Fall 2017 Festivals and Halloween Happenings in Eastern NC

The Grey Area News Fall Activities List
The Grey Area News Fall Activities List

Fall celebrations are here, and Halloween is coming. Across North Carolina, festivals and seasonal happenings offer a mix of daytime fun and nighttime scares. Eastern NC Fall happenings are listed below, along with applicable websites and dates for 2017.

Have we missed any? Let the editor know and we’ll continue updating this list.

In addition to the seasonal events listed below, check out our list of haunted houses, corn mazes, and attracthrtions here.

Knightdale — EBC Fall Festival

Elevation Baptist Church is organizing this 2017 festival.  This event will be held October 1, 2017, 10:30am-4pm, on the church’s east campus, 5271 EBC Village Way, Knightdale NC.

Enjoy activities, vendors, crafts, inflatables, food, and fellowship. Vendors, and volunteers, are welcomed. See more at www.elevationbaptist.org/discover-love-ebc, or call 919.231.6418.

Chapel Hill — FestiFall Arts Festival

This 45th-annual Arts Festival returns October 1, 2017, noon-6pm, offering a chance for artists, art enthusiasts, and the community to gather. Check out the vibrant market of handmade artworks and enjoy live performances. Held along Historic West Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill NC. See details at www.chapelhillfestifall.com.

Wake Forest — Halloween First Friday Fright Night

The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts hosts a free movie showing on Friday, October 6, 2017. This is part of the town’s First Friday Flix, offered as a “Halloween First Friday Fright Night Double Feature” with Ghostbusters at 7pm, followed by Pet Sematary at 9:30pm. The location is 405 S Brooks Street, Wake Forest NC. Popcorn and soft drinks will be available for purchase. For more information, call the Renaissance Centre Box Office at 919.435.9458 or visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/first-friday-flix.aspx.

Wendell — Harvest Festival 

This annual festival returns for two days — Friday, October 6, 2017 @ 5-10pm; and Saturday, October 7, 2017 @ 9am-10pm. Take part in Wendell’s community gathering on the J. Ashley Wall Town Square, Third and Cypress Streets, Wendell NC. Admission is free. Festival includes a parade, children’s pumpkin derby, bingo, crafts, and local vendors. Tasty fair-like food will be for sale.  In the evening, head to the Town Square for live music by The Embers. With questions, call 919.365.6318. More information on the Chamber website and updates on the festival Facebook page.

Spring Hope — National Pumpkin Festival

Head to Spring Hope NC for the town’s annual harvest-time celebration. The National Pumpkin Festival is October 7, 2017. The day begins with the Opening Ceremony at 9am. There will be entertainment throughout the day, including live bands, and a parade at 1pm.

The Craft Vendor Fair will also be open at 9am, and stay open through the day until 9pm. Vendors will be set up along RailRoad Street.

Enter contests to make the day even more exciting. The Pumpkin Weigh-in Contest is at 10am, overseen by the Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce. The Pumpkin Recipe Contest begins at 10am too. Then, at 11am the Pumpkin Decorating Contest starts.

Information on the festival, applications for vendors, and updates may be found on this Facebook page. (Note that the vendor deadline was September 1, so spots are likely not available.)

Zebulon — Pumpkins & More at the Farm Fresh Market

On Saturday, October 7, 2017, 9am-1pm, the market will offer a variety of seasonal events. They include:

  • Largest Pumpkin of the season contest
  • Victor Visiting Chef – Pig Picking
  • Halloween costume day for the children
  • Costume contest
  • Pumpkin painting for children
  • Imploding Pumpkin
  • Drawings for free baskets of produce
  • Zebulon Fire Department fire Truck

This specially themed market day should be lots of fun. The Zebulon Farm Fresh Market is held on the front lawn of the Municipal Building, 1003 N Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. With questions, call the market manager, Maurine Brown, at 919.823.1816.

