First Night® Raleigh is a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration of the arts that is held on December 31st every year in downtown Raleigh. The event features local and regional performing and visual artists that begin in the afternoon, followed by evening performances of music, dance, comedy, theatre, and interactive programs in over two dozen venues across downtown Raleigh. It then concludes at Midnight with famous Raleigh Acorn drop and a spectacular fireworks show.
First Friday is a free self-guided tour of downtown’s cutting edge cultural hot spots. Local art galleries, art studios, alternative art venues, and museums stay open late the first Friday of every month to welcome thousands of art-seeking enthusiasts. In addition, many restaurants & bars offer First Friday specials, just look for the First Friday Flags to easily locate participating venues.
Nestled under the shady canopy of Bond Park, Spring Daze features the best of our local diverse arts and craft community with over 170 North Carolina artists, as well as entertainment on four stages, delicious festival food and Cary’s annual Earth Day Celebration.
SPARKcon is an annual interdisciplinary creativity, art & design festival produced by the non-profit Visual Art Exchange and is held in September each year in Fayetteville Street District. They have a large array of themes, including art, music, film, fashion, geek, circus & more to celebrate & highlight local talent and connect the local community to the local arts.
The Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is an annual international event dedicated to the theatrical exhibition of non-fiction cinema. Each spring, Full Frame welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world to historic downtown Durham, for a four-day, morning-to-midnight array of over 100 films as well as discussions, panels, and southern hospitality. Set within a few city blocks, the intimate festival landscape fosters community and conversation between filmmakers, film professionals and the public.
This spring festival has entertained and inspired hundreds of thousands of people since 1980, introducing them to underrepresented artists and performances. It balances critically acclaimed national artists with some of North Carolina’s best performing and visual artists, resulting in an eccentric mix of artistic expression, undoubtedly with something that appeals to everyone.
As one of the best NC wine festivals with hundreds of wines available from over 22 wineries, the Great Grapes Wine Festival provides the opportunity to sample the rich heritage of North Carolina vines at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre. Enjoy live music, food, arts & crafts, even a VIP Area.
Each year since 1980, the Eno River Association has presented the festival to draw thousands of folks to the shaded banks on the Eno River to sing, dance, and make merry with great food and crafts, all while learning about natural resource conservation of the Eno River basin. With over 70 bands, 4 stages, local crafts & artisans, and tons of great food & drink, this festival takes place over the Fourth of July holiday.
Each August, the Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival welcomes over 350 artists and fine crafters from all over the country to Cary’s Town Hall Campus. Celebrate the coming of fall with arts, music and food.
Every year, Durham gets the blues! The Bull Durham Blues & Brews Festival is a favorite annual event for music lovers & craft beer enthusiasts all over the Triangle area. Inaugurated in 1988, it is the largest blues festival and celebrates Durham as an epicenter of a particular brand of blues music called the "Piedmont Blues", as well as showcases the best of our local breweries.
The International Festival is an annual celebration of international performances, food, games, art and cultural exhibits that takes place at the Raleigh Convention Center each fall. Over 50 different groups from around the world participate to showcase their cuisine, traditional dance and music, as well as share cultural traditions and celebrate the Triangle’s unique diversity. The Festival features performances by artists in authentic dress, culinary offerings from around the globe, cultural and historical exhibits, and shopping for global arts & crafts.
For 10 days in October the Raleigh Fairgrounds host the NC State Fair, with all types of agricultural exhibits, juried events, amusement rides, and food concession stands. Each evening has a concert with well-known artists and then ends with a great fireworks display.
(Photo from NewsObserver.com)