibit, grandstand shows and more.
Appalachian Harvest Festival – Robbinsville, NC – October 16-18, 2015
Three day harvest festival with free Friday evening campfire and music jam, 5K race and one mile fun run, live music, demonstrations of apple cider pressing, and more.
Carolina Balloon Fest – Statesville, NC – October 16-18, 2015
Watch 50 hot air balloons. Tethered balloon rides are $5-10. Proceeds from the event benefit local nonprofits.
Yadkin Valley Grape Festival – Yadkinville, NC – October 17, 2015
Wine tasting tickets are $15 (advance) and $20 (door).
NC Oyster Festival – Shallotte, NC – October 17-18, 2015
Local cuisine, arts and crafts, children’s activities, live music, Oyster Stew Cook-off Contest and the Oyster Shucking Contest.
Autumn with Topsail – Topsail Beach – Oct 17-18, 2015
Arts, food and beach music including arts & crafts, and children’s activities including sand art, inflatable rides and more.
Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival – October 20-25, 2015
More than 400 species to spot. Guided birding trips, art and photography workshops, tram tours, kayak and canoe tours, and more.
Barbecue Festival – Lexington, NC – October 24, 2015
Grover Pumpkin Festival – Grover, NC – October 24, 2015
Don’t miss the grand finale lighting of the wall of 700 jack o’lanterns. Also: corn maze, hay maze, carriage rides, trick or treat trail and costume contests.
Lighthouse Beer & Wine Festival – Wilmington, NC – October 24, 2015
Crossroads Festival – Linden, NC – October 25, 2015
Event features a parade, crafts, cornhole tournament, apple pie and paper airplane contest, bingo, great food, and live bands.
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair – Fletcher – October 30 – November 1, 2015
Fleece show, workshops, demonstrations, shopping, contests and more. Held at the WNC Agricultural Center.
North Carolina Pecan Harvest Festival – Whiteville, NC – Nov 7, 2015
Colfax Persimmon Festival – Oak Ridge – Nov 7, 2015
8th annual event at the historic Stafford farm. A celebration of persimmon and historic farming. Admission fee is $7. $5 suggested donation for parking and shuttle.
Albemarle Harvest Festival – Albemarle, NC – Nov 7, 2015
15th annual event by Vintage Virginia Apples and the CoveGarden Ruritan Club. Workshops, local musicians, hayrides, food & craft vendors, Apple Pie Contest and more.
Wilson Whirligig Festival – Nov 7-8, 2015
11th annual event. 35,000 attend. Arts & crafts, food vendors, 5K, live music and contests. Recognized by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of its top 20 fall events.
WNC Pottery Festival – Dillsboro – Nov 7, 2015
A juried art event with 40+ master potters. Demonstrations and silent auction. WNC Clay Olympics competition precedes the festival.
Cucalorus Film Festival – Wilmington, NC – Nov 11-15, 2015
NC Comicon – Durham – Nov 13-15, 2015
Enjoy a weekend of fantasy, superheroes, wizards and cosplayers. Costume contest and film festival as well.
Last Year’s Events:
Kite Week – Rodanthe, NC – August 29 – September 2, 2014
Goombay Street Festival – Asheville, NC – September 12-14, 2014
French Broad Fall Fest – Hot Springs, NC – September 27, 2014
Best of Badin Festival – Badin, NC – September 20, 2014
Bethel Harvest Festival – Bethel, NC – September 20, 2014
Little Switzerland Fall Festival – Marion, NC – September 21-22, 2013
Village of Lake Park Fall Festival – Charlotte, NC – September 20-22, 2013
Pleasure Island Seafood Blues and Jazz Festival – Carolina & Kure Beach, NC – October 11-12, 2014
Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair – Fletcher, NC – October 24-26, 2014
Wooly Worm Festival – Banner Elk, NC – October 18-19, 2014
Swansboro Mullet Festival – Swansboro, NC – October 11-12, 2014
Apple Harvest Festival – Waynesville, NC – October 18, 2014
Charlotte BBQ & Brews – Charlotte, NC – October 17-18, 2014
NC Festival by the Sea – Holden Beach, NC – Oct 25-26, 2014
Asheboro Fall Festival – Asheboro, NC – October 3-4, 2014
North Carolina Sweet Potato Festival – Snow Hill, NC – October 11, 2014
Hamlet Seaboard Festival – Hamlet – October 25, 2014
Celebrating Hamlet’s rich railroading heritage. Old fashioned crafters demonstrating, craft vendors, food vendors, retail vendors, pottery, homemades, etc. 9am – 5pm on Main Street in Downtown Hamlet, NC.
Attack of the Big Beers - Charlotte, NC – November 15, 2014
Great beers along with entertainers DJ Allen Rockhouse, Aerial CLT, and The Beer City Hoopers. Hosted at NODA Brewing Company at 2320 N Davidson St., Charlotte, NC.
Sonorous Music Festival – Wilmington, NC – Nov 7-8, 2014
Granite Falls Festival on Main
Lake Norman Wine & Food Festival – Cornelius, NC – Last Year’s Date: October 20, 2012
Matthews Rotary Bluegrass Festival – Matthews, NC
Find other fun things to do in North Carolina: