carolina calendar april 2016
photograph by Christian Science Monitor / Getty Images


Carolina Faces: The Photography of Don Sturkey • Shelby • April 1-May 15
This exhibit features the emotion-packed work of a photographer who captured the societal changes that occurred in North and South Carolina from the 1950s through the 1980s. His nearly 40-year career began at The Charlotte Observer in 1955; his photos have also appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, LIFE, Ebony, and TIME.

Learn more: (704) 487-6233 or

Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Show • Hickory • April 1-3
Vendors with gems, jewelry, fossils, meteorites, and more show North Carolina’s mineral wealth. This year’s featured exhibit and guest lecturer explores the history and modern significance of North Carolina emeralds.

Learn more: (828) 320-4028 or

Madison County Potters Market • Marshall • April 2
Members of The Potters of Madison County and guest artists display and sell practical and museum-worthy ceramics.

Learn more: (828) 335-6465 or

Crouse House Pickers • Sparta • April 4, 11, 18, 25
Every Monday evening, the Crouse House Pickers gather at Crouse Park for a free bluegrass jam session, where you can learn about Alleghany County and Sparta’s mountain history and heritage.

Learn more: (800) 372-5473 or

A Wild Food Foraging Adventure • Asheville • April 6
Every Wednesday and Saturday through October, learn to safely gather edible wild plants and mushrooms. After the forage, participants will cook their harvest or take it to one of four award-winning Asheville restaurants, where the chef will cook a free appetizer.

Learn more: (828) 209-8599 or

Harvey • Hudson • April 7-9, 14-16
In this Dinner Theatre Production, the classic, Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Harvey tells the story of Elwood P. Dowd, whose best friend is an invisible 6-foot, 3½-inch tall, white Pooka rabbit.

Learn more: (828) 726-8871 or

Tweetsie Railroad • Blowing Rock • April 8
The popular theme park opens for the season with rides, trains, live shows, gold-panning, food, and shopping.

Learn more: (800) 526-5740 or

High School Shakespeare Monologue Competition • Lenoir • April 9
High school students compete for cash prizes by performing selections from Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well, and Timon of Athens, among others.

Learn more: (828) 754-2486 or

Pisgah Stage Race • Brevard • April 11-16
This endurance event in the Pisgah National Forest includes some of the East’s most rugged mountain biking trails. The entire route is 140 miles with an elevation gain of 20,000 feet.

Learn more: (828) 606-5107 or

Kings Mountain Firehouse BBQ Cook-off • Kings Mountain • April 15-16
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the competition, which features categories for beef brisket, pork ribs, poultry, and pork shoulder or pork butt.

Learn more: (704) 734-0555 or

Spring Wildflower Walk • Chimney Rock • April 16
Grab your camera and field guide for this moderate hike with a park naturalist to spot flowers such as trillium, mountain laurel, flame azaleas, and more. Dress appropriately for the weather, and bring water.

Learn more: (800) 277-9611 or

Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers’ Festival • Asheville • April 16
In its 12th year, the Asheville Artisan Bread Bakers’ Festival celebrates local farmers, millers, and bakers, including Richard Miscovich, Peter Reinhart, and Harry Peemoeller, who are among the nation’s top bakers. Bread enthusiasts and professional bakers can improve their skills, share ideas, and enjoy artisan bread.

Learn more: (828) 683-2902 or

Gamelan Concert • Cullowhee • April 21
Western Carolina University’s Low Tech Ensemble presents a concert of Javanese gamelan music. Most of the instruments are different varieties of iron gongs, and are used to accompany theater, dance, and puppet shows.

Learn more: (828) 227-7242 or

Grandfather Mountain 100-Mile Challenge • Linville • April 22
Celebrate Earth Day with one of the park’s 100-Mile Challenge events. Take this four-mile hike, accompanied by a park ranger, along the Nuwati Trail to the Cragway Trail, up to Flat Rock View, and returning on the Daniel Boone Scout Trail. The hike will be slow but moderately strenuous.

Learn more: (828) 963-9522 or

CONTRA-TIEMPO Urban Latin Dance Theater • Boone • April 22
This Los Angeles-based dance company fuses salsa, Afro-Cuban, and contemporary urban dance theater to create a physically intense performance, with voices not traditionally heard on the concert stage.

Learn more: (800) 841-2787 or

USDAA Dog Agility Trial • Tryon • April 22-24
Dogs run, jump, and hurtle through obstacle courses as part of the Blue Ridge Agility Club’s tournament.

