September Festivals in Raleigh, Durham and Other Triangle Towns
Savor the cultures of places near and far, celebrate dogs, storytelling, fall, music, art, film, fashion and even bugs at festivals in and around Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill during September. Our October issue will list local festivals for that month, as well as fall festivals across the state.
Sept. 3-4 – Fayetteville St., downtown Raleigh. Free. Celebrate African-American culture and history with an art gallery walk, vendors, kids’ activities, food and more. See website for hours. aacfestival.org.
Sept. 9-11 – Jim Graham Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. See website for hours. $3 adults, $2 ages 13-18 and seniors. Free for ages 12 and younger. Enjoy Greek folk dancing, live music, authentic cuisine, a marketplace and more. greekfestivalraleigh.com.
3. Dog Olympics
Sept. 10 – North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, 1060 William Moore Dr., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. See website for fees. 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. The rain date is Sept. 26. https://cvm.ncsu.edu/outreach/dog-olympics/
Sept. 10 – Duke Homestead, 2828 Duke Homestead Rd., Durham. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate North Carolina’s farming culture and history with a hornworm race, live music, local arts and crafts vendors, history activities and more. dukehomestead.org/events.php.
Sept. 10 – Horses for Hope, 2909 Banks Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free; optional activities charge a small fee. Take the family for riding demonstrations, food, music, auction, raffles, pony rides, trail rides, a grooming station, games, prizes and more. Proceeds benefit Horses for Hope and its therapeutic riding program. This is a special needs-friendly event. horsesforhope.org.
Sept. 10-11 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, Holshouser Building, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. See website for hours. $2. Free for ages 15 and younger. Enjoy gourd displays from around the world, workshops, arts and crafts and a gourd crafting table for kids. ncgourdsociety.org/festival.
Sept. 10 – Riverbend Park, Louisburg. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. This annual festival features cultural demonstrations, the first-ever Tar River food truck rodeo, live music by The Switch Band, inflatables, rides, face painting, and an arts and crafts booth. franklin-chamber.org.
Sept. 14-18 – E. Main St., downtown Clayton. See website for hours. Free. Live entertainment, food vendors, rides, hands-on activities, local talent performances, a car show and concerts highlight this annual event. claytonchamber.com/pages/harvest-festival.
Sept. 15-18 – Fayetteville St., downtown Raleigh. Free. See website for the complete schedule. Raleigh’s annual festival of creativity showcases art in its many forms, including dance, fashion, film, music, fine arts, theater and more. Enjoy performances, kids’ activities, exhibits and more. sparkcon.com.
Sept. 16 – Franklin St., downtown Chapel Hill. 6-9 p.m. Free. Celebrate with the Tar Heels the night before the football season’s opening game day. The evening features an outdoor concert, interactive games for kids, face painting and Rameses, the Tar Heel mascot. tarheeldowntown.com.
Sept. 17 – North Carolina State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Rd., Raleigh. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Take your dog to meet rare breeds and enjoy canine demonstrations, face painting, contests and more. akc.org/responsible.
12. Bugfest: Ants
Sept. 17 – North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St., Raleigh. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Delve into the fascinating world of bugs and creepy crawlies. Experience more than 100 exhibits, crafts, games and activities. Interact with entomologists and sample buggy dishes prepared by local chefs. Live bands, bug stations, a nocturnal insect tour and a street carnival cap off the event from 5-7 p.m. bugfest.org.
Sept. 17 – Page-Walker Arts & History Center, 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $50/team. Teams race throughout Cary to find the most clues in hopes of winning prizes or trophies. Enjoy food, fun activities and a chance to win free raffle prizes while scores are tallied at the finish line. Register a team online. caryscavengerhunt.com.
Sept. 17-18 – Downtown Durham. See website for hours. Suggested donation is $5. Free for ages 12 and younger. The annual art lover’s festival features creations from 140 juried fine artists and craftsmen, music and entertainment on six stages, a lively Kids Zone and local foods. centerfest.durhamarts.org.
