Last Updated on May 24, 2022
Last Updated on May 24, 2022
Spring in North Carolina is packed with fun things to do throughout the state, including special holidays, local events, and festivals. This is also the time when much of the state reopens after colder months.
Plants and trees start to bloom at botanical gardens and elsewhere (hello, allergies!), the days get warmer, and people (like us!) start venturing outside more often.
There’s so much going on during spring in North Carolina, that we’ve organized activities by category.
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:
- Spring Holidays (Ordered by Date)
- Events During Spring in North Carolina (Major Events and Things to Do Grouped by Category in ABC Order)
- Spring Sports
Skip ahead to the section you’re seeking or keep reading for fun and important spring holidays.
Read More: The NC Bucket List
Spring in North Carolina (Specific Months)
Like everywhere else, spring in North Carolina officially runs from March 20 to June 20, but our guide focuses on the months of March to May. We’ve created some individual guides, which you’ll find here:
Holidays During Spring in North Carolina
These are major holidays recognized either statewide or in select communities during spring in North Carolina.
Spring in North Carolina largely starts with Spring Break, even if it happens before the official start on March 20. Here are a few places and activities we think you should look into for Spring Break:
- Our amazing beaches are the perfect spot for your vacation, but keep in mind that some don’t fully reopen for the season until April.
- Still, spots like Holden Beach in Brunswick County and Kure Beach near Wilmington are always on our minds. It’s impossible to leave out the awesome Topsail Island and the Outer Banks, either.
- Of course, don’t count out mountain towns like Asheville and Boone. Like our beaches, some popular Blue Ridge Parkway stops might not reopen until April. The road closures page managed by our National Parks Service is a great resource.
- From the mountains to the sea, there are wonderful hiking trails to start your spring in North Carolina adventures. Whether you’re following the white blazes of the lengthy Appalachian Trail or enjoying flatter paths in Central and Eastern North Carolina, there’s a trail here for you.
As you can see, the whole state is one amazing Spring Break destination.
Read More: Weekend Getaways in North Carolina
St Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is a festive occasion when everyone is encouraged to wear green and have a jolly day. These popular events are always on our minds when the holiday approaches.
- Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Day Festival (March 12)
- Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Raleigh (March 12)
- St. Patrick’s Lo Tide Run in Carolina Beach (March 12)
- Wilmington St. Patrick’s Day Parade (March 12)
- Green River Revival at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte (March 12)
Purim is the first of two Jewish holidays in this guide. Its official days of observance are March 16 to 17 but some events are celebrated on later days.
- Chabad Center for Jewish Life in Charlotte (March 16 to 17)
- Chabad-Lubavitch of Western North Carolina in Asheville (March 16 to 17)
- Purim Carnival at Temple Kol Tikvah in Davidson (March 20)
- NC Museum of Art Purim Party in Raleigh (April 9)
Holi is a “Festival of Colors” that celebrates love, new life, and spring! In North Carolina, Holi Festivals and similarly themed events are bringing in visitors from all walks of life.
Here are a few happening throughout spring in North Carolina:
- Holi Festival in Morrisville (March 12)
- Holi Festival at App State in Boone (March 18)
- NC Holi Festival in Albemarle(March 20)
- Holi Moli at UNC Chapel Hill (April 23)
In 2022, Passover is from April 15 to April 23. While it’s largely celebrated at home, here are some events commemorating this major Jewish holiday:
- Chabad of Asheville
- Chabad of Charlotte
- Judea Reform Congregation in Durham
- NC Museum of Art Seder in Raleigh
- Passover Cooking at Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen in Charlotte
- Temple Beth Or in Raleigh
Please bear with us as we continue searching for Passover events this spring in North Carolina (and beyond!). If you know of one that we should add to this list, please let us know by email.
Easter is a special holiday that has evolved to mix religious traditions with family-friendly adventures. Sunrise services are held in churches throughout North Carolina.
A prominent one is the Salem Congregation, which will hold its 250th Eastern Sunrise Service in 2022.
