photograph by Tommy White

Feature Image: 47th Annual Roasting of the Hog • Beech Mountain • June 30

Yes, it’s always been called the “47th annual.” But this year, it’s actually true. In 1972, a group of Beech Mountain residents decided the town needed a Fourth of July event, so they hosted a barbecue and called it the “47th annual” so that it wouldn’t seem brand new. This year’s celebration at Beech Mountain Resort features slow-roasted, pit-cooked pork and turkey, live music, games, and fireworks.

Learn more: (828) 387-9283


An Appalachian Summer Festival • Boone • July 1-Aug 3 (Our State will be here!)

Appalachian State University will host a diverse mix of music, theater, dance, visual arts, and film events on and around campus during this month-long celebration of the arts. 

Learn more: (800) 841-2787 or

Fourth of July Parade and Celebration • Boone • July 4

Find a spot on King Street to watch the festive floats in a patriotic parade. Later, feast on cake and watermelon at the Jones House before heading to Clawson-Burnley Park for music and fireworks.

Learn more: (828) 268-6280 or

Fireworks in Sylva • Sylva • July 4

Enjoy a concert by Crocodile Smile at Bridge Park Pavilion before the sun goes down and an impressive fireworks show begins.

Learn more: (828) 586-2155 or

Fourth of July Festival • Blowing Rock • July 6-7

Head to Memorial Park downtown 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

TGIF Summer Concert Series • Morganton • July 6, 13, 20, 27

Celebrate another work week’s end on the Burke County Courthouse lawn. There will be live music and food and beverage vendors; all you need is a chair or blanket.

Learn more: (828) 438-5252 or

Music on Main • Sparta • July 6

Enjoy performances on five stages at this monthly music festival, held June through October. This month, groove to headliners Karen Click and The Hot Licks, a swing and blues band.

Learn more: (336) 209-0475 or

La Fête Français Champagne Dinner • Highlands • July 12

Vive La France! Celebrate French Independence Day with an evening of Laurent-Perrier Champagne, live jazz music, and a French dinner by the Old Edwards Inn’s executive chef, Chris Huerta, at The Farm at Old Edwards.

Learn more: (828) 787-2635 or

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games • Linville • July 12-15

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

Mountain Voices • Franklin • July 13

Mountain Voices, a 55-member chorus, will present “Music by the Decade” at Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. The program will include show tunes, Top-40 hits, gospel, and patriotic songs from more than 50 years of music.

Learn more: (866) 273-4615 or

Quilting in the Mountains Quilt Show • Sparta • July 13-14

This 22nd annual show hosted by the Alleghany Quilters Guild at the Alleghany Fair Grounds will feature beautiful quilts, viewer voting, vendors, a featured artist, a raffle, a silent auction, and a guild shop.

Learn more: (336) 359-2111 or

Plein Air Festival • Cashiers • July 17-21

Nationally acclaimed painters from across the country will set up their easels around Cashiers to capture the natural beauty of North Carolina’s mountains. Their original art will be displayed for viewing and sale.

Learn more: (828) 743-3434 or

Historic Flat Rock Homes Tour • Flat Rock • July 21

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Historic Flat Rock will host this annual tour of three of the oldest estates in town, all on the national register.

Learn more: (828) 698-0030 or

Real to Reel Film Festival • Kings Mountain • July 25-28

This annual festival, now in its 19th year, is held at the Joy Performance Center and showcases thought-provoking independent films from around the world.

Learn more: (704) 484-2787 or

Symphony by the Lake • Blowing Rock • July 27  (Our State will be here!)

Bring your lawn chairs and blankets to this open-air performance at Chetola Resort by Symphony of the Mountains, featuring a fireworks finale. This year’s theme is “Colors of the Mountains.”

Learn more: (828) 295-7851 or

Tour of Homes • Blowing Rock • July 27

Admire special features and furnishings that have been cherished for generations on this tour of historic private homes and gardens, hosted by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church.

Learn more: (828) 295-7323 or


Fourth of July Celebration • Chapel Hill • July 4

UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Memorial Stadium provides the perfect setting to watch fireworks at this annual holiday celebration. Enjoy food, live music, games, and an explosion of fun starting at 7 p.m.

Learn more: (919) 968-2784 or

Time Capsule Dig • Madison • July 4

See treasures of the past on the Fourth of July: With shovels in hand, town officials will dig up a time capsule buried at Town Hall 50 years ago. Madison is celebrating its 200th birthday in 2018. 

Learn more: (336) 427-0221 or

Jimmy Lowery Tribute Concert • Mount Airy • July 6

In honor of the late musician Jimmy Lowery, a native of Mount Airy, this annual tribute concert at Blackmon Amphitheatre raises money for music and arts scholarships in Surry County, and features rhythm and blues, beach, and soul music performances by special guests.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

Celebrate Liberty Festival • Liberty • July 14

This downtown street festival features a kids’ parade, antique cars, arts and crafts vendors, live music, dancing, food, and amusement rides. End your evening with a fireworks display.

Learn more: (336) 622-4937 or

Cantaloupe Festival • Ridgeway • July 14

Celebrate the pride of Ridgeway at this annual festival, which will feature the town’s famously sweet cantaloupes, a cornhole tournament, a 5K, historical displays, horseback rides, vendors, and refreshments.

Learn more:

Steel Magnolias • Davidson • July 19-22, 26-29

The bond among Southern women in a beauty shop is incomparable. This much-loved play, which will be performed at the Duke Family Performance Hall, tells the story of friendship through humor and heartbreak.

Learn more: (704) 892-7953 or

NC Peach Festival • Candor • July 20-21

There’s nothing like biting into a ripe, juicy peach, and at this annual two-day festival, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. Enjoy sweet local peaches, art and food vendors, a petting zoo, and live music downtown.