Sept. 17 – 301 N. Main St., Creedmoor. 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Free. Family fun for all ages includes more than 100 food and craft vendors, children’s activities, live demonstrations and all genres of music from local and regional bands. cityofcreedmoor.org.
Sept. 17 – Sugg Farm at Bass Lake Park, 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Canines are celebrated with contests, clinics, live music and more. hollyspringsnc.us/355/dog-day-in-the-park.
Sept. 17 – Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Enjoy dragon boat racing on Symphony Lake, cultural performances and authentic cuisine. dragonboatnc.wix.com/festival.
Sept. 17 – Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Rd., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Costumed interpreters, corn-grinding demonstrations, tours of historic Yates Mill and live performances highlight this annual fall festival. Storytellers, a scavenger hunt for all ages, craft demonstrations, antique vehicle and tool displays and food vendors round out the fun. wakegov.com/parks/yatesmill/pages/fallharvest.aspx.
Sept. 17 – J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, W. Third St. and W. Cypress St., Wendell. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Celebrate the culinary world with ethnic food, live entertainment, games and more. thefoodfestival.com.
Sept. 17 – Lafayette Village, 8450 Honeycutt Rd., Raleigh. Noon-5 p.m. Free. This German-inspired event features food, live music, face painting, train rides, wiener dog racing and more. lafayettevillageraleigh.com.
21. Carnaval Latino
Sept. 18 – Garner Performing Arts Center Back Lawn, 125 Avery St., Garner. 1-4 p.m. Free. Celebrate Latino culture with live bands, food trucks, dance performances, face painting, a piñata giveaway, crafts and more. apps.garnernc.gov/parkswebpages/carnaval%20latino/main.htm.
22. Benson Mule Days
Sept. 22-25 – Downtown Benson. See website for hours and fees. Take the family for rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, a parade, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more. bensonmuledays.com.
Sept. 22-25 – Raleigh Convention Center, 500 S Salisbury St, Raleigh. See website for hours. Free. Celebrate the motorcycle lifestyle with family-friendly activities ranging from stunt shows and specialty rides to live music and local vendors. capitalcitybikefest.com.
Sept. 23-24 – Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Pkwy., Cary. See website for hours. $5-$40. Enjoy live German music, traditional Bavarian food and fare, wiener dog races, a Kinderplatz, German-made cars and more. Purchase tickets online. triangleoktoberfest.org.
Sept. 24-25 – Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro. See website for hours. Free. Celebrate music with live performances, crafts and food. carrboromusicfestival.com.
Sept. 24-25 – E. Carroll Joyner Park , 701 Harris Rd., Wake Forest. See website for hours. Free. Pet owners spend a day with their furry sidekicks enjoying contests, pet-related vendors, music and food trucks. dirtydogsllc.com/extravaganza2016.
Sept. 24 – Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Dr., Durham. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Latino and Hispanic traditions are celebrated with authentic cuisine, an arts and crafts marketplace, kids’ activities and live performances. The rain date is Oct. 8. durhamnc.gov/1009/latino-festival.
Sept. 24 – Historic Stagville, 5828 Old Oxford Hwy., Durham. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $5 adults, $3 kids. Learn about work, food and harvest on the Cameron family plantation with fun activities. stagville.org.
Sept. 24 – St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, 225 Bashford Rd., Raleigh. 2-8 p.m. Free. Enjoy authentic food, live music, stage performances, live auctions, kids’ games, face paintings and character appearances. harvestfestnc.com.
Sept. 24 – Historic Oak View County Park, 4028 Carya Dr., Raleigh. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. Hear family-friendly storytelling from Donna Washington, Adam Booth and others, and live music from The Sandbox Band. wakegov.com/libraries/events/pages/storytelling.aspx.
Sept. 24 – 125 U.S. 1-A, Youngsville. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Welcome the arrival of fall with a food truck rodeo, face painting, craft vendors and a car show. youngsvillefallfestival.com.
Sept. 25 – Fayetteville Street, downtown Raleigh. Noon-7 p.m. Free. Enjoy authentic cuisine, music, dancing and fun activities. elpueblo.org/eng/la-fiesta-del-pueblo-2016.