25+ Things to Do in North Carolina in August (Updated for 2023)

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

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As the last full month of summer, there’s an impressive number of local events and things to do in North Carolina in August. You could even consider this the busiest time of year!

This is a fun time to be in our state, whether you’re just traveling through or already living here. For our rundown of August events, we’ve got plenty of foodie fun, family-friendly festivals, and watery celebrations for you. 

And like we’ve done with other monthly roundups, these events are ordered by starting date and alphabetized by city.

In case you’re looking for specific August events in NC or something else this month, here’s how we’ve organized this guide:

  • Things to Do in North Carolina in August (1-10)
  • August 11-20
  • August 21-31

Read More: Things to Do in July in North Carolina

Things to Do in North Carolina in August (1-10 Start)

NC Watermelon Festival, Murfreesboro (August 2-5)

Murfreesboro’s NC Watermelon Festival is one of the hottest things to do in North Carolina in August, and not just because of those summer temps. 

This four-day event has watermelon samples, concerts, amusement rides, and so much more!

Read More: Things to Do in North Carolina in June

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, Blowing Rock (August 2-6)

Blowing Rock’s Charity Horse Show starts off August with a wonderful charity event as the foundation commences its final week of Hunter/Jumper events in early August.

Admission is $10 per person each day and kids under 12 get in free. Proceeds will go to various local organizations in North Carolina’s High Country.

Read More: 30+ Great Things to Do in Blowing Rock

US Kids Golf World Championship, Pinehurst (August 3-5)

Things to Do in North Carolina Pinehurst Resort

Pinehurst Resort and more area golf courses will host the US Kids Golf World Championship. The three-day event will bring 1,450 6-12-aged players from around the world.

In addition, you might even catch some future greats early in their careers. 

Read More: 11 Wonderful Things to Do in Pinehurst (Golf and More!)

Robbins Farmers Day, Robbins (August 3-5)

Robbins Farmers Day returns to Moore County, with local music, food, carnival rides, and more kid-friendly fun. The Farmers Day Parade on Saturday will bring tractors, well-dressed men, women, children, and horses for all to see. 

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

North Carolina Mineral and Gem Festival, Spruce Pine (August 3-6)

Come visit the small mountain town of Spruce pine for the annual North Carolina Mineral and Gem Festival. Visitors can enjoy all the shopping opportunities, mine tours, and activities such as kayaking and wild rafting.

Read More: 31 of the Best North Carolina Mountain Towns to Visit Now!

National Lighthouse Weekend, Bald Head Island (August 4)

Things to Do in North Carolina in August

Yet another reason to visit Bald Head Island is National Lighthouse Weekend, a tribute to Old Baldy‘s 200-year history.

A rubber duck race, a scenic 5k/10k, and more will celebrate North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse in style. 

Read More: 100+ Unique Things to Do In North Carolina (Your NC Bucket List)

Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair, Burnsville (August 4-5)

Yancey County celebrates the annual Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair in downtown Burnsville, always on the first Friday and Saturday in August.

Artists, vendors, and musicians come from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia to Burnsville’s Town Square to show off their goods and connect with the local community. 

Hopefully, you’ll have time to eat at one of Burnsville’s amazing restaurants before or after the Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair.

Read More: Toe River Arts (One Truly Amazing North Carolina Arts Supporter)

Reevestock Music Festival, Elkin (August 4-5)

Things to Do in Elkin North Carolina Reeves Theater

Reevestock Music Festival returns to Elkin. The grassroots festival will feature roots, indie rock, Americana, and bluegrass musicians.

Reevestock kicks off with an outdoor block party before a ticketed event at the Reeves Theater in downtown Elkin (also a great restaurant!) on Friday, August 4 before moving to the Hidden Amphitheater on Saturday for concerts by the 2023 lineup.

Read More: 5 Ways to Reach Carter Falls In Elkin (a Beautiful Yadkin Valley Waterfall)

Fig Festival, Ocracoke (August 4-5)

Celebrate Ocracoke Island’s summer fig harvest with the Ocracoke Fig Festival. The fig-filled weekend is all about the island’s fig picking, fig preserving, and fig cake-making traditions!

