By Kay Whatley, Editor
This list may include events from North Carolina counties of Edgecombe, Franklin, Nash, Johnston, Wake, Wayne, Wilson, and beyond (Inner Coastal Plains / Five County area of Eastern NC). Piedmont and Coastal events are sometimes included on the weekly list.
While the majority of listed events are free happenings, some ticketed events may be included, especially ticketed events by local arts councils or theater groups.
Also check out our 2017 list of attractions — NC agricultural mazes, haunted houses, and more — in this article (by location)
Or, see our 2017 list of NC seasonal, short events in this article (by date).
Contact information or RSVP deadlines, where applicable, have been included. Events may be rescheduled, delayed by weather, canceled, times adjusted, or locations changed, without our knowledge, so check with organizers. Event information comes from organizers, event postings, and emailed announcements. Attempts are made to verify events from confirmed sources, or multiple sources when possible.
Events may be added/updated. Feel free to email event notices to the editor.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Food Truck Thursday (October 12, 2017 @ 11:30am & 6pm)
Stop by to purchase lunch (11:30am-1:30pm) or dinner (6-8pm) near the Knightdale Station Park Amphitheater, 810 N First Avenue, Knightdale NC. Food trucks arranged weekly at the park. See the full schedule on the town website here. (Next date is October 19, 2017, and features live music.)
Students of Sue Church Grant Exhibit & Reception (October 12, 2017 @ 5:30-6:30pm)
Check out the work of student painters at this special exhibit’s evening Reception, which is free and open to the public. Held at Nash County Arts Council, 100 E Washington Street, Nashville NC. The Arts Council is online at www.nasharts.org.
Dark in the Park (October 12, 2017 @ 5:30-8:30pm)
This free, spooky event begins as the sun sets. There will be music by the Bethabara concert band, a jack-o-lantern-lit hay ride, a guided tour through the woods to God’s Acre cemetery, and more activities. Costumes optional but encouraged. Held in Historic Bethabara Park, 2147 Bethabara Road, Winston-Salem NC. The Park is online at www.historicbethabara.org.
NC Author Event: Diane Chamberlain (October 12, 2017 @ 7-9pm)
Come meet Diane Chamberlain as she discusses her book “The Stolen Marriage”! Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of 24 novels published in more than twenty languages. Held at Page 158 Books, 415 S Brooks Street, Suite B, Wake Forest NC. The bookstore, its events, and local author information, may be found at www.page158books.com.
NC State Fair (October 12-22, 2017)
It’s State Fair time again! So much to do. Check out the details, including food and ride finder, on the NC State Fair website at www.ncstatefair.org/2017.
Friday, October 13, 2017
10 Plants That Are Spooky and Scary (October 13, 2017 @ 2pm)
Part of the 10 Plant Tour series in the Nash County Arboretum, located at the Nash County Agriculture Center, 1006 Eastern Avenue, Nashville NC. Tours are free; call call 252.459.9810 with questions. See all dates at nash.ces.ncsu.edu/2017/03/2017-ten-plant-tours. Next date is November 10, 2017 (10 Plants That Have Ornamental Berries). Time was initially listed as 12pm, now says 2pm.
Clayton Free Friday Night Movie (October 13, 2017 @ 6pm)
When it starts getting dark early, Clayton offers free, Friday night movies. Bring a blankets, drinks, and food and enjoy a free film outdoors at Clayton Town Square, 110 W Main Street, Clayton NC. Movie begins when the sun goes down. Additional date October 27, 2017. See www.townofclaytonnc.org/…/movie-night. Movie title and updates available via the Facebook event.
Historic Edenton Ghost Walk (October 13-14, 2017 @ 6:30-8:30pm)
Tours leave the Penelope Barker House HQ, 505 S Broad Street, Edenton NC, every half hour. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased by calling the Edenton Chowan Chamber at 252.482.3400. Proceeds benefit the JAHHS ACES Swim Team.
Eastern Carolina BBQ Throw Down (October 13, 2017 @ 5-8:30pm & October 14, 2017 @ 10:30am-6pm)
This 10th-annual event will be held on the lawn of the Helen P. Gay Rocky Mount Historic Train Station, 101 Coastline Street, Rocky Mount NC. The weekend of festivities will include a BBQ competition, the third annual home brew competition, a classic car show and competition, food vendors, two stages of live entertainment, children’s activities, and more. See our article here. Note that the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce will be holding a plate sale fundraiser from their vendor booth. Also, the Saturday “tours of Rocky Mount” have been canceled.