Easter egg hunts are another holiday tradition, also held throughout the state. Here are a few locations holding them:
- Fuquay-Varina (April 1 to 14)
- Cary (Contactless, April 8 to 17 and In-Person, April 9)
- Alligator Egg Hunt at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher (April 9 and April 15 to 16)
- Biltmore Estate (April 12)
- Belmont (April 16)
- Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo (April 16)
Eid al-Fitr is an important Muslim holiday that marks the end of dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. It falls on May 2, 2022.
We are searching for events related to this momentous day, so stay tuned!
Memorial Day Weekend is a time to remember those who have fallen protecting this wonderful nation.
It is also the unofficial beginning of summer. Since the holiday takes place in May, we’ll include it in this guide to spring in North Carolina.
- Memorial Day Weekend at Rumbling Bald in Lake Lure (May 27 to May 30)
- Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord (May 29)
- Memorial Day Celebration at the US Whitewater Center in Charlotte (May 29 to 30)
- The Battleship North Carolina Memorial Day Observance in Wilmington is currently canceled. Stay tuned for further updates.
Spring in North Carolina (More Events)
With a few exceptions like the NC Azalea Festival, Piratefest, and the WNC Bigfoot Festival, these spring events have been grouped into categories.
Arts and Culture Festivals
The arts truly come alive during spring in North Carolina. Here are some fantastic events to check out!
- North Carolina Potters Conference in Asheboro (March 3 to 6)
- Art in Bloom at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh (March 16 to 20)
- Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival in Hickory (March 25 to 26)
- Rockyfest in Hiddenite (April 23)
- Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival at Bond Park in Cary (April 30)
- Spring Folly in Kernersville (May 6 to 8)
- Carolina Beach Street Arts Festival (May 7)
- North Carolina Maritime Museum Wooden Boat Show in Beaufort (May 7)
- Plein Air Festival in Southport (May 13-14)
- Artsplosure in Raleigh (May 21 to 22)
- Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival in Durham (May 21)
- Orange Street ArtsFest in Wilmington (May 28 to 29)
A visit to one of our amazing botanical gardens is one of the best things to do during spring in North Carolina. This is THE time of year to visit these wonderfully manicured green spaces.
- Biltmore Gardens at Biltmore Estate
- Cape Fear Botanical Garden in Fayetteville
- NC Arboretum in Asheville
- Sarah P. Duke Gardens in Durham
- WRAL Azalea Gardens in Raleigh
Elvis Tribute Festival
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Lexington
Everything is in bloom and the ground is starting to thaw, which makes a farmer’s market visit one of our favorite spring things to do in North Carolina.
Most have a limited winter market, so spring is when they really start to open up and come alive again. Pick up some local cheeses or a fresh bouquet and support your local North Carolina farmers.
Food and Drink Festivals
Regardless of which side you stand with, NC Barbecue is worth celebrating! Whether it’s Eastern-style or Lexington-style, barbecue dominates the lineup of food-forward events during spring in North Carolina:
- North Carolina Rice Festival in Leland (March 4-5)
- Birds, Brews & BBQ at Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck (March 12)
- Taste the Beach in The Outer Banks (March 25 to 27, also mentioned in our OBX off-season guide)
- Fremont Daffodil Festival (March 26)
- Blue, Brew, & ‘Que Festival in Kenansville (March 26)
- Bull City Food and Beer Experience in Durham (March 27)
- Pig in the Park in Goldsboro (April TBD)
- Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest in Newport (April 1-2)
- Tacos N Taps Festival in Cary (April 2)
- Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine at the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher (April 2)
- Fayetteville Dogwood Festival (April 21-24)
- Mebane Dogwood Festival (April 22-23)
- NC Pickle Fest in Mount Olive (April 23)
- Hickory Hops Craft Beer and Music Festival in Hickory (April 25)
- SpringFest in Southern Pines (April 30)
- BBQ Fest on the Neuse in Kinston (May 6 to 7)
- Ham and Yam in Smithfield (May 7)
- Hook, Line, and Drinker in Sylva (May 14)
- Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury (May 21)
Film festivals are great ways to enjoy spring in North Carolina, especially on days when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Here are a couple that we’re keeping tabs on:
- Full Frame Film Festival in Durham (April 7 to 10)
- RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem (April 21 to 30)
Last of the Mohicans 30th Anniversary and Reunion
Multiple spots in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina served as film locations for the award-winning Last of the Mohicans. A few prominent locations include Biltmore Estate in Asheville, Triple Falls in DuPont State Recreational Forest, and Lake James.
