30+ Things to Do in North Carolina in July (Local Events)

Last Updated on June 22, 2022

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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:

  • Fourth of July Events in North Carolina (from July 1-4)
  • 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

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 Concert and Fireworks, Fayetteville (July 1)

The first of our things to do in North Carolina in July comes courtesy of the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. They’ll celebrate Independence Day with the free Independence Concert at Festival Park in Fayetteville.

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 8:00 pm.

Read More: 50+ Easy Day Trips from Fayetteville (Great Getaways!)

NC 4th of July Festival, Southport and Oak Island (July 1-4)

Things to Do in North Carolina in July

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 2022, 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. 

Read More: Holden Beach (How To Enjoy The Family Beach Of North Carolina)

Independence Day Fireworks by the Sea and Boardwalk Music, Carolina Beach (July 1)

The Carolina Beach Boardwalk is the place to be during its Independence Day Fireworks by the Sea. There’ll be live music followed by fireworks in a truly beautiful setting.

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 Polar Bear Blues Band in style. 

Read More: Carolina Beach State Park (and 7 Great Things to Do There!)

Independence Day Celebrations, Lake Junaluska (July 1-4)

Things to Do in North Carolina in July Lake Junaluska Independence Day Celebrations

Head out to Lake Junaluska for their three-day Independence Day Celebration. The weekend will feature four music concerts, a July Fourth Parade, lantern lighting, fireworks, and more! Come out for this jubilant celebration to commemorate our nation’s birthday. 

July Fourth Celebration, Blowing Rock (July 2)

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!

Staying for the weekend? We’ve got you covered if you’re looking for things to do in Blowing Rock, as well as its must-eat restaurants.

Festival for the Eno, Durham (July 2 & 4)

things to do in July Festival for the Eno

Durham’s Festival for the Eno 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.

Read More: 17 Amazing Eno River State Park Trails (+ Bonus Hikes)

Majesty Over Water, Cullowhee (July 3)

The 25th annual Fireworks Over the Lake will return on Sunday, July 3rd. 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, 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!

Read More: The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (History + How to Visit)

Family Fun Fourth of July Parade and Festival, 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, 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.

Fourth of July Celebration, Fort Bragg (July 4)

Fort Bragg returns with its annual day-long Fourth of July Celebration! The celebration features a special act to be revealed later, parachute free-fall demos, and the event’s headliner flag ceremony.

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, 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, 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, Nags Head (July 4)

Outer Banks NC Nags Head Beach Image

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. 

By the way, we’ve created guides on restaurants in the area and things to do in the Outer Banks.

July 4th Celebration, Swansboro (July 4)

The July 4th Celebration in Swansboro commences with family-friendly activities all evening. Check out live music at the Harry C. Pugliese, Jr Pavilion 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. 

Fourth of July Fireworks, Sylva (July 4)

Sylva’s 8th annual Fourth of July Fireworks will light up the town. The Crocodile Smile Band will perform twice during the night after which the firework show will begin.

Fourth of July Celebration, Wilmington (July 4)

The City of Wilmington’s Fourth of July Celebration will light up the Cape Fear River. Before they start at 9:05 pm, 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.

The Beach

Outer Banks Sunrise Duck NC Beach
Sunrise in Duck.

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.

Read More: Amazing Beaches Near Wilmington (Which One is the Best?)

Stepping into the Craft Saturdays, Seagrove (Saturdays from July 2-31)

NC Pottery Center Seagrove Pottery Interior

“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.

Read More: 20+ Things to do in Asheboro and Randolph County (NC Zoo, Seagrove, and More!)

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, Denton (July 1-4)

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, North Topsail (July 2-3)

The annual Ocean City Jazz Festival will be held on North Topsail Island 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 2022 lineup features artists like The John Brown Little Big Band and Marqueal Jordan. The event will include vendors, food, and a silent auction.

Read More: 15 of the Best Topsail Island Restaurants (Great Food for All!) 

Highland Games, Grandfather Mountain (July 7-10)

Grandfather Mountain NC

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.  

Read More: 20 of the Best Day Trips from Boone (Within a 2-Hour Drive)

Cantaloupe Festival, Ridgeway (July 9)

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, Sapphire (July 15-16)

Sapphire Valley Resort will kick off its annual Mountain Wildlife Days with free Friday Hikes. On Saturday, attendees will enjoy a full day of educational, interactive “wild lives” and “wild places.”

Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival, Sugar Mountain (July 15-17)

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, Kill Devil Hills (July 16-17)

The 44th 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. 

Read More: Jockey’s Ridge State Park (ALL to Know About Those Beautiful Sand Dunes)

Summertime Brews Festival, Greensboro (July 16)

Summertime Brew Fest Greensboro NC Pig Pounder Image

Visit the Gate City for the 18th annual Summertime Brews Festival.

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

Wilkes Comic-Con, North Wilkesboro (July 16)

Wilkes Comic-Con is a convention that brings visitors in from surrounding states and North Carolina 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.

Read More: 25+ Fun Things to Do in Wilkesboro (+ North Wilkesboro and Nearby!)

Dorothea Dix Park Sunflowers, Raleigh (Mid-to-Late July)

Dorothea Dix Park Raleigh NC Sunflowers Image

While Dorothea Dix Park has postponed Destination SunFest for this year, visitors are still invited to visit this Raleigh park’s famous sunflower field. This is one of our absolute favorite things to do in North Carolina in July each year.

We’ve made it a tradition and look forward to seeing those beautiful flowers in our favorite Raleigh green space!

Read More: 30+ Amazing Things to Do in Raleigh (Award-Winning Restaurants, Museums, and More!)

North Carolina Watermelon Festival, Fair Bluff (July 30)

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. 

Brushy Mountain Peach and Heritage Festival, Wilkesboro (July 30)

The last of our things to do in North Carolina in July is 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.

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

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