photograph by Charles Harris

Feature Image: The Curb Market • Morehead City • May 5

The oldest continually operated market in the state, the Carteret County Curb Market opened in 1931 as a way to help residents earn extra money during the Great Depression. Today, vendors carry on the downtown tradition every Saturday morning during the summer. Listen to live music as you shop for seasonal produce and seafood, fresh flowers, homemade jam, baked goods, plants, and more. Opening day is May 5.

Learn more: (252) 222-6352


Savor Blowing Rock • Blowing Rock • May 3-6 

Head downtown and enjoy wine, craft beers, shopping, food, music, and the blooms of the season at this four-day festival celebrating all the flavors of spring.

Learn more: (828) 295-7851 or

Tanya Tucker Concert • Franklin • May 4

Grab your cowboy boots and join classic country legend Tanya Tucker at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn more: (866) 273-4615 or

RadioJacks • Statesville • May 4

Kicking off the Friday After 5 concert series downtown, this high-energy group will deliver Top 40 hits and pack the dance floor. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

Learn more: (704) 878-3436 or

Asheville Bread Festival • Asheville • May 5-6

This two-day festival will kick your carb cravings into overdrive. Start things off at New Belgium Brewery, where you can find everything from freshly milled flour to pastries. Demonstrations and hands-on workshops featuring nationally known bakers will also take place across the city.

Learn more:

Interactions Asheville • May 5-June 3 

See ornate figurative sculptures and teapots created by ceramic artist Taylor Robenalt at the Grovewood Gallery’s month-long exhibition of her work. An opening reception will be held on May 5.

Learn more: (828) 253-7651 or

Mayfest • Rutherfordton • May 5

At this annual downtown festival, shop from more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, see dance presentations, and listen to live music. Kids will enjoy face painting, rock climbing, and inflatables.

Learn more: (828) 287-2071 or

In Search of the Blue Ghosts • Brevard • May 15-19, 22-26, 29 – June 2

The blue ghost firefly is a secretive insect that calls the mountain forests of North Carolina home for a short time each summer. Learn more about them and other nocturnal creatures on a family-friendly walk through the dark with a trained naturalist. Pre-registration is required.

Learn more: (828) 877-3130 or

Tim Hawkins • Franklin • May 18 

Family-friendly comedian and singer-songwriter Tim Hawkins has amassed a huge following and millions of views on YouTube. See him at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn more: (866) 273-4615 or

Antique Power Show • Newton • May 18-19

At this annual fund-raiser for the Foothills Antique Power Association, see antique farm equipment and tractors on display, enjoy a truck and a tractor pull, and check out the working blacksmith shop, sawmill, and general store with snacks and drinks.

Learn more: (828) 256-8818 or

Open Studios Art Tour • Asheville • May 19

Resident artists at historic Grovewood Village will open their studios to the public, allowing visitors to gain insight into their creative processes and to view their most recent works.

Learn more: (828) 253-7651 or

Black Mountain Garden Show • Black Mountain • May 19

At this annual event at the Monte Vista Hotel, find the root of your most stubborn gardening problems, talk with other growers, and purchase the perfect plants for your yard.

Learn more:

Yadkin Valley Wine Festival • Elkin • May 19

This festival in North Carolina wine country will feature more than two dozen local wineries, music, crafts, and food.

Learn more: (336) 526-1111 or

Arts Festival • Saluda • May 19

This annual festival celebrates the state’s heritage and arts culture. Explore exhibits; listen to live Americana, blues, and folk music; and watch artist demonstrations on Main Street.

Learn more: (828) 817-2876 or

Fiddler’s Grove • Union Grove • May 25-27

Musicians and music lovers alike will gather for competitions, workshops, barn dancing, and more at this 95th annual ole time and bluegrass festival.

Learn more:

Founders Day Weekend • Valdese • May 26

This celebration brings the town’s oldest traditions back to life through basket weaving, bread baking, grape stomping, and games for the whole family.

Learn more: (828) 879-2129 or

Art in the Park • Blowing Rock • May 26

Take a stroll through downtown while perusing the wares of more than 90 local artists, including handmade pottery, jewelry, blown glass, and paintings.

Learn more: (828) 295-7851 or

Garden Jubilee • Hendersonville • May 26-27

Learn gardening tips from regional experts, attend workshops led by specialists, and shop for everything from plants to wind chimes to birdhouses at this annual event.

