The Top 14 Annual Events in the Raleigh-Durham Area
If you missed or know you’ll miss one of these events, fear not—it’ll be back next year.
What makes the Triangle so appealing? In addition to its delightful climate and abundance of hometown charm, the Raleigh-Durham region boasts hundreds of family-friendly events all year long. From arts and crafts festivals and cultural celebrations, to town-sponsored holiday festivities and parades, this list showcases some of the best this area has to offer.
FIRST NIGHT RALEIGH
Raleigh; New Year’s Eve
This family-oriented New Year’s Eve event celebrates the arts with live performances, a children’s celebration, a countdown to midnight and grand finale fireworks.
IPREO RALEIGH WINTERFEST
Raleigh’s two-month long winter extravaganza in City Plaza features an outdoor skating rink with natural ice, and kicks off the holiday season with live performances, kids activities, sledding ramps, Santa’s Village and more.
ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARADE AND WEARIN’ O’ THE GREEN FESTIVAL
Cultural groups, live performers and other participants march the streets of downtown Raleigh in this St. Patrick’s Day Parade that ends with a festival in Moore Square.
N.C. SCIENCE FESTIVAL
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and elsewhere throughout North Carolina; April
This statewide science festival features hundreds of science and technology-events, many of which occur in the Triangle.
This spring celebration of art includes more than 170 visual artists, award-winning musicians, large-scale art installations, crafts and performances for kids.
Arts and crafts, live music, food stands and kids activities highlight this spring festival in historic downtown Apex.
GOT TO BE N.C. FEST
Three days of celebrating North Carolina’s down-home style includes live bluegrass music, antique farm equipment, rides, wine judging, arts and crafts, pig races and a draft horse pull competition.
AMERICAN DANCE FESTIVAL
Choreographers, dancers, teachers, musicians and critics learn, collaborate and create during this annual gathering of international dancers. ADF Kids features matinee performances by three acclaimed dance companies as well as Kids’ Night Out events during evening shows.
FESTIVAL FOR THE ENO RIVER
This river festival in Durham features a variety of activities—all with an environmental or cultural connection to the river—and more than 100 performers, craft exhibitors, river activities, workshops and more.
This North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences annual event features insect-infested educational and entertaining displays, exhibits and activities.
This weekend-long arts festival in downtown Durham hosts visual artists, performing acts, kids entertainment and activities.
This multi-day international celebration features culture, music and food from around the globe.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE FAIR
North Carolina’s 10-day annual state fair and agricultural exposition showcases carnival rides and food, a kids fun park, exhibits, competitions and live entertainment.
RALEIGH CHRISTMAS PARADE
Floats, marching bands, performing groups and specialty vehicles usher in the holiday season during this downtown Raleigh parade.