Knightdale — Mumkin Fest

Enjoy live music, inflatables, train rides, food truck offerings, and more at this event, to be held October 13-15, 2017, in Knightdale Station Park, 810 N First Avenue, Knightdale NC. See our Mumkin Fest article here.

Zebulon — Fall Festival

Zebulon United Methodist Church (ZUMC) annual Fall Festival falls on October 14, 2017. Details to be announced. The location is Zebulon United Methodist Church, 121 W Gannon Avenue, Zebulon NC. The event includes dinner plates, auctions, and other activities to raise funds. More information may be found at www.zumchurch.org, or watch for updates on the church’s Facebook page.

Raleigh — Beetlejuice / Psycho Double Feature

On Monday, October 16, 2017, 7-11pm head to the Rialto Theatre, 1620 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh NC for two movies. The first film begins at 7pm, and the second at 9pm. Tickets $5 each or $8 for both. Tickets are available in person at the Rialto box office during regular hours. See more at ambassadorcinemas.com or on their Facebook page. Note that The Rocky Horror Picture Show is available on other dates at the Rialto.

Henderson — Spook-Fest at the Drive-in

On October 21, 2017, Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre is offering three movies, plus trunk-or-treating, a car costume contest, and more. This triple-feature night at the drive-in, 3336 Raleigh Road, Henderson NC, includes showings of The Addams Family, Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween, and Christine. See flyer at www.raleighroaddrivein.com/what-s-next/upcoming-events.

Fayetteville — Hallowe’en Revels: Night Tours of the 1897 Poe House

Tour the 1897 Poe House October 25-27, 2017 at the Poe House Museum, 206 Bradford Avenue, Fayetteville NC. This year’s play by The Gilbert Theater features the theme of Hallowe’en at home in 1917 during WWI. Be transported back in time, witnessing a series of short vignettes while becoming immersed in early 20th century cultural norms, music, and poetry through the scripted play. Tickets are $3-$0 and must be purchased at the door. Tours will run every 20 minutes beginning at 6pm with the last tour departing at 9pm. Tour space is limited to 15 participants. See details at museumofthecapefear.ncdcr.gov.

Smithfield — Historical Ghost Walk

Join this unique event on Thursday, October 26, 2017, 6:30-9pm. This Heritage Center guided tour takes place each year at Riverside Cemetery in Smithfield NC; beside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at the corner of Second and Church Streets.  The first tour begins at 7pm.  Tours begin every five minutes or so.

“Meet” five fascinating personalities from Johnston County’s past:

  • physician/politician/military leader Dr. Calvin Jones
  • 18th century river boatman
  • World War I Harlem Hellfighter Private Hubert Banks
  • “Hello Girl” (telephone operator) Miss Blanche Mitchener
  • Mrs. B. B. (Florence) Adams, Johnston County Red Cross organizer during World War I

After the cemetery tour, guests can enjoy refreshments in the historic Hastings House. Admission is $3 for adults, $2 for students (K-12). No advance ticket sales and day-of tour tickets are first come, first served. It is recommended that tour takers dress appropriately for evening temperatures and wear comfortable walking shoes. More online here. Contact the Heritage Center at 919.934.2836 with questions.

This event is sponsored in part by the Johnston County Visitors Bureau and is presented in collaboration with the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.

Wake Forest — Halloween Spooktacular

The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is sponsoring this annual Spooktacular on Thursday, October 26, 2017, 4:30-8:30pm. This event is held at the Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N White Street, Wake Forest NC. This is a free, family-oriented festival for children ages 12 and younger. Festivities include a costume contest, face painting, cupcake walk, and a variety of ghostly games and activities. Plus, there will be a free pumpkin giveaways while supplies last. See more on the town’s Facebook page.

KDH — Halloween International Film Festival

The 2nd Halloween International Film Festival returns October 26-28, 2017. Held at R/C Kill Devil Hills Movies 10, 1803 N Croatan Hwy, Kill Devil Hills NC. Tickets are $12-$30, available here.

