28 Don't-Miss Fall Festivals in October

Festivals Ncstatefair Creditjbicking Shutterstock
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The North Carolina State Fair will be held Oct. 12-22.


Oct. 1 – Downtown Chapel Hill. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Engage with the local arts community through performances, handmade artworks, kids’ activities and more. chapelhillfestifall.com.

Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance

Oct. 5-8 – Shakori Hills, 1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd., Pittsboro. See the website for festival hours and to purchase tickets. Take the family for live music, kids’ activities, storytelling, face painting, food vendors and more. Ages 12 and younger not admitted without an adult. shakorihillsgrassroots.org.

Selma Railroad Days Festival

Oct. 6-7 – Downtown Selma. See website for hours. Free. Take the family for live entertainment, rides, and arts and crafts vendors. selma-nc.com/railroad-days-festival.

Triangle Oktoberfest

Oct. 6-7 – Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary. 6-11 p.m. Oct. 6; 1-11 p.m. Oct. 7. $5-$40. Enjoy German music, traditional Bavarian food, German cars, a Kinder Platz and more. Purchase tickets online. triangleoktoberfest.org.

26th Annual Dog Olympics

Oct. 7 – North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 1060 William Moore Dr., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free-$5. Dogs of all breeds and sizes can take part in athletic and nonathletic competitions, and microchipping services. Canine health information booths, vendors and food trucks round out the fun. cvm.ncsu.edu/outreach/dog-olympics.

Bass Lake Day

Oct. 7 – Bass Lake Park, 900 Bass Lake Rd., Holly Springs. 2- 6 p.m. Free. Celebrate nature and the environment with live music, crafts and games, live animal displays and interactive exhibits. hollyspringsnc.us/350/bass-lake-day

Celebrate Fuquay-Varina

Oct. 7 – Downtown Fuquay-Varina. 10 a.m-4 p.m. Free. Live entertainment, food, an artists’ village, classic car show and kids’ zone celebrate the town’s rich heritage. celebratefv.com.

Downtown Chili Cook-Off

Oct. 7 – Depot Street, 146 S. Main St., Fuquay-Varina. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Groups and individuals show off their chili-cooking skills. Tickets are $10/person to taste all entries and vote for the People’s Choice Awards. live-timely-qq1bcx3me4.time.ly/event/chili-cook-off-fvda-event.

Heritage Day Festival

Oct. 7 – Historic Oak View County Park, 4028 Carya Dr., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. This old-time county fair showcases live music, animals, agricultural displays, heritage craft displays and costumed re-enactors. wakegov.com/parks/oakview.

Pottery and Glass Festival

Oct. 7-8 and 14-15 – Cedar Creek Gallery, 1150 Fleming Rd., Creedmoor. 10 a.m-6 p.m. Free. See pottery, glassblowing and wood turning demonstrations, kiln openings, raku firings and more. cedarcreekgallery.com.

Raleigh Children’s Business Fair

Oct. 7 – The Commons at North Hills, 4160 Main St., Raleigh. 2:30-4:30 p.m. Free. Shop with more than 40 businesses operated by local children. raleighcbf.org.

Swift Creek Elementary School’s 85th Anniversary

Oct. 7 – Swift Creek Elementary School, 5601 Tryon Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Celebrate the 85th anniversary of Swift Creek Elementary School with games, crafts, fire trucks, food trucks and music. swiftcreekeswcpssnetptahtml.weebly.com/anniversary.html.

Tar River Festival

Oct. 7 – Riverbend Park, S. Church St., downtown Louisburg. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Enjoy cultural demonstrations, live music, inflatables, rides, face painting and more. franklin-county-nc.chambermaster.com.

North Carolina State Fair

Oct. 12-22 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. See the website for hours and ticket prices. North Carolina’s signature event features live music, rides, carnival-style food, kids’ entertainment and more. ncstatefair.org.

Cary Diwali

Oct. 14 – Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary. Doors open at 10 a.m. Free. Parking is $5/car. Celebrate India and Diwali through music, dance, a craft bazaar and food vendors. A fireworks display begins at 8:30 p.m. townofcary.org/recreation-enjoyment/events/holiday-events/diwali-celebration.

DisABLE the Label

Oct. 14 – Northgate Mall, 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Celebrate National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month with games, entertainment, kids’ activities and food vendors. All abilities welcome. durhamnc.gov/1605/disable-the-label.

