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25+ Great Things to Do in North Carolina in April (Spring Festivals and More!)

Published by Christina Riley. Last Updated on May 2, 2023.

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Flowers are finally blooming and spring has officially arrived by the time April in North Carolina rolls around. This is the perfect time of year to travel through the state and attend events happening all around.

There is so much going on that we had to narrow it down to 25 fun things to do in North Carolina in April. We hope you can partake in at least a few, but for now, let’s see which ones you’re going to love the most!

Also, to keep things organized, we’ve ordered these events in April by starting date, alphabetizing by the city when there are multiple going on. Here’s how you can find the date you’re looking for.

  • Things to Do in North Carolina in April (All Month and TBD)
  • April 1-10
  • April 11-20
  • April 21-30

You can skip ahead to a specific 10-day period of the month or continue reading about a couple of great month-long things to do in North Carolina in April.

Read More: The NC Tripping Events Calendar

Things to Do in North Carolina in April (All Month and TBD)

Note: If you represent a tourism bureau, destination marketing organization, or PR agency and want placement here, please visit this page for more info.

Baseball (All Month)

Things to Do in North Carolina in April

Most of North Carolina’s Minor League Baseball teams get their seasons underway on March 31. They may also have special events to celebrate the first pitch of the All-American sport.

Don’t forget about NCAA Baseball, which started in February but is still going strong in April.

Read More: March in North Carolina and May in North Carolina

North Carolina Science Festival, Statewide (All Month)

Sylvan Heights Bird Park flamigos
Sylvan Heights Bird Park in Scotland Neck joins the fun!

The North Carolina Science Festival is produced by UNC-Chapel Hill’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. This annual month-long celebration of science is a collection of hundreds of community events held throughout North Carolina.

There are so many venues to name, and the Morehead Planetarium will provide updates on the event website.

These events are an eclectic mix of indoor and outdoor fun, including star parties at planetariums, festivals, nature walks, and more! 

Read More: Greensboro Science Center (Museum, Zoo, and Aquarium All in One Wonderful Place!)

Things to Do in North Carolina in April (1-10)

Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest in Newport (March 31-April 1)

Over 65 chefs participate in this pig cooking and judging contest in Newport. And the best-tasting pig isn’t the only thing on the line at the 45th Pig Cookin’ Contest.

There are 10 money places and 10 trophy places at stake, too.

Tacos N Taps Festival in Cary (April 1)

More than 15 taco trucks, dueling margarita bars, and mariachi bands are just a small sampling of the fun found at Cary’s Tacos N Taps Festival.

Open from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, the festival offers 60-plus beers, tequilas, wine, and ciders to compliment the delicious tacos.

Read More: The Best Things to Do in Cary

Catamount Climb Half Marathon & 5K in Cullowhee (April 1)

Two Western Carolina University departments (the Department of Campus Recreation and School of Health Sciences) join forces for the 10th year to host the school’s annual Catamount Climb Half Marathon and 5K, previously called the Valley of the Lilies.

Proceeds from the race support the students of WCU through professional development and travel.

Read More: The Wonderful NC Waterfall Byway (+ 15 Awesome Stops!)

Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine in Kure Beach (April 1)

The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher near Wilmington hosts Cape Fear Craft & Cuisine in conjunction with Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance. During this event, many local chefs pair their best creations with 10-plus North Carolina breweries.

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

Dreamville Music Festival in Raleigh (April 1-2)

Dreamville Festival is an annual outdoor weekend music celebration, with a lineup curated by internationally-acclaimed hip-hop superstar (and NC native) J. Cole and his Dreamville team.

Held at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh, the festival brings together local residents and travelers alike to enjoy incredible music performances.

Read More: 25+ Restaurants in Raleigh (Date Night & Casual Bites)

Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro (April 8)

For the Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro, you can bring your own hat or fashion one at Dogwood Crafters. Parade registration begins at noon and the parade starts at 2:00 PM.

A sneak peek of the fun you’ll have here is face painting and meetings with the Easter bunny!

Things to Do in North Carolina in April (11-20)

TarWheel Cycling Event in Elizabeth City (April 15)

Riders who join the annual TarWheel Cycling Event can cycle anywhere from one mile to 100. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll get a chance to ride and enjoy the beautiful countryside views of Northeastern NC.

North Carolina Azalea Festival in Wilmington (April 12-16)

At the NC Azalea Festival, be the belle of the ball! Or at least take part in the state’s largest festival to celebrate spring Southern style.

This is possibly one of the best things to do in Wilmington throughout the year!

Sip on sweet tea and stroll through the historic homes, enjoy the music of REO Speedwagon and Cypress Hill, and practice your wave during the annual parade.

Read More: The Best Restaurants In Wilmington (and Surrounding Beach Towns)

RiverRun International Film Festival in Winston-Salem (April 13-22)

The annual RiverRun International Film Festival returns to Winston-Salem with over 100 films from 30+ countries. This lineup is just part of why RiverRun is considered one of the Southeast’s premier film festivals.

