31 Things to Do in North Carolina in April: Awesome Spring Events and Festivals

Last Updated on October 2, 2021

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If you plan to visit Western NC, please check beforehand to see if the area is safe following the recent flooding. Officials have closed some sections of Pisgah National Forest (including Forest Heritage Scenic Byway and Blue Ridge Parkway stops) to keep visitors out of danger. Please respect signage and local guidance.

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

There are so many going on, that we had to narrow it down to 31 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.

Just so you know, more than a few of these April events (along with March and May) in our Spring Things to Do in North Carolina, too!

Things to Do in North Carolina in April 2020

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

NC Beer Month (All Month)

Things to Do in North Carolina in April NC Beer Month Lost Colony Brewery Outer Banks Image
Lost Colony Brewery and Cafe in Manteo is one of the many breweries you should visit during NC Beer Month!

North Carolina’s brew scene is pretty strong and in April, we celebrate the places that make it happen through NC Beer Month!

Even though you should visit throughout the year, April is a truly festive time and when we officially acknowledge the innovation and artistry of North Carolina beer.

And if you’re looking for a place to visit during NC Beer Month? Check out our North Carolina Brewery guide!

Baseball (All Month)

Most of North Carolina’s 11 Minor League Baseball teams get their seasons underway on April 5. Special events they might have going on to celebrate the first pitch of the All-American sport.

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

North Carolina Azalea Festival, Wilmington (April 1-5)

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

Sip on sweet tea and stroll through the historic homes, enjoy the music of Michael Franti & Spearhead and The Avett Brothers, and practice your wave during the annual parade.

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham (April 2-5)

Full Frame Film Festival is often referred to as “Sundance of the South.”

Filmmakers and film lovers from all over the world folk come to Downtown Durham’s American Tobacco Campus to take in nearly 100 movies and participate in discussions and roundtable panels.

Pig in the Park, Goldsboro (April 3-4)

At Pig in the Park in Goldsboro, 15 teams gather to cook their best whole hog BBQ. The teams are broken up into two divisions (NC Pork Council and Backyard) and it’s estimated that they’ll feed more than 5,000 festival-goers.

Newport Pig Cookin’ Contest, Newport (April 3-4)

Over 60 pigs are cooked and judged during this annual contest in Newport. And the best-tasting pig isn’t the only thing on the line at the 42nd Pig Cookin’ Contest. There are 10 money places and 10 trophy places at stake, too.

Moo & Brew Festival, Charlotte (April 4)

Things to Do in North Carolina in April Moo and Brew Festival Charlotte Image
Oskar Blues will be one of the breweries that you’ll be able to sample during Moo & Brew in Charlotte.

What better way to spend a beautiful spring weekend in Charlotte with Beer and Burgers? The annual Moo & Brew Festival celebrates craft beer and delicious burger vendors by featuring over 100 craft beers and 12 restaurants competing for the ultimate trophy.

Proceeds go to the Second Harvest Food Bank, so grab your stretchy pants and enjoy responsibly.

Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon & 5K, Cullowhee (April 4)

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 Vallie of the Lillies Half Marathon and 5K. Proceeds from the race support the students of WCU through professional development and travel.

NC Railroad Expo, Hickory (April 4)

If you like trains, then this event in Hickory is the thing to do in April for you! At the 18th annual NC Railroad Expo, 250 tables will be filled with various items related to model trains.

Trout Derby, Blowing Rock (April 4)

From sunrise to 4:00 pm on April 4, Broyhill Lake and other Watauga County bodies of water are the “it” places in Blowing Rock. During the 41st Blowing Rock Trout Derby, competitors have a chance to win prizes and there’s even fun for kids who enter, too!

Block House Steeplechase, Columbus (April 11)

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.

Eggstravaganza at the NC Zoo, Asheboro (April 11-12)

Visit the NC Zoo on April 11 or 12 and your admission will get you access to Eggstravaganza, too. During this family-friendly event, you can celebrate spring‘s arrival with activities from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Easter Hat Parade, Dillsboro (April 11)

For the Easter Hat Parade in Dillsboro, you can bring your own hat or fashion one at Dogwood Crafters. Parade registration begins at 11:00 am and the parade starts at 2:00 pm. Facepainting and meetings with the Easter Bunny are just a part of the exciting that accompanies this fun event.

Piratefest 2020, Greenville (April 17-18)

You scallywags aren’t going to want to miss the 14th annual Piratefest. Held 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.