Haunting at Harris: Rise of the Legends

Oct. 14 – Harris Lake County Park, 2112 County Park Dr., New Hill. 1-6 p.m. Free. Meet Blackbeard, the Loch Ness Monster, Paul Bunyan and other characters on a wagon ride. Enjoy crafts, face painting, crawly critters, an obstacle course and games. Costumes optional. Wagon rides for all ages leave every 30 minutes. Tickets available first come, first serve the day of the event only. Tickets for 1-3 p.m. rides handed out at 12:30 p.m.; tickets for 3:30-5:30 p.m. rides handed out at 3 p.m. wakegov.com/parks/harrislake.

KidFest 2017

Oct. 14 – Whole Family Chiropractic, 160 N.E. Maynard Rd., Cary. 9 a.m.-noon. Free. Learn more about the different aspects of health and enjoy food, inflatables, character appearances, pumpkin painting and more. wholefamilyofcary.com.

North Carolina Fresh Catch Seafood and Music Festival

Oct. 14 – 131 S. Chatham Ave., Siler City. 1-7 p.m. See website for fees. Enjoy live music and fresh seafood as local and regional farms, fisheries and restaurants promote the richness of North Carolina’s natural resources. ncfreshcatch.com.

32nd International Festival of Raleigh

Oct. 20-22 – Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh. See the website for festival hours. $5-$15/person. Explore multiculturalism through performances, cultural exhibits, world bazaars, sidewalk cafes, children’s activities and a naturalization ceremony. internationalfestival.org.

Creepy Crabtree Celebration

Oct. 21 – Lake Crabtree County Park, 1400 Aviation Pkwy., Morrisville. 2-6 p.m. Free. Celebrate Halloween and nature with scary scavenger hunts, creepy crafts and fun games. Costumes optional. wakegov.com/parks/lakecrabtree.

Midtown Pumpkin Palooza

Oct. 21 – Midtown Park at North Hills, 4011 Cardinal at North Hills St., Raleigh. 3-6 p.m. $10/adult, $5/child. Free for ages 5 and younger. Celebrate fall with pumpkin painting, giant games, an inflatable obstacle course, a bird-feeder craft and more. Adults can enjoy a chili cook-off, live band performances, a dog costume contest and smartphone scavenger hunt. midtownraleighalliance.org/2017-pumpkin-palooza.

Trick-or-Eat Food Truck Rodeo

Oct. 22 – Main Street, downtown Garner. Noon-5 p.m. Free. Enjoy 14 food trucks, street music and artisans. The Garner Police Athletics Activity League offers special crafts and games for kids. This is not a trick-or-treating event. downtowngarner.com.

Haunted Mordecai Festival

Oct. 28 – Mordecai Historic Park, 1 Mimosa St., Raleigh. 1-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate Halloween with food, music, games and crafts. Ages 15 and younger can take part in a costume contest beginning at 1 p.m. The Ghost Guild will reveal its findings from a paranormal investigation of the Mordecai House and answer attendees’ questions. raleighnc.gov/parks.


Oct. 28 – Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Live entertainment, a kids’ zone, cornhole competition, food trucks, and arts and crafts vendors highlight this annual festival in Holly Springs. hollyspringsnc.us/356/hollyfest.

Touch-a-Truck Fundraiser

Oct. 28 – Downtown Smithfield. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free admission; purchase tickets for unlimited access to activities. Kids explore their favorite trucks and heavy machinery, and meet the personnel who protect and build Johnston County communities. See emergency vehicles, tractors, construction equipment, delivery trucks and more. Enjoy food trucks, inflatables and face painting. Proceeds benefit the Me Fine Foundation. jwlsmithfield.com.


Oct. 29 – Durham Central Park, 501 Foster St., Durham. Noon-4 p.m. Free. Man’s best friend is celebrated in a family-friendly event that includes dog shows, a canine costume contest, parade, photo booth and more. durhamnc.gov/2698/barktoberfest.

Festival of Fabulous Mums

Oct. 29 – Doris Duke Center, 420 Anderson St., Durham. Noon-6 p.m. Free. Parking fees apply. Celebrate the glory of mums at this event that features cultural and historical information, arts and crafts, gardening tips and tours of the Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, where visitors will find more mums on display in a beautiful garden setting. Presented in partnership with the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society. gardens.duke.edu/events/festival-fabulous-mums.


Categories: Cultural, Day Trips, Festivals, Outdoors, Seasonal Fun, Things To Do