Learn more: (910) 974-4221 or

“Common Ground” • Hillsborough • July 23-Aug 26

This month-long exhibit at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts will feature paintings, jewelry, and pottery by artists Linda Carmel, Nell Chandler, Evelyn Ward, and Michele Yellin. A reception will be held the evening of July 27.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or

Newsies • Raleigh • July 24-29

Head to the Duke Energy Center to see this Tony Award-winning musical. Based in New York City in 1899, newsboys strike for better working conditions. 

Learn more: (919) 831-6941 or

Band of Oz • Mount Airy • July 26

Bring your beach towel and pretend you’re at the coast during a performance by this popular beach music group at Blackmon Amphitheatre. The eight-person band features a full horn section.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

Supercon • Raleigh • July 27-29

Celebrity guests, comic book creators, voice actors, artists, writers, and fans will gather at the Raleigh Convention Center for this three-day celebration of pop culture, superheroes, science fiction, cartoons, and more. You don’t even have to change out of your superhero costume.

Learn more: (919) 907-0424 or

Körner’s Family Revue Puppet Show • Kernersville • July 28

Learn about the Körner family and the history of Körner’s Folly in a fun and interactive way at this puppet show, which is followed by a make-and-take sock puppet craft.

Learn more: (336) 996-7922 or

South Pacific • Mount Airy • July 28-30

Set on an island paradise during World War II, South Pacific tells two parallel love stories that are threatened by the dangers of war. This famous musical will be performed at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

Satisfaction: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones • Southern Pines • July 28

This international touring tribute to one of rock’s most famous bands showcases authentic costuming and talented singers, and will be brought to the stage at the auditorium at Pinecrest High School.

Learn more: (910) 365-9890 or


The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial on the Battleship • Wilmington • July 1, 4, 6-8, 13-15

In this play, adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, a young lieutenant relieves his captain of command during a typhoon. Shows will be held on the USS North Carolina on weekends, and there will be a special show on the Fourth of July. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Learn more: (910) 251-1788 or

North Carolina Fourth of July Festival • Southport • July 2-4

Southport first celebrated our nation’s independence in 1792 with the Festival of Free Men. Over the years, the name has changed, but it’s still a time to come together and celebrate. Enjoy a parade, arts and crafts, food, and fireworks downtown during this three-day festival.

Learn more: (910) 457-5578 or

July Fourth Celebration • Belhaven • July 3-4

One of the oldest Fourth of July celebrations in the state, this event has been held for 77 years. There will be a parade, music, dancing in the streets, food vendors offering funnel cakes and snow cones, and, of course, fireworks.

Learn more: (252) 943-3770 or

Kure Beach Market • Kure Beach • July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31

Listen to the sound of the surf at Ocean Front Park as you shop for locally grown produce and handcrafted goods during this weekly open-air market.

Learn more: (910) 458-8216 or

Independence Day Celebration • Ocracoke • July 3-4

A traditional square dance and fireworks kick off this annual holiday celebration, which will also include sand sculpture contests, a parade, a glow dance party, a look inside Ocracoke Lighthouse, a classic car show, and a beach bonfire.

Learn more: (252) 928-6711 or

Fireworks at the Beach • Avon • July 4

Cue the oohs and aahs: Head to the Avon Fishing Pier for Hatteras Island’s annual Independence Day fireworks display.

Learn more: (252) 995-5480 or

Fourth of July at the Old Bridge • Sunset Beach • July 4

Instead of waiting until sunset to celebrate, kick off your holiday early at this patriotic children’s parade at the Old Bridge, starting at 9 a.m. It will be followed by kids’ activities, games, and refreshments.

Learn more: (910) 363-6585 or

Ocean Isle Beach Concert Series • Ocean Isle Beach • July 6, 13, 20, 27

Bring your fold-out chair and enjoy rock ’n’ roll, oldies, and beach music outside the Museum of Coastal Carolina every Friday night as part of this summer concert series. Bands will include The Embers, Band of Oz, The Legacy Motown Revue, and Too Much Sylvia.

Learn more: (910) 508-6874 or

Wright Kite Festival • Kill Devil Hills • July 14-15

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s … a kite! At this 40th annual festival at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, you can bring your own kite, take lessons, make your own, or simply observe the giant 30- to 100-foot kites flying above.

Learn more: (252) 441-4124 or

Photography in the Civil War • Kinston • July 14

View and handle a variety of photographs developed during the Civil War era at the CSS Neuse Civil War Interpretive Center. Historian Harry Taylor will give presentations on the history of photography, and visitors will have an opportunity to have a tintype photo taken.

Learn more: (252) 526-9600 or

Cemetery Flashlight Tour • Wilmington • July 21

Bring your flashlight on this nighttime tour of Oakdale Cemetery. With local historians as your guides, you’ll learn about the history of Oakdale, the Civil War veterans buried there, and funerary art.

Learn more: (910) 762-5682 or

Sea Shanties & Songs of the Sea • Cape Hatteras • July 24

Let music be your guide to Outer Banks history at a performance by JR Shanty Co. The duo specializes in coastal tunes, which blend traditional musical tales and humor. They’ll perform at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the death of Blackbeard.

Learn more: (252) 986-0723 or

North Carolina Watermelon Festival • Fair Bluff • July 27-29

Celebrate summer’s favorite fruit at this 33rd annual festival. Enjoy arts and crafts booths, watermelon tastings, live music, shagging, and more.

Learn more: (910) 234-0756 or

Currituck Pirate Plunder Festival • Jarvisburg • July 29

Head to Weeping Radish Brewery, where you can explore a pirate encampment, an artisan marketplace, and a pirate bounce house; eat yummy seafood; and enjoy appearances by Blackbeard and friends.

Learn more: (252) 491-5205 or

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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.