Last Updated on July 21, 2023
Last Updated on July 21, 2023
July in North Carolina is often spent on trips to the beach, especially around Independence Day. It’s also our hottest month of summer, which means visitors and residents need some ways to cool off while still enjoying travel around North Carolina.
So that’s why you’ll find some of the year’s best local events during this month. With a mix of patriotic celebrations, food, drink, music festivals, and much more, there are plenty of things to do in North Carolina in July!
In case you’re looking for specific July events in NC or something else this month, here’s how we’ve organized this guide:
- Featured NC Events in July
- Fourth of July Events in North Carolina (from June 30-July 4)
- Month-Long Things to Do in North Carolina in July
- More Things to Do in North Carolina in July
Events are ordered by starting date within these two categories and alphabetized by the city when events simultaneously occur. Also, if you’d like to add to our July Events guide and represent a tourism bureau, destination marketing organization, or PR agency, please contact us.
Read More: June in North Carolina
Featured Events in July
Uproar Festival in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough (July 15-August 12)
Uproar Festival of Public Art is a free outdoor art installation event in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough from July 15-August 12. There are more than 60 bold, large art displays across three towns.
Each installation has a QR code with information on voting for your favorite and audio descriptions of the pieces.
Brushy Mountain Peach and Heritage Festival in Wilkesboro (July 28-29)
Enjoy a pretty nice little Saturday as the Brushy Mountain Peach and Heritage Festival returns to Downtown Wilkesboro (July 29), featuring local artisans, home-grown peaches, and the area’s rich heritage.
Watch the kids play in the splash pad while you cool off with homemade treats like peach ice cream. Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!
This year, the festival has expanded to include its first-ever “Peach Party,” on Friday, July 28, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm featuring food trucks and live music from the CJ Ballard Band!
Vienna Light Orchestra in Asheville (3 Performances on July 29)
On July 29 at 4:00 pm (sold out!), 6:00 pm, and 8:00 pm, Vienna Light Orchestra will perform “Magical Movie Scores” at the historic First Congregational Church in Asheville. The 100-year-old venue houses an elegant sanctuary dominated by stone and red doors.
The jam-packed 70 minutes features cinema’s most iconic music, beautifully performed by a live string chamber orchestra. Listen for scores from Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more!
Independence Day and Fourth of July Events in NC
The Fourth of July in North Carolina is a big event, no matter where you happen to be. Here are some of the biggest Independence Day celebrations in the state.
If there’s one you think we should know about, please kindly let us know by email.
Independence Day Fireworks by the Sea and Boardwalk Music in Carolina Beach (June 30)
And if you arrive early, you’ll have a nice spot at the gazebo. If not, just bring some beach chairs so you can watch the live entertainment in style.
NC 4th of July Festival in Southport and Oak Island (June 30-July 4)
The North Carolina Fourth of July Festival has commemorated our nation’s independence since 1792 (then known as the “Festival of Free Men”) and shows no signs of slowing down. For 2023, events will be held in Southport and Oak Island and a calendar is available here.
Along with fireworks, visitors can attend a reading of the Declaration of Independence. You can explore 100-plus arts and crafts booths, enjoy festival food, and much more.
July Fourth Celebration in Blowing Rock (July 1)
Downtown Blowing Rock’s July Fourth Celebration starts at 10:00 am with a parade along Main St. Local families, musicians, organizations, and characters participate in the patriotic procession, which makes this one of the best Independence Day parades!
EnoFest in Durham (July 1 & 4)
Durham’s Festival for the Eno (EnoFest) mixes a family-friendly celebration with education and fundraising for the Eno River Association.
Over sixty bands playing on four stages will accompany delicious food, an awesome collection of artists, and more.
The festival will be held at West Point on the Eno, one of our favorite places to enjoy the outdoors in Durham. We also included this extravaganza in our guide to kid-friendly events in North Carolina.
Independence Day Celebrations in Lake Junaluska (July 1-4)
Head out to Lake Junaluska for their three-day Independence Day Celebration. The weekend will feature live entertainment, a July Fourth Parade, lantern lighting, fireworks, and more! Come out for this jubilant celebration to commemorate our nation’s birthday.
