photograph by K.G. Lubbock/Sylvan Heights Bird Park

Feature Image: Earth Day Celebration • Scotland Neck • April 21

Explore Sylvan Heights Bird Park during this annual Earth Day celebration, which is part of the North Carolina Science Festival. Local museums, colleges, and environmental groups will have educational booths and hands-on science activities set up throughout the park. Learn about fossils, meet live animals, and make crafts — all while getting up close and personal with more than 2,000 birds.

Learn more: (252) 826-3186 or


Easter Sunrise Service • Chimney Rock • April 1
Rise with the sun to celebrate Easter morning through music and Scripture during this 63rd annual nondenominational service on the shore of Lake Lure.

Learn more: (828) 625-9611 or

Derrick Chalfant • Morganton • April 2-May 25
See the bold, colorful paintings of Hickory artist Derrick Chalfant on two floors of Morganton City Hall during this two-month exhibition.

Learn more: (828) 438-5362

An Evening with Tony Kushner • Cullowhee • April 5
Enjoy an evening spent listening to Western Carolina University associate professor Beth Huber interview Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner at the Bardo Arts Center.

Learn more: (828) 227-2479 or

Surry Old-Time Fiddlers Convention • Dobson • April 6-7 
Spend the weekend celebrating Surry County’s musical heritage at Dobson Community College’s lively two-day festival filled with square dancing, folk music, and contests for musicians.

Learn more: (336) 957-3545 or

Blowing Rock Trout Derby • Blowing Rock • April 7
If you catch a trout in a Watauga County body of water during this event and think its size just might be worthy of a prize, bring it to the Trout Derby in Blowing Rock and have the professionals decide. There’s no cost to participate.

Learn more: (828) 295-5222 or

Arts for Life Pediatric Patients’ Exhibition + Benefit • Asheville • April 7-23
The Grovewood Gallery will host “Spring Awakening,” an art exhibition benefiting the nonprofit Arts for Life, which engages pediatric patients and their families in arts education and opportunities. Live music and kids’ crafts will be part of the opening reception sponsored by The Hop Ice Cream Café.

Learn more: (828) 253-7651 or

Black Violin • Boone • April 20
Violinists Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus use their unique blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, and pop music to create a high-energy sound. Backed onstage by drummer Nat Stokes and DJ SPS, Black Violin will put on a powerful show at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn more: (828) 262-4046 or

Cider, Wine, and Dine Weekend • Hendersonville • April 20-22
Take a winery tour around Henderson County and sample local wines and artisan hard ciders from seven participating wineries. Tastings, hikes, live music, and helicopter tours (available by reservation) ensure that the weekend will be filled with plenty to do, see, and taste.

Learn more: (828) 693-9708 or

MerleFest • Wilkesboro • April 26-29
Featuring a lineup of dozens of folk, bluegrass, and indie artists — including Rhiannon Giddens, Steep Canyon Rangers, Mandolin Orange, and many more — this four-day music festival will be a jam session to remember. In addition to performances, there are activities to keep the whole family happy and busy, including backstage tours, nature walks, and a jam camp.

Learn more: (800) 343-7857 or

Sense and Sensibility • Waynesville • April 27-May 13 
Let yourself be whisked away to the world of Jane Austen during this performance at the Hart Theatre. Follow the trials and adventures of the Dashwood sisters in this new adaptation of the beloved classic novel.

Learn more: (828) 456-6322

Pioneer Day • Old Fort • April 28
Hosted by the Mountain Gateway Museum, Pioneer Day welcomes visitors to celebrate and participate in the area’s mountain heritage. The event features vendors, regional music in an amphitheater, and craft demonstrations where you can turn a clay pot or learn the basics of blacksmithing.

Learn more: (828) 668-9259 or

Greening Up the Mountains • Sylva • April 28
This 21st annual spring festival is a celebration of the season. Take part in a 5K run, let younger members of the family show off their skills in the children’s talent show, and enjoy performances by bluegrass and country artists on multiple stages.

Learn more: (828) 554-1035 or

From Dusk to Dawn Photo Workshop • Chimney Rock • April 28-29
Taught by professional photographer Chuck Hill, this two-day workshop will help students appreciate and capture the natural beauty of Chimney Rock from sunrise to sunset, focusing on scenic photography and panoramas.

Learn more: (828) 625-9611 or


Leaving Eden • Chapel Hill • April 4-22
Grab a seat at the UNC Center for Dramatic Arts to see this original production, which tells the story of a small mill town in North Carolina as it goes through tough times and, ultimately, reaches the light at the end of the tunnel.

