photograph by Emily Chaplin and Chris Council

Feature Image: National Lighthouse Day • Edenton • August 7

North Carolina has plenty of lighthouses that are worthy of celebrating, but Edenton’s Roanoke River Lighthouse stands apart from the rest. Built in 1886, the historic lighthouse looks like a charming coastal home, but the beacon once helped guide ships to safety across Albemarle Sound. Now, it stands proudly in the Edenton harbor on the Chowan River. On National Lighthouse Day, explore the lighthouse for free from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and revel in our nautical history.

Learn more: (252) 482-2637 or


Animal Enrichment Day • Linville • August 1 

Watch keepers lead park animals in enrichment demonstrations, activities intended to stimulate the animals physically and intellectually. Family-oriented games and crafts will also be available at this Grandfather Mountain event.

Learn more: (800) 468-7325 or

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show • Blowing Rock • August 1-5

Competitors of all ages will complete in classic events at Broyhill Equestrian Preserve, which has hosted this charity event since 1923. The mission behind this event is to support education and local charities while preserving the traditions of horse sports in Blowing Rock.

Learn more: (828) 295-4700 or

North Carolina Mineral and Gem Festival • Spruce Pine • August 2-5 

Jewelry and mineral dealers from across the country will gather to display their merchandise at this four-day festival. Gemstones, crystals, fossils, and other treasures will be available for purchase.

Learn more: (828) 765-9033 or

Lake Junaluska Singers in Concert • Lake Junaluska • August 3 

This 16-voice, award-winning ensemble will blow you away with their performance of a diverse selection of classical, gospel, folk, and musical theater pieces at Stuart Auditorium.

Learn more: (800) 222-4930 or

Appalachian Antiques Show • Boone • August 3-5 

Shop unique finds from the best antique dealers and interior designers at this free three-day show.

Learn more: (800) 577-9423 or

Blowing Rock Art & Antiques Show • Blowing Rock • August 3-5 

Get ready for a three-day treasure hunt: The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum will be filled with furnishings, porcelain, jewelry, silver, and art from antiques dealers along the East Coast.

Learn more: (828) 295-9099 or

Woody’s Original Mountain Music • Marion • August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 

Enjoy the melodies of the North Carolina mountains at this weekly Friday event off of U.S. Highway 70. Bluegrass and gospel bands will share their tunes from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Learn more: (828) 290-2377 or

Concerts on the Creek • Sylva • August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 

Bring a chair, a blanket, and some friends to Bridge Park Pavilion for free Friday concerts. Folk, rock ’n’ roll, and R&B bands are scheduled for the final stretch of summer.

Learn more: (828) 586-2155 or

Cycle North Carolina Mountain Ride • Tryon • August 4-5

Explore the foothills on this two-day bike ride. Distances range from 12 to 70 miles, and there are road and mountain routes for every level of biking experience.

Learn more: (919) 361-1133 or

Printmaking with Matt Strawn • Morganton • August 6-September 21

Printmaking artist Matthew Strawn will show his etchings, woodcut prints, and watercolors at Morganton City Hall, located in the renovated National Register Garrou-Morganton Full-Fashion Hosiery Mill.

Learn more: (828) 438-5362 or

Snoopy: The Musical • Brevard • August 16-19, 23-26

Join Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they take the stage in this musical looking back on some of the most memorable Peanuts moments.

Learn more: (828) 884-2587 or

Hot Nights Cool Rides Car Show • Forest City • August 17-18

More than 400 cars, trucks, and motorcycles will line Main Street on Saturday, accompanied by live music and local food vendors. Plus, don’t miss the chance to see the vehicles in action — Friday will feature a cruise-in from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Learn more: (828) 247-4417 or

The Corey Anne Celebration of Women in Arts Symposium • West Jefferson • August 17-18

An arts workshop and a free concert will kick off this event, hosted by the Florence Thomas Art School, which features artist talks and keynote speaker Gayle Winston.

Learn more: (336) 846-3827 or

Franklin Area Folk Festival • Franklin • August 18

This festival at the Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center features everything Appalachia, including bluegrass music, pottery, hands-on crafts, Civil War reenactors, and Cherokee history.

Learn more: (828) 524-6564 or

Highlands Village Square Art & Craft Show • Highlands • August 25-26

Browse art and other goods from regional artisans at this two-day show. Folk art, metalwork, carved wood, weaving, and even honey will be on display.

