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Spring in North Carolina (80+ Great Events and Things to Do)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on April 22, 2024.

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Spring in North Carolina is packed with fun things to do throughout the state, including special holidays, local events, and festivals. This is also when much of the state reopens after colder months.

Plants and trees bloom at botanical gardens and elsewhere (hello, allergies!), the days get warmer, and people (like us!) start venturing outside more often.

There are so many things to do 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.

Whether you’re a new resident, a frequent visitor, or a local, we’re leaving no detail behind. If you live in the Boone area and are wondering, “What are the best things to do near me?” we think this NC travel guide will help you out!

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 21, 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 Break in North Carolina

Wrightsville pier drone
Topsail Beach.

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 a fun North Carolina 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 Boone and Asheville in spring. 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.
  • There are wonderful hiking trails to start your spring in North Carolina adventures from the mountains to the sea. 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.

Purim

Purim is the first of two Jewish holidays in this guide. Its official days of observance are March 23 to 24, but some events are celebrated earlier.

Read More: 80+ Great Things to Do in Asheville (The Asheville Bucket List)

Holi

Holi is a “Festival of Colors” celebrating love, new life, and spring! In North Carolina, Holi Festivals and similarly themed events bring visitors from all walks of life.

Here are a few happening throughout spring in NC:

Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Boone: Hikes, Eats, and More in App Town

Passover

In 2024, Passover is from April 22 to April 30. While it’s largely celebrated at home, here are some events commemorating this major Jewish holiday:

Please bear with us as we continue searching for Passover events this spring in North Carolina (and beyond!). If you know of one we should add to this list, please let us know by email.

Easter Events

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 252nd Eastern Sunrise Service in 2024.

Easter egg hunts are another holiday tradition, also held throughout the state. Here are a few locations holding them:

Read More: Fort Fisher State Historic Site (20+ Facts and How to Visit)

Eid al-Fitr

Eid al-Fitr is an important Muslim holiday that marks the end of dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. It falls on April 10, 2024.

We are searching for events related to this momentous day, so stay tuned!

Memorial Day

Spring in North Carolina Memorial Day Observance Battleship NC Wilmington

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 is in May, we’ll include it in this guide to spring in NC.

Many of our towns and cities will host Memorial Day ceremonies. Here are a few select events happening over the holiday weekend:

Read More: Amazing Beaches Near Wilmington (Which One is the Best?)

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!

Read More: Wonderful Places to Visit in the High Country

Botanical Gardens

Things to do with kids in Durham Sarah P Duke Gardens

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.

Read More: Colorful Fall Hikes in North Carolina (+ 20 Beautiful Places to Explore!)

Elvis Tribute Festival

Elvis Presley may not be from North Carolina, but he played here. In 1956, a young Elvis performed in Lexington to a sold-out crowd.

The King was so beloved in Lexington that “Elvis 56,” the Broadway-style show, sold out 60 years later. Now, the people of Lexington (and North Carolina) will get even more Elvis from April 26 to 28 with the 3rd Annual NC Tribute Festival to “The King.”

Read More: 15 Fantastic Restaurants in Lexington (Barbecue & More!)

Farmer’s Markets

Carrboro NC Farmers Market Image

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 local cheeses or a fresh bouquet and support your local North Carolina farmers.

On behalf of the Department of Agriculture, North Carolina Farm Fresh put together this nice directory of our state’s farmer’s markets.

Food and Drink Festivals

Spring in North Carolina Barbecue Image

With the warmer weather, North Carolina’s cities and small towns start showcasing a piece of the state’s awesome food scene!

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 NC:

Read More: Our Interview with Jerry Stephenson of Redneck BBQ Lab

Film Festivals

Things to Do in North Carolina in April Full Frame Fest Durham NC

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:

Read More: Movies Filmed in North Carolina

Music Festivals

Merlefest stages

MerleFest is one of the premier music festivals in the country, joined by a few more during spring in North Carolina:

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 3 to 7). 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 for music as local and national acts 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

Piratefest

You scallywags aren’t going to want to miss the annual Piratefest on April 20! Hosted along the Tar River in Greenville, this year’s event will have live music, mermaids, sword fighting, and plenty of vendors.

Be there, or dare to walk the plank. Before or after the fun, you should grab some food and/or a pint at one of these awesome breweries and restaurants in Greenville.

Read More: Kid-Friendly Events in North Carolina

Spring Races

Dismal Swamp State Park Paddle for the Border Annual May Event in NC
Paddle for the Border.

These races will keep your adrenaline pumping during spring in North Carolina:

Read More: Carolina Beach State Park (and 7 Great Things to Do There!)

WNC Bigfoot Festival

Things to do in Marion NC big foot

Marion’s annual WNC Bigfoot Festival (May 18) 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

Spring Sports

We couldn’t share our favorite things to do during spring in North Carolina without featuring sports.

Baseball

Minor League Baseball North Carolina Image
Head to Kinston and watch the Down East Wood Ducks!

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.

Whether you’re hanging with Wool E. Bull at DBAP in Durham, being a Tourist in Asheville, or getting Knighted during spring in Charlotte NC, there’s always a game going on.

Another fun spring event happening in North Carolina is the ACC Baseball Championship. In 2024, it’s being held in Charlotte at Truist Field!

Read More: 58 Excellent Day Trips from Greensboro (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Basketball

Spring in North Carolina College Basketball Duke

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 6-10, the Coliseum in Greensboro will host the ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Women’s games will start on March 6 and the championship will determine the ACC’s automatic entry to the NCAA tourney on March 10.

Read More: The Historic Magnolia House in Greensboro (an Excellent Former Green Book Hotel)

Ready to Enjoy Spring in North Carolina?

Many of these events require tickets and reservations. If so, please get in touch with them in advance to secure your spot.

We hope you can enjoy at least a few of these events and things to do 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.

More Things to Do (Beyond Spring in North Carolina)

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