This time of year, Emily Flores is extra busy forming and firing ceramics with richly colored florals. White coneflowers dance on a pink vase with blue polka dots; pink hydrangeas
This time of year, Emily Flores is extra busy forming and firing ceramics with richly colored florals. White coneflowers dance on a pink vase with blue polka dots; pink hydrangeas and delicate blue vincas add texture to an otherwise smooth, green mug. Daisies spring up around the 12 circles on a ceramic egg crate.
For the first time this November, Flores will join around 100 or so other artists at Winston-Salem’s 60th annual Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair, held the weekend before Thanksgiving. It’s a dream come true for Flores, who finds joy in the process of working with clay and wants to share that joy with others. “This fair is a collection of wonderful North Carolina makers and artists, and it has such prestige,” she says. “It’s huge for holiday shopping. People look forward to going every single year.”
Throughout the year, Winston-Salem locals and visitors mark their calendars for events — like this one — that usher in the seasons and mark the passage of time with fun experiences and happy memories. Join in the revelry with the following city-wide favorites.
Winston-Salem’s hip and historic downtown thrives in the present while celebrating the past. Discover centuries-old sites, sip a locally-crafted brew, and dine in a charming bistro. Stroll through gardens and admire dazzling art museums and amazing murals. A warm welcome awaits you.
Autumn leaves are to fall what twinkling lights are to winter. There’s no better place to experience the magic of a holiday light and musical display than Tanglewood’s Festival of Lights. As you cruise through the countryside of Tanglewood Park — former estate of Will and Kate Reynolds — you’ll pass illuminated displays featuring more than a million twinkling lights. Want to trade your car for a horse-drawn carriage ride? Call before opening night to make a reservation for a carriage or even hayride. Just outside the Tanglewood gift shop, S’moresville sells roasting kits with marshmallows and sticks — all the makings of a magical night.
During the holidays, Old Salem’s cobblestone streets and candlelit historic buildings feel like a life-size decorative Christmas village. Each Salem Saturday from November 25 to December 23 features numerous festivities for you to fully immerse yourself in the season’s spirit. On December 2, you can complete your shopping as you’re serenaded by the Salem Brass Band at the Salem Square Christmas Festival. If you’re looking for an outing for the whole family, plan to come December 9 or 23, when Santa invites children to exchange their wish list for a candy cane. Then stick around for a day of historical games, hands-on activities, and period demonstrations. Check their website for the full calendar of holiday events.
The castle-like Graylyn Estate, once the country estate of Bowman and Nathalie Gray and now a stately 85-room boutique hotel, is romantic and enchanting — exactly the type of place you’d expect visions of sugarplums to become reality. At the Graylyn Santa Experience, which sells out in advance each year, children can take their photos with Santa, and everyone can indulge in a delicious holiday meal.
When young leaves color the trees, Salem Lake is your destination for a breath of fresh, spring air. Minutes from downtown, the 365-acre lake is surrounded by a seven-mile trail filled with scenic views. For a different vantage point, rent a small boat or kayak at the Salem Lake Marina Center.
For six glorious weeks starting toward the end of March, the Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden offers blooms to behold. More than 18,000 tulips and daffodils in the Pattern Garden put on a spectacular display, and it’s all free to the public.
“Be prepared to take risks. Find something in a film’s description that looks interesting. See something with subtitles,” urge staff members, who put on the annual, 10-day RiverRun International Film Festival. Each spring, RiverRun showcases new narrative, documentary, student, and animated films from around the world in almost every genre you can imagine. Check out the list of films ahead of time (last year, 174 selections were chosen from more than 1,700 submitted films), and buy your tickets early for 2024’s event, which runs April 13-24 — many sell out in advance.
Lauded as the “biggest party on two wheels,” Gears and Guitars has now rounded its second decade of bike racing, live music, and lots of love from the community. For an entire weekend, the streets of downtown Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter fill with cyclists, fans cheering them on, and big-name bands that put on free concerts at Bailey Park. Mark your calendar for May 24-26, 2024.
Calling all tennis enthusiasts! The international Winston-Salem Open tournament offers the chance to watch the world’s top 80 players battle it out in our own backyard. Held on the courts at the Wake Forest University Tennis Complex, the Winston-Salem Open is the last ATP World Tour 250 event held prior to the US Open. 2024’s event is planned for August 17-24.
The first day of fall may officially be the autumnal equinox, but for college football fans, the season starts with the first game of the year. Actually, make that the first home game.
Between the Winston-Salem State University Rams and the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, Winston-Salem football fans have plenty of options for home games — and all the tailgating, fanaticism, and pageantry that comes with the territory.
The historic Bowman Gray Stadium hosts Winston-Salem State University games from early September through late October, and tickets can be purchased online. Meanwhile, Allegacy Federal Credit Union Stadium plays host to six Wake Forest home games this year. The season begins in late August and runs through November, and tickets can also be purchased online.
What started as a Salem wheat exhibition in 1882 is now our state’s second-largest agricultural fair. Join the 325,000 or so visitors who follow their noses each year in early fall to find fair classics like funnel cake served alongside delightful culinary newbies like freeze-dried gummy bears and Cajun alfredo-stuffed turkey legs. It’s the Carolina Classic Fair, and it just might be the best way to welcome autumn.
Any time of year, Winston-Salem’s tree-lined streets add to the city’s charm. But in the fall, a stretch of Reynolda Road between downtown and Wake Forest University, known as the “Reynolda Mile,” gives a boost of endorphins to rival your morning coffee. This can’t-miss drive, shaded by golden leaves and paved with dappled light, starts at Hanes Park and winds north past the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Graylyn Estate, and Reynolda Village, including Reynolda House Museum of American Art.
The annual Winston-Salem events offer a great excuse to visit, not that you need an excuse: There’s always plenty to experience and explore in this destination for arts and innovation. Check out a weekend itinerary, iconic local breweries, local attractions, and more.
Neighborhood: Winston-Salem’s West End
This neighborhood was designed in 1890 as the picturesque “streetcar suburb.” It feels much the same now as it did back then.
A DIY Craft Brewery Crawl in Winston-Salem
When Foothills Brewing popped the top on Winston-Salem’s craft brewing scene, they blazed a trail for others to follow – including you.
ARTivity on the Green in Winston-Salem
All lines lead to inspiration at a small downtown park surrounded by industry.