This Week

Enchanted Airlie

  • Friday, November 25th - Thursday, December 22nd
Wilmington

Ring in the holiday season with this magical display of lights, greenery, and gorgeous local scenery with this month-long event that brings plenty of spirit to the season. The Enchanted Airlie celebration is an opportunity to discover how beautiful and glittering this beloved local landmark can be during the holidays, thanks to a dazzling array of lights, and plenty of activities that will leave young and old visitors alike grinning from ear to ear.

WinterFest Festival

  • Sunday, December 4th - Saturday, December 10th
Southport

Join in the fun of the season and enjoy a days-long festival that highlights the community spirit of Southport by attending the highly anticipated WinterFest festival. This annual celebration features a wealth of activities at landmarks and popular spots throughout the coastal town, and is a great way to enjoy the spirit of the holidays while taking in everything this popular vacation destination has to offer.

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

  • Friday, November 25th - Saturday, December 24th
more dates....
Kure Beach

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher turns into a winter wonderland at this annual event that is sure to be a delightful highlight of the holiday season for Cape Fear and Wilmington-area residents and visitors alike. During the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, the aquarium will be decked out with roughly 50 trees that are glittering with lights, adding a new and dazzling perspective to one of Fort Fisher’s most treasured attractions.

Old Wilmington Candlelight Tour

  • Saturday, December 10th
Wilmington

Take a peek into some of the most beautiful and historic homes of famed downtown Wilmington with this unique annual tour that combines the scenery of the season with a little bit of history. Since 1973, the yearly Old Wilmington Candlelight Tour has become a popular event with visitors and locals alike, as it shines a light on some of the most festive and beautiful residences that the centuries-old Port City has to offer.

Christmas by the Sea

  • Saturday, December 10th 5:00 PM
more dates....
Carolina Beach

Head to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for a festive atmosphere that will inspire everyone to embrace the relaxed holiday spirit along the coastline. The annual Christmas by the Sea event is a multiple day celebration of colorful lights, cookies, storytelling, treats, and so much more, and is a great way for holiday visitors to explore this charming community in truly jolly style.

Week of December 12, 2022 - December 18, 2022

Enchanted Airlie

  • Friday, November 25th - Thursday, December 22nd
Wilmington

Ring in the holiday season with this magical display of lights, greenery, and gorgeous local scenery with this month-long event that brings plenty of spirit to the season. The Enchanted Airlie celebration is an opportunity to discover how beautiful and glittering this beloved local landmark can be during the holidays, thanks to a dazzling array of lights, and plenty of activities that will leave young and old visitors alike grinning from ear to ear.

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

  • Friday, November 25th - Saturday, December 24th
more dates....
Kure Beach

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher turns into a winter wonderland at this annual event that is sure to be a delightful highlight of the holiday season for Cape Fear and Wilmington-area residents and visitors alike. During the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, the aquarium will be decked out with roughly 50 trees that are glittering with lights, adding a new and dazzling perspective to one of Fort Fisher’s most treasured attractions.

Kure Beach Holiday Whoobie Whatty

  • Friday, December 16th 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Kure Beach

Your heart will grow three sizes this year, just like the Grinch himself, at this event that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with young and old grinches alike. The Kure Beach Holiday Whoobie Whatty is a kid-friendly and family-friendly event that features plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit, from arts and crafts, to cookie decorating, to a viewing of the famous movie that bears this green Christmas icon’s name!

Christmas by the Sea

  • Saturday, December 17th 5:00 PM
more dates....
Carolina Beach

Head to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk for a festive atmosphere that will inspire everyone to embrace the relaxed holiday spirit along the coastline. The annual Christmas by the Sea event is a multiple day celebration of colorful lights, cookies, storytelling, treats, and so much more, and is a great way for holiday visitors to explore this charming community in truly jolly style.