Special guest Chef Bill Smith of Crook’s Corner will host the Ocracoke Island festival, which also features music, storytelling, and more! Also, don’t forget to stop by Ocracoke Lighthouse or Springer’s Point while you’re on this wonderful island.

Read More: Portsmouth Island (How to See this Beautiful Uninhabited Place)

Denton Watermelon Festival, Denton (August 5)

Denton’s Harrison Park will host the Denton Watermelon Festival. At this Davidson County event, there will be a variety of family-friendly fun, including a “Heaviest NC-Grown Watermelon Contest,” a Watermelon Pageant, and a cornhole tournament. 

State of Origin Craft Brew Fest, Morganton (August 5)

North Carolina Breweries Morganton NC Fonta Flora Whippoorwill Farm Location

The State of Origin Craft Brew Fest returns to Burke County and the Morganton Courthouse Square. More than 25  breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries, and even kombucha makers from around the country will be waiting to help you celebrate the things that make local drinks special, including thoughtful and seasonal fermentation.

A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Foothills Conservancy of NC.

Read More: 30+ Awesome Things to Do in Morganton and Around Burke County (Hikes, Food, and More!)

7th Inning Stretch Festival, Shelby (August 5)

Shelby will host its 7th Inning Stretch Festival, kicking off with a morning 5K. At 10 am, the Little Miss American Legion beauty pageant will get started at the Don Gibson Theatre.

Read More: 13 Awesome Restaurants in Shelby and Cleveland County

OBX Pirate Festival, Nags Head (August 9-10)

Outer Banks NC Beaches Image
Do you need to be convinced to visit The Outer Banks?

When I picture August in North Carolina, I think of the Outer Banks and hopefully, you do too! If you’re in OBX in August with your kids, check out the OBX Pirate Festival.

A two-day “Scallywag School” (pre-registration required) and Living History Pirate Encampment headline the event at Nags Head’s Kitty Hawk Kites

Read More: 40+ of the Best Things to Do in the Outer Banks

Things to Do in North Carolina in August (11-20 Start)

Waldensian Festival, Valdese (August 11-12)

Things to Do in North Carolina in August Waldensian Festival

Valdese will host its annual Waldensian Festival and unite friends, family, and history. The festival commemorates the Waldensian people and their experiences in the 17th century.

King Louis XIV of France attempted to destroy the Waldensian people, forcing the Waldenses to leave their homes and towns. In August 1689, a group of 800 men fought their way back to their valleys. In 1976, the town of Valdese hosted its first festival in honor of this event.

The Waldensian Festival kicks off on Friday with live music, a classic car show, and amusement rides. On Saturday, the fun continues on Main Street with 170+ food, art, and craft vendors, competitions, street dances, and more live entertainment.

The Waldensian Festival is one of the best things to do in North Carolina in August, but in case you can’t make this event, Valdese is a great spot in Burke County!

Read More: How to See High Shoals Falls in Person (+ Trail Tips!)

Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain (August 12-13)

The ever-growing Sourwood Festival will welcome thousands of people to Black Mountain in August. The weekend event will host dozens of vendors serving food for all palettes, honey and bee demos, and some of that delicious sourwood honey.

Give yourself more time in Black Mountain during this awesome August event, because there are plenty of shops to explore and restaurants to enjoy!

Read More: 75+ Fun Day Trips from Asheville (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Wahine Classic, Wrightsville Beach (August 12-13)

The all-female Wahine Classic Surfing Competition will bring professional and amateur surfers together for the seventh time. This event in Wrightsville Beach kicks off with a welcome event for participants and their families. 

Read More: 50+ Awesome Things to Do in Wilmington (and Nearby!)

Concerts in the Commons, Wilkesboro (August 13)

Wilkesboro continues its “Concerts in the Commons” series held on 2nd Saturdays from May through October at the Carolina West Wireless Community Commons (park) and also, on the Wilkes Communications Pavilion.

These events offer fun for the entire family, including live music by regional and nationally known artists, local food trucks, vendors, and kids’ activities. August’s concert will feature Nickki Morgan and On the Border (an Eagles tribute band).

Read More: 15+ Great Things to Do in North Wilkesboro (Speedway and More!)

Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival, Blowing Rock (August 15-19)

Things to do in Blowing Rock Art Museum

Watch artists from across the state paint “en Plein air” at the Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival. Hosted by The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, artists will paint in real-time without the aid of photography.