Along with ticketed showings, there are more free events and screenings offered than ever before.

Read More: Delicious Winston-Salem Restaurants (Awesome Eats Throughout Camel City!)

All American Tattoo Convention in Fayetteville (April 14-16)

The All American Tattoo Convention in Fayetteville is the place to be if you are looking for new ink. With celebrity artists also seen on Inkmaster, Tattoo Nightmares, and Tattoo Rescue browse to find your perfect fit.

Specialty vendors will be on-site to accompany events happening all day. They include tattoo contests and a Food Truck Rodeo.

Read More: The Best Things to Do in Fayetteville

Block House Steeplechase in Columbus (April 15)

North Carolina’s longest-running steeplechase commences in Columbus when the Block House returns. Total purses reach $70,000 among the four National Steeplechase Association-sanctioned races.

Read More: Pearson’s Falls (How to See this Lovely 90-Foot Waterfall!)

Hickory Hops Craft Beer and Music Festival in Hickory (April 15)

Things to Do in North Carolina in April Olde HIckory Craft Beer and Music Festival

50 breweries and vendors converge at Olde Hickory Brewery for the 18th annual Hickory Hops Craft Beer and Music Festival to celebrate delicious brews for a perfect weekend.

Read More: Amazing Restaurants in Hickory

Loch Norman Highland Games in Huntersville (April 15-16)

The Loch Norman Highland Games returns to Historic Rural Hill! The Scotland-themed family-friendly fun includes highland dancing, bagpipe bands, and other Scottish cultural festivities!

Read More: 30+ Interesting Lake Norman Facts You Should Know (History and More!)

Piratefest in Greenville (April 15)

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

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

Things to Do in North Carolina in April (21-30)

Rockyfest in Hiddenite (April 22)

Join a community of bluegrass music lovers at the 11th annual Rockyfest! This festival celebrates old-time bluegrass music and has a trail race, rock climbing, and more fun.

Kids can enjoy inflatables and everyone involved will love the arts and craft vendors and food that will be on hand.

Greening Up the Mountains in Sylva (April 22)

Sylva in Jackson County has its own spring celebration with Greening Up the Mountains.

Three stages will have bands from the area playing during this free festival and there will be a variety of kid-centric events—storytelling and a recycled materials Superhero Costume Contest, to name a couple.

Read More: Bear Lake Reserve (Everything You Need to Know about this NC Mountains Getaway)

Dogwood Festivals in Fayetteville & Mebane (April 28-30)

There are two dogwood festivals happening at about the same in April.

In Alamance County, the Mebane Dogwood Festival (April 21-22) is back for its 35th year. The fun includes food and fun for kids and adults.

The four-day Fayetteville Dogwood Festival (April 27-30) is where you’ll find entertainment, food, a street fair, and more to accompany a lovely display of blossoms.

Read More: The Best Day Trips from Raleigh

Spring Daze Arts and Crafts Festival in Cary (April 29)

The annual art festival in Cary’s Bond Park showcases local artists and craftsmen. The full day of events includes entertainment on four stages, food and activities for the kids.

Read More: 15 of the Best Things to Do in Cary (Great Food, Beer, and Outdoor Fun!)

NC Pickle Fest in Mount Olive (April 29)

Occurring Downtown every April, the small town of Mount Olive fills with thousands of pickle enthusiasts for the NC Pickle Fest. Events include the Pickle Eating Contest, Tour De Pickle (25, 53, or 75-mile bike races), and the Cuke Patch 5k.

And if you’re not in a competitive mood, Downtown is packed with events, special vendors, and all things pickle this April!

Read More: Restaurants in Goldsboro and Wayne County

MerleFest in Wilkesboro (April 27-30)

Merlefest family friendly

Considered to be one of the premier music festivals in the country, MerleFest showcases “traditional plus” music in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of the American music legend Doc Watson.

Merlefest stages

And the April 2023 lineup includes names like The Avett Brothers, Maren Morris and Little Feat.

We interviewed MerleFest founder B Townes and you can read all about it here!

Read More: Fun Things to Do in Wilkesboro

SpringFest in Southern Pines (April 29)

For the last of our things to do in North Carolina in April, we celebrate spring’s arrival in downtown Southern Pines with a fun day of food, rides, and more entertainment.

During SpringFest, two blocks of Broad Street are blocked off, with more than 160 vendors from our state and beyond filling them up for the day.

Read More: 11 Great Weymouth Woods Trails (and More Things to Do)

MerleFest 2023

Ready for These Fun Things to Do in North Carolina in April?

So, which April event or events do you plan on attending? Also, is there something we should add to this list of April events in North Carolina?

We’d love to know about it. Send us an email and we’ll take a look!

Note: If you represent a tourism bureau, destination marketing organization, or PR agency and would like placement here, please visit this page for more info.

More Things to Do in North Carolina in April (and Beyond!)

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