Things to Do in North Carolina in August

Last Updated on June 10, 2021

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Based on the number of local events we’re going to share with you, August in North Carolina seems like the busiest time of year. It’s highly possible that it’s because this is the last full month of summer, but who cares about why.

This is a fun time to be in our state, whether you’re traveling through or already live here. For our rundown of things to do in North Carolina in August, 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.

Many of these August events (along with June and July) are also mentioned in our guide to Summer Things to Do in North Carolina

Things to Do in North Carolina in August

National Black Theatre Festival, Winston-Salem

July 29-August 3

We mentioned this one in July but can’t leave out the 130-plus performances happening throughout Winston-Salem at the National Black Theatre Festival. Screen actress Margaret “Shug” Avery and Broadway’s Chester Gregory will co-chair events throughout the festival that will take over Dash City.

If you live in Winston-Salem or want something to do during the first weekend of August, check out this event!

Whether or not you’re in town during the National Black Theatre Festival, grab a meal at The Katharine Brasserie and Bar. It’s one of our favorite Winston-Salem restaurants and will blow you away!

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, Blowing Rock

July 31-August 4

The 96th anniversary of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show commences with its second and final week of Hunter/Jumper events. Admission is $10 per person each day and kids under 12 get in free.

Proceeds will go to support local emergency healthcare organizations in North Carolina’s High Country.

This won’t be that last you hear from Blowing Rock, which is why you should always keep this town in mind when planning your weekend.

NC Watermelon Festival, Murfreesboro

August 4-7

Another event we mentioned in July is Murfreesboro’s NC Watermelon Festival. This four-day event serves to honor our troops with a USO Show Troupe.

Music, free watermelon slices, rides and much more will take over the Hertford County town. 

US Kids Golf World Championship, Pinehurst

August 1-3

Pinehurst Resort and more area golf courses will host the 14th 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. 

Robbins Farmers Day, Robbins

August 1-August 3

The 64th annual 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, and children, and horses for all to see. 

North Carolina Mineral and Gem Festival, Spruce Pine

August 1-August 4

This year’s North Carolina Mineral and Gem Festival is the event’s 60th, adding an even more special reason to go. Visitors will enjoy all the shopping opportunities, mine tours, and the fact that this festival will coincide with Mitchell County Day on Sunday. 

Pigs and Pedals, Asheboro

August 2-3

“Pigs and Pedals” returns to Asheboro for its sixth year, combining a BBQ competition and the Zooland AACA Antique Car Show. Enjoy competition-style barbecue, music, and classic cars in the heart of North Carolina this August. 

Looking for more things to do in Asheboro along with “Pigs and Pedals?” Check out our guides to the NC Zoo and also, how to make it a weekend in Asheboro and Randolph County.

National Lighthouse Weekend, Bald Head Island

August 2-4

As if you needed another reason to visit Bald Head Island, National Lighthouse Weekend will add a further spotlight to Old Baldy during the first weekend in August.

A rubber duck race, scenic run, food, and drinks will celebrate North Carolina’s oldest lighthouse in style. 

Paddle 4 Purpose Paddleboard Race, Cornelius

August 2

Lake Norman’s Peninsula Yacht Club will host Paddle 4 Purpose, an event focused on cleaning up waterways and bringing together local communities.

The eighth annual event is hosted by Aloha Paddle Sports and Charlotte Cycleboats.

Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair, Burnsville

August 2

Yancey County celebrates the 63rd annual Mount Mitchell Crafts Fair in 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. 

Cycle NC Mountain Ride, Brevard

August 3-4

More than 400 cyclists will travel to Transylvania County and Brevard for the sixth annual Cycle North Carolina Mountain Ride.

The awesome mountain town is hosting for the second time, with events beyond cycling including waterfall tours, guided fly fishing trips, and more. 

We’re already hooked on all the fun things to do in Brevard, especially the beautiful waterfalls nearby!

Confluence: Where Music Gathers, Charlotte

August 3-4

Music lovers and those interested in learning about showbiz will flock to Confluence at the US National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Here, there will be performances by local musicians and panel discussions at this free event. 

The USNWC is one of our favorite outdoor things to do in Charlotte, in case you need further convincing.

Watermelon Festival, Denton

August 3

Denton’s Harrison Park will host the Denton Artisans Guild-sponsored North Carolina 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 Cornhole Tournament. 