Festival-goers have a chance to watch the artistic process live and purchase artwork created.

Read More: 14 Delicious Blowing Rock Restaurants for High Country Travelers

NC State Bluegrass Festival, Marion (August 17-19)

The annual NC State Bluegrass Festival kicks off at Tom Johnson’s Camping Center in Marion. Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, the Malpass Brothers, Deeper Shade of Blue , and more will take the stage for this three-day, dancer-friendly event.

Read More: How to See Tom’s Creek Falls in Marion 

Doc Watson Day, Boone (August 18)

Bands from North Carolina Doc Watson Deep Gap NC

To commemorate one of NC’s best musicians, Friday, June 18 is known as Doc Watson Day, but on this Friday in August, a free concert will be held in his honor.

At 5 PM at The Jones House, the concert kicks off with The Mustard Cutters, David Gerier and Jake Stargel, and Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth.

This event is one of the best things to do in Boone throughout the year, especially during the summer!

Read More: 20+ Delicious Restaurants in Boone

King Mackerel Tournament, Sneads Ferry (August 18-19)

Anglers interested in snagging a big prize should look into the King Mackerel Tournament happening in Sneads Ferry. It’s a Southern Kingfish Association-sponsored event and over $40,000 in prizes will be awarded to winners. 

Monster Truck Bash, Concord (August 19)

The Circle K Monster Truck Bash returns to The Dirt Track at Charlotte for a night of high-flying 2,000-horsepower machines on the toughest outdoor course. Your ticket ($10 to $25) allows you to meet the drivers and get a close-up view of monster trucks.

Big names such as Bigfoot, Stone Crusher, and Hooked are a few of the many who will be at the pre-race pit party.

Stick around for a while and explore our favorite things to do in Concord and Cabarrus County! This includes the area’s great restaurants and breweries.

Read More: 25+ Best Day Trips from Charlotte (Within a 90-Minute Drive)

Franklin Area Folk Festival, Franklin (August 19)

At the annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, visitors can learn about Macon County’s history and heritage through demonstrations, music, and more.

Food and a variety of kid-friendly activities will also be on hand and ready to keep everyone full of yumminess, entertained, and better informed about Appalachian heritage. 

Read More: Wayah Bald Tower (and the BEST Mountain Views in Franklin)

Things to Do in North Carolina in August (21-31 Start)

Railroad Heritage Weekend at Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock (August 26-27)

Things to Do in North Carolina in August Tweetsie Railroad Heritage Days

Railroad Heritage Weekend at Tweetsie Railroad kicks off the last weekend of fun things to do in North Carolina in August. The theme park honors the steam era with special attractions for rail travel lovers like me.

This August event is a great time for everyone and the perfect accompaniment to the Wild West fun that’s available at Tweetsie. 

While this August event is certainly worth checking out, don’t forget to look ahead toward Tweetsie Christmas during the holidays.

Read More: Christmas in North Carolina (14 Holiday Events, Lights, and More!)

Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival, Cary (August 26-27)

The 47th annual Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival returns to the Cary Town Hall Campus and will feature over 300 artists. It’s a bustling event with live music, kids’ activities, food, drink, crafts, and more.

Read More: The Mayton in Cary (+ 7 Things We Love About Staying Here!)

Ready for These Amazing Things to Do in North Carolina in August?

Shew! August in North Carolina is filled with fun and we hope you’re as excited about it as we are! As summer makes its way toward fall, we look forward to sharing all the fun things happening in our state. 

And before we look ahead to September and beyond, we want to know which of these events and festivals you’ll be visiting. Also, are there any things to do in North Carolina in August that you think we should add to this list? 

Let us know about it here or via email and we’ll gladly take a look! Don’t forget to share your August adventures in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group.

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

Whether you’re hanging out in the mountains, along our coast, or anywhere in between, these travel guides will help you find things to do in North Carolina in August and beyond!


5 thoughts on “25+ Things to Do in North Carolina in August (Updated for 2023)”

  1. 7th Inning Stretch in Shelby, NC. Martina McBride will be doing a free concert downtown Shelby on August 7th.

    • Hi Tim, thanks for stopping by and mentioning these events. If you know of any specific ones, please let me know and we’ll take a look to consider adding them!


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