We also included Piratefest in our guide to kid-friendly events in North Carolina!

Festival D’Avion, Carthage (April 17-18)

Celebrate the aviation and freedom of our military at the Festival D’Avion, just outside of Pinehurst.

Food, beverages, special events, and exhibits compliment this family-friendly event that honors the men and women from all five branches of our Military.

TarWheel Cycling Event, Elizabeth City (April 18)

Riders who join the 27th annual TarWheel Cycling Event have the option of cycling anywhere from one mile to 100. Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll get a chance to ride and enjoy beautiful countryside views of Northeastern NC.

Loch Norman Highland Games, Huntersville (April 17-19)

For the 27th year, Historic Rural Hill hosts the Loch Norman Highland Games. The family-friendly fun includes Highland Dancing, Bagpipe Bands, a Giant Kid’s Zone, and even more.

Earth Day 50th Anniversary at the NC Zoo, Asheboro (April 18)

Things to Do in North Carolina in April NC Zoo Earth Day

Join your fellow planet-lovers in Asheboro during their 50th Anniversary celebration of Earth Day. The greenest of things to do in April is included with North Carolina Zoo admission and the fun runs from 10:00 to 2:00 pm.

Rockyfest, Hiddenite (April 18)

During Rockyfest, old-time bluegrass music is accompanied by 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.

Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues, & Jazz Festival, Kure Beach (April 18)

Kure Beach’s annual Pleasure Island Seafood, Blues, & Jazz Festival packs a variety of performers and seafood into one day on one of NC’s best beaches. Eight bands on two stages (one “Blues” and one “Jazz”) complement the locally prepared seafood that’s waiting to be devoured by event-goers.

The Quicksilver Waterman Collection Carolina Cup, Wrightsville Beach (April 22-26)

Racers from over 20 nations will compete in the largest paddleboard race on the east coast in Wrightsville Beach.

The five-day event attracts the best professional paddlers and amateurs to compete and attend clinics. You can come and check out the races or hop on board yourself.

Dogwood Festivals, Fayetteville & Mebane (April 23-26)

There are two dogwood festivals happening at about the same in April. The first one is the four-day Fayetteville Dogwood Festival (April 23-26). Here, you’ll find entertainment, food, a street fair, and more to accompany a lovely display of blossoms.

And in Alamance County, the Mebane Dogwood Festival (April 24) is back for its 32nd year. The fun includes food and fun for kids and adults.

MerleFest, Wilkesboro (April 23-26)

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

And the April 2020 lineup in Wilkesboro includes names like Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, and Melissa Etheridge.

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

NC Pickle Fest, Mount Olive (April 24-25)

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!

Looking for more to do while in Mount Olive? Check out our Goldsboro weekend travel guide!

Hickory Hops Craft Beer and Music Festival, Hickory (April 25)

Round out NC Beer month in Hickory at North Carolina’s second-oldest brewery!

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.

Looking for more ways to enjoy NC Beer Month? Check out our North Carolina Brewery guide!

NC Gravity Games, Lenoir (April 25)

Middle school and high school teams from all over North Carolina return to Lenoir for the NC Science Festival’s signature event, the NC Gravity Games. Participating teams design and build gravity-powered cars, followed by a race on Lenoir’s streets.

Personally, I think this one ranks as one of the most fun events in April, but that’s just me.

SpringFest, Southern Pines (April 25)

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.

Greening Up the Mountains, Sylva (April 25)

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.

ICF Wildwater World Championships, Bryson City (April 26-30)

The 2020 International Canoe Federation Wildwater World Championships will be hosted by the Nantahala Racing Club and Nantahala Outdoor Center. Over five days at the end of April, more than 30 countries are represented by 150-plus athletes at this elite competition in Bryson City.

Wells Fargo Golf Championship 2020, Charlotte (April 27-May 3)

The Wells Fargo Golf Championship returns to Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte at the end of the month. It’s likely to attract some of the PGA’s top players who’ll pursue that $1 million-plus winner’s share.

Dale Earnhardt Day, Mooresville (April 29)

To honor “The Intimidator’s” birthday, Dale Earnhardt Inc is inviting his fans to join them in Mooresville for a day of celebration. Custom birthday cupcakes will be provided, along with a commemoration of Dale Earnhardt’s life and legacy during this free event.

Got Something to Add?

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.

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