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Fall festivities in Wilmington

04 October . 2022

Wilmington Area Festivals and Events to Enjoy this Fall

Fall has arrived in Wilmington and we’re ready to celebrate with festive markets and fun events in and around the Cape Fear region. Purchase seasonal décor from talented Wilmington artists at a fall market or enjoy the crisp autumn air while feasting on locally grown oysters at a seafood festival. We are thrilled to see the return of many Wilmington festivals and fall events this season.

Wilmington Riverfest | October 8-9

One of the most celebrated fall events in Wilmington is back! This 2-day celebration in Downtown Wilmington features live music, local artisans and craft vendors, vintage car exhibits, fireworks, and more. Riverfest was voted one of the top seven festivals in North Carolina and draws nearly a quarter million visitors each year.

Pets in the Park | October 8th

The 2nd Annual Pets in the Park event celebrates pets, pet owners, and pet-centric businesses. All well-behaved pets are invited to this paws-itivley fun event in Carolina Beach Lake Park. Spend the day with your furry friend with pet yoga, a pet parade, pet costume contest, and delicious pet-friendly food trucks.

Fire in the Pines | October 8th

This event creates educational fun for the whole family! The Fire in the Pines festival’s mission is to spread positive awareness of the benefits of controlled burning in the longleaf pine ecosystem which covers the Wilmington area! This event will be held at Halyburton Park with crafts, games, live music, food trucks, entertainment, hayrides, and will conclude with a live controlled burning demonstration.

Autumn with Topsail | October 14th-16th

Arts. Food. Beach Music. The perfect blend of a coastal North Carolina fall festival and the Autumn with Topsail Festival has it all. Dating back to 1988, this family-friendly festival has been a great way to immerse yourself in the area’s culture. Over 100 regional artists display and sell their work and musicians from across the southeast take the stage offering the background tunes. Event proceeds support the Historical Society of Topsail, which includes the Missiles and More museum.

Fall Fest at Riverlights | October 15th

This will be a packed day full of fun in Riverlights! From 10am-2pm come out to Marina Village and shop from 30+ local vendors at the Groove’s Fall Pop-Up Market. There will be live music, coffee from Brighter Days, and seasonal homemade ice cream flavors from Coastal Creamery. It's the perfect place to spend a day with the whole family, including your furry four-legged friends! Later in the evening from 4pm-7pm, the band Machine Gun, a local favorite, will be performing in Live Oak Commons, so get ready to get up and dance, sing along, or sit and enjoy the tunes. Admission is free and there will be many bars and restaurants open to grab a drink or bite to eat. Honor Flight, a nonprofit that supports veterans, will be here taking donations. Make sure to bring a blanket or chair to sit and listen to the music! 

N.C. Oyster Festival | October 15th & 16th

Who’s ready to do some oyster shucking? Indulge yourself in local, freshly caught delicious oysters while supporting local businesses at the NC Oyster Festival. Event highlights include a fishing rodeo, oyster shucking, cooking contests and more. You’ll be entertained all weekend long by live music from five amazing bands, so make sure you bring a chair!

Fall Festival at The Gardens of Southeastern NC | October 22nd

Get immersed into the season of fall by participating in fun activities such as a wagon ride, pumpkin picking, food trucks, arts and crafts, strolling through their interactive gardens, listening to live music, or grabbing a glass of wine or beer (for mom and dad). There is so much to do at this fall event, and it’s perfect for the entire family.

Carousel Center Beer & Wine Festival | October 29th

Sip local brews and savor delicious wine during the the 21st annual Beer & Wine Festival in Downtown Wilmington. Live Oak Pavilion will be lined with local vendors and stocked with plenty of beer and wine to try. Proceeds go to the Carousel Center, a nonprofit that supports children of abuse.

Oktoberfest at CB Boardwalk | October 29th & 30th

Get your lederhosen and dirndls ready! Octoberfest will be at the award-winning Carolina Beach boardwalk on October 29-30 inside Lake Park Steakhouse. Fill you day with German food, beer, music, and games! There will be a polka band playing traditional German songs throughout the event, giving you the perfect excuse to practice your polka moves.

Goosebumps in the Grove | October 29th & 30th

All ages are welcome to the spooky Halloween festival at Poplar Grove plantation. Set foot inside the eerie haunted mansion or try your hand at a vintage carnival game. 75 artisan vendors, food trucks, and candy for trick-or-treating will be available.

Taste of Wrightsville Beach | November 5th

Discover the diverse and delicious food that Wrightsville Beach is known for at the 9th Annual Taste of Wrightsville Beach at Bluewater Waterfront Grill. Over 30 food, beer, and wine tasting booths will be available. Celebrity judges will present a “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice” award during the event.

Cape Fear Kite Festival | November 5th & 6th 

Go fly a kite or watch the professional kite flyers dazzle viewers in the sky. At the 15th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival, see colors, shapes, animals, and more soar over Carolina Beach. Along with the beautiful kites, enjoy live music, food trucks, vendors and more!

The North Carolina Spot Festival | November 5th & 6th

The North Carolina Spot Festival is truly a day of fun! Enjoy a day of live bands, inflatable rides, refreshing drinks, vendors, and yummy festival food such as hush puppies, coleslaw, french fries, and more. Admission is only $3 and children under 12 are free. This is a fall event you don’t want to miss.

Foodies, music lovers, and culture enthusiasts will all find something fun to enjoy in Wilmington this fall. As the weather cools and days get shorter, we prepare for some of the best days of the year!