photograph by © Holly Clark/Stocksy United

Above: North Carolina Blackberry Festival • Lenoir • July 7-8
Blackberries have been praised for their many health benefits as a super-antioxidant — but we won’t blame you for skipping the smoothie, coating them in sugar, and popping them in a pie instead. This 16th annual downtown festival on July 7 and 8 celebrates the summer berry with two days of small-town love. The event includes live music, an eating competition, a “blackbeery” beer garden, plenty of berry-themed foods, hundreds of vendors, and, best of all, the “World’s Largest Patchwork of Blackberry Cobbler”: Cobblers made by bakers from around the county are carted in decorated wagons to the town square, where they become a huge purple patchwork quilt of piecrust.

Learn more: (828) 726-0323 or


Fourth of July Festival • Blowing Rock • July 1-2
Head to downtown Memorial Park for this Fourth of July celebration, which features fun events like a water balloon toss, a watermelon-eating contest, and live music. Watch the parade on Main Street, and, later, fireworks at Blowing Rock Country Club.

Learn more: (828) 295-5222 or

July 4th Weekend Family Fun • Chimney Rock • July 1-4
Families can challenge themselves on a 32-foot climbing tower, explore nature on various trails, and even see wildlife up close during an animal encounter at Chimney Rock State Park.

Learn more: (828) 625-9611 or

Freedom Fest • Bryson City • July 4
This downtown street festival features a 5K, a dog show, a watermelon-eating contest, kids’ activities, and a Hula-Hoop competition. A fireworks display to celebrate the Fourth closes out the night.

Learn more: (800) 867-9246 or

All American Fourth of July • Franklin • July 4
Deck yourself out in red, white, and blue and take part in the town’s annual Fourth of July parade down Main Street. There will also be a children’s costume contest, a patriotic pets contest, free watermelon, a kids’ zone with inflatables, and, later, a fireworks display.

Learn more: (828) 524-2516 or

TC Arts Council’s Fine Arts and Crafts Showcase • Brevard • July 4
Shop a variety of art vendors; check out a car show; and enjoy food vendors, live music, and fireworks at this 45th annual Fourth of July celebration.

Learn more: (828) 884-2787 or

Independence Day Celebration • Lake Junaluska • July 2-5
Spend your Fourth of July on the lake: Attend concerts by groups like bluegrass band Balsam Range and The Lake Junaluska Singers, and enjoy a barbecue picnic, a parade, games, and fireworks.

Learn more: (800) 222-4930 or

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games • Linville • July 6-9
Scottish clans will gather to celebrate traditional Gaelic culture at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain. Blaring bagpipes, dancers, and Celtic music will provide the backdrop as athletes compete in traditional Scottish games.

Learn more: (828) 733-1333 or

All Seasons Craft Show and Sale • Brevard • July 7-8
Local and regional artisans will showcase various arts and crafts, from greeting cards to accessories to jewelry to pottery, at this craft show.

Learn more: (828) 885-8245.

Gazers of the Galaxy • Brevard • July 7, 28
Learn about stargazing equipment, telescope use, and constellations that can be seen during a summer in the mountains from members of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute.

Learn more: (828) 884-3443 or

All Seasons Craft Show and Sale • Brevard • July 7-8
Local and regional artisans will showcase various arts and crafts, from greeting cards to accessories to jewelry to pottery, at this craft show.

Learn more: (828) 885-8245.

Coon Dog Day • Saluda • July 8
Dogs and owners alike will gather at this quirky, 54th annual street festival that celebrates the coonhound, a loyal breed known for its excellent sense of smell. There will be art, food, and canine competitions.

Learn more: (828) 749-2581 or

Street Dance • Hendersonville • July 10, 17, 24, 31
Enjoy bluegrass music, square dancing, and clogging at this Monday tradition that began in 1918 to welcome home soldiers from World War I.

Learn more: (828) 693-9708 or

Champagne Dinner • Highlands • July 13
Celebrate French Independence Day with an evening of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, live jazz music performed by One Leg Up, and a French dinner by the Old Edwards Inn’s executive chef, Chris Huerta, at The Farm at Old Edwards.

Learn more: (866) 526-8008 or

Sacred Ground: Bringing New Mexico Home • Flat Rock • July 14-August 6
Work by Cedar Mountain artist Lucy Clark will be exhibited at the Flat Rock Gallery, and will feature elaborate clay work created with traditional methods of Native American pueblo pottery.

Learn more: (828) 698-7000 or

Southern Migrations: Five Years in Asheville • Asheville • July 15
Contemporary landscape painter Shawn Krueger will open his new exhibit with a meet and greet at the Grovewood Gallery.

Learn more: (828) 253-7651 or

The Cradle Creeps at Night • Brevard • July 21-22
Head to the Cradle of Forestry after the sun sets to learn about and search for nocturnal animals and nighttime creatures with a team of naturalists.

Learn more: (828) 884-3443 or

Rosen Sculpture Competition Walk • Boone • July 22
Each year, 10 sculptures are selected for installation across Appalachian State University’s campus for the Rosen Sculpture Competition. A cash prize is awarded to the winner during the annual sculpture walk.

