North Carolina has plenty of reason to celebrate, and it does. Throughout the year the state showcases its rich history, musical heritage, beer brewing prowess, and general love of having a good time. There are festivals all over the state, from the big cities like Charlotte to tiny hamlets like Tryon. Asheville has a superb schedule of events in the mountains, while Wilmington takes care of the coastal scene. Chances are good there will be something fun on tap during your visit.

Asheville Fringe Festival

Asheville is North Carolina’s unofficial hub of creativity and artistic expression. The downtown district hosts street side buskers and wandering artists all year round, but each January it goes out of its way to present the most innovative and provocative performance art around. Five venues around the downtown, including the historic BeBe Theater showcase everything from multimedia and plays to dance and comedy.

Charlotte Wine & Food Weekend

Every April the city of Charlotte shows off its best restaurants and wine. It’s quite the society event, with top restaurants hosting special dinners, wine pairings, auctions, and even live music performances. North Carolina turns its attention to gastronomy over this long weekend to herald the end of winter.

Blue Ridge BBQ Festival

North Carolina is famous for its style of pork barbecue and the town of Tryon puts on the state’s biggest celebration of this dish every June for two days. Dozens of different barbecue cooks converge on the town park to feed the hoards of barbecue fans. There are also nightly fireworks shows, live music, and plenty of special activities for kids.

Bele Chere Festival

Asheville’s big summer event is this fantastic festival that caps off the peak of summer each July. The entire downtown district is turned into a big street party, with carnival rides, live entertainment and music on six different stages, and loads of special activities for the kids. Come to Asheville over this long weekend and see the town at its best as it hosts nearly 400,000 fun-loving visitors.

Brewgrass Festival

North Carolina’s craft beer darling is the mountain town of Asheville. Every September as the colors of fall start to kick in this fun town celebrates its twin talents of brewing amazing beer and bluegrass music into one very popular festival. Brewgrass attracts over 30 small breweries from around the state along with some of the best bluegrass musicians in the world. The result is an outdoor event that is worth planning a trip around.

Wilmington Riverfest

The coastal town of Wilmington is one of North Carolina’s coolest cities. It boasts both rich history and lovely seaside scenery, and every October the town kicks up its heels for three days and revels in its position. This free festival features everything from antique car shows to fireworks and live music. There are dance competitions, a pirate invasion, and various sporting events. Overall, it’s a great family atmosphere with a huge range of activities to enjoy.