Fall in One Place – Celebrate North Carolina with Fall Fairs and Festivals

Fall Festivals
Raleigh

The rays of summer may be beginning to fade, but don’t despair, the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is ready to help you find the outdoor festival or fair that will make you want to slip into a sweater and slide into fall.

Autumn is a perfect time to celebrate everything our state has to offer, from the gorgeous weather to local foods to traditional music. From the annual tradition of the North Carolina State Fair to Wide Open Bluegrass to local county fairs and festivals, North Carolina has it all, all in one place.

We’ve put together an online tour of fall fairs and festivals across the state. Whether you’re looking for carnival rides and games, arts and crafts or outdoor music – or if you’re just here for the food – you’re sure to find something on our list that strikes your fancy.

Find the complete list of fall fairs and festivals at ncdcr.gov/fall-festivals, or view events by month at the links below:

September Fairs and Festivals – Outdoor music reigns in September, with the inaugural Piggin’ and Grinnin’ barbecue and bluegrass festival at Tryon Palace in New Bern, Hopscotch Raleigh, the National Folks Festival in Greensboro, and Wide Open Bluegrass in downtown Raleigh.

Other September events at DNCR sites include the Festival of Yesteryear at the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, the Zoo to Do at the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro, and Bugfest at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.

October Fairs and Festivals – Celebrate North Carolina food and heritage with the annual North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City; the iconic Woolly Worm Festival in Banner Elk; N.C.’s official liver mush festival, Mush, Music and Mutts in Shelby; and the Lexington BBQ Festival.

And of course, it's North Carolina State Fair time! Head over to our display at the Dorton Arena lobby to learn about North Carolina’s most notorious pirate, Blackbeard, as we kick off the 300th anniversary of his exploits along the Carolina coast. N.C. State Parks, the N.C. Zoo, N.C. Historic Sites and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will also be bringing their own brand of fun to the fair.

Other October events at DNCR sites include the Bluegrass Island Festival at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, Oktoberfest at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort, the Vance Birthplace Appalachian Folk Festival in Weaverville, Boo at the Zoo in Asheboro, and the Fall Festival and Living History event at Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks. It’s also a great time to savor the crisp fall weather and enjoy the colors of changing leaves at North Carolina State Parks.

November Fairs and Festivals – November is the month for arts and culture in N.C. – choose from the Wilson Whirligig Festival, Celebration of Seagrove Potters, Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, Durham Art Walk and Holiday Market and more.

November also brings the N.C. Museum of History’s 22nd Annual American Indian Heritage Celebration. 

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