Week of December 19, 2022 - December 25, 2022

Enchanted Airlie

  • Friday, November 25th - Thursday, December 22nd
Wilmington

Ring in the holiday season with this magical display of lights, greenery, and gorgeous local scenery with this month-long event that brings plenty of spirit to the season. The Enchanted Airlie celebration is an opportunity to discover how beautiful and glittering this beloved local landmark can be during the holidays, thanks to a dazzling array of lights, and plenty of activities that will leave young and old visitors alike grinning from ear to ear.

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

  • Friday, November 25th - Saturday, December 24th
more dates....
Kure Beach

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher turns into a winter wonderland at this annual event that is sure to be a delightful highlight of the holiday season for Cape Fear and Wilmington-area residents and visitors alike. During the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, the aquarium will be decked out with roughly 50 trees that are glittering with lights, adding a new and dazzling perspective to one of Fort Fisher’s most treasured attractions.

Week of December 26, 2022 - January 1, 2023

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

  • Monday, December 26th - Monday, January 2nd
Kure Beach

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher turns into a winter wonderland at this annual event that is sure to be a delightful highlight of the holiday season for Cape Fear and Wilmington-area residents and visitors alike. During the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, the aquarium will be decked out with roughly 50 trees that are glittering with lights, adding a new and dazzling perspective to one of Fort Fisher’s most treasured attractions.

Carolina Beach State Park Half Marathon & 5K

  • Saturday, December 31st 8:00 AM
Carolina Beach

Discover one of the prettiest regions of the coastal Cape Fear area with this annual event that always attracts runners, walkers and joggers from all across the region and well beyond. The Carolina Beach State Park Half Marathon & 5K is a fun and yet competitive race that features some of the best scenery on the beach, and which is open to visitors of all ages and abilities.

Island of Lights New Year's Eve Celebration

  • Saturday, December 31st
Carolina Beach

The aptly-named Pleasure Island is the place to be in the Cape Fear region to ring in the new year, thanks to a hopping beach boardwalk, music and dancing, plenty of refreshments, and a beautiful backdrop next to the Atlantic Ocean. The Island of Lights New Year's Eve Celebration lives up to its name with a traditional fireworks show and a grand beachside party that is sure to have everyone in the family ready to ring in the new year with style.

Week of December 26, 2022 - January 1, 2023

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

  • Monday, December 26th - Monday, January 2nd
Kure Beach

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher turns into a winter wonderland at this annual event that is sure to be a delightful highlight of the holiday season for Cape Fear and Wilmington-area residents and visitors alike. During the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, the aquarium will be decked out with roughly 50 trees that are glittering with lights, adding a new and dazzling perspective to one of Fort Fisher’s most treasured attractions.

Week of January 2, 2023 - January 8, 2023

Cape Fear Festival of Trees

  • Monday, December 26th - Monday, January 2nd
Kure Beach

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher turns into a winter wonderland at this annual event that is sure to be a delightful highlight of the holiday season for Cape Fear and Wilmington-area residents and visitors alike. During the Cape Fear Festival of Trees, the aquarium will be decked out with roughly 50 trees that are glittering with lights, adding a new and dazzling perspective to one of Fort Fisher’s most treasured attractions.

Week of January 23, 2023 - January 29, 2023

East Coast Shag Classic

  • Thursday, January 26th - Sunday, January 29th
Carolina Beach

Get ready for an event that will have you dancing the night away at this special affair that is celebrating its 11th year in 2023. The East Coast Shag Classic is a celebration of classic and North Carolina-based beach music and dancing with a host of events that range from raffles to social mixers to concerts to keep everyone entertained and on the dance floor.

Week of February 13, 2023 - February 19, 2023

Special Olympics Polar Plunge

  • Saturday, February 18th
Kure Beach

Athletes of all abilities will want to join in this event which provides a chilly way to celebrate the winter season while supporting a very worthy and local cause. The annual Polar Plunge, 5K Run-N-Plunge, or one-mile fun walk is a great way to experience the stunning Kure Beach shoreline in the off-season months while having a chilly but fun time embracing an inner superhero.

