September Fairs & Festivals

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

September Festivals

Sept. 1-4, N.C. Apple Festival, Hendersonville – Enjoy four days of fun with a street fair, fresh-picked apples, arts and crafts, festival food and free entertainment at the Historic Courthouse on Main Street in Hendersonville.

Sept. 1-3, Happy Valley Heritage Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention, Lenoir - Begun by the N.C. Arts Council, the annual Old-Time Fiddlers' Convention will take place on the Jones Farm in Happy Valley. The farm, located on Highway 268, is the historic property of Tony Jones and his family, and home to Laura Foster's resting place. Laura Foster was Tom "Dooley" Dula's lover, and her murder is still an unsolved mystery. The event brings together remarkable traditional musicians from across North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and South Carolina.

*Sept. 2, Piggin’ and Grinnin’, Tryon Palace, New Bern, - Bluegrass and folk bands from around North Carolina and across the country will come together for a celebration of food and music during the inaugural Piggin’ and Grinnin’ festival at Tryon Palace. Held on the picturesque Tryon Palace South Lawn from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Piggin’ and Grinnin’ offers a full lineup of bands, including the Steep Canyon Rangers, Sierra Hull, Chatham County Line, Mountain Faith, Balsam Range, Blind Boy Paxton, Merchant’s Road, and Strung Together. Enjoy the tunes and the views with cold drinks, craft vendors, and a food truck rodeo with plenty of piggin’ going on.

Sept. 2-3, African American Cultural Festival, Raleigh - An annual celebration of African American culture as expressed through art, music, food and community. The Labor Day weekend engagement boasts an art gallery walk, authentic African cuisine and live musical performances from neo-soul, gospel, funk, blues and hip hop acts.

Sept. 3, New River Blues Festival, Grassy Creek – Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to this outdoor blues festival held beside the New River.

Sept. 4-9, Goldsboro Beak Week - Beak Week is a spicy, finger-licking food event that will bring your shriveling stomach back to life. Whether it’s the sauce-splattering BBQ Challenge or the spicy taste of a plate of chicken wings, your taste buds will be in heaven. A rocking live music stage will distract you from painting your face with more wing sauce, but only temporarily.

Sept. 7-10, Hopscotch, Raleigh - Hopscotch Music Festival presents 120 national and international bands at 12 walkable downtown Raleigh venues over three days. Almost every musical genre is represented, including rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental and more. Supported by the N.C. Arts Council.

Sept. 7-10, Bookmarks Festival of Books and Authors, Winston-Salem – BOOKMARKS Festival of Books brings together authors of national, regional and local renown as well as emerging authors to share their work and love of reading, to increase exposure to books, and to improve education. The festival draws thousands of people to experience author readings, presentations, panel discussions, question and answer sessions, illustrator demonstrations, writing and publishing workshops and book signings. Supported by the N.C. Arts Council.

Sept. 7-Oct. 29, Chinese Lantern Festival, Belmont – Held at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, this enchanting festival features over 800 handmade Chinese lanterns filling more than 12 acres. Enjoy family activities, Kung Fu shows, Asian food and a marketplace with authentic crafts and folk art.

Sept. 8-10, Mountain Song Festival, Brevard – Inspired by local youth, proceeds from this festival fund the Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County. This year’s artists include Mipso, Steep Canyon Rangers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Sierra Hull, and Carolina Blue.

Sept. 8-10, National Folk Festival, Greensboro - A free, three-day outdoor event, the National Folk Festival celebrates the roots, richness, and variety of American culture. It features over 300 of the nation’s finest traditional musicians, dancers, and craftspeople in performances, workshops, and demonstrations, plus children’s activities, savory Southern and ethnic cuisines and craft brews, non-stop participatory dancing, storytelling, parades, and more. The N.C. Arts Council will sponsor for the third year in a row the N.C. Folklife area. Listing of NC artists.

Sept. 8-10, Greek Festival, Raleigh – This annual festival is a celebration of the area’s Greek community. The three-day extravaganza features folkloric dance performances, traditional music, homemade authentic cuisine, hands-on activities for kids and more.

*Sept. 9, Festival of Yesteryear, Museum of the Cape Fear, Fayetteville – This colonial-era themed event features the Tryon Palace Fife and Drum Corps, African Music and Dance, a Blackbeard puppet show, naval stores demonstration, and much more.

Sept. 9-10, Festival of India, Charlotte – The annual Festival of India engages the area’s Indian community by putting on a two-day celebration that showcases Indian art, culture and cuisine. Highlights include a singing competition dubbed “Charlotte Indian Idol," a spin-off of American Idol featuring singers and groups performing lively Bollywood numbers, as well as heritage-inspired art, a short film contest and traditional dances.

Sept. 14-17, SPARKcon, Raleigh - A four-day multimedia design and art conference, the event takes over various public spaces around the city and fills them with displays and installations in the categories of film, fashion, music, dance and art. Supported by the N.C. Arts Council.

*Sept. 16, Bugfest, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh – Learn about the fascinating world of bugs at this annual event, featuring Café Insecta, where the brave can sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs. Visit entertaining displays and exhibits, learn how to keep your own hive at the Beekeeping Workshop, and enjoy nocturnal activities at the Evening Insectival.

Sept. 16, BrewGrass, Asheville – Sample craft beer from over 100 breweries and enjoy topnotch live bluegrass at this annual event in Asheville.

Sept. 16-17, CenterFest, Durham – A celebration of artists from around the country, this two-day art extravaganza features over 140 juried artists across all media, as well as live entertainment, hands-on activities for kids, and international cuisine. Supported by the N.C. Arts Council.