Learn more: (828) 863-4785 or

Emmylou Harris • Franklin • April 23
A 13-time Grammy winner and Billboard Century Award recipient, Emmylou Harris performs selections from her vast songbook, including hits “If I Could Only Win Your Love,” “Sweet Dream,” and “To Know Him Is to Love Him.”

Learn more: (866) 273-4615 or

RockyFest • Hiddenite • April 23
The daylong event begins with 5K, 10K, and 20K trail races, and includes free rock climbing and rappelling, plus musical entertainment.

Learn more: (828) 632-1093 or

Timmy Belcher Memorial Rainbow Kidz Ride & Run • Statesville • April 23
Walk or run a 5K, 10K, or one-miler, or bike any of the three long courses designed for cyclists. Proceeds benefit Rainbow Kidz, a pediatric program of Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County.

Learn more: (704) 873-4719 or

MerleFest • Wilkesboro • April 28-May 1
Traditional and modern roots and folk music are featured at this annual festival. This year’s lineup features legendary artists such as John Prine, Dave Rawlings Machine, Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush, Steep Canyon Rangers, and Old Crow Medicine Show.

Learn more: (800) 343-7857 or

Million Dollar Quartet • Flat Rock • April 28-May 21
Inspired by a true story, Million Dollar Quartet dramatizes the impromptu jam session featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash, and includes hit songs “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog,” and more.

Learn more: (828) 693-0731 or

Budbreak Wine and Craft Beer Festival • Mount Airy • April 30
The annual festival offers tastings and sales from NC wineries and craft breweries, plus food vendors, local artists, and music.

Learn more: (336) 719-2345 or


“Grinding the Seed Corn of the Nation”: The NC Junior Reserves in the Civil War • Burlington • April 2-3
Commemorate the North Carolina Junior Reserves and their encampment at the Historic Alamance Battleground in the spring of 1865. The two-day exhibit includes discussions of the life of Junior Reserves during the Civil War.

Learn more: (336) 227-4785 or

ArtsRevolution • Greensboro • April 2
A citywide celebration of the Triad’s arts community, ArtsRevolution pairs educational workshops with interactive art experiences and performances.

Learn more: (336) 256-8649 or

Full Frame Documentary Festival • Durham • April 7-10
Among the premier documentary festivals in the country, this annual international event welcomes filmmakers and movie lovers for a four-day array of more than 100 films, as well as panel discussions.

Learn more: (919) 687-4100 or

RiverRun International Film Festival • Winston-Salem • April 7-17
RiverRun screens films from all genres, and presents a broad range of special events, including high-profile regional premieres, celebrity tributes, family matinees, classic retrospectives, and panel discussions.

Learn more: (336) 724-1502 or

Last Remaining Cathedral • Greensboro • April 8-June 12
The exhibit Last Remaining Cathedral: Illuminations of Nature features works of artists Robert Johnson and Daniel Essig, which examine humans’ essential relationship to their surrounding natural world through paintings, works on paper, and sculpture.

Learn more: (336) 333-7460 or

Elephant Sighs • Smithfield • April 8-10, 15-16
A theatrical comedy by Ed Simpson follows an uptight lawyer and newcomer in town as he finds himself immersed in an unusual group of locals.

Learn more: (919) 934-1873 or

Festival of Legends • Apex • April 9-10
The theme of this family-friendly event is mythology, folklore, fairy tales, and fantasy. Enjoy musicians, magicians, jugglers, acrobats, comedians, and artists selling their wares.

Learn more:

Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon • Raleigh • April 9-10
The city’s marathon, half marathon, and a 5K, start downtown, with the longer races traveling through Meredith College, the NC State Centennial Campus, and several historic neighborhoods. Enjoy a post-race festival.

Learn more: (800) 311-1255 or

Southern Pines Garden Club 68th Home & Garden Tour • Southern Pines • April 13
The tour travels through the magnificent homes and gardens of green-thumbed club members and provides details about the history and practice of horticulture.

Learn more: (910) 295-4617 or

Carolina Mudcats Opening Day • Zebulon • April 14-20
The Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves hosts its home opener against Myrtle Beach at Five County Stadium.

Learn more: (919) 269-2287 or

The Wizard of Oz • Cary • April 15-17 & 22-24
Presented in partnership with the Cary Players Community Theatre, this production of The Wizard of Oz puts the music and lyrics of Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg to upbeat dance numbers and staging.

Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or

Broadway Our Way Festival • Broadway • April 16
A day of fun, food, and live entertainment in downtown Broadway. Craft vendors, cars, trucks, tractors, and motorcycles on display offer relaxation before the cornhole tournament, barbecue cook-off, and street dance.

Learn more: (919) 258-9922 or

Earth Day Fashion Show • Greensboro • April 21
Student designers at North Carolina A&T State University and Bennett College celebrate Earth Day with a fashion show at NC A&T, featuring clothing made from newspaper, cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam, aluminum, grass, and leaves.

Learn more:

Körner’s Folly Family Revue Puppet Show • Kernersville • April 23
Appropriate for children of all ages, Körner’s Folly hosts a puppet show every fourth Saturday of each month, followed by a make- and-take sock puppet craft.

Learn more: (336) 996-7922 or

Piedmont Farm Tour • Triad/Triangle • April 23-24
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Piedmont Farm Tour covering Alamance, Chatham, Orange, and Person counties. Sample first-of-the-season strawberries and eggs, and learn how to grow organic vegetables. Have fun on the farm, enjoy picnics along the route, and meet the farmers and growers.

Learn more: (919) 542-2402 or

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend • Charlotte • April 27-30
Enjoy the creations of local chefs and winemakers at tastings, dinners, and a gala. Proceeds go to children’s charities in Charlotte.

Learn more: (704) 338-9463 or

ArtQuilts Voices • Cary • April 27-July 2
Join the members of Professional Art Quilters Alliance-South as they express themselves through quilt-making. An opening reception on April 29 gives the public an opportunity to meet and interact with the artists.

Learn more: (919) 460-4963 or

The Real Americans • Chapel Hill • April 27-May 1
This play by Dan Hoyle tells a witty, poignant story of the divide between the big-city and small-town United States. With nothing but a van and a tape recorder, Hoyle traveled the country to capture the best of down-home hospitality. Presented by PlayMakers Repertory Company.

Learn more: (919) 962-7529 or

Smoke on the Mountain: Homecoming • Sanford • April 28-May 15
In this show, it’s October 1945, and the gospel-singing Sanders Family is together again at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, where the Rev. Mervin Oglethorpe is giving his last service. He’s been called to preach in Texas, with his wife, June, who is eight months pregnant. Join the Sanders Family as they send off the Oglethorpes with hilarious and touching stories and bluegrass and gospel favorites.

Learn more: (919) 774-4155 or

Spring Daze • Thomasville • April 30
This annual event combines live music and entertainment with spring flowers, garden décor, outdoor furniture, and other related activities.

Learn more: (336) 886-5189,

Shades of Roy by Vili V • Mocksville • April 30
Hear Roy Orbison’s music re-created by recording artist Vili V, whose voice matches Orbison’s near-four-octave range. From the famous growl to the crystal-clear falsetto, all songs are performed in the same keys and arrangements as Orbison sang them.

Learn more: (336) 751-3112,


Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience • Lumberton • April 2
No bad British accents here — at this live request show, band members can play any of the 200-plus songs from the Beatles’s anthology. Audience members fill out song request cards before the show, and the band pulls them out of the hat.

Learn more: (910) 738-4339 or

Azalea Garden Tour • Wilmington • April 8-10
The 63rd Azalea Garden Tour, the longest-running event of its type in the South, celebrates one of North Carolina’s favorite plants. From April 8-10, stroll through 12 public and private gardens — and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.

Learn more: (910) 742-0905, or

Tom Sawyer • Elizabeth City • April 7-10
Set in Hannibal, Missouri, along the Mississippi River, Tom Sawyer tells the coming-of-age story of the community’s most mischievous boy. This American classic by Mark Twain runs for four nights at the Performing Arts Center at the College of the Albemarle.

Learn more: (252) 335-9050 or

Balsam Range on Stage at Carteret Community Theatre • Morehead City • April 8
Award-winning bluegrass band Balsam Range will perform at this fund-raising event for the Rotary Club of Morehead City. The International Bluegrass Music Association has named this five-member group from Canton the 2014 and 2015 Vocal Group of the Year.

Learn more: (252) 497-8919 or

Bill Leslie & Lorica • Rocky Mount • April 8
Perhaps best known as the Emmy Award-winning morning and noon anchor on WRAL-TV in Raleigh, Bill Leslie has also earned numerous accolades for another talent: performing Celtic music. He will sing songs from his eight albums and perform with band Lorica, which includes a violinist, a flutist, a pianist, and a percussionist.