Learn more: (828) 262-3017 or

Summer Storytelling Retreat and Adventure • Asheville • July 23-29
Storyteller Connie Regan-Blake brings insightful exercises, and feedback to help aspiring storytellers create and polish stories. Everyone is welcome — from beginners to advanced tellers — at this annual event.

Learn more: (828) 258-1113 or

Charity Horse Show: Hunter/Jumper Blowing Rock July 25-August 6
Watch skilled equine competitors compete in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains at this historic horse show.

Learn more: (828) 295-4700 or

Real to Reel Film Festival • Kings Mountain • July 26-29
This annual festival held at the Joy Performance Center showcases thought-provoking independent films from around the world. This year, a Real to Reel Kids Fest will feature films by kids, for kids.

Learn more: (704) 484-2787 or

Symphony by the Lake at Chetola • Blowing Rock • July 28 (Our State will be here!)
Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to this open-air performance by Symphony of the Mountains, featuring a fireworks finale.

Learn more: (828) 295-7851 or

Alleghany Quilters Guild Quilt Show • Sparta • July 28-29
A variety of quilts by both guild members and nonmembers will be on display for judging. There also will be vendors, quilt turning, and a guild shop.

Learn more: (336) 372-3027 or

Art and Antiques Show • Blowing Rock • July 28-30
More than 5,000 square feet of gallery space will be filled with home furnishings, porcelain, jewelry, silver, art, and more from antiques dealers along the East Coast.

Learn more: (828) 295-9099 or


Independence Day Weekend Celebration • Henderson • July 1
Head to Satterwhite Point to watch Fourth of July fireworks over Kerr Lake. There also will be live music and plenty of food vendors selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and other tasty treats.

Learn more: (252) 438-2222 or

American Dance Festival Musician’s Concert • Durham • July 2
Jam along in the audience when the musicians of the American Dance Festival School take center stage.

Learn more: (919) 684-6402 or

SkyShow • Charlotte • July 4
Head to BB&T Ballpark after the Team USA vs. Team Cuba baseball game for a fireworks spectacular to celebrate the Fourth. The show is the largest fireworks display in the Southeast.

Learn more:

Cymbeline • Fayetteville • July 6-16
Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents Cymbeline, which features mistaken identities, sleeping potions, a murder plot, and some unexpected resurrections, as Cymbeline wants his daughter to marry a proper heir.

Learn more: (910) 420-4383 or

First Friday at GreenHill • Greensboro • July 7
Head to the GreenHill gallery for family-friendly live music by Island Vibes, featuring songwriter-musician Paul Patrice. The band will perform a variety of Caribbean music with infectious dance beats.

Learn more: (336) 333-7460 or

Pinehurst Chef and Maker • Pinehurst • July 7-9
As the featured chef for the July installment of this ongoing cooking series, Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen leads a Poole’s Diner-inspired bash, featuring a Q&A session, a cookbook signing, a glass-blowing demonstration, a whiskey tasting, and dinner. The cooking series celebrates the best chefs and creatives in the state.

Learn more: (888) 685-2438 or

July Celebration • Liberty • July 8
A kids’ parade will kick off this annual downtown street festival, which will feature art and craft vendors, live music, dancing, food, and amusement rides. Fireworks will top off the evening.

Learn more: (336) 622-4937 or

Cantaloupe Festival • Ridgeway • July 8
There will be horseback riding, cornhole tournaments, live entertainment, and plenty of cantaloupes to celebrate this farming community’s long history of growing the fruit — Ridgeway’s cantaloupes have earned a special fame for their sweetness.

Learn more: (252) 213-0429 or

Heidi Latsky Dance • Durham • July 9
Part of the American Dance Festival, “On Display” is a free, deconstructed art exhibit/fashion installation, and a commentary on society’s obsession with body image.

Learn more: (919) 684-6402 or

Middle School Colonial Camp • Salisbury • July 10-14
Kids can experience life in the 1700s at this camp, where they’ll learn weaving and colonial cooking, get to explore a cemetery after dark, and spend a night at the museum while learning about the history of Rowan County.

Learn more: (704) 633-5946 or

Timmy Cronin Senior Memorial Cup • Winston-Salem • July 15
The Wolfhounds host an annual Gaelic football tournament, named after the club founder’s grandfather, with an after-party at the Foothills Brewing Tasting Room to meet the players and learn about the sport.

Learn more: (336) 403-4232 or

NC Peach Festival • Candor • July 15
Enjoy sweet, local peaches downtown, as well as art and food vendors, activities, and live entertainment, including kids’ band Big Bang Boom, at this annual event.

Learn more: (910) 974-4221 or

P. Gaye Tapp Author Talk • Roxboro • July 15
Roxboro interior designer and writer P. Gaye Tapp will be at the Person County Public Library to discuss her book, How They Decorated, which profiles the homes of 16 style icons.

Learn more: (336) 597-7881 or

American Dance Festival Faculty Concert • Durham • July 16
The faculty of the American Dance Festival will share their own choreography, which will be performed by both students and faculty members.