Sept. 19-24, Mayberry Days, Mount Airy - Mayberry Days is a festival for the whole family with activities and events for fans of The Andy Griffith Show. Remember simpler times with a checkers tournament, pork chop-eating and apple-peeling contests, trivia competitions and horseshoes plus entertainment and a parade.

Sept. 22-14, International Folk Festival, Fayetteville - Fayetteville has a rich and long history of celebrating its multicultural population. The International Folk Festival is a weekend-long celebration of the city’s diversity with a wide variety of music and dance performances, storytelling, puppetry, magic and more.

Sept. 22-23, 29-30; Oct. 6-7, 13-14, 20-21, 27-28, Tweetsie Ghost Train Halloween Festival, Blowing Rock - Guests of all ages will enjoy family fun at the park, and brave Ghost Train riders will experience frights around every corner as the train howls its way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. While some attractions are recommended for adults and older children, there are plenty of shows and activities for young visitors.

Sept. 22-23, Carolina in the Fall Music & Food Festival, Wilkesboro - On the old Courthouse Square in historic downtown Wilkesboro, The Kruger Brothers will host some of North Carolina’s leading folk and roots music bands. Enjoy food trucks and sample wares from local vineyards and regional craft breweries.

*Sept. 23, Threads of Africa: A Celebration of Art, Nature, and People, N.C. Museum of Art, Raleigh - The North Carolina Museum of Art celebrates the new African art gallery with this free community event. Scheduled for noon to 5 p.m., the event features dance and musical performances, art-making, food trucks, special gallery tours, and more. The festival culminates in a sold-out, free evening concert with Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo, with opening band Diali Cissokho and Kaira Ba, to cap off the museum’s 20th anniversary concert season.

*Sept. 23, Zoo to Do, N.C. Zoo, Asheboro - The Zoo Society’s most fabulous fundraising gala of the year! This festive evening includes catered dining and refreshments, dancing, lively auctions featuring Zoo experiences, local pottery and much more.

Sept. 23, Yadkin Valley Pumpkin Festival, Elkin - The festivities begin with the Annual Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off – some will weigh-in at an excess of 1,000 pounds with hopes of placing in the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth top ten. Attendees will also enjoy carnival rides for children, arts and crafts vendors, antique vendors, pumpkin-themed food, drinks and games.

Sept. 23, Oktoberfest, Cherryville - Come celebrate Cherryville's Bavarian heritage at Oktoberfest! Modeled after the original Munich festival, the event includes a people's walk (Volksmarch), a shooting contest (Schützenfest), a dachsund race (Dackel Rennen), a beauty contest (Schönheits-Wettbewerb), and of course the traditional beer tent (Bierzelt) with an oompa band and swing band music. You'll also find craft and food vendors and rides for the kids.   

Sept. 24, La Fiesta del Pueblo, Raleigh – Celebrate Latino culture in the Triangle with live music and dance, traditional foods, arts and crafts vendors, and more.

Sept. 29-30, Wide Open Bluegrass, Raleigh – This annual event has become one of Raleigh’s most-anticipated festivals of the year. The weekend festival includes ticketed events to see world-renowned bluegrass artists, and the free StreetFest includes seven music stages featuring performers from across the country, along with local artisans, food trucks and more. The N.C. Arts Council will sponsor the Blue Ridge Music/NC Music Stage on Friday and Saturday. 

Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 30 – Nov. 19, Carolina Renaissance Festival, Huntersville– Travel back in time to the greatest party since Camelot. This festival features outdoor theater, circus entertainment, a marketplace, a jousting tournament and a feast fit for royalty.

Sept. 30, N.C. Pride Parade and Festival, Durham - Established in the early 1980s, the annual event is a celebration of the LGBT community and its artists. The one-day extravaganza features a grand parade filled with floats and marchers, live musical performances, DJ sets, a live dating show, 5k fun run, drag showcases, art displays and guest speakers.

September 30, Mountain Heritage Day, Cullowhee - Held on the Western Carolina University campus, Mountain Heritage Day is a combination old-fashioned mountain fair and showcase for Southern Appalachian music, dance and song. The one-day festival typically attracts 15,000 to 20,000 attendees. It features two live entertainment stages, juried arts and crafts, Cherokee stickball games, shape note singing, a heritage encampment, chainsaw competition, children's activities and other demonstrations and activities celebrating the region’s Appalachian mountain heritage

Sept. 30-Oct. 1, Wake County Storytelling Festival, Raleigh – This festival enchants visitors with tales told by professional storytellers.

September Fairs:

Sept. 1-10 - Cumberland County Fair

Sept. 1-9 – Iredell County Fair

Sept. 7-11 – Surry County Fair

Sept. 8-28 - Cabarrus County Fair

Sept. 8-17 - NC Mountain State Fair

Sept. 12-17 – Sanford Lions Club Fair

Sept. 12-16 - Stokes County Fair

Sept. 15-23 – Rowan County Agricultural and Industrial Fair

Sept. 18-23 - Davidson County Agricultural Fair

Sept. 19-23 - Lenoir County Agricultural Fair

Sept. 19-24 – Pitt County Fair

Sept. 19-24 – Wilson County Fair

Sept. 26-30 - Stanly County Fair

Sept. 28-Oct. 1 - Chatham County Agricultural Fair

Sept. 28-Oct. 7 - Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair

Sept. 28-Oct. 8 - Cleveland County Fair

Sept. 28-Oct. 8 - Dixie Classic Fair, Winston-Salem

Sept. 29-Oct. 8 - Robeson County Fair