Learn more: (800) 828-4244 or


Summer Concert Series • Mount Airy • May 3-Sep. 27

This live music series at Blackmon Amphitheatre will feature groups like Band of Oz, The Embers, The Fantastic Shakers, and others. Bring your dancing shoes, as well as a blanket or chair to relax in the grass with.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or

A Series of Fortunate Events • Raleigh • May 3-16

Throughout the month, Arts Access will present five talent showcases featuring the work of children and adults with disabilities, including a film, a kids’ exhibit and hands-on arts day, a theater performance, an art show, and a concert. 

Learn more: (919) 833-9919 or

Durham Bulls vs. Toledo Mud Hens • Durham • May 4

May the Fourth be with you! Be sure to make it out to one of the highest-attended Durham Bulls games of the year.

Learn more: (919) 687-6500 or

Castles and Cottages • Chapel Hill • May 4

VOICES, the Chapel Hill Chorus, will perform English coronation music, British choral gems, and folk songs from Scotland and America at University United Methodist Church.

Learn more: (504) 994-5167 or

“Sunny Days and Starry Nights” Quilt Show • Salisbury • May 4-5 

This biennial quilt show at the First Baptist Church Ministries Center will feature 200 quilts, a vendor mall, demonstrations, a boutique, door prizes, and a tearoom serving lunch and desserts.

Learn more: (704) 431-4998 or

Meet in the Street • Wake Forest • May 5

This 38th annual festival is a free-admission event offering a day filled with food, fun, and entertainment, including live music.

Learn more: (984) 538-5251 or

A Tribute to Jimmy Buffett Featuring the Landsharks • Carthage • May 5

Head to Margaritaville for this tribute performance. The Landsharks are one of the most popular beach music bands in the world, and have opened for and performed with Jimmy Buffett.

Learn more: (910) 365-9890 or

The Marquis Slam • Fayetteville • May 5

This monthly spoken words event at the Fayetteville Arts Center features poets from North Carolina and around the U.S. 

Learn more: (910) 745-7219 or 

GO FAR Family 5K and Fun Run • High Point • May 5

Created specifically for children and their families, this event will be held at the Piedmont Centre. Registration is required.

Learn more: (336) 508-4380 or 

Garden Expo and Plant Sale • Hillsborough • May 5

Purchase pollinator plants and plants native to North Carolina, and attend educational gardening demonstrations on container planting, pollinators, invasives, soil samples, sun and shade plants, and more. 

Learn more: (919) 245-2050 or 

RayLen’s Spring Market • Mocksville • May 5

Spend an afternoon at RayLen Vineyard and Winery, where there will be live music, food trucks, and more than 50 local vendors.

Learn more: (336) 998-3100 or

Out! • Raleigh • May 5

This eighth annual festival on downtown’s Fayetteville Street celebrates inclusivity and will feature family-friendly live entertainment, local vendors and artists, food, a kids’ zone, and a beer garden.

Learn more: (919) 832-4484 or

Darrell Harwood • Salisbury • May 5

In this unique concert at Keppel Auditorium, acclaimed country music artist Darrell Harwood will join the Salisbury Symphony.

Learn more: (704) 216-1513 or

Spring Daze • Thomasville • May 5

This annual festival on Main Street combines food trucks and live music with vendors selling garden decor, plants, crafts, outdoor furniture, antiques, and more.

Learn more: (336) 475-4219 or

Dulcimer Festival • Winston-Salem • May 5

This festival will feature workshops with talented instructors Don Pedi, Carol Walker, Tull Glazener, Judy House, and Carol Crocker, followed by a concert.

Learn more: (919) 302-4400 or

Midtown Beach Music — Band of Oz • Raleigh • May 10

Hosted by Midtown Events in North Hills, enjoy the best that beach music has to offer in this special performance.

Learn more: (919) 369-4089 or

Follow Me to Fuquay-Varina Concert • Fuquay-Varina • May 10

Hip Pocket will perform at this free outdoor concert downtown, which will feature local brews and food trucks.

Learn more: (919) 552-1417 or

Cho-Liang Lin • Greensboro • May 10

Part of the Greensboro Symphony Tanger Outlets Masterworks Series, violinist Cho-Liang Lin will perform a variety of pieces at Dana Auditorium, including Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific Overture and John Williams’ theme from Schindler’s List

Learn more: (336) 335-5456 or

Whose Live Anyway? • Raleigh • May 10

At this comedy show, cast members Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis, and Joel Murray will improvise hilarious scenes and songs based on suggestions from the audience.