Note that this independent film festival is followed by the Outer Banks Halloween Parade of Costumes on Sunday, October 29, 2017.

Wendell — Treat Trail

On Friday, October 27, 2017, 5-8pm, Wendell NC’s Parks and Rec is setting up a long trail through one of the town parks, with trick-or-treaters welcomed to walk along the trail.  Local businesses are stationed along the trail to meet parents, greet the children, and give out goodies. The trail is designed to be non-scary, and caters toward young children.

More information may be found on the town Parks and Rec Facebook page. The location is Wendell Community Park, 601 W Third Street, Wendell NC.

Durham — Halloween Phantasmagoria

Phantasmagoria, noun: a bizarre or fantastic combination, collection or assemblage; a dreamlike state where real and imagined elements blur together; a magical event at Duke Homestead.

Explore historical concepts of Spiritualism, awe, and wonder from the 19th century at Duke Homestead. Come for the fun and surprises on Friday, October 27, 2017, 6:30-9:30pm. The Duke Homestead State Historic Site is at 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham NC.

Wander the property to see what wonders you can find. We won’t spoil the surprises, but we can tell you that this will be unlike any other Halloween experience you will have. Appropriate for all ages; not designed to scare. Expect walking/standing on uneven terrain and dress accordingly.  The event will close at 9pm, so arriving before 8:30pm is strongly recommended.

This event is $10 (plus tax) per person when purchased in advance, or $15 (plus tax) per person at the door. See more at dukehomestead.org/special-events.php or www.ncdcr.gov/halloween-phantasmagoria.

Wilson — Imagination Station Halloween Party

This seasonal party is planned for Friday, October 27, 2017, 3-5pm. Held at the Imagination Station Science and History Museum, 224 Nash Street E, Wilson NC. Watch for more details at scienceandhistory.org or the Imagination Station Facebook page.

Clinton — The Scarecrow Express

Head to Hubb’s Corn Maze October 27-28, 2017, and board the Scarecrow Express. As night falls, watch and discover what happens when the farmer goes to bed….the scarecrows put on a show. Upon sunset, children age 12 and under along with a parent may board The Scarecrow Express train ride. This is the ideal non-scary but fun Halloween event for younger children. The last Scarecrow Express all aboard call will be made at 8:30pm, so be sure to arrive early.

Hubb’s Corn Maze is located at 10276 N US-421 Hwy, Clinton NC. See details and additional Corn Maze activities at www.hubbsfarmnc.com.

Grifton — The Haunted Trail / Creatures of the Night

Head to Grifton NC for a night of terror strolling the Haunted Trail. Held October 27-28, 2017, 6-9:30pm, at A Time for Science, 949 Contentnea Lane, Grifton NC. A Time for Science is also offering a family-friendly hayride and guided tour through their forest to learn about the creatures of the night. Activities are $5 per person which includes a campfire and marshmallows. Visit www.atimeforscience.org or call 252.746.4470 to register.

Goldsboro — The Creepy Crawl (and more)

Head to 219 N John Street, Goldsboro NC and get ready for ghoulish fun. Participating bars/restaurants will feature drink specials, music, and a costume contest with prizes so good it’s spooky. The first 100 crawlers will receive spooky swag, so come early to this free event, covering 5 downtown bars/restaurants in 4 hours on October 27, 2017, 8pm-midnight.

Note that downtown Goldsboro also has family activities going on, including Trunk-or-Treat at 5pm, followed by a fall festival and Thriller flash mob.

Goldsboro — The 3rd Annual Thriller Night Performance and Fall Festival

On Friday, October 27, 2017, 4-9pm, join the fun and games, Flash mob (5pm) and Zombies, at 219 N John Street, Goldsboro NC.  Kick off theHalloween celebration by either performing Michael Jackson’s Thriller or witnessing this annual event and playing games.

Attend rehearsals throughout October and get ready! Practice dates and details at www.facebook.com/dgthrillernight or at www.visitgoldsboronc.com/events.

