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, sometimes mid-level priced and ticketed events are included. Priority may be given to ticketed events by area arts councils or theater groups.
Contact information or RSVP deadlines, where applicable, have been included. Events may be rescheduled without our knowledge, so check with organizers as needed. 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.
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).
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Take a Child Outside (September 24-30, 2017)
The Wilson Botanical Gardens, 1806 Goldsboro Street SW, Wilson NC, is hosting special events to encourage children — “the young and young at heart” — to spend time together outdoors. By giving parents, grandparents and teachers outdoor activities and a place to go, the Wilson Botanical Gardens’ goal is to help children develop a better understanding and appreciation of the environment and nature. See more on their Facebook page.
Food Truck Thursday (September 28, 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 5, 2017.)
Operation Thank You BrewBQ (September 28, 2017 @ 4-6pm)
This event is open to Chamber members and their employees. The Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce will host this event at 1115 Outlet Center Drive, Smithfield NC. Come celebrate on “National Drink Beer Day” with food, fun, and beer. See the Chamber website here.
Downtown Live! (September 28, 2017 @ 6pm; doors 5pm)
This date, this event features live music by Band of Oz. Join the fun on the lawn at the Imperial Center for the Arts and Sciences, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount NC. Doors open at 5pm, and admission is free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase at the site. No coolers. For more information, call 252.972.1266 or visit downtownrockymount.com.
Art Exhibit and Reception (September 28, 2017 @ 5:30-7pm)
Join the Nash County Arts Council for an artist’s reception on Thursday evening at the Nash County Arts Council, 100 E Washington Street, Nashville NC. This event is free and open to the public. Note that the exhibit, by artist Kim Valentine, is open through September 29. See the artist’s website at colorfulspirits.com.
Fall into Winter Gardening (September 28, 2017 @ 6-7:30pm)
Helds by the Piedmont Picnic Project at Raleigh City Farm, 800 N Blount Street, Raleigh NC. Learn about fall and winter gardening and how to stretch the harvest and get the most out of your garden by growing in all four seasons. A free planting guide and a fall veggie container garden are included. Tickets are $5-$10 via this link.
Friday, September 29, 2017
Downtown Clayton Movie Nights (September 29, 2017 @ 6pm)
When it starts getting dark early, Clayton breaks out the Town Square for 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. Fun begins with face painting, inflatable, games, and more. Refreshments, food trucks, and vendors will be available before and during the movie, which begins when the sun goes down. Additional dates October 13 and 27, 2017. See www.townofclaytonnc.org/…/movie-night.
Starry Night (September 29, 2017 @ 7-9pm)
Held at A Time for Science, 949 Contentnea Lane, Grifton NC. A planetarium show starts the event, followed by a view of the actual starry night — out where city lights won’t interfere. Fee is $5 per person. For more information and online registration, visit www.atimeforscience.org or call 252.364.6569.
NC Muscadine Festival (September 29-30, 2017)
Entertainment, cooking contests, shag dancing, vendors, food, music, arts and crafts, and muscadines. Held at the Duplin County Events Center, 195 Fairgrounds Drive, Kenansville NC. Hours are Friday 5-9pm and Saturday 10am-7pm. Tickets range from $5-10, with more details at www.ncmuscadinefestival.com.
Halifax County Harvest Days (September 29-30, 2017)
Held at the 4-H Rural Life Center, 13763 NC-903, Halifax NC. This annual event serves in part to promote the heritage, Southern hospitality and agrarian culture in Halifax County. Festival goers continue to enjoy the heritage farm equipment such as antique tractors, farm exhibits and demonstrations such as the sawmill, peanut threshing and corn shucking. There will be music and entertainment. Visit the Educational Exhibits area at the Rosenwald School, walk through the early 1900s Farm House, or visit the Ag Museum. This event begins at 9am both days and continues part of each afternoon. See more on this Facebook page.
Saturday, September 30, 2017
Autumn Harvest Day (September 30, 2017 @ 9am-1pm)