photograph by Blowing Rock WinterFest

Photograph above courtesy of Blowing Rock WinterFest • January 28-31


Appalachian Ski Mountain’s New Year’s Celebration • Blowing Rock • December 31-January 1
Ice-skate by moonlight, and ski by torchlight and fireworks. Then cozy up inside the lodge for a midnight breakfast.

Learn more: (828) 295-7828 or

First Day Hike • Chimney Rock • January 1
Park naturalists and rangers lead a New Year’s Day hike at Chimney Rock State Park. Meet at 8 a.m. at Skyline Trail.

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“Her Nobel Words” • Asheville • January 1-April 15
An exhibit featuring the 16 women who have won the Nobel Peace Prize. They fought to make the world a better place, and these are their words.

Learn more: (828) 785-5722 or

Winter Festival of Lights • Linville • December 21-January 1
Last chance to take a winter drive through Linville Land Harbor’s Festival of Lights and soak in the spirit of the season. The show, which is free, begins at sunset and ends at 11 p.m.

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Steak on the Lake • Blowing Rock • January 1-27
At Timberlake’s Restaurant every Wednesday this month, choose from one of the chef’s daily steak specials with a potato du jour and a salad, accompanied by live music and a view of Chetola Lake.

Learn more: (828) 295-5505.

Gem & Lapidary Show • Asheville • January 5-6
Browse gemstones and minerals in the company of wholesalers and representatives from lapidary training institutes at what’s considered a premier event in the gems and jewelry industry.

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The Best of Our State • Asheville • January 8-10
A weekend celebration of NC music, history, storytelling, food, art, and humor at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Shop for specialty foods and crafts, and learn about NC travel.

Learn more: (800) 438-5800 or

National Winter Trails Day • Sugar Mountain • January 9
Adults and children new to snow sports get the chance to try snowshoeing for free. Guided tours available 9 a.m.-4 p.m., every hour, on the hour.

Learn more: (800) 784-2768 or

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives • Shelby • January 15
Grammy Award-winner and Southern culture historian Marty Stuart brings his band for a show at the Don Gibson Theatre, 8-10 p.m.

Learn more: (704) 487-8114 or

The Asheville Storytelling Circle • Asheville • January 18
Every third Monday of the month, local storytellers gather to share their art and to entertain an audience at Asheville Terrace Apartments.

Learn more: (828) 581-4603.

Asheville Restaurant Week • Asheville • January 19-28
Enjoy Asheville’s celebrated cuisine as participating restaurants offer prix fixe lunch and dinner menus ranging from $15-30 per person.

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National Park Fee-Free Day • Flat Rock • January 19
The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, as well as national parks across the state and country, honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day by waiving admission fees.

Learn more: (828) 693-4178 or

Ordinary Days • Hendersonville • January 22-31
Hendersonville Community Theatre presents a musical comedy about four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect in the city that never sleeps.

Learn more: (828) 692-1082 or

The Sock Hops • Franklin • January 22
The Sock Hops take listeners down memory lane with favorite songs of the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn more: (866) 273-4615 or

Winter Warmer Beer Festival • Asheville • January 23
On the main level of the U.S. Cellular Center, enjoy offerings from dozens of local craft brewers in an intimate atmosphere with food and music. Each year, the festival features one nonlocal guest brewery, yet to be announced.

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Winterfest • Blowing Rock • January 28-31
No hibernating in Blowing Rock. Instead: WinterFeast, a Polar Plunge in Chetola Lake, the Chilly Chili Cook-Off, the WinterPaws Dog Show, a winter fashion show, ice carving, hayrides, and concerts, concluding with one last chance to enjoy the High Country Small Plate Crawl.

Learn more: (828) 295-7851 or

Julius Caesar • Boone • January 29
The American Shakespeare Center brings the drama — betrayal, violence, and love — to Valborg Theatre at Appalachian State University, with true, Renaissance-era performance conditions.