Nashville — Halloween Activities

The Town of Nashville NC will be holding a Fall Festival at the Harold D. Cooley Library, 114 W Church Street, Nashville NC, on October 27, 2017, 4-5:30pm. Then, there will be trick-or-treating in downtown with Parks and Rec and the Nashville Chamber starting around 5:30pm.  When the sun goes down, the Ghostbusters 2016 film will be shown in the library parking lot.

Note that the Church Street Grill be open with a limited menu for dinner and concessions. Rumor has it there may be other town surprises!

Watch the Nashville NC Parks and Rec Facebook page for updates, or visit the  town’s website or library website.

Zebulon — Trunk or Treat

Join the fun with Zebulon Parks and Rec October 27, 2017, 5-7pm. Bring the kids for trunk-or-treating with free candy, free walking tacos, music, and community. Held at 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. Award for best truck. See www.facebook.com/ZebulonParksandRecreation.

Clayton — Halloween Happenings

The Town of Clayton NC is holding three Halloween-related events for 2017.

  • A Halloween Hayride at Clayton Community Park — Meet Halloween characters, play games and win prizes as you ride around the trail on Friday, October 27, 2017, 4-6pm. The fee is $5 per child over age 2. Adults ride for free.
  • A Halloween Special Needs Dance at the Clayton Community Center — Come for this special Halloween-edition of the town’s popular free dance for special needs participants in middle school, high school and adults. Wear a costume with soft-soled shoes so they don’t scuff up the gym floor. The dance is Saturday, October 28, 2017, 6-8pm.
  • The Annual Halloween Parade in downtown — Trick or Treat in Downtown Clayton, then head to Town Square (corner of Main and Fayetteville Streets) for games and more goodies for the children. Held on Halloween — Tuesday, October 31, 2017, 2:30-4pm. 

Watch for updates on the town website at www.townofclaytonnc.org or on their Facebook page.

Rolesville — Fall FunFest

The town’s annual Fall FunFest is scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2017, 10am-4pm. The fun takes place along Main Street in Rolesville NC, with various arts/crafts vendors, information booths, and food.  Get an early start on holiday shopping, enjoy a hot dog, listen to live music, or enter the costume contest (at noon). Event information is available here, and updates may be found on the town’s Facebook page.

Fayetteville — Trick or Treat at the 1897 Poe House

The Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex will host free Trick-or-Treat on Saturday, October 28, 2017, 11am-4pm, in the Poe House Museum, 206 Bradford Avenue, Fayetteville NC.

Trick or treaters can search for ravens in the Poe House, listen to a Halloween story, and then play old fashioned games in the backyard for a prize. There will also be music, magic, and a children’s costume contest ($1 to enter). Concessions will be available. See details on the museum’s Facebook page.

Smithfield — Trick or Treating in the Maze

On Saturday, October 28, 2017, noon-5pm, join the fun at Lazy O Farm, 3583 Packing Plant Road, Smithfield NC. Dress up and bring the little munchkins. This is NOT scary. Entry is $10 per person (cash only). Visit the animals, go on a hayride and wander through the child-friendly maze for all kinds of treats and fun and get a pumpkin. Other farm activities available. Updates and details may be available on the farm’s Facebook page.

Halloween HAVOC

On Saturday, October 28, 2017, 8pm-2am, join the adult fun in the parking lot at Gators Rocky Mount, 1171 Jeffreys Road, Rocky Mount NC. Carshow, Double DJ’s, Tent Event, a Costume Contest with cash prizes, and much more. See the Gators website at www.get2gators.com.

Hillsborough — Halloween Bash at The Myers House

The Myers House NC is a life-size replica of the infamous Michael Myers house from John Carpenter’s classic horror film Halloween.  This personal residence is opening the doors October 28, 2017, 6:30pm-midnight. The Myers House is located in Hillsborough NC.  See details at www.myershousenc.com. Because it is a private residence, address information is released just before this Halloween event. See updates on the Myers House NC’s Facebook page.