Mumkin Fest (October 13-15, 2017)
Enjoy live music, inflatables, train rides, food truck offerings, and more at this event, to be held in Knightdale Station Park, 810 N First Avenue, Knightdale NC. See our Mumkin Fest article here.
Indigo Moon Film Festival ( October 13-15, 2017)
The festival is in Fayetteville NC, kicking off with the Opening Night film — HONDROS — at the CAMEO Art House Theatre at 7pm. The screening of HONDROS will be followed by the Opening Night Party at SkyView on Hay, beginning at 9pm. Starting Saturday, October 14, films will show throughout the day at five venues. On Sunday, October 15, there will be an Awards BBQ Banquet at SkyView on Hay Street, beginning at 11:30am. This will be followed at 1:30pm by encore showings of several films.
The film festival is very walkable with all venues in the heart of downtown Fayetteville. Check out the schedule and ticket information at www.indigomoonfilmfestival.com. Updates may be found on Facebook here.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Stepping Into The Past (October 14, 2017 @ 10am-3pm)
This weekly series focuses on demonstrations and displays of traditional / old-time processes. This presentation is included with museum admission. Confirm topic and details at www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org/events/stepping-into-the-past. Held at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, 709 N Church Street, Kenly NC. Next date is October 21, 2017. Note that November 10-11, 2017, a BBQ cook-off is scheduled.
Durham’s Monarch Festival (October 14, 2017 @ 10am-4pm)
Held at Sandy Creek Park, 3510 Sandy Creek Drive, Durham NC. Celebrate the Monarch butterfly and enjoy music, activities, and food. There will be face painting, balloon animals, story walks, and more, plus experts giving presentations, and pollinator-friendly plants for sale. See details here.
Oktoberfest (October 14, 2017 @ 10am-4pm)
This event is organized by the Greenville Jaycees and the Pitt County Senior Center. This second-annual Oktoberfest features German foods, 30+ local vendors, live entertainment, and more. Held at the Pitt County Council On Aging – Greenville Senior Center, 4551 County Home Road, Greenville NC. Proceeds will benefit the Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels Program. Meal tickets are $20 and may be purchased by calling 252.752.1717. Ticket will purchase your lunch and two home-delivered lunches. Updates and more on their Facebook page.
Zebulon Rocks Paint Party (October 14, 2017 @ 10am-6pm)
Get to The Rusted Hinge Marketplace, 106 E. Vance Street, Zebulon NC, and join this #ZebulonRocks paint party. All ages are invited to come and paint some rocks, then hide them around downtown Zebulon for others to find. The Rusted Hinge Marketplace is providing paints, brushes, and rocks. The shop, which opened recently, is on Facebook here.
Brown Bag Lunch (October 14, 2017 @ 11am-12:30pm)
Just about every Saturday, Zebulon United Methodist Church provides free “brown bag lunches” to anyone who drives or walks by the church at 121 W Gannon Avenue, Zebulon NC. For more information on food distribution for those in need, or to volunteer, visit www.zumchurch.org.
Note that the Church website lists their Fall Festival as happening on this date.
Downtown Beats & Eats (October 14, 2017 @ 1-5pm)
Come and see performances by local bands, grab a meal from the food trucks onsite, and enjoy community time at this Historic Downtown Wilson event. Bring a chair/blanket for comfort, but leave the coolers at home. Doors will open to the public at noon at 217 Brew Works, 217 South Street, Wilson NC. The festivities will kick off at 1pm with the music, beer/wine, food trucks, games, and activities. Admission is free; wristband required for adult beverage purchases. See more here.
Black Creek Heritage Day (October 14, 2017 @ 9am-4:30pm)
The event includes performers, live music, hayrides, face/hair painting, local first responders, and over 50 vendors. Attendance is free. See updates on the town’s Facebook page. Links to vendor — and car show — applications may be found (for now) at townofblackcreek.org. Note that the Black Creek Heritage Day includes a kick-off event on October 13 (6:30-9pm).