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Chili Cook-Off • Fletcher • January 30
Sample some of the best chili in western North Carolina at Veritas Christian Academy, with donations benefiting the Fletcher Park Development Fund.

Learn more: (828) 687-0751 or

Icycle Mountain Bike Event • Fontana Dam • January 30
This seven-mile course offers some of the finest western North Carolina single-track mountain bike racing. Disc golf tournament to follow on Sunday.

Learn more: (828) 498-2211 or

The Hot Sardines • Asheville • January 30
Diana Wortham Theatre’s Mainstage Series presents a brass lineup with a “one-of-the-boys” front woman.

Learn more: (828) 257-4530 or

Wine Smackdown • Sylva • January 31
In a blind taste test, you’ll be the judge to declare the winning wine. Admission includes 12 wines, appetizers, and door and raffle prizes.

Learn more: (828) 631-9856 or


“Chisel and Forge: Works by Peter Oakley and Elizabeth Brim” • Raleigh • January 1-March 20
This show highlights two North Carolina artists whose sculptures provide a humorous look at everyday objects — bars of soap, Styrofoam containers, aprons, and tutus.

Learn more: (919) 839-6262 or

“Explore the Collection” Tour • Raleigh • January 1-31
Take a free daily docent-led tour of the NC Museum of Art’s highlights. Tuesdays-Fridays, 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Learn more: (919) 839-6262 or

New Year’s Eve at Shelton Vineyards’ Harvest Grill • Dobson • December 31-January 1
Chef Paul’s annual celebration includes music, food, and wine at Shelton Vineyards and the Hampton Inn & Suites. See website for package details.

Learn more: (336) 366-3590 or

“Wild Clay: The Story of NC Clay” • Seagrove • January 1-February 13
An exhibition focused on one of our state’s most important natural resources. See raw and fired test samples, photos, maps, and 19th-century pots.

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Hot Chocolate Run • Cary • January 3
At the finish line of the Big Mug 5K and Little Cup one-mile race, get a hot cup of chocolaty delight, then take home the ceramic mug.

Learn more: (919) 839-6262 or

Sweet Tea Shakespeare • Fayetteville • January 7-24
Sweet Tea Shakespeare produces As You Like It and Twelfth Night, two of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

Learn more: (910) 420-4383 or

Elvisfest! • Chapel Hill • January 8-9
Over two nights, 19 regional bands perform Elvis covers. Rumor has it that fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, the King’s touted favorite, will also be available at Bailey’s sports bar.

Learn more: (919) 918-1005 or

Quilting & Fiber Art Marketplace • Sanford • January 8-9
More than 30 independent quilting and yarn shops are represented at booths full of fabrics, notions, yarns, books, beads, sewing machines, and more. Food on-site by Mrs. Lacy’s Magnolia House.

Learn more: (704) 376-2531 or

Annual Tree Toss • Burlington • January 9 & 23
Watch lions, tigers, and other animals receive holiday trees and other gifts for playing and munching. Visitors can decorate a gift for their favorite animal. Tickets needed in advance.

Learn more: (888) 650-1139 or

“Emily Saves the Orchestra” • Raleigh • January 9
During a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Emily, a spunky 10-year-old, finds herself in a battle to save the music. An NCS Kids Young People’s Concert.

Learn more: (919) 733-2750 or

Betty Lynn Signs Autographs • Mount Airy • January 15
Actress Betty Lynn, who played Barney’s girlfriend Thelma Lou on The Andy Griffith Show, is on hand at the Andy Griffith Museum to sign autographs.

Learn more: (336) 786-1604 or

“James Gregory: The Funniest Man in America” • High Point • January 16
With his homespun comedy, Gregory pokes fun at crazy relatives and reflects on life from a front-porch point of view.

Learn more: (336) 887-3001 or

Vox Virorum Men’s Winter Concert • Durham • January 17
This year’s Vox Virorum program, “Music Making Mirth,” features three settings from Shakespeare and works by several Triangle-area composers.