Learn more: (828) 787-2021 or

Farm to Fork Dinner • Burnsville • August 26

Indulge in a multicourse alfresco meal prepared with delicious local ingredients by Biltmore chefs. The event is hosted by TRACTOR, an agricultural nonprofit that strives to spread awareness of local agriculture and increase farm income in the community. Tickets are required.

Learn more: (828) 536-0126 or

Smoky Mountain Folk Festival • Lake Junaluska • August 31-September 1

This annual festival offers two nights of the traditional music and dancing of southern Appalachia. Both nights will include a variety of the region’s fiddlers, string bands, ballad singers, square dance teams, and more.

Learn more: (800) 222-4930 or


Farmers Day • Robbins • August 2-4

Carnival rides, craft and food vendors, live music, and horse and tractor parades will fill the streets during this 63rd annual festival.

Learn more: (910) 948-2320 or

Pigs & Pedals • Asheboro • August 3-4

Dig into some barbecue for this event’s fifth year, where antique cars, beer, and local bands converge to celebrate summer. Saturday’s festivities will include a “people’s choice” tent, where tastings and voting for the best barbecue will occur.

Learn more: (336) 626-1277 or

Denton Watermelon Festival • Denton • August 4

Practice your watermelon seed-spitting skills for this second annual event at Harrison Park. A day filled with juicy watermelon and cornhole tournaments will be capped by the crowning of the Watermelon Queen.

Learn more:

Phatt City • Mount Airy • August 10

The best of beach music and R&B will get your feet moving and your hips swinging. Bring a blanket or chair and get your groove on with some friends at the Blackmon Amphitheatre.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

The Crossing of Lake Gaston • Littleton • August 11

Swim, kayak, canoe, or paddleboard your way across Lake Gaston during this annual fund-raiser that begins at Morningstar Marina. If you prefer to forgo your sea legs, you can also travel the one-mile route on the adjacent Eaton Ferry Bridge. The event starts at 9 a.m., rain or shine. Registration is required.

Learn more:

Tangled • Mount Airy • August 15

Head to the Historic Earle Theatre for a matinee viewing of Disney’s Tangled. Free admission to both of the day’s showings ensures a magical experience for the whole family.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

Reflections of Elegance: Kenneth Paul Block and the Masters of Fashion Illustration • Graham • August 16-October 20

Original and influential works by the former chief features artist for Women’s Wear Daily will be displayed at the Captain James and Emma Holt White House.

Learn more: (336) 226-4495 or

Big River • Wadesboro • August 17-19, 24-26

You’ll be swept down the Mississippi River with Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and friends when the Anson Players perform Mark Twain’s timeless classic at the Ansonia Theatre. Their adventures will come to life on the stage with humor and suspense.

Learn more: (704) 694-4950 or

RiverDance • Salisbury • August 18

Celebrate conservation in North Carolina at this fund-raiser, which will feature local farms, food, spirits, raffles, and lots of dancing at the F&M Trolley Barn downtown. Tickets are required.

Learn more: (704) 647-0302 or

Old-Time Dance • Mount Airy • August 18

Let loose to the sound of award-winning bands Zephyr Lightning Bolts and The New Smokey Valley Boys as they perform at the Historic Earle Theatre. These two groups continue to keep the old-time dance tradition alive in North Carolina.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

Personality Festival • Roxboro • August 24-25

Visit uptown Roxboro for this festival chock-full of entertainment from musicians, singers, and dancers. Check out the amusement rides on Main Street or peruse the unique offerings of craft and food vendors.

Learn more: (336) 599-8333 or

Southern Women’s Show • Charlotte • August 24-26 (Our State will be here!)

Hundreds of vendor boutiques will fill the convention center with fashion, jewelry, gourmet treats, health and beauty products; an event perfect for a ladies’ day out.

Learn more:

Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival • Cary • August 25-26 (Our State will be here!)

One of the largest juried art fairs in the country, this festival has been a popular downtown event for decades. Dozens of artists will showcase their talents, while food, live music, and kids’ activities will keep little ones entertained.

Learn more: (919) 319-4560 or

Fall Market at Raylen Vineyards • Mocksville • August 25

Scout handmade, antique, and repurposed items from local vendors during this afternoon market. Live music and food trucks will also accompany you on your hunt.