On May 14, the Historic Courthouse Square in Morganton will host a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the filming.
Live music, heritage craft vendors, reenactors, food trucks, a beer festival and more will be waiting.
Read More: Movies Filmed in North Carolina
Merlefest is one of the premier music festivals in the country, joined by a few more during spring in North Carolina:
- Hickory Hops Craft Beer and Music Festival (April 25)
- MerleFest in Wilkesboro (April 28 to May 1)
- Tuckfest at the US Whitewater Center in Charlotte (April 29 to May 1)
- Spring Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance in Pittsboro (May 5 to 8)
- Carolina Blues Festival in Greensboro (May 14 to 21)
- Beaufort Music Festival (May 20 to 21)
- Jimmy-June Music Concert Series in Winston-Salem (May 21)
- Atlantic Beach Music Festival in Atlantic Beach (May 21)
- Lil John’s Mountain Music Festival in Snow Camp (May 26 to 28)
Read More: Bands from North Carolina
NC Azalea Festival
Speaking of azaleas, head down to Wilmington for a true celebration of the South with the NC Azalea Festival (April 6 to 10). It’s taken place every April for the past fifty years! Parades, festive galas, historic home tours, and lush gardens await.
Don’t miss out on the concert series either, as big names like Brantley Gilbert hit the stage. Watch as the Southern belles make their way to the annual garden party and enjoy the festivities!
Read More: Amazing Beaches near Wilmington
You scallywags aren’t going to want to miss the annual Piratefest from April 8 to 9! Hosted along the Tar River in Greenville, this year’s event will have live music, BMX, sword fighting, and plenty of vendors on hand.
Read More: Kid-Friendly Events in North Carolina
These races will keep your adrenaline pumping during spring in North Carolina:
- Assault on Blackrock in Sylva (March 19)
- US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship in Wrightsville Beach (March 19)
- TarWheel Cycling Event in Elizabeth City (April 9)
- Block House Steeplechase in Columbus (April 16)
- The Quicksilver Waterman Collection Carolina Cup in Wrightsville Beach (April 27-May 1)
- Paddle for the Border at the Dismal Swamp Canal in South Mills (May 7)
- Hang Gliding Spectacular in Nags Head (May 19-22)
WNC Bigfoot Festival
Marion’s annual WNC Bigfoot Festival (May 13 to 14) is all about the legendary creature that may or may not wander the Northeast US and Marion’s surroundings. This fun festival includes Bigfoot-themed food and souvenirs and an indoor expo area.
Read More: Day Trips from Asheville
We couldn’t share our favorite things to do during spring in North Carolina without featuring sports.
There’s no better way to celebrate spring than with the crack of the bat on opening day in April! Grab a hot dog and a beer over third base and cheer on one of North Carolina’s Minor League Baseball teams.
Another fun spring event happening in North Carolina is the ACC Baseball Championship. In 2022, it’s being held at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte!
Spring in North Carolina also means our basketball teams are gearing up for tournament runs and hopefully, the Charlotte Hornets are fighting for a playoff spot.
Before the NCAA Tourney begins, there are conference tournaments to settle.
From March 2 to 6, the Coliseum in Greensboro will host the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Women’s games will start on Wednesday, March 2 and the championship will determine the ACC’s automatic entry to the NCAA tourney on Sunday, March 6.
The Men’s side of the ACC Tournament is in Brooklyn this year starting March 8. The ACC Men’s champion will hopefully come from North Carolina, though we’re not publicly picking any sides.
Ready to Enjoy Spring in North Carolina?
Many of these events require tickets and reservations. If so, please contact them in advance to secure your spot.
We hope you’re able to enjoy at least a few of these events during spring in North Carolina! There’s so much to do throughout the state and we can’t wait to keep sharing it all with you.
What are your favorite events during this time of year? Is there anything we should add? Let us know in the comments or by email and we’ll be happy to take a look.