Fall 2017 Movies-on-the-Barn (October 14, 2017 @ 7pm/dusk)
Vollmer Farm, located at 677 NC Hwy 98 E, Bunn NC, shows outdoor movies on Saturday nights. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and settle in to watch movies with family, friends, neighbors, and farm visitors. Movie admission is included in Back Forty pass fees (approximately $10). To see scheduled movies and pass information, see www.vollmerfarm.com/movies.html. (Next date is October 21, 2017).
Family Movie Series (October 14, 2017 @ 7-9pm)
Bring a blanket/chair and enjoy this free outdoor movie on the football field at Rolesville Middle School, 4700 Burlington Mills Road, Rolesville NC. Concessions will be for sale. See updates and other events on the Town of Rolesville Facebook page.
Black Light Mine Tour (October 14, 2017 @ 7:30pm)
Emerald Village offers night-time underground mine tours that unlock vibrant hidden colors under black light (ultraviolet light). The effect, underground at night, is stunning. Held at Emerald Village, 331 McKinney Mine Road, Spruce Pine NC (Mitchell County). See more here. Future date is October 21, 2017.
Hometown Hero Weekend (October 14-15, 2017)
Special events Saturday with first responder vehicles (10am-2pm) and free Sunday entry for military (active and retired), police, EMS, and firefighters with badge/ID. Free hayride to the farm playground and picnic area, maze, animal barn, and more. Location is Deans Farm Market, 4231 NC Hwy 42 W, Wilson NC. For others, entry is $10+tax. See more at deansfarmmarket.com.
NC Shell Show (October 14-15, 2017)
The 2017 North Carolina Shell Show, co-sponsored by the NC Shell Club and Cape Fear Museum, features hundreds of seashells. View the largest gathering of shell collections in the state and some of the world’s most beautiful, unusual and rare shells. Held at the Cape Fear Museum, 814 Market Street, Wilmington NC. Free for Museum members or with paid admission. Hours and admission information may be found here.
Carolina Renaissance Festival (October 14-15, 2017)
This annual Festival is held on Saturdays and Sundays through November 19, 2017 at 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville NC. For details, see the festival website. This medieval amusement park includes a 12 stage theater, a 25-acre circus, an arts and crafts fair, a jousting tournament and a feast. Note that this festival will offer special Halloween happenings on October 28-29, 2017, 10am-5:30pm.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Sunday in the Park (October 15, 2017 @ 1-5pm)
Free music, art and crafts, and food vendors in Herman Park, 1101 Park Avenue, Goldsboro NC. This event is family and pet friendly. See more park events on the Arts Council of Wayne County Facebook page or the town website.
Fall on the Farm Festival (October 15, 2017 @ 2-5pm)
Head to the farm and enjoy music, food, vendors, a punkin’ chunkin’ contest, maze races, children’s games and activities, and more. Held at Odom Farming Co Inc 1426 Claridge Nursery Road, Goldsboro NC. Updates may be found on the farm’s Facebook page, or their website event page.
Corazon de Granada Flamenco Dance & Music Trio (October 16, 2017 @ 7-9pm)
Enjoy this one-night-only performance by International artists, Corazon de Grenada. This free event is presented by the Arts Council of Wayne County. Held at Wayne Community College, 3000 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro NC. See the announcement here.
Fayetteville Dogwood Fall Festival (October 19-21, 2017)
Head to the festival for entertainment plus food trucks, craft beer, a haunted house, and much more. Take ahayride or join the guided walking tour through the cemetery. Fees for activities; free concert. See details at www.faydogwoodfestival.com or visit the event’s Facebook page.
Act For Youth presents Back to the 80’s (October 20-21, 27-28, 2017, 7:30-9:30pm)
See this nostalgia-filled musical by Act For Youth performed at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center, 108 Nash Street NE, Wilson NC. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. Also being performed on two Sundays, October 22 and 29, 2017, at 3pm. See more on the Wilson Arts Council of Wilson website at www.wilsonarts.com/act-current-season.
Halloween International Film Festival (October 26-28, 2017)
The second-annual Halloween International Film Festival returns to 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 a separate local event, the Outer Banks Halloween Parade of Costumes on Sunday, October 29, 2017.)