Learn more: (919) 796-1600 or

Three Sisters • Chapel Hill • January 20-February 7
In a provincial town far from their beloved Moscow, sisters Olga, Masha, and Irina yearn for the sparkling city of their childhood, where they believe all wishes will be fulfilled. World premiere adaptation by the director of PlayMakers.

Learn more: (919) 962-7529 or

Soul Street Dance: Breakin’ Backwards • High Point • January 21
Hip-hop meets classical in the form of high-energy dance. The ensemble’s members are also actors, athletes, songwriters, and musicians.

Learn more: (336) 887-3001 or

Forbidden Broadway • Cary • January 22
The musical spoof revue written by Gerard Alessandrini returns to Cary, targeting Broadway shows, including Pippin, Kinky Boots, and Matilda.

Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or

NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony • Charlotte • January 22
Jerry Cook, Bobby Isaac, Terry Labonte, Bruton Smith, and Curtis Turner will take the stage during the induction of the seventh NASCAR Hall of Fame class. Attend the commemorative dinner, where the inductee jacket presentation will take place.

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Anatoly Larkin • Cary • January 23
Pianist Anatoly Larkin teaches you how to use your artistic skills to create a new piece of music. Audience members will assist in improvising a new work that will premiere during this performance.

Learn more: (919) 462-2055 or

A Movable Feast • Winston-Salem • January 24
Each table at Bookmarks’ winter event will enjoy light refreshments and talks by 10 authors for 10 minutes each.

Learn more: (336) 747-1471 or

FLOW Art Exhibit • Hillsborough • January 25-February 21
A poetry and art exhibition featuring the work of the gallery’s artists and North Carolina poets, inspired by nature and rivers. Opening reception Friday, January 29, from 6-9 p.m.

Learn more: (919) 732-5001 or

The Quilting and Needle Art Extravaganza • Statesville • January 29-30
Local shops bring out their top-of-the-line supplies for all things sewing and knitting. Restaurant and bakery on-site.

Learn more: (704) 376-2531 or

African-American Cultural Celebration • Raleigh • January 30
Raleigh hosts the statewide kickoff to Black History Month with the theme “Civil Rights — March On!” Visit the NC Museum of History’s website for ongoing events this month.

Learn more: (919) 807-7900 or


New Year’s Cruise • Wilmington • December 31-January 1
Sometimes, the new year comes in with a bang. And sometimes it gracefully glides by, in the way of Henrietta III. On New Year’s Eve, North Carolina’s largest riverboat cruises down the Cape Fear River, past historic downtown Wilmington, and into 2016, while passengers enjoy a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast at midnight.

Learn more:(910) 343-1611 or

Artifact of the Month • Hatteras • January 1-30
Every month, the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum reveals an artifact from its collection that’s not usually on display. This month: a metal coffee urn found on the shipwrecked Proteus, which sank on August 19, 1918, off Cape Hatteras.

Learn more: (252) 986-2995 or

Crystal Coast Countdown • Crystal Coast • December 31-January 1
In Morehead City, Beaufort, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle, New Year’s involves a lineup of musicians, storytellers, dance groups, and artists, culminating with a “Crab Pot Drop” and fireworks at midnight.

Learn more: (252) 222-6121 or

Day 1 Run • Shallotte • January 1
Start a new New Year’s tradition: 2016 marks the inaugural Day 1 Run 5K Road Race, which begins at the park on Mulberry Street in Shallotte.

Learn more:

Dolphin Dip Extravaganza • Surf City • January 1
Join thousands in Surf City to watch or “dip” into the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Wear a crazy costume to win prizes. Only Dolphin Dip participants eligible to win.

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Dragon Run • Oriental • December 31-January 1
Oriental’s massive smoke-snorting dragon runs from the harbor and through the waterfront streets. Attendees have two chances to touch the dragon’s tail for a year of good luck.

Learn more: (252) 249-0555 or

Island of Lights Festival • Carolina Beach • December 31-January 1
As a part of Carolina Beach’s New Year’s bash, enjoy a DJ, dancing, refreshments, and the beach ball drop at midnight.