Learn more: (919) 962-7529 or

Antigone • Fayetteville • April 6-22
Journey back to the ancient days of the Greek playwright Sophocles for a tragic tale involving a brave heroine, a dysfunctional royal family, and pride that comes at a very high cost.

Learn more: (910) 678-7186 or

Firefest • Star • April 6-7
Artists use fire to forge blown glass, clay pottery, and metal sculptures during live demonstrations at this annual event. Spend your Saturday watching the professionals, munching on food truck offerings, and visiting the on-site beer garden.

Learn more: (910) 428-9001 or

The Marquis Slam • Fayetteville • April 7
Words have power: This competition, which features performers from across the country, will combine storytelling, emotion, and entertainment. Admission is $10, and dinner is available for purchase.

Learn more: (910) 323-1776 or

Carrboro Open Streets • Carrboro • April 8
Carrboro encourages community by closing Weaver Street to traffic and inviting people to reclaim the public space. Take part in activities such as rock climbing, yoga, cycling, and more.

Learn more: (919) 918-7392 or 

Debbie Moose’s Carolina Catch Cookbook Reading • Raleigh • April 12
Baked or fried, blackened or grilled: However you like your fish, join esteemed food writer and Raleigh native Debbie Moose as she unveils her new cookbook, Carolina Catch, at Quail Ridge Books.

Learn more: (919) 828-1588 or

Spring Herb and Plant Festival • Concord • April 14
Browse a selection of potted succulents, herbal teas, homemade soaps, and wildflower seeds at the Cabarrus County Arena during this annual event hosted by the county’s assembly of Master Gardener volunteers.

Learn more: (704) 920-3310 or

Victorian Lawn Party • Matthews • April 14
Play early 20th-century games, watch woodworking, and dance around the maypole. Kids can make toys and stationery; adults can tour the historic Reid House and see a variety of antique cars.

Learn more: (704) 708-4996 or

Beach Fest • Selma • April 14 
Jim Quick & Coastline, The Embers, Band of Oz, and Chairmen of the Board will perform at this fifth annual beach music celebration. Bring your dancing shoes, then enjoy offerings from food trucks when it’s time to rest your feet.

Learn more: (919) 750-5464 or

Weymouth Center Plant and White Elephant Sale • Southern Pines • April 14
Want to exchange that unused rake in your garage for blooming perennial flowers in your empty window boxes? Head over to the colorful Weymouth Center gardens to take part in the annual spring sale.

Learn more: (910) 692-6261 or

The Sound of Music • Durham • April 20-22
Start humming “My Favorite Things” and picturing yourself twirling on the Austrian hilltops, because this classic production is coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center.

Learn more: (919) 688-3722 or

Clenny Creek Day • Carthage • April 21
Enjoy live music, historical reenactors, and more at this 13th annual fundraiser hosted by the Moore County Historical Association, which helps maintain the historic Bryant House and McLendon Cabin.

Learn more: (910) 692-2051 or

Appalachian Spring Concert • Fayetteville • April 21

Hear wind, percussion, and string instruments at this concert by the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra at Seabrook Auditorium. Look forward to signature pieces, including Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring.

Learn more: (910) 433-4690 or

St. Francis 60th Anniversary Book Sale • Greensboro • April 26-28
Browse more than 50,000 books at this annual fund-raising sale at St. Francis Episcopal Church. Find everything from fiction to cookbooks to coffee-table hardbacks.

Learn more: (336) 288-4721 or

Songbird Celebration • Raleigh • April 28
Celebrate the return of migratory songbirds during this annual festival at Blue Jay Point Community Park. Enjoy bird-related games, crafts, story time, bird hikes for adults and kids, learning stations, and more.

Learn more: (919) 870-4330 or

Spring Daze • Cary • April 28
This annual festival in Bond Park celebrates the arts and crafts community. It will feature more than 170 artists, entertainment on four stages, and tasty food.

Learn more: (919) 319-4560 or

Piedmont Farm Tour • Orange, Chatham, Alamance, and Person Counties • April 28-29
See how crops are grown, how barn animals are raised, how fresh ingredients are made into food and beer, and much more when the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Weaver Street Market host this 23rd annual self-guided tour of scenic and sustainable farms in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, and Person Counties.

