Whether hiking the Great Smoky Mountains, building sand castles on one of North Carolina’s 300 miles of beaches, touring one of the state’s cities, visiting the state’s historic sites, or attending North Carolina Festivals, visitors to the state will be happy and busy. Festivals in North Carolina range from food and beverage tastings, to arts and craft shows, to fairs and more. North Carolina Music Festivals, some of which are internationally acclaimed, celebrate every kind of music. Listed below are four of the state’s most famous events.
North Carolina Jazz Festival (early February), Wilmington.
For more than 30 years Jazz has been celebrated with concerts by renowned musicians, workshops, the festival’s famous half-hour concerts with sets led by different all-stars, a program of jazz education and more.
North Carolina Azalea Festival (middle of April), Wilmington.
With an annual attendance of 300,000 people this 3-day event is one of the largest festivals around. For 3 days visitors enjoy gardens, art displays, concerts, parade, and a street fair that includes arts and crafts, food, and a triathlon.
Folkmoot USA (late July), Waynesville and Maggie Valley.
Folkmoot is an international festival that has focused on folk dance and music for the past 25 years. More than 350 participants from more than 12 countries offer dance performances with original folk costumes and workshops that share different nations’ cultures. Since its inception, more than 100 countries have sent folk groups (more than 200) to represent their cultural heritage.
North Carolina State Fair (middle of October), Raleigh.
The state’s agriculture and livestock exhibition has been held nearly every year since it was started in 1853. More than 1 million people attend this 11-day celebration of the state that includes exhibits of antique farm machinery, agricultural products, livestock, flower and garden shows, art displays, a folk festival, shows at the grandstand, roller coasters and a carnival with a midway that is larger than those at other state fairs. There is stage entertainment, and entertainers roam the grounds. Some of the buildings date to 1928 and are also of interest to fairgoers.