Learn more: (910) 458-5507 or

Midnight in Paris • Wilmington • December 31-January 1
Start 2016 in “Paris” with a three-course French menu and a glass of bubbly, plus “cotillions” at Le Catalan Café. Reservations by phone.

Learn more: (910) 815-0200 or

Explorations: The International Film Series • New Bern • January 8
Craven Community College’s New Bern campus hosts two free showings of Shun Li and the Poet — one at 2:30 p.m. and one at 7:30 p.m.

Learn more: (252) 633-2618 or

Shana Tucker • New Bern • January 8
Catch Shana Tucker, singer-songwriter and cellist, performing her self-described genre of “ChamberSoul” — a sultry fusion of acoustic pop and jazz-folk.

Learn more:

Crystal Coast Bridal Fair • Morehead City • January 9
At the Crystal Coast Civic Center, brides-to-be visit with wedding professionals at the longest-running and biggest bridal event on the North Carolina coast.

Learn more: (252) 240-3256 or

Trenton VFD and EMS Annual Auction • Trenton • January 9
Every January in Trenton, thousands flock to this flea market and auction for cars, trailers, tools, televisions, books, toys, furniture, homemade baked goods, and barbecue.

Learn more: (252) 448-2646 or

BBQ and Blue Jeans • New Bern • January 15
Dance the evening away at this fund-raiser for the New Bern Firemen’s Museum. Enjoy ribs, chicken, sides, dessert, and live music.

Learn more: (252) 636-4087 or

Molasses Creek • Rocky Mount • January 15
This award-winning band from Ocracoke Island plays tunes from their albums A Pirate Home Companion and Something Worth Having, which rose to No. 5 on The National Folk Radio DJ Charts.

Learn more: (252) 985-5197 or

StriperFest • Wilmington • January 15-16
A gathering of all things striper: native fish live auction and banquet, fishery restoration talks, a tag and release fishing tournament, boat trips up the Cape Fear, and more.

Learn more: (910) 762-5606 or

Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto • Wilmington • January 19
The NC Symphony Wilmington Series offers a night of class and relaxation with this tribute to Beethoven.

Learn more: (910) 362-7999 or

Robert Ruark: An American Author • Southport • January 19
The North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport invites you to learn about Ruark’s book The Old Man and The Boy, and the creative, tortured soul whose formative years began in the Lower Cape Fear region. Advance registration required.

Learn more: (910) 457-0003 or

Antiques Show & Sale • Wilmington • January 22-24
More than 35 dealers showcase fine early American and English furniture, vintage items, jewelry, and other collectibles for purchase. Restoration resource providers will be on-site. All proceeds benefit community charities.

Learn more: (910) 395-6062 or

Clam Chowder Cook-Off • Beaufort • January 22
Four volunteer clamchowder cooks compete at the Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center, while participants enjoy a tasting-size portion of each of the four chowders and then vote for their favorite. Cornbread taste-off to follow.

Learn more: (252) 728-7317 or

Balsam Range • Lumberton • January 23
Named for the majestic range of mountains that surrounds part of their home county of Haywood, Balsam Range combines elements of jazz, country, gospel, swing, and old-time music. They perform at 7 p.m. at the Carolina Civic Center.

Learn more: (910) 738-4339 or

Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts: Valinor Quartet • Kill Devil Hills • January 23
As a part of this performing series, artists hailing from Russia, England, and the U.S. display musical styles from classical to The Beatles to gypsy jazz, with a few surprises in between.

Learn more:

Dance 2016 • Greenville • January 28-February 2
Enjoy an evening of dance from graceful ballet to electrifying modern to percussive tap to hot jazz, by renowned guest artists and ECU faculty and students.

Learn more: (252) 328-6829 or

The Story Behind Echo the Whale • Beaufort • January 28
The museum’s natural science curator Keith Rittmaster leads an informal discussion about Echo, the 33½-foot-long adolescent male sperm whale that came ashore at Cape Lookout in 2004.

Learn more: (252) 728-7317 or

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