Huntersville — Halloween Daze and Spooky Knights

The Carolina Renaissance Festival is a medieval amusement park, a 12 stage theater, a 25-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast – all rolled into one non-stop, day-long family adventure. The festival will offer this special Halloween happening on October 28-29, 2017, 10am-5:30pm.

Looking for a fun, free, and safe place to trick or treat? Put the Renaissance Festival on your Halloween list of things to do with free event admission for kids, free Halloween bags, and treats to be found all around the 25-acre festival village. There will also be a Halloween Treasure hunt and a Halloween costume contest with prizes, courtesy of Party City Stores metro-wide.

Already the Carolina’s largest costume party, the Renaissance Festival becomes the place to start your Halloween celebrations In addition, the festival is a great place to buy your Halloween costume or costume accessories.

A full day of regular festival entertainment is complimented by the “Knights of the Living Dead” a zombie jousting challenge, three times daily throughout the Halloween weekend. Children ages 5 through 12, normally a $15 admission, will be admitted free courtesy of Harris Teeter (under age 5 is always free). Adult tickets are $24 when purchased in advance at Harris Teeter stores, $1 higher at the gate. Event parking is free. Treat bags and goodies will be provided free to children each day, while supplies last. Festival vendors and exhibitors
throughout the park provide a safe trick or treat environment with free treats for the kids.

The annual Festival is held on consecutive weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, September 30 through November 19, 2017 at its permanent fairgrounds at 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville NC.  See the festival website for details.

Wilson — Halloween Treats at the Wilson Botanical Gardens

Join the fun on Sunday, October 29, 2017, 4-6:30pm, at the Wilson Botanical Gardens, 1806 Goldsboro Street SW, Wilson NC. This is a free, annual celebration of traditional Halloween activities: Trick-or-treating, a pumpkin contest, crafts, storytelling, a costume parade, and more. Costumes are welcome and should be kid-friendly.

For more information, visit www.wilsonbotanicalgardens.com or the Botanical Gardens’ Facebook page.

Zebulon/Pilot — Trunk Or Treat

Come for this annual event on Sunday, October 29, 2017, 6:30-7:30pm. Come and trick-or-treat from trunks in the church parking lot. This event is in the “Pilot” area, at Pilot Baptist Church, 8103 NC-39 Hwy, Zebulon NC. The church is online at www.pilotbaptist.com and updates may be posted on Facebook here.

Garner — Trick-or-Treat The Trails

Trick-or-Treat your way around White Deer Park, 2400 Aversboro Road, Garner NC, and collecting goodies from local businesses and organizations. This free event is scheduled for October 31, 2017, 3-6pm. A parent must accompany children at all times. Parking available at Lake Benson Park (921 Buffaloe Road). Note that pets, drones and alcohol are not allowed. With questions, call Brittany Washington at 919.773.4441 or visit the Town of Garner events page.

Downtown Tarboro Trick-or-Treating

The town’s candy handout to kids in costume (under age 13), is scheduled for Halloween — October 31, 2017, 10am-noon and 3-5pm. Downtown Tarboro NC merchants are offering treats throughout the day. This is a free, public event.

Wake Forest — New Life Church Fall Festival

The New Life Church Fall Festival is Saturday, November 4, 2017, 10am-4pm. There will be free family activities, including inflatables, craft vendors, games, a hot dog lunch, music, and bingo. The event is a fundraisers for the church youth, and will include a bake sale and more. Held at New Life Ministry Center, 6900 Zebulon Road, Wake Forest NC. For more information or a vendor application, visit www.newlifenow.us/fall-festival.

Wilson — Whirligig Festival

Held in Historic downtown Wilson NC, this Arts Festival celebrates all things whirly, and draws more than 35,000 attendees for music, arts, crafts, food, kids activities, and more. This festival is November 4-5, 2017. See festival details and vendor information at whirligigfestivalnc.org, or watch for festival updates on Facebook.

About Kay Whatley 1774 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.