Cider Crawl, Durham

August 3

Durham Cider Crawl August Things to Do in North Carolina Image

The Durham Cider Crawl returns for its second year to take over dozens of Bull City restaurants, bars, and bottle shops. It’s a non-ticketed and self-guided event, and more info can be found via the Crawl’s Facebook Event page

If you want to extend your time in Bull City, check our page dedicated to Durham for more info on free things to do, great places to eat, its awesome breweries, and more!

Pelican Awards and Taste of the Coast, Morehead City

August 3

The North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Pelican Awards and Taste of the Coast will again celebrate our shores and the delicious seafood that comes from it.

At this ticketed event, attendees will enjoy gourmet seafood dishes from local restaurants, an awards ceremony, and stories of how the winners are working to keep our coast clean and plentiful. 

Anniversary of the Battle at House in the Horseshoe, Sanford

August 3

The engagement between loyalist and patriot militias known as Battle at House in the Horseshoe will be celebrated with its annual reenactment.

While the official date of the battle is a bit unclear, there will surely be activities, demos, and food vendors. 

Crossroads Cycling Classic, Statesville

August 3

The 19th annual Crossroads Cycling Classic comes to Statesville and even if you don’t ride, this event has fun for you.

More than a half-mile of cycling will cut through Downtown Statesville, but there will also be a nearly 5K running course, along with the Crossroads Classic Beer Mile for hops lovers. 

Animal Enrichment Day, Grandfather Mountain

August 7

Grandfather Mountain NC Image

Grandfather Mountain’s Animal Enrichment Day will give visitors a glimpse into how this park takes care of its habitat animals.

Enrichment demonstrations, talks with keepers, and more programs will be on hand for those in attendance. 

Dragon Boat Race and Festival, Oriental

August 9-10

Oriental will host the 10th annual Dragon Boat Race and Festival with two days of fun for everyone who stops by.

The world’s largest flat water racing canoes will compete and there will be food, music, and kids activities available for visitors. 

Waldensian Festival, Valdese

August 9-10

Valdese will host its 44th annual Waldenesian Festival that brings together friends, family, history, and more. There will be music, attraction tours, and amusement rides during this celebration of the “Glorious Return” of the Waldenses. 

The Beaufort Pirate Invasion, Beaufort

August 9-11

A variety of events will capture the Town of Beaufort, for the first buccaneer-heavy event during August in North Carolina.

For the Pirate Invasion, there will be all-ages activities including a sword fighting, cannons firing, and a Captain’s Masquerade Ball. 

If you find yourself hungry in Beaufort, Moonrakers offers great food and beautiful seaside views.

Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show, Franklin

August 9-10

The Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show will bring together classic automobiles, delicious food, and the awesome community in Franklin.

Held at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center, there will over $11,000 in prizes available to competitors. “Kids Day” returns for its second year, with inflatables, games, and rock painting. 

Burning Can Festival, Hendersonville

August 9-10

Things to Do in North Carolina in August Burning Can Festival Image

One of our favorite breweries, Oskar Blues in Brevard, is bringing back its Burning Can Festival to REEB Ranch in Hendersonville.

Moon Taxi and Here Come the Mummies will headline the packed schedule including food trucks, mountain sports, and much more at the base of Dupont State Forest

Sourwood Festival, Black Mountain

August 10-11

The ever-growing Sourwood Festival will welcome 30,000-plus people to Black Mountain. Celebrating its 42nd year, the weekend event will also host 200 vendors serving food for all palettes, honey and bee demos, and some of that delicious sourwood honey.

Don’t forget about the music, kid’s fun, and more that will be on hand. 

The Crossing at Lake Gaston, Littleton

August 10

The Crossing at Lake Gaston brings swimmers, kayakers, canoers, and rafters together to traverse a one-mile portion of the lake en masse.

It will begin promptly at 9 am and there’s even a bridge walk for those who’d prefer to stay dry during the event. 

Catawba Scavenger Hunt, Morganton

August 10 | Facebook Event Page

Along three miles of the river at Catawba Meadows Park, the TOSS art studio will host its Catawba Scavenger Hunt.

This event is a partnership between the studio and Overmountain Cycles and is a celebration of outdoor recreation in the area. 

Bubble Day, Pineville

August 10 | Website

Head out to President James K. Polk State Historic Site for Bubble Day. Kids will receive complimentary bubbles from Bubble World and there will be multiple activities, including arts and crafts, bubble machines, watery fun, and more! 

7th Inning Stretch Festival, Shelby

August 10 | Website

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

And between 3 pm and 10 pm, you can enjoy music, food, and a massive Kids Zone in Uptown Shelby.