Week of February 20, 2023 - February 26, 2023

Anniversary of the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge

  • Saturday, February 25th - Sunday, February 26th
Currie

The small community of Currie, North Carolina, has a remarkable history that predates the formation of America, and new visitors can learn all about this storied legacy at this unique event that combines history with miles of fun. The Anniversary of the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge is an annual event that pays homage to the first Patriot victory prior the Declaration of Independence, the Halifax Accord and the war for Independence, and is an interactive tour of the battle, and how it shaped the formation of America.

Wilmington Marathon

  • Saturday, February 25th
Wrightsville Beach

For more than 10 years, runners from all across the country have stormed the beach for this annual event that presents a great opportunity to explore all the gorgeous waterfront scenery that the Cape Fear coastline has to offer. The Wilmington Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying event and an USATF-certified qualifier, and features a fun and unique course that starts at the beach and which uncovers all the cool landmarks and landscapes that are found in this coastal corner of North Carolina.

Week of February 27, 2023 - March 5, 2023

NC Rice Festival

  • Friday, March 3rd - Saturday, March 4th
Belville

Head to the small town of Belville for this enticing festival that will delight visitors of all ages. The NC Rice Festival is a fun and engaging waterfront celebration that features plenty of activities for everyone in the crew. From arts and crafts vendors, to live music, to a cooking contest where rice is the star ingredient, this day-long festival brings a lot of downhome community spirit to a pretty corner of coastal North Carolina.

Week of March 6, 2023 - March 12, 2023

St. Patrick's Day Festival

  • Saturday, March 11th 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Wilmington

Head to the scenic Riverfront Park in the heart of Wilmington to celebrate St. Patty’s Day with style by attending the annual St. Patrick's Day Festival. A local tradition for roughly 20 years, this annual event features a world of ways to show your Irish spirit thanks to a bustling combination of food, drinks, music, activities, and plenty of great times to go around.

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

  • Saturday, March 11th 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Wilmington

A world of downhome flavor is waiting at the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, which is an indulgent day-long event that has plenty of great cuisine, drinks, and fun to discover. Held at The Shell in the heart of downtown Wilmington, this cool annual festival will be an unforgettable event for BBQ fans, bourbon lovers, and anyone who wants to experience the decadent southern flavors of the Port City and beyond.

St. Patrick's Lo Tide Run

  • Saturday, March 11th - Sunday, March 12th
Carolina Beach

Celebrating its 19th year in 2023, the annual St. Patrick’s Low Tide Run is a great way for visitors and locals to explore the coastal Carolina Beach scene while ringing in the holiday with a little active fun on the sand. Officially known as the “Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Low Tide Run,” in honor of two amazing men whose paths crossed on Carolina Beach, this annual run features costumes, cool views, and beautiful terrain throughout, as well as plenty of ways to celebrate.

Week of March 27, 2023 - April 2, 2023

Annual Herb and Garden Fair

  • Saturday, April 1st - Sunday, April 2nd 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wilmington

For more than 25 years, Poplar Grove Plantation has been the site of one of the most anticipated events for gardeners in the spring season – the Annual Herb and Garden Fair. This yearly event features a wealth of plants, flowers, shrubs, trees, and green goodies of all varieties, and is a great first stop for local and visiting gardeners alike who are eager to ring in the spring season.

Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine

  • Saturday, April 1st
Kure Beach

Great tastes and one of the Cape Fear region’s premier attractions combine at this event that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with foodies and brewing fans of all tastes. The Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine event provides a selection of fine food, beers, and plenty of local flavors, thanks to an exquisite menu and accompanying tasting, as well as a beautiful setting at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher.

Week of April 3, 2023 - April 9, 2023

Southport Spring Festival

  • Friday, April 7th - Saturday, April 8th 10:00 AM
Southport

Celebrate the arrival of warm weather and sunny days along the waterfront with a stop at the always engaging Southport Spring Festival. This two-day festival that takes place in late March features a wealth of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages, and is sure to be a highlight of any getaway to the coastal Cape Fear region.

