Items marked with an asterisk (*) are within the N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Items marked with a double asterisk (**) are unconfirmed.

October Festivals

Oct. 6-7, Ol' Front Porch Music Festival, Oriental  - The front porch is an amazing spot to lounge in a rocking chair, strum an acoustic guitar and relax as the autumn breeze rushes your way. The front porch is now a venue for this music festival packing more than 30 bluegrass acts on the front porches of homes throughout Oriental. 

Oct. 6-8, N.C. Seafood Festival, Morehead City  - The North Carolina Seafood Festival takes place on the Morehead City Waterfront. The largest three-day festival in North Carolina, its highlights are an endless variety of seafood prepared in a multitude of ways, street dances, concerts, arts and crafts (about 200 vendors), Flounder Fling and an International Award-Winning Chef’s Tent, Southern Outer Banks Boat Show, educational exhibits, hands-on programs for kids and rides and games. Saturday night fireworks are enjoyed by festival goers and neighbors alike.

Oct. 7, Brushy Mountain Apple Festival, North Wilkesboro – Among the largest arts and crafts festivals in the Southeast, this free festival offers local growers selling apples, apple cider and dried apples, and more than 425 arts and crafts, 100 food concessions and four music stages. The festival also highlights Appalachian Heritage crafts such as woodcarving, chair making, soap making, pottery throwing and quilting.

Oct. 7, Hola Charlotte Festival, Charlotte - A Hispanic heritage celebration showcasing Latin traditions and performances, the one-day event boasts jam-packed lineups on two stages hosting national and international Latin music acts, soccer demonstrations, cultural arts and crafts, folkloric and contemporary dance performances, authentic fare, exhibits, interactive displays and fashion showcases.

Oct. 7, Scotland County Highlands Games, Laurinburg - Held at the historic North Carolina Rural Heritage Center in Laurinburg, North Carolina, this is just the kind of event you would expect to find in the county that has one of the largest concentrations of Highland Scots in North America. ​If you’ve never experienced a Highland Games, you owe it to yourself too. Watch lads compete in traditional events, such as tossing the caber (a massive tapered pine pole) and the sheaf toss - throwing a 20-pound bale of straw straight up using a pitchfork!​ Of course, what would the games be without the piping and drumming, dancing, and Tartan glory associated with this unique culture. Beer and food vendors will be on site.​

Oct. 7-8, Folk School’s Fall Festival, Brasstown  - One of the largest and most popular events of its type in the region, the Folk School’s Fall Festival is a celebration of our rich Appalachian culture. The annual festival features over 200 craftspeople, continuous live music and dance on two stages, and demonstrations all weekend long. Visitors will enjoy tasty food, kids’ activities, and much more.

Oct. 7-8, Wilmington Riverfest, Wilmington - This family-friendly cultural festival is held along Wilmington’s scenic Cape Fear River. Enjoy 200 craft and food vendors, entertainment on two stages, the Invasion of the Pirates, treasure hunt and ball, fireworks, Rowing Regatta, Kidz Zone and more.

Oct. 7-8, Duck Jazz Festival, Duck – Enjoy live music from a variety of jazz performers on two stages at Duck Town Park, and enjoy all the jazz-themed events and promotions throughout the town.

Oct. 13-14, Ocean Fest, Surf City - Award-winning, nonprofit eco/surf/art/music festival. OCEAN FEST celebrates Surf City, NC’s wave-riding heritage while providing a fun, free event where everyone can enjoy live music, food, and drink, and learn about ways to protect our favorite thing in the world: THE OCEAN.

Oct. 14-15, MumFest, New Bern - MumFest is a combination of family fun, entertainment, attractions, exhibitors and great food in the beautifully restored setting of historic downtown New Bern and its waterfront.

Oct. 14-15, Mullet Festival, Swansboro - This family-friendly festival kicks off with a parade down Highway 24, and features a street carnival, arts and crafts, games, music and more. The children’s area includes games, a climbing wall, inflatables and the always popular “Mullet Toss.”

Oct. 19-22, Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, Asheville - The Craft Fair is an event where connoisseurs and novices alike come to craft a collection, connect with tradition, and invest in regional culture. The Craft Fair takes place in beautiful downtown Asheville at the Civic Center. Over 200 craftspeople fill two floors with fine handcrafted items, while local musicians play live on the arena stage, and craft educators share their knowledge with children in hands-on projects.