Brew and Choo Beer Festival, Spencer

August 10 | Website

The Brew and Choo Beer Festival in Spencer brings together breweries and trains for a day of family-friendly fun.

Held at the North Carolina Transportation Museum, tickets start at $12 and include event-influenced beers, a train ride, and appetizers. 

The Great Balsam Bike Relay, Sylva

August 10 | Website

Jackson County will host the Great Balsam Bike Relay, which combines road and mountain biking. Teams of four racers (two mountain bikers and two road bikers) will compete over a secret course that will only be revealed after check-in. 

US Amateur Championship, Pinehurst

August 12-18 | Website

Pinehurst will host the US Amateur Championship for the third time and first since 2008. Pinehurst’s No. 2 and No. 4 courses will serve as companions for this 119th edition of the tournament. 

Carolina Beach Music Festival, Carolina Beach (August 14)

Places to Visit in North Carolina Carolina Beach Image
Make sure you stop by Britts Donut Shop while in Carolina Beach, too!

The Carolina Beach Music Festival is the place to be for barefoot dancing on the sand. You’ll find laid-back fun in the place where the shag was born. This event is known as “the biggest and only beach music festival actually held on the beach on the North Carolina coast.“

OBX Pirate Festival, Nags Head

August 14-15 | Website

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

If I think of August in North Carolina, I’m imagining the Outer Banks and hopefully, you can make it there. And if you brought kids along, you can take them to 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

NC State Bluegrass Festival, Marion

August 15-17 | Website

The 44th annual NC State Bluegrass Festival kicks off at Tom Johnson’s Camping Center in Marion. Rhonda Vincent, The Gibson Brothers, Big Country Bluegrass, and more will take the stage this three-day, dancer-friendly event. 

Fig Festival, Ocracoke

August 16-17 | Website

During the Ocracoke Fig Festival, you can learn about one of the most storied parts of The Outer Banks and its relationship with the delicious fruit enjoyed savory and sweet.

Music, storytelling, and more events accompany the festival’s Fig Cake Bake-Off, which is also open to children who enter. 

King Mackerel Tournament, Sneads Ferry

August 16-17 | Website

Anglers interested in snagging a big prize should look into the 28th 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. 

Franklin Area Folk Festival, Franklin

August 17 | Website

At the 15th 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. 

Festival of the Arts, Hudson

August 16-17 | Website

Hudson’s Festival of the Arts will bring lots of folks into the Caldwell County town for two days of fun. At the HUB Station in Downtown, artists, food, wine, and musicians will be ready and waiting to put on a good show for those who stop by. 

Marion Cruise-In, Marion

August 17 | Website

At this first of three Marion Cruise-Ins (September and October, too!), you can check out a huge variety of cars and take with their owners at the Historic Tailgate Market. Games, themed events, and more will be there.

Bring your friends and family to McDowell County for a fun time out. 

Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival, Blowing Rock (August 19-22)

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.

That’ll give festival-goers a chance to watch the artistic process and purchase artwork created.

This festival is one of the many reasons we love Blowing Rock. If you’re heading that way, check our Blowing Rock page for more on this awesome mountain town!

Open Studio Art Tour, Asheville (August 21)

Resident artists at Asheville’s Grovewood Park will open up their spaces to the public. This Open Studio Art Tour will provide a rare opportunity to see those who work in a variety of media at the same time, as many spend time away at shows or working on commissions. 

Be Loud! ’19, Carrboro

August 23-24 | Website

The sixth annual Be Loud! returns with a variety of bands across many genres. Headliners include Chatham County Line, The Old Ceremony, and Preeesh!

All proceeds go to the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation, which supports adolescent and young adult cancer patients and their families at UNC Hospitals.

Southern Women’s Show, Charlotte

August 23-25 | Website

If you’re in or around Charlotte near the end of August, the Southern Women’s Show will pack hundreds of boutiques into the Charlotte Convention Center.

Attendees can watch fashion shows, dine on gourmet food, sip NC wine, and more at this huge event in Charlotte

We’ve created guides to Queen City for any weekend, in case you can’t make this awesome event in August!

Personality Festival, Roxboro

August 23-24 | Facebook Event Page

The Personality Festival in Roxboro is celebrating its 40th year and 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected to attend this two-day extravaganza.

It’s the largest festival in Person County, thanks to tons of fun on hand, including street dancing, amusement rides, and more entertainment. 

Railroad Heritage Weekend at Tweetsie, Blowing Rock

August 24-25 | Website

Railroad Heritage Weekend at Tweetsie 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 year-round at Tweetsie. 

Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival, Cary

August 24-25 | Website

The 43rd annual Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival returns to the Cary Town Hall Campus and will feature over 300 artists. Featured artist JJ Jiang will headline the showcase that will include live music, kids activities, food and drink vendors, and more. 

Home Grown Arts Festival, Kernersville

August 24 | Website

On the grounds of Korner’s Folly, the Kernersville Arts and Crafts Guild will hold its fifth annual Home Grown Arts Festival. Local artists will be on hand to showcase their creations, including woodwork, jewelry, pottery, and more. 

Kings Mountain Beach Blast, Kings Mountain

August 24 | Website

Patriot Park will bring you closer to the surf and sand with the 20th anniversary of its Kings Mountain Beach Blast. This all-day free concert will bring beach bands, water games, a Woodie car show, and more to Cleveland County

Kings Mountain is one of our favorite spots to visit during a weekend in Cleveland County.

Pet Fest, Lake Lure

August 24 | Facebook Event Page

Morse Park in Lake Lure will host PAWS of Rutherford County for its third annual Pet Fest from 10 am to 2 pm. There will be special presentations, music, and various vendors during a day of truly pet-friendly fun.

Live and Local: Tryon Palace Beer Festival, New Bern

August 24

NC Events Tryon Palace Beer Festival New Bern Image

The North Carolina History Center in New Bern will host its second annual “Live and Local: Tryon Palace Beer Festival.” This exciting event will showcase beers and breweries from Eastern North Carolina, with food trucks and music joining the 21-plus fun. 

Tryon Palace is fun any time of year and we share more about this awesome historic place here.

Wahine Classic, Wrightsville Beach

August 23-25 | Website

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. 

Washington Summer Festival, Washington (August 27-28)

Sure, it might still technically be spring until a bit later in the month, but the Washington Summer Festival is a nice celebration. Attendees will be treated to fireworks, music, and more fun in this awesome small town. Oh, and there’ll be plenty of food there, too. 

The Great Trent River Raft Race, New Bern (August 28)

Places to Visit in North Carolina New Bern Image
New Bern is definitely a spot for staring out at the water.

The Great Trent River Raft Race brings us back to New Bern, where two days of fun at Union Point Park. It’s a great time for those who want to paddle, pedal, or just watch the races, flyovers, music, and much more over the weekend

Hickory American Legion Fair, Newton

August 28-September 2 | Website

The last weekend of things to do in North Carolina in August starts with the 106th annual Hickory American Legion Fair in Newton. Rides galore, daily events, food, and much more will keep the fun going through September at this Catawba County extravaganza. 

North Carolina Apple Festival, Hendersonville

August 30-September 2 | Website

Festivals in NC August Things to Do in North Carolina Image

Labor Day comes a little early this year, but that’s okay with us and the people who love Hendersonville’s North Carolina Apple Festival.

Load up on freshly picked apples and festival food while perusing arts and crafts and enjoying all the free entertainment in one of North Carolina’s finest small towns

Happy Valley Fiddler’s Convention, Lenoir

August 30-September 1 | Website

The Happy Valley Fiddler’s Convention returns for more Labor Day fun on the Yadkin River. Food, dancing, and gorgeous scenery are ready to accompany the wonderful mountain music ready to take hold of Caldwell County at the end of August.  

Littleton-Lake Gaston Festival, Littleton

August 30-31 | Website

Up in Halifax County, thousands will head to the Littleton-Lake Gaston Festival for their Labor Day fun. Steve Owen’s band will be back, along with various food vendors, cardinal rides, and more than 150 car owners participating in the Stray Cats Rod and Custom Show. 

Anniversary of the Battle of Charlotte, Huntersville

August 31-Sept 1 | Website

Historic Latta Plantation in Huntersville will commemorate the 239th Anniversary of the Battle of Charlotte with two days of events.

Visitors can learn about Charlotte’s notoriety as the “Hornet’s Nest of Rebellion,” and visit the oldest log cabin in Mecklenburg County during this Revolutionary War weekend. 

Labor Day Surf-Off, Oak Island

August 31

We close out all the fun things to do in North Carolina in August with the Oak Island Labor Day Surf Off. Competitions are open for all levels of surfers and there will also be races for paddleboarders and bodyboarders.

Got Something to Add?

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, is there something you think we should add to this list? 

Let us know about it here or via email and we’ll gladly take a look! 


5 thoughts on “Things to Do in North Carolina in August”

  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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