Fireworks Over Lake Glenville in Cullowhee (July 2)
The 26th annual Fireworks Over the Lake will return on Sunday, July 2nd. As if you need another reason to visit Jackson County, Lake Glenville’s celebration is one of the best Fourth of July experiences in the state.
Many folks will be watching this early commemoration from their boats, which you can rent and enjoy beyond this celebration.
Independence Day Celebration in Surf City (July 3)
Head to Soundside Park at Surf City for their annual Independence Day Celebration. Held each year on July 3, this is a great way to kick off festivities with music, food, and much more in one of our favorite coastal towns!
July 4th Celebration in Swansboro (July 3)
The July 4th Celebration in Swansboro commences with family-friendly activities and keeps the festivities going all evening. Check out live music at Olde Town Square, on the corner of Front and Church streets.
Finally, there will be a spectacular fireworks show over the water for all to see.
Family Fun Fourth of July Parade and Festival in Banner Elk (July 4)
The Fourth of July Parade and Festival in Banner Elk starts at the Lees-McRae campus and meanders through the center of this mountain town. Bring a blanket or chairs and watch the concerts, chow on festival food, and enjoy the festivities! Kids will also have a blast with watermelon eating stations and duck races.
Fourth of July Fireworks in Chapel Hill (July 4)
Head to Chapel Hill‘s Southern Community Park for their Fourth of July Fireworks! Doors open at 7 PM, with food, live music, face painting, and picnic blankets keeping you occupied until fireworks at 9 PM.
Independence Concert and Fireworks in Fayetteville (July 4)
Celebrate Independence Day at Festival Park in Fayetteville. The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra is coming in hot for a free Independence Concert that features the Fayetteville Symphonic Band and the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Band.
Following a series of patriotic and popular songs, fireworks will close out the evening. Gates open at 6:00 pm and the concert starts at 7:15 pm.
4th at the Fort (Liberty)
The annual event has a new name for 2023 to celebrate the renaming of Fort Bragg to Fort Liberty. 4th at the Fort features headliner Sheryl Crow performing.
Come out to the Fort Bragg Parade Field for a day of good food and drinks, live music, and an epic firework show to close out the evening.
Fireworks Show in Kill Devil Hills (July 4)
The Town of Kill Devil Hills will host its Fireworks Show from the Avalon Fishing Pier (MP 6). Hosted annually at 8 PM, this show is one of the most anticipated events of the season.
Residents and visitors can enjoy the show from anywhere on the surrounding beach. Bring a blanket and arrive early as it’ll likely be packed!
Fourth of July Celebration in Lincolnton (July 4)
Lincolnton’s Fourth of July Celebration starts with a parade at 8:30 pm, followed by a 9:30 pm Fireworks Show at Lincolnton High School Stadium. All are invited to join the fun!
Fireworks Spectacular in Nags Head (July 4)
Just over the bridge from Manteo, the Outer Banks town of Nags Head will host the Fireworks Spectacular at the Nags Head Fishing Pier (MP 11.5). Visitors who park west of US 158/S Croatan Highway are advised to use extreme caution when crossing the busy highway.
Fourth of July Fireworks in Sylva (July 4)
Sylva’s 9th annual Fourth of July Fireworks will light up the town. The Carolina Soul Band will perform, after which the firework show will begin.
Fourth of July Celebration in Wilmington (July 4)
The City of Wilmington’s Fourth of July Celebration will light up the Cape Fear River. Before they start, you can hang out in Downtown Wilmington, grab some food, and make sure you’ve got a good spot to take in the fireworks.
Read More: 50+ Awesome Things to Do in Wilmington
Month-Long Things to Do in North Carolina in July
Before we get into specific dates, here are some (mostly) month-long things to do in North Carolina.
We have already mentioned a few places on the coast and understand that you may not be able to spend the whole month of July at the beach. Just remember that North Carolina’s beaches are always waiting and could make a great day trip, especially from Raleigh and Durham in the Triangle and from Fayetteville.
Stepping into the Craft Saturdays in Seagrove (Saturdays from July 1-29)
“Stepping into the Craft” will be held each Saturday in July, with events happening around the Seagrove Pottery Community. Visitors can attend various hands-on activities or sit back and watch demonstrations by some of the area’s most talented potters.
Note that some potters may require a reservation to be included in activities.
More Things to Do in North Carolina in July
The Fourth is a big deal here, but there are plenty of other things to do in North Carolina during the month!
