October Fairs & Festivals

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

October Festivals

*Oct. 4-7, Roanoke Island Festival Park, Manteo, Bluegrass Island Festival – Experience mountain music by the sea at this annual event in Manteo featuring artists such as Flatt Lonesome, Rhonda Vincent, Commonwealth Bluegrass, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, the Gibson Brothers and many more!

*Oct. 6-7, Oktoberfest, Mountain Gateway Museum, Old Fort – Celebrate Oktoberfest at this annual festival featuring musicians, food and craft vendors and children’s activities.

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 fest, packing more than 30 bluegrass acts on 25 front porches of homes throughout Oriental.

Oct. 6-8, N.C. Seafood Festival, Morehead City – Head to the Morehead City waterfront for delicious local seafood, live performances by musicians and street artists, local arts and crafts, and educational opportunities for guests of all ages.

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, Colorfest, Dillsboro – More than 50 juried artists will line Front Street in Dillsboro for this colorful autumn festival. Just a short walk away you’ll find an entertainment stage featuring local performers throughout the day.

Oct. 7, Hola Charlotte Festival - 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. 7-8, John C. Campbell Folk School Fall Festival, Brasstown - One of the largest and most popular events of its type in the region, Fall Festival is a celebration of our rich Appalachian heritage. Fine craft, craft-making demonstrations, music and dance performances, children’s activities, tasty food, and a visit to the school’s Craft Shop and History Center make Fall Festival a great way to begin the autumn season.

Oct. 7-8, Wilmington Riverfest - 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 – 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. 8, Boone Heritage Festival - Celebrating Appalachian heritage with 18th century living history demonstrations, craft vendors, music jam sessions, children's activities, live music and storytelling.

Oct. 13-15, 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, Zoo Grooves, N.C. Zoo, Asheboro - Shake your tail feathers at the N.C. Zoo’s all ages Halloween Zoo Grooves event. Don’t miss this wicked fun night featuring live music, craft beer, food vendors, kids activities and a Halloween costume party. 

Oct. 14-15, Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues & Jazz Festival, Kure Beach – Hear nationally recognized blues and jazz musicians on two stages, sample coastal cuisine, shop for arts and crafts and visit the children’s area complete with magicians, clowns and jugglers.

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. 17-22, Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival - Serious birders flock to Wings Over Water for one of the East Coast’s largest concentrations of wintering waterfowl. Photography, painting and videotaping sessions, moonlight paddles and keynote speakers are all part of the adventure. There’s even a chance to visit Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge at night and use spotlights to watch for deer, bear, birds and other wildlife.

Oct. 19-22, 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. 20-21, Mush, Music and Mutts, Shelby – The Official Fall Liver Mush Festival of N.C. has something for everyone, including a Brew Fest, chili cook-off, pet festival, children’s activities and live music performances on two outdoor stages. Part of the Blue Ridge Music Trails.

Oct. 20-22, International Festival, Raleigh – The whole world is within your reach at the International Festival of Raleigh. More than 70 cultures are represented through exhilarating dance performances, authentic dress, culinary goodness from each culture, history lessons from an assortment of cultural exhibits and many other diverse activities.

Oct. 20-22, Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, Asheville - It’s the 70th season of the bi-annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands. 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. 20-22, 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. 21, Apple Butter Festival, Bakersville - Sample delicious, fresh-made apple butter and take home several jars to enjoy or give as gifts at the Mitchell County Historical Society’s anual Apple Butter Festival. 

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. 27-29, Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree, Ocracoke – We’re big fans of Blackbeard around here – so much so that we’re celebrating the 300th anniversary of his adventures in North Carolina. 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, Appalachian Folk Festival, Vance Birthplace, Weaverville - Vance Homestead at its most beautiful for a Folk Festival! This event will celebrate the traditions and cultures of the people who call the North Carolina mountains home. Programs and demonstrations will feature old-time music, local craftsmen, and artists. Cooking demonstrations in the historic Vance hearth, storytelling, and crafts for kids will be scheduled throughout the day.

*Oct. 28, Fall Festival and Living History, Bentonville Battlefield, Four Oaks - Bring the family and celebrate fall at Bentonville Battlefield! Activities include hayrides, carnival games based on 19th century games, corn shucking contest, townball (19th century baseball), and more! Visitors will also learn about 19th century farm life, and the chores that women and children were suddenly responsible to perform.

*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.

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. 2-7 – Onslow County Fair

Oct. 3-7 – Wilkes Agricultural Fair

Oct. 3-7 – Cherokee Indian Fair

Oct. 4-8 – Vance County Regional Fair

Oct. 10-14 – Richmond County Agricultural Fair

Oct. 18-21 – Duplin Agribusiness Fair

Oct. 28-Nov. 8 – Cape Fear Fair & Expo