Oct. 20-21, John Lawson Legacy Days, Grifton – Travel back in time for a free, family friendly event on the banks of the Historic Contentnea Creek. 

Oct. 20-22, Carolina BalloonFest, Statesville – Featuring 50 colorful hot air balloons, balloon rides, mass ascensions, and a Saturday night balloon glow. You’ll also find some ground-based fun including an artisan village and marketplace, wine and craft beer tasting, food, entertainment and children’s activities.

Oct. 20-22, LEAF Community Arts Festival, Black Mountain - The biannual four-day event features over 60 performers in various artistic styles from 30 different countries. The diverse lineups showcase everything from traditional cultural music to contemporary song and dance. Poetry, healing arts, installations, lake sports and a kids’ village are among the additional attractions. Guests can also enjoy the selection of regional craft brews and indulge in the flavorful foreign fare. Funded by the N.C. Arts Council

Oct. 21, Mush, Music & Mutts: NC's Official Liver Mush Festival, Shelby – Running for 30+ years, this free festival is held in the gorgeous tree lined streets of Uptown Shelby, NC. Celebrating the microregional food staple, Liver Mush, and our community's rich music heritage, this festival also includes a Pet Zone and Kid Zone! Highlights of this all day event include: Mack's Liver Mush and Corriher's Liver Mush; both producers of liver mush will be represented plus numerous food vendors and local restaurants preparing at least one specialty item featuring Liver Mush. Food, craft and community vendors, and live music all day long. 

Oct. 21-22, Woolly Worm Festival, Banner Elk – For hundreds of years, mountain residents have used the stripes of the woolly worm to predict the severity of the coming winter. Since 1978, the “official” prognosticating worm has been chosen during the annual Woolly Worm Races. We predict you’ll have a whole lot of fun watching (or entering) the woolly worm races, browsing the arts and crafts for sale by local artisans, watching the live entertainment, and enjoying the beautiful fall foliage.

*Oct. 21-22 & Oct. 28-29, Boo at the Zoo, N.C. Zoo, Asheboro - Celebrate the excitement of the season with a weekend of safe daytime Halloween fun. Enjoy trick or treat games, storytelling, live entertainment and a children’s costume contest.

Oct. 27-28, Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree, Ocracoke – Come see what Pirate Life was like at the Pirate Jamboree. Wear your costumes and enjoy activities such as a Scallywag School for kids, strolling minstrels, sword fights, the Pirate Bazaar, beer garden, and more. The Event culminates with a Pirate Battle on Silver Lake – watch the cannons roar as Blackbeard meets his fate.

Oct. 28, Barbecue Festival, Lexington – Pig out at this festival held in the town famous for its pit-cooked pork. After you sample the barbecue, enjoy music, craft vendors, a car show and more.

Oct. 28, Hart Square Living History Festival, Vale – To enter Hart Square Village on festival day is to enter the early 1800s. Hart Square bustles with over three hundred knowledgeable artisans and historic demonstrators dressed in period clothing. Artisans truly bring the village to life by sharing the craftsmanship and subsistence of Carolina's pioneers. Visitors will witness everything from flax making, cotton baling, and tin smithing to apple butter making and the sweet sounds of old time music. Hart Square Village is the nation's largest collection of historic log structures. On festival day, all 103 historic structures will be open! 

Oct. 28, Halloweenfest, BrevardThis “fang-tastic” event features FREE family-friendly fun, including bounce houses, our traditional costume competition and parade, the Magic Book Bus, a hula hoop dance party, the LEAF Easel Rider, food vendors and more. Join us for this amazing event and explore downtown Brevard’s businesses through a downtown Spooky Stroll Open House and downtown trick or treating!



October Fairs:

Oct. 12-22, North Carolina State Fair – “Nothing Could be Finer” than a trip to the annual North Carolina State Fair! Enjoy rides, games, entertainment, agricultural exhibits, lots of deep-fried food and the new State Fair Flyer.

Oct. 3-7 – Lenoir County Agricultural Fair

Oct. 10-14 – Onslow County Fair