Learn more: (919) 684-6402 or

Boeing Boeing • Davidson • July 20-30
This comedic play, set in the 1960s, follows bachelor Bernard, whose perfect life gets bumpy when his friend Robert comes to stay, and the three stewardesses Bernard’s engaged to are all in town at the same time.

Learn more: (704) 892-7953 or

Körner’s Folly Family Revue Puppet Show • Kernersville • July 22
Watch a family-friendly puppet show, followed by a make-and-take sock puppet craft at this monthly event.

Learn more: (336) 996-7922 or

25th Moravian Music Festival • Winston-Salem • July 23-29
Choral, handbell, and instrumental performances will celebrate colonial sounds, while workshops and lectures will explore Moravian music history.

Learn more: (336) 725-0651 or

National Black Theatre Festival • Winston-Salem • July 31-August 5
More than 100 performances, ranging from music to theater to films to spoken-word poetry and more, will celebrate African and African-American cultures. The festival takes place over one week in various performing spaces around Winston-Salem.

Learn more: (336) 723-2266 or


Music in the Courtyard • Rose Hill • July 1
Sip sweet muscadine wine while relaxing and listening to live music. Singer and guitarist Bill Powell will perform at Duplin Winery.

Learn more: (800) 774-9634 or

Fourth of July Festival and Fireworks • Southport • July 2-4
Head to historic downtown Southport for a tradition that began in 1792. Celebrate the holiday with live entertainment, a parade, games, and much more, and stick around for fireworks on the Fourth.

Learn more: (910) 457-5578 or

Waterfront Market • Ocean Isle Beach • July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Listen to the sound of the surf and feel the ocean breeze at the town center’s grassy field while you browse homemade art, crafts, baked goods, and produce at this weekly market of local vendors, held each Monday throughout the summer.

Learn more: (910) 370-1373 or

Independence Day Celebration • Surf City • July 3
This celebration of freedom by the water is complete with live music, food, kids’ activities, fireworks, and more.

Learn more: (910) 328-4887 or

Fourth of July at the Old Bridge • Sunset Beach • July 4
Don’t wait for nightfall to celebrate: A patriotic children’s parade over the Old Bridge will kick things off bright and early at 9 a.m. Afterward, there will be kids’ activities, games, and light refreshments.

Learn more: (910) 363-6585 or

Mister Roberts • Wilmington • July 4, 6-9, 13-16, 20-23
Celebrate the Fourth of July on the deck of the Battleship North Carolina, where the Thalian Association Community Theatre will put on a performance of this patriotic play. Mister Roberts explores several short stories set aboard the USS Virgo in the South Pacific during World War II.

Learn more: (910) 251-5797 or

Up and Active! • Kure Beach • July 6, 13, 20, 27
Move your body and your mind: Head to the Ocean Front Park every Thursday evening to join Lynne and the Wave for an hour of music, games, and face-painting.

Learn more:

Summer Concert Series • Oak Island • July 7, 14, 21, 28
Kick back after a long week: As part of Oak Island’s summer concert series, a different band will perform at Middleton Soccer Field each Friday. Enjoy performances by the Tim Clark Band, Rivermist, Imitations, and more.

Learn more: (910) 278-4747 or

Downtown Waterfront Market • Elizabeth City • July 8, 15, 22, 29
This weekly market, held each Saturday, will feature art and craft vendors, farmers, growers, bakers, and performers at Mariner’s Wharf Park.

Learn more: (252) 330-8050 or

All-American Fish Fry • Harkers Island • July 8
Active military and veterans will eat for free at this fish and shrimp dinner hosted by the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum. There also will be a bake sale, kids’ activities, and live entertainment.

Learn more: (252) 728-1500 or

Rockin’ on the Rivers • New Bern • July 14
JULY 14 As part of the city’s summer concert series, head to the historic downtown waterfront for a night of local music, including performances by Molly Hatchet, Nantucket, and Bryan Mayer.

Learn more: (252) 637-3111 or

Wright Kite Festival • Kill Devil Hills • July 15-16
Huge kites will be flying high at this 39th annual festival at the Wright Brothers National Memorial. Bring your own kite to send soaring, take free lessons, or get in on the action at a kite-making station.

Learn more: (252) 441-4124 or

Sand-Sational 8K Beach Run • Jacksonville • July 17
This USAA Grand Prix Series event takes place at twilight on Onslow Beach at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The course includes pavement, dirt roads, and sand — your feet might get wet if the tide is in. Stick around for the post-race beach bash.

Learn more: (910) 451-0025 or

Crab Cake Cook-Off • Beaufort • July 21
Be the judge of delicious crab cakes at this fund-raiser for the North Carolina Maritime Museum. Vote on your favorites after tasting the creations of guest chefs: There will be four crab cake cooks and four coleslaw cooks. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers, and must be purchased in advance.

Learn more: (252) 728-2762 or

Avon Art Show • Avon • July 26-27
More than 30 artists and crafters, as well as food vendors and live music, will be featured during this two-day art show at Hatteras Realty.

Learn more: (252) 305-0010 or

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