Learn more: (252) 985-5197 or

Spring Historic Homes & Gardens Tour • New Bern • April 8-9
Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most beautiful and interesting gardens and homes in New Bern’s historic districts. Attendees will tour homes and learn about their architecture, furnishings, and more. Many downtown churches also will be open for tours.

Learn more: (252) 638-8558 or

Oriental In-Water Boat Show & Nautical Flea Market • Oriental • April 8-10
One of the largest and most successful in-water shows between Annapolis, Maryland, and Savannah, Georgia, this annual boat show hosts vendors of nautical goods and services, as well as in-sea boat trials. Don’t miss the wooden boat exhibition for newly built and restored wooden boats, which includes classic sailboats, rowboats, canoes, and more.

Learn more: (252) 249-0228 or

Eyes on Main Street Wilson Outdoor Photo Festival • Wilson • April 9-July 10
Head to downtown Wilson for the opening weekend of this internationally recognized photo festival, which earned the 2015 Carraway Award from Preservation North Carolina. Nash Street will be transformed into a six-block gallery of large-scale photos of other Main Streets around the world — 100 photographs on 100 windows, displayed for 100 days.

Learn more: (708) 271-3042 or

Susan Werner • Oriental • April 14-15
Singer-songwriter, guitarist, and pianist Susan Werner will show off her versatile musical skills in folk, jazz, and Broadway tunes. The two concerts are presented by the Pamlico Musical Society.

Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or

Steel Magnolias • Lumberton • April 15-17
Originally written by Robert Harling, this play is known best for its famed movie adaptation. The classic story, brought back to the stage by the Carolina Civic Center, explores the bond between a group of Southern women in Louisiana who are “as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel.”

Learn more: (910) 738-4339 or

Easels in the Gardens • Edenton • April 15-16
Enjoy a weekend of art, music, workshops, and a garden party to benefit the 1758 Cupola House, a National Historic Landmark. Tour fine gardens lush with beautiful spring blooms while noteworthy artists paint interpretations of these horticultural gems en plein air.

Learn more: (252) 339-1321 or

Blues Brothers Soul Tour • Rocky Mount • April 16
Performing jazz, funk, reggae, swing, and more, the Blues Brothers Soul Band is part tribute act, part good ol’ fashioned rock group. Don’t forget your sunglasses and porkpie hats.

Learn more: (252) 985-5197 or

Eliza Gilkyson in Concert • Bolivia • April 17
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Eliza Gilkyson mixes musical performance with storytelling. Her roots and Americana songs have appeared in films and PBS specials, and have been covered by Joan Baez.

Learn more: (910) 754-2098 or

Historic Landmark Designation Ceremony & Open House Tour • Kill Devil Hills • April 22
Head to town hall for a reception celebrating the landmark status of two newly designated historic homes. Grab a map and take a self-guided tour of the houses, as well as a sampling of other historic homes.

Learn more: (252) 449-5318 or

Flytrap Frolic • Wilmington • April 23
Take the kids to this educational, family-friendly event, which celebrates the fascinating carnivorous plants that lure insects into their traps (and away from people). The fun includes crafts, tours, face painting, and more.

Learn more: (910) 790-4524 or

Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Concert: Ives 2 • Wilmington • April 23
The last concert of the symphony season includes Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances From West Side Story, composed originally for the American musical, and Charles Ives’s Symphony No. 2, an early work that borrows from popular American tunes, such as “America the Beautiful.”

Learn more: (910) 962-3500 or

Strawberry and Wine Festival • Ocean Isle Beach • April 24
If you appreciate a good glass of wine, fresh strawberries, and live music, this festival is for you. Held outside at Silver Coast Winery, the event features a band, dancing, barbecue, wine tastings, shopping, and more.

Learn more: (910) 579-9021 or

Wine and Food Festival • Beaufort • April 27-May 1
Get in touch with your inner oenophile with wine dinners, seminars, and an auction.

Learn more: (252) 515-0708 or

New York Theatre Ballet: Legends and Visionaries • Tarboro • April 28
For this world-premiere performance at Keihin Auditorium, the company’s principal dancer, Steven Melendez, has created an original ballet based on a painting by former Tarboro resident and artist Hobson Pittman: Miles Brewton House, Charleston.

Learn more: (252) 823-5166, ext. 187 or

Pirate Fest • Swansboro • April 30
Wear your best pirate smile for this day-long event that includes a pirate encampment, a black powder demo, sword fighting, mermaids, costume contests, food, live music, and storytelling. Take to the high seas and buy a ticket for ferry rides to Bear Island.

Learn more: (910) 347-5332 or

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