Learn more: (919) 996-8700 or 

Loren and Mark • Cary • May 11

As part of the Marvelous Music Mainstage Series at the Cary Arts Center, see a performance by Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb. Known for their original instrumentals, improvisation, renditions of classic melodies, and vocal duets, the duo draws on a variety of influences, including Americana, jazz, classical, and bluegrass music.

Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or

On Common Ground: Pastel Paintings from the Mountains to the Sea • Greensboro • May 11-June 12

This seventh annual statewide pastel exhibition, held at The Art Shop, will feature work from some of the best pastel artists in the state. An opening reception will be held on May 19.

Learn more: (336) 855-8500 or

Passalong Plant Sale • Greensboro • May 11-12

From perennials to pollinators, you can find the perfect plant for your garden at this 16th annual plant sale, hosted by the NC Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association at the NC Cooperative Extension Guilford County Center.

Learn more: (336) 641-2400

Art Rocks in Rockingham County • Reidsville • May 11

At this celebration of the arts at Market Square, see rocking chairs transformed into works of art and enjoy live music and food trucks. The chairs will be auctioned off at the end of the night.

Learn more:

Smoke on the Mountain • Wadesboro • May 11-13, 18-20 

See the Anson Players perform this Off-Broadway musical at the Ansonia Theatre. Set in a North Carolina church in 1938, it revolves around the Sanders family, a touring group of vocalists and musicians.

Learn more: (704) 694-4950 or

Spring into Arts Festival • Concord • May 12

Enjoy a juried art show, live music, local beer and wine, food, and a kids’ area at this downtown event showcasing the arts.

Learn more: (704) 784-4208 or

Carolina Brewsfest • High Point • May 12

Celebrate North Carolina’s thriving craft brewing scene at this fourth annual festival. In addition to 40 brewery vendors, there will also be a half marathon and a 5K race.

Learn more: (336) 793-4311 or

Front Porch ArtWalk • Raleigh • May 12

This 10th annual free event features both new and well-established artists showing and selling original works of art on the front porches and yards of the historic Mordecai and Oakwood neighborhoods downtown.

Learn more: (919) 633-9191 or

Wake Forest Cemetery Walking Tour • Wake Forest • May 12

Learn about the Wake Forest residents of generations past at this annual walking tour. A children’s activity will highlight artifacts.

Learn more: (919) 435-9570 or

Angelo’s Artisan Market • Winston-Salem • May 13 

This spring market at Wise Man Brewing will feature live music, food trucks, and more than 40 vendors selling handmade and antique items.

Learn more: 

Sleeping Beauty • Raleigh • May 17-20

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far away, a beautiful princess was born. See the Carolina Ballet perform the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

Learn more: (919) 996-8700 or 

Rox N’ Roll Cruise-In • Roxboro • May 18 

Enjoy live music as classic cars line the courthouse square of this historic uptown.

Learn more: (336) 322-6019 or  

Greensboro Bound • Greensboro • May 18-20

During this three-day national literary festival, more than 60 authors, poets, and spoken word artists from across the country will converge downtown for workshops, panel discussions, performances, and family-friendly activities.

Learn more:  

Got to Be NC Festival • Raleigh • May 18-20

This annual festival showcases homegrown culinary creations, carnival rides and games, farm animals, pig races and pony rides, lumberjack competitions, auto and truck shows, a bluegrass competition, and barbecue.

Learn more:

Flights of Fancy • Chapel Hill • May 19

Cantari, the VOICES Ensemble, will perform choral works around the themes of imagination, memories, dreams, and farewells at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Learn more: (504) 994-5167 or

Artsplosure Arts Festival • Raleigh • May 19-20

Celebrate arts and culture in Raleigh, where works of imaginative, celebrated, and emerging artists are made accessible to the public.

Learn more: (919) 832-8699 or

Combinations • Hillsborough • May 21 – June 24

See pottery by Garry Childs, photography by Eric Saunders, and paintings by Pat Merriman at this month-long exhibition. A reception for the artists will be held the evening of May 25.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or

North Carolina Wine Festival • Clemmons • May 26

Sip wine, fill up on food, listen to live music, and browse vendors at this 18th annual festival at Tanglewood Park.

Learn more: (919) 882-3733 or

Mount Airy Old-Time Retreat • Mount Airy • May 27-June 2

In the week leading up to the Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention, take classes with old-time music masters on the fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and mandolin; square dancing; and harmony singing at Veterans Memorial Park. Tickets are required.

Learn more: (336) 786-7998 or


Waterfront Market • Southport • May 2

At this weekly market, more than 65 vendors gather on the Cape Fear riverfront to sell fresh produce; baked goods; and handcrafted decor, gifts, and jewelry. Live music will entertain shoppers.