Learn more: (919) 542-2402 or


First Friday ArtWalk • Elizabeth City • April 6
Enjoy artwork, artist demonstrations, and live music at various downtown locations during this monthly event.

Learn more: (252) 338-4104 or

Velvet Caravan Concert • Elizabeth City • April 7
Enjoy a high-energy performance at Arts of the Albemarle featuring this acoustic quintet. Group members play guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion, and keyboard — plus an accordion.

Learn more: (252) 338-6455 or

Herb and Garden Fair • Wilmington • April 7-8
During this 26th annual event, the grounds of Poplar Grove Plantation will be filled with locally grown plants, garden art, herbal and all-natural products, artisan crafts, and local foods. The stables will also be open for self-guided tours, and kids can enjoy animal meet-and-greets.

Learn more: (910) 686-9518 or

Calidore String Quartet • Wilmington • April 8
One of the most celebrated young international quartets today, this group has been recognized by BBC Radio 3 as “New Generation Artists.” They will perform at UNC-Wilmington’s Beckwith Recital Hall.

Learn more: (910) 962-3500 or

Market Street Brass • Washington • April 15
This chamber music group was founded in 1974 as the resident brass quintet at UNC Greensboro. Today, several of the musicians are professors at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, but the group remains affiliated with UNCG. They’ll perform at the Turnage Theater.

Learn more: (252) 946-6738 or

Beauty and the Beast • Elizabeth City • April 19-22, 26-29
See the tale as old as time at College of the Albemarle’s Performing Arts Center.

Learn more: (252) 335-9050 or

Easels in the Garden • Edenton • April 20-21
Enjoy art, music, and a garden party, all to benefit the 1758 Cupola House, a National Historic Landmark. Take tours of beautiful gardens filled with spring blooms while artists interpret the surroundings into works of art.

Learn more: (336) 406-1896 or

Parker String Quartet • Oriental • April 20 
Enjoy a concert at the Old Theater featuring this Grammy Award-winning classical group, which has been described as “something extraordinary” by The New York Times.

Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or

Currituck Master Gardeners’ Home, Flower, and Garden Show • Barco • April 20
This annual event, held at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Currituck County Center, will feature plants, vendors, educational booths, gardening demonstrations, plant sales, baked goods, and a kids’ area.

Learn more:

Pirate Palooza • Elizabeth City • April 21
Enjoy reenactments and performances by pirate troupe Motley Tones when pirates invade the city during this annual festival on Mariners’ Wharf. There will even be a special appearance by Blackbeard.

Learn more: (252) 335-5330 or

Oak Island Lighthouse Run/Walk • Oak Island • April 21
Admire the North Carolina coast during a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or one-mile race. The course features salt marshes, beautiful beaches, footbridges, and the Oak Island Lighthouse.

Learn more: (910) 457-6964 or

Beaufort Wine and Food Festival • Beaufort • April 25-29
Take part in five days of tastings, seminars, dinners, live and silent auctions, and more at this 14th annual festival on the Crystal Coast.

Learn more: (252) 515-0708 or

The Wizard of Oz • Goldsboro • April 27-29 
Head somewhere over the rainbow at the Paramount Theatre, where the classic movie will be brought to the stage with familiar characters, colorful costumes, and classic songs.

Learn more: (919) 583-8432 or

3 Redneck Tenors • Lumberton • April 27
Enjoy a performance by this musical comedy trio, made up of classically trained singers, at the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater. Think Duck Dynasty goes to Carnegie Hall.

Learn more: (910) 738-4339 or

TinyHouseNC Street Festival • Pink Hill • April 27-29
At this second annual event, TinyHouseNC welcomes tiny-house enthusiasts to see a variety of tiny homes and enjoy food and vendors on South Central Avenue downtown.

Learn more: (757) 359-9095 or

Albemarle Master Gardeners’ Spring Garden Show • Hertford • April 28
This garden show, “Through a Garden Gate,” will feature plant sales, locally made crafts, a kids’ corner, an “Ask a Master Gardener” booth, baked goods, educational speakers, and more. Lunch will be available for purchase.

Learn more: (252) 482-6585 or

Ocracoke Island Runfest • Ocracoke • April 28-29
Choose from a 5K or 10K on the 28th, or a half marathon on the 29th, and run through history: You’ll pass the Ocracoke Lighthouse, the British cemetery, and the harbor during this annual race. Enjoy post-run parties after both events; beverages will be provided by 1718 Brewery.

Learn more: (252) 207-1305 or

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.