Learn more: (919) 319-4560 or

“ColorFull” • Hillsborough • August 27-September 23

The artist-owned Hillsborough Gallery of Arts will feature paintings by Chris Graebner and Lolette Guthrie, and blown glass by Pringle Teetor. An opening reception will be held on August 31.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or


Hatteras Island Arts & Crafts Guild Show • Buxton • August 1-2

More than 50 local potters, woodworkers, and other artisans will gather for this annual show at Cape Hatteras Secondary School. Enter the art raffle to benefit a scholarship for aspiring local artists.

Learn more: (252) 489-8573.

NC Watermelon Festival • Murfreesboro • August 1-4

Celebrate summer’s favorite fruit at this 33rd annual event. A parade, amusement rides, crafts, food, fireworks, and, of course, watermelon will make for four fun-filled days.

Learn more: (252) 398-7695 or

Art Workshops in Book Making, Clay, and Metals • Columbia • August 1-5

Pocosin Arts School of Fine Craft hosts this five-day workshop located on the Scuppernong River. There will be several classes to choose from, all taught by artist instructors.

Learn more: (252) 796-2787 or

Fireworks by the Sea • Carolina Beach • August 2, 9, 16, 23, 31

After a day of sun and surf, head to the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Every Thursday evening in August you’ll find live music on the gazebo stage. Later, a different type of show will start: fireworks. Music begins at 6:30 p.m., and the fireworks display begins at 9 p.m.

Learn more: (910) 458-8434 or

Summer Concerts in the Park • Southport • August 2, 9, 16, 23, 31

Sit under the oak trees at Franklin Square Park and listen to live music, ranging from blues to pop to reggae, every Thursday evening of the month.

Learn more: (910) 457-7927 or

Shrimp by the Bay • Edenton • August 3

Enjoy a seafood dinner, a silent auction, a raffle, and live entertainment at this 17th annual event on the Wharf Landing Pier.

Learn more: (252) 482-3400 or

National Lighthouse Weekend • Bald Head Island • August 4-7

Pay tribute to Old Baldy’s 200 years of maritime history during a weekend featuring a dinner theater, a festival on the lighthouse grounds, a nighttime “Run for the Light,” and more.

Learn more: (910) 457-7481 or

Crape Myrtle Festival • Scotland Neck • August 11

Enjoy food, arts and crafts, and live music at the 31st annual festival in celebration of these colorful trees — there are more than 500 crape myrtles in Scotland Neck.

Learn more: (252) 826-3152 or

The Crossing of Lake Gaston • Littleton • August 11

From the Morningstar Marina, swim, kayak, canoe, and paddleboard your way across Lake Gaston during this annual fund-raiser. If you prefer to bypass your sea legs, you can also traverse the route on the adjacent Eaton Ferry Bridge. Rain or shine, the event starts at 9 a.m.

Learn more:

New World Festival of the Arts • Manteo • August 15-16

East Coast artists will display their work on the downtown Manteo waterfront for this family-oriented show. Hosted by Dare County Arts Council and the Town of Manteo, this annual event is in its 37th year.

Learn more: (252) 473-558 or

OBX Pirate Festival • Nags Head • August 15-16

Learn about the history of pirates on the Outer Banks when Blackbeard’s crew invades Jockey’s Ridge Crossing for a realistic 18th-century living history encampment. On this 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death, little ones can see if they have what it takes to be a pirate at “Scallywag School,” which offers courses in musket drills, sword fighting, and talking like a pirate.

Learn more:

Ocracoke Fig Festival • Ocracoke Island • August 17-18

This festival celebrates local fig history and culture with all kinds of fig-infused fun. Vendors offer fig-inspired foods, artwork, and more. The event includes live music, a traditional Ocracoke square dance, activities for kids, and a fig cake bake-off.

Learn more: (252) 928-7375 or

Cemetery Flashlight Tour • Wilmington • August 18

Bring your flashlight and explore Oakdale Cemetery at night with Dr. Chris Fonvielle, Robin Triplett, and Eric Kozen. These historians will speak on the history of the cemetery and the funerary art seen throughout.

Learn more: (910) 762-5682 or

Lumina Daze • Wrightsville Beach • August 26

Dance to live music by a variety of bands, including Wilmington Big Band, Dixieland All-Stars, and the Imitations; take part in a silent auction; and enjoy food and drink at this 21st annual celebration of music and community at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort.

Learn more: (910) 256-2569 or

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