Learn more: (910) 988-7106 or

Craven Community Chorus Spring Concert • New Bern • May 3, 5, 6 

Enjoy a spring performance by the Craven Community Chorus at Orringer Auditorium; the major work will be Schubert’s Mass in G.

Learn more: (252) 670-0230

Rissi Palmer • Oriental • May 4

Rissi Palmer has described her style as Southern soul, and has performed at the White House and at the Grand Ole Opry. Now, she’ll sing at the Red Rooster during this free community concert presented by the Pamlico Musical Society.

Learn more: (252) 617-2125 or

BBQ Festival on the Neuse • Kinston • May 4-5

Enjoy the Best of the Best BBQ Tasting and Sauce Boss Competition; live music; a kids’ zone; amusement rides; shopping; wine, beer, and barbecue; and more at this 37th annual festival.

Learn more: (252) 560-2693 or

First Friday Gallery Walks • Southport • May 4

Eight galleries in the area — Franklin Square Gallery, Art @ 211, The Ricky Evans Gallery, Lantana’s Gallery, Anastasio’s Glass Studio, Darrel Edwards Gallery, Howe Outrageous Art Gallery, and Silver Coast Winery & Gallery — team up to offer art, appetizers, and wine to visitors, all free of charge.

Learn more: (910) 457-5450 or

Paddle for the Border • South Mills • May 5

Paddle nearly eight miles in a canoe or kayak along the historic Dismal Swamp Canal, from the canal bridge in South Mills to the Ballahack Road boat ramp in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Learn more: (252) 771-8333 or

350th Anniversary of the Albemarle • Elizabeth City • May 11-12

To celebrate the anniversary of the formation of Albemarle County and its precincts, the Museum of the Albemarle will host the 1663 Carolina Charter, the document by which Charles II gave the Lord Proprietors the land extending from present-day North Carolina to the Pacific Ocean. Letters and maps from the Proprietary Period (1663-1729) will be on display, and there will be related programs and exhibits.

Learn more: (252) 335-1453 or

British Cemetery Ceremony • Ocracoke • May 11

This ceremony and reception commemorates the sinking of the HMT Bedfordshire off the coast of Ocracoke in 1942. Four sailors from the ship are buried on the island in a small plot of land that is “forever England.”

Learn more: (252) 928-6711

Rose Tour • Wilmington • May 12

This annual tour, hosted by the Wilmington Cape Fear Rose Society, takes attendees to private gardens around Wilmington, where gardeners will be on hand to answer questions.

Learn more: (910) 297-5538 or

North Carolina Potato Festival • Elizabeth City • May 18-19

Celebrate the spud with carnival rides, live music, a potato-peeling contest, fireworks, boat rides, a midway full of games, and plenty of food.

Learn more: (252) 338-4104 or

Members Show • Hertford • May 18-June 28

At this exhibition at the Hall of Fame building downtown, see art created by members of the Perquimans Arts League.

Learn more: (252) 426-3041 or

Choir of St. Paul’s Concert • Wilmington • May 18

Enjoy music by the choir of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, which will put on a performance with organ and percussion.

Learn more: (910) 762-4578 or

Bath Fest • Bath • May 19

This annual festival on Bonner’s Point will commemorate the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death. There will be pirates, arts and crafts, a student art show, local entertainment, and homemade food.

Learn more: (252) 923-3971 or

Pitt County Arboretum Plant Sale • Greenville • May 19

Choose from thousands of herbs, vegetables, perennials, and more at this annual plant sale. The plants are grown in the gardens of the Master Gardeners of Pitt County.

Learn more: (252) 902-1709 or

Coastal Gardening Festival • Kill Devil Hills • May 19

Highlighting herbs and their many uses in everyday life, the theme of this 16th annual free festival is “Never Enough Thyme!” Purchase plants, garden art, and refreshments from more than 60 vendors at the Thomas A. Baum Senior Center.

Learn more: (252) 473-4290

Roots of Love Yoga Festival • Wilmington • May 19

Rest and recharge at this yoga festival featuring international yoga teachers, workshops, a vendor market, live music, and food on the grounds of Poplar Grove Plantation.

Learn more: (910) 508-6923 or

Firemen’s Ball • Ocracoke • May 26

There’s nothing like kicking off Memorial Day weekend with a pig pickin’. Enjoy food, drinks, and music, and take part in a live or silent auction, all to benefit the Ocracoke Fire Department.

Learn more: (252) 928-6711

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