21 May Festivals In and Around Raleigh, Durham
Courtesy Town of Wake Forest
Take your family and head out for art, crafts, live music, food and kids entertainment at these May festivals across the Triangle. Join in community celebrations of ham and yam, Carrboro,
1. Carrboro Day
May 1 – Carrboro Town Commons, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro. 1-5 p.m. Free. Celebrate the unique qualities that make Carrboro special through stories, poetry readings, field games, crafts and more. carrboroday.com/301/carrboro-day.
2. Durham Art Walk Spring Market
May 1 – Downtown Durham, 120 Morris St., Durham. 1-5 p.m. Free. See dazzling examples of local artistic talent and enjoy live music, food trucks and more. durhamartwalk.com.
3. One Tribe and Conscious Living Fest
May 1 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Holshouser Building, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $5/person. Free for ages 12 and younger. 919-247-3002. Explore the mind, body and earth through natural and sustainable products, artisans, workshops, live music and more. Kids can enjoy an interactive area with outdoor activities, storytelling and a healing space. onetribefestnc.com.
4. Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival
May 5-8 – Shakori Hills, 1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro. See the website for hours and fees. Live music, crafts, kids’ activities, storytelling, healing arts practitioners and more highlight this annual festival in Pittsboro. Purchase tickets online. shakorihillsgrassroots.org.
5. Apex Peakfest
May 7 – Downtown Apex. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Enjoy crafts, food, music, kids’ entertainment and more. apexpeakfest.com.
Photo courtesy of iStock
6. Carrboro Elementary School Fair
May 7 – Carrboro Elementary School, 400 Shelton St., Carrboro. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fees vary. 919-968-3652. Take part in a fundraiser for the school featuring a dunking booth, a bounce house, an inflatable obstacle course, a photo booth, face painting and more. sites.google.com/a/chccs.k12.nc.us/carrboropta/home.
7. Ham & Yam Festival
May 7 – Downtown Smithfield. 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Free. This annual festival showcases craft and food vendors, country ham and sweet potatoes, and local bands and dance groups performing on three stages. Enjoy a barbecue cook-off, rubber duck race and more. hamandyam.com.
May 7 – Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Herbfest features plant and craft booths, butterfly releases, kids’ activities, food trucks, a bake sale and more. Tour an herb garden and see the new pollinator garden. Hosted by The Friends of the Page-Walker and Town of Cary. friendsofpagewalker.org.
9. Lynn Road Elementary Spring Carnival
May 7 – Lynn Road Elementary School, 1601 Lynn Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $10/child. Free for adults. Enjoy inflatables, games, a climbing wall, a photo booth, vendors, food trucks, a basket raffle and more. wcpss.net/lynnroades.
10. Meet in the Street
May 7 – Downtown Wake Forest. 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Free. Live music, kids’ activities and artisans selling handcrafted arts and crafts highlight this annual festival. This is a Fit Family Challenge registration event. wakeforestnc.gov/meet-in-the-street.aspx.
11. Strawberry Festival
May 7 – Old North Durham Park, 310 W. Geer St., Durham. 9 a.m. Free. Enjoy all things strawberry with proceeds benefitting Central Park School for Children. cpscnc.org/strawberry.
12. Strawberry Day
May 12 – Raleigh State Farmers Market, 1201 Agriculture St., Raleigh. 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Free. Strawberries take center stage at the Raleigh Farmers Market. ncagr.gov.
May 14 – Draft Line Brewing Company, 341 Broad St., #151, Fuquay-Varina. Noon-7 p.m. Free. This family-friendly festival highlights local musicians and artists and offers creative activities for kids and adults, open mic opportunities for all ages, a crafter’s market and more. createnc.org.
14. Morrisville Spring Fest
May 14 – Downtown Morrisville, Town Hall Dr. 4-9 p.m. Free. Morrisville celebrates the spring season with live entertainment, carnival-style games, inflatables, craft vendors, food trucks and more. nc-morrisville.civicplus.com (search for “spring fest”).
May 14 – Bass Lake Park, 900 Bass Lake Rd., Holly Springs. 1-4 p.m. Free. 919-557-2496. Meet tortoises and other reptiles at this festival that also features wildlife experts, games, crafts, food and music. hollyspringsnc.us.
16. Artsplosure: The Raleigh Arts Festival
May 20-22 – Downtown Raleigh. See website for hours. Free. Raleigh’s famed arts festival showcases large-scale visual art installations, live performances, a student art exhibition and more. raleighartsfestival.com.
17. Got To Be NC Festival
May 20-22 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. See website for hours and fees. Take the family for North Carolina-style fun with carnival games and rides, food vendors, pony rides, evening fireworks and more. Festival admission is free; some events and activities require a fee. gottobencfestival.com.
18. Bimbe Cultural Festival
May 21 – Durham County Stadium Parking Lot, 701 Stadium Dr., Durham. Noon-8 p.m. Free. Celebrate African history, culture, arts and traditions. durhamnc.gov/999/bimbe-cultural-arts-festival. UPDATE: Due to muddy field conditions at Rock Quarry Park, the festival will take place in the Durham County Stadium Parking Lot, 750 Stadium Drive. Free parking will be available on the visitors' side of the Durham County Stadium which can be accessed from Wisteria Ave. Call the weather line at 919-560-4636, press #8 for updates.
19. Durham First Bloom
May 21 – Witherspoon Rose Culture, 3312 Watkins Rd., Durham. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Tour the rose gardens, hear guest speakers and enjoy local food trucks. witherspoonrose.com/durham-first-bloom-2.
20. Longleaf Festival
May 21 – Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Dr., New Hill. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Take a wagon ride to the 60-acre Longleaf Pine Management Area to discover games, crafts, live animals, music by the Kudzu Ramblers and more. wakegov.com/parks/harrislake/events/pages/default.aspx.
21. WRAL Freedom Balloon Fest
May 27-30 – Fleming Loop Park, 503 Fleming Loop Rd., Fuquay-Varina. See website for hours. Take the family to witness 35 hot air balloons as they take to the skies. Enjoy live music, military equipment and interactive displays, festival food, amusements geared children, and arts and crafts vendors. wralfreedomballoonfest.com.