Grand Opening of Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park (November 2, 2017 @ 4-10pm)
Come and join the celebration at Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC. “Be there when history is made as the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park holds its grand opening! This park will very soon attract thousands of visitors to Historic Downtown Wilson. Witness the ribbon cutting, hear comments from Secretary of Cultural Resources and other dignitaries, and enjoy live music from Fireside Collective.” The grand opening includes food trucks, beverages, family fun, and lighting of the whirligigs. Bring a blanket/chair for comfort. See details on this Facebook event. And, don’t forget that the Whirligig Festival is November 4-5 (see below).
First Friday Flix (November 3, 2017 @ 7pm)
Free, public movie showing at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S Brooks Street, Wake Forest NC. To obtain movie title, call the Special Events Hotline at 919.435.9428. The Renaissance Centre hosts First Friday Flix on the first Friday evening of each month. Concessions available for purchase. For more information, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov.
Seeing the Big Picture (November 4, 2017 @ 2-4pm)
Hear speaker Michael Strickland, of Stained Glass Associates Inc. (Knightdale NC), on their restoration of the historic stained-glass windows of Raleigh’s first African-American church. The presentation will take place at the North Carolina Museum of History, 5 E Edenton Street, Raleigh NC. Following the talk, all will walk four blocks down Edenton Street to the church, where members will provide a tour of the beautiful windows. Fee is $7 per person, $5 for Museum members, with a portion of proceeds going to help continue window preservation at St. Paul AME Church. For more details or to purchase tickets, go to this EventBrite page.
North Carolina Whirligig Festival (November 4-5, 2017)
Join the fun at the 13th-annual NC Whirligig Festival. Hours are Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday noon-5pm. This festival showcases the arts of the region, including the giant Whirligigs created by local artist, Vollis Simpson. Come and check out the Whirligigs, shop from 200+ vendors, enjoy the live entertainment (3 stages), the Whirli-Kidz Zone, Cake Dive contest, delicious food, and more in downtown Wilson NC. See details at whirligigfestivalnc.org.
Cucalorus Film Festival (November 8-12, 2017)
The 23rd-annual festival returns, with screenings at more than a half-dozen venues around Wilmington NC. The non-competitive Cucalorus Film Festival showcases more than 300 films from all over the world. Watch www.cucalorus.org for details, or their Facebook page for updates.
The Lantern Fest (November 11, 2017 @ 1pm-until)
Usually held in Fayetteville, due to a new local law in that city, the fest has been moved to Goldsboro NC. Tickets range from $7 to $60. “At The Lantern Fest, thousands of revelers join together armed with lanterns for one unforgettable spectacle. Before sundown friends and families can enjoy food, live music, a stage show, familiar princesses, face painters, s’mores, balloon artists and more. Then, when the time is just right, we will light the sky with our highest hopes and fondest dreams.” See more on EventBrite.
Dan Finch Pottery Open House (November 12, 2017 @ 10am-5pm)
This annual event is held at the Dan Finch Pottery, 5526 Finch Nursery Lane, Bailey NC. Come for a day of pottery demonstrations, music, shopping, fun, and food. Finch Studio Potters display and sell their many functional creations in stoneware and porcelain, plus jewelry, sculpture, Homes for Bluebirds nesting boxes, and more. Children 12 and under may glaze their own Raku Vase by Dan Finch Santa’s Workshop or get their face painted. For more information, visit www.danfinch.com/events.htm.
Holiday Market (November 18, 2017 @ 9am-3pm)
The Zebulon Farm Fresh Market (ZFFM) celebrates the holiday season with this special one-day market at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. From their early event description: “Shop local and find that perfect gift with one of our many vendors. Grab breakfast or lunch at Brown Bag Bagel Food truck and enjoy dance performance by Massey School of Dance and Expressions of Worship. Lastly, round out the day by visiting with Santa!”
Ed. Note: Event information gathered from various sources. While attempts are made to verify data, for most events contact details are included. If you’re planning to attend an event, use contact information or event links to confirm, check for updates or changes, or verify space is available. These events are publicized by The Grey Area News, but are not events overseen by this news site or staff.
Highlighted events are selected by staff, generally due to prior experience with the event or knowledge of offerings.