Southeast Old Threshers Reunion in Denton (June 30-July 4)
The annual Southeast Old Threshers Reunion returns to Denton, filled with fun on the ground and above. Tractor pulls, music, and train and even helicopter rides headline this Davidson County extravaganza.
Ocean City Jazz Fest in North Topsail Beach (June 30-July 2)
The annual Ocean City Jazz Festival will be held in North Topsail Beach this year. For those unfamiliar with the Ocean City community’s history, it was once the only place where African Americans could purchase coastal property in North Carolina.
It’s since been designated as a historical site on the Jacksonville-Onslow County African American Trail and this festival commemorates its place in history.
Now, the jazz-inspired festival aims to foster an appreciation for jazz and bring artists and audiences together. The 2023 lineup features artists like the Lao Tizer Band featuring Karen Briggs, Julian Vaughn, Jazmin Ghent and The John Brown Quintet. The event will include vendors, food, and a silent auction.
Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain (July 6-9)
Grandfather Mountain will go full-on tartan again during the annual Highland Games. The four-day event is known as “America’s grandest games,” thanks to the beautiful setting that’s reminiscent of Scotland.
Cantaloupe Festival in Ridgeway (July 15)
For the first of a few fruity things to do in North Carolina in July, drive north on US 1/158 through Warren County for Ridgeway’s Annual Cantaloupe Festival. Hosted by the Ridgeway Historical Society, you’ll find cantaloupes, festival food, kid-friendly fun, and much more.
Mountain Wildlife Days in Sapphire (July 15-16)
Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival in Sugar Mountain (July 14-16)
Sugar Mountain’s Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival in July will be the first of two juried events, with the second taking place in August. Vendors will bring their hand-produced photography, jewelry, paintings, and glass art, among other crafts.
Read More: Amazing Hikes near Boone
Wright Kite Festival in Kill Devil Hills (July 14-15)
The 45th annual Wright Kite Festival will take over the Wright Brothers National Memorial in commemoration of the first flight. Once things kick off, you’ll have a chance to partake in kite flying lessons and a kite-making station.
Wilkes Comic-Con in North Wilkesboro (July 15)
Wilkes Comic-Con brings visitors in from surrounding states and North Carolina to North Wilkesboro for a full day of fun. Run by artists for artists and the community, stop by from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for comic art, pop culture, and collectibles.
Summertime Brews Festival in Greensboro (July 22)
Breweries from all around North Carolina come together to serve hundreds of craft beers. Attendees can come sip on a variety of beers, listen to music, and enjoy this fun event at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Read More: Restaurants in Greensboro
Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers in Raleigh (Mid-to-Late July)
We’ve made it a tradition and look forward to seeing those beautiful flowers in our favorite Raleigh green space!
North Carolina Watermelon Festival in Fair Bluff (July 29)
Fair Bluff’s North Carolina Watermelon Festival is the first of two events that celebrate this awesome summer-friendly fruit. This Columbus County town hosts a variety of yummy events, including contests to determine the largest watermelon and most delicious in our state.
Anniversary of the Battle at House in the Horseshoe in Sanford (July 29)
The reenactment of the battle between loyalist and patriot militias known as Battle at House in the Horseshoe will occur on August 5.
The battle reenactment will be at 2:00 PM and the rest of the event will highlight the struggles of North Carolina during the Revolutionary War. Food, vendors, and activities will be present.
Brushy Mountain Peach and Heritage Festival in Wilkesboro (July 28-29)
The last of our things to do in North Carolina in July was already mentioned in our “featured” section, but here’s another reminder.
Traditionally held on the last Saturday of July, the Brushy Mountain Community Center in Wilkes County will hold its Peach and Heritage Festival and showcase local artisans, home-grown peaches, and Brushy Mountain’s rich heritage.
Read More: August in North Carolina
Got Things to Do in North Carolina in July to Add?
We hope you’re as excited as we are to check out these things to do in North Carolina in July. Summer is truly an awesome time to be in our state, and we look forward to taking you through August as the hottest season nears its end.
Before we head to the next month, we’d love to know which of these events stands out to you?
Also is there something we should add to this list? Let us know about it here or via email and we’ll gladly take a look!
Finally, don’t forget to share your adventures during July in North Carolina in our North Carolina Travel Facebook Group.