Week of April 10, 2023 - April 16, 2023

North Carolina Azalea Festival

  • Wednesday, April 12th - Sunday, April 16th
Wilmington

For more than 75 years, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has reigned supreme as one of the biggest and best festivals along the southeast coastline, and newcomers are welcome to join in the fun to experience full days of vendors, live music, parades, and other events that shine a spotlight on the lively city of Wilmington. Founded in 1948, the North Carolina Azalea Festival has emerged as one of the most anticipated events in the state, and the celebration attracts visitors from all over the world who want to discover how enchanting the Cape Fear region can be.

Pleasure Island Spring Surf Fishing Challenge

  • Saturday, April 15th - Sunday, April 16th
Carolina Beach

When the weather starts to heat up in the Cape Fear region, so does the fishing, and this annual fishing tournament is the perfect venue for newcomers and experienced anglers alike to join in the fun. With miles of shoreline to go around, and some big cash prizes on the line for lucky anglers, the Pleasure Island Spring Surf Fishing Challenge is a great way to experience the exceptional spring fishing scene of coastal North Carolina.

Week of April 17, 2023 - April 23, 2023

Wilmington VegFest

  • Sunday, April 23rd 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wilmington

Foodies and all visitors with exceptional taste will have a ball at the Wilmington VegFest, which is a celebration of all things fresh and delicious that correspond with the vegan lifestyle. Featuring cooking demonstrations, guest speakers, dozens of vendors, and plenty of food trucks, this event is brimming with flavorful ways to eat well, and eat wonderfully.

5K and One Mile Fun Run: Race for the Planet

  • Sunday, April 23rd 7:30 AM
Kure Beach

Discover a beautiful little corner of the globe while celebrating Earth Day by participating in this engaging run, jog or walk that explores one of the prettiest sections of Kure Beach. The 5K Race for the Planet begins and ends at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, and the no-pressure race is a fun way to uncover all the beauty of this southernmost strip of coastline in the Cape Fear region.

Week of April 24, 2023 - April 30, 2023

Run Sunset Beach

  • Saturday, April 29th
Sunset Beach

Discover some of the prettiest terrain that Sunset Beach has to offer with more than 600 runners from all across the region and the country with this annual running event that puts the small town of Sunset Beach on the map. The Run Sunset Beach event features a variety of races that range from a mile-long Fun Run to a half marathon, and which boasts some of the most scenic courses that coastal North Carolina has to offer.

Week of May 8, 2023 - May 14, 2023

WILMA Dash & Health Fest

  • Thursday, May 11th
Wilmington

Explore the beauty of riverfront Wilmington and literally miles beyond by participating in the annual WILMA Dash & Health Fest. This fun event that combines an all-female 5K run and walk with a health and fitness-oriented after party is a great way to ring in the summer season with a focus on friends, fitness, and overall health for visitors and locals alike.

Week of May 15, 2023 - May 21, 2023

North Carolina Black Film Festival

  • Thursday, May 18th - Sunday, May 21st
Wilmington

Wilmington is well-known for both its diverse cultural scene as well as its status as one of the biggest filming destinations west of Hollywood, and these two attributes are beautifully combined at the annual North Carolina Black Film Festival. This annual and invitational festival features a wealth of talented African American filmmakers of all genres who will share their works to the delight of audiences and movie buffs everywhere.

Pleasure Island Jeep Jam

  • Thursday, May 18th - Saturday, May 20th
Kure Beach

Head to the heart of Kure Beach with your favorite 4WD vehicle for this celebration that is designed with Jeep lovers in mind. The Pleasure Island Jeep Jam is a multiple-day festival for Jeep lovers of all varieties and ages, with an assortment of activities and exhibits, music, and food to keep the jam going all weekend long.

Wilmington Greek Festival

  • Friday, May 19th - Sunday, May 21st
Wilmington

A world of flavor and fun is waiting at the Wilmington Greek Festival, which is one of the most unique and anticipated global events of the year in the Cape Fear region. Featuring an abundance of authentic food, music, dancing and more, this weekend-long festival is a fun way to discover the Greek culture while enjoying an engaging time that will delight family members of all ages.

Carolina Beach Double Sprint Triathlon

  • Saturday, May 20th
Carolina Beach

Renowned as the first “Formula 1” or super-sprint style of triathlons in the nation, the Carolina Beach Double Sprint Triathlon is a USAT sanctioned event that will thrill participants and spectators alike. Featuring an ocean swim, bike ride, and a 1.5 mile run, this annual competition tests limits across the board, while allowing participants to discover the best of Carolina Beach and miles beyond.

Week of May 22, 2023 - May 28, 2023

Annual Orange Street ArtsFest

  • Saturday, May 27th - Sunday, May 28th
Wilmington

Celebrating its 27th year in 2023, the Annual Orange Street ArtsFest is a great way for newcomers to discover the myriad of talented artists who live, work and thrive in the coastal Cape Fear region. Featuring dozens of artists, live entertainment, food, and many more enticements, this annual festival is a must for art lovers everywhere.

Week of May 29, 2023 - June 4, 2023

Carolina Beach Music Festival

  • Saturday, June 3rd 10:00 AM
Carolina Beach

Going strong for more than 30 years, the Carolina Beach Music Festival ushers in the summer season with a full day and night of great music that is just steps away from the sand. Billed as the "the biggest and only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the North Carolina coast" by the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, this annual festival is a great way to experience the sights, sounds, and all-around fun of this popular beach town while enjoying some great music along the way.

Week of June 5, 2023 - June 11, 2023

Cape Fear Blues Festival

  • Friday, June 9th - Sunday, June 11th
Wilmington

The Cape Fear Blues Festival is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated music festivals of the summer season in North Carolina, and newcomers will find plenty of reasons to celebrate at this multiple-day event that has plenty of soul. Featuring local musicians as well as national headliners, the annual Cape Fear Blues Festival lights up the town with plenty of great music at multiple venues, and ample fun to go around for music fans everywhere.

Week of June 26, 2023 - July 2, 2023

North Carolina 4th of July Festival

  • Saturday, July 1st - Tuesday, July 4th
Southport

Revered as one of the oldest Independence Day celebrations in the state, the North Carolina 4th of July Festival is a big event that attracts visitors from all along the coastline and miles beyond to the charming town of Southport. Boasting a parade, a fair-style collection of vendors, a myriad of shows and activities, and a stunning display of fireworks over the water, this annual event lives up to its reputation as one of the most beloved 4th of July celebrations on the coast.

Week of July 3, 2023 - July 9, 2023

North Carolina 4th of July Festival

  • Saturday, July 1st - Tuesday, July 4th
Southport

Revered as one of the oldest Independence Day celebrations in the state, the North Carolina 4th of July Festival is a big event that attracts visitors from all along the coastline and miles beyond to the charming town of Southport. Boasting a parade, a fair-style collection of vendors, a myriad of shows and activities, and a stunning display of fireworks over the water, this annual event lives up to its reputation as one of the most beloved 4th of July celebrations on the coast.

Fourth of July Celebration

  • Tuesday, July 4th
Bald Head Island

The Fourth of July is easily one of the most festive days on Bald Head Island, and visitors can join in the fun with a wide array of activities that are found around town. The annual Bald Head Island Fourth of July Celebration is packed with tours, games, food, and fun – as well as a famed annual parade – and is a great way to truly enjoy everything this island community has to offer.

Week of September 4, 2023 - September 10, 2023

Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge

  • Friday, September 8th - Saturday, September 9th
Wilmington

Anglers can explore the exceptional fishing of the Carolina Beach inshore waters while hopefully cashing in on some attractive prizes at this annual tournament that reels in local and visiting anglers alike. The Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge is a fun and full-day fishing tournament that targets the waters of Carolina Beach Inlet and beyond to reel in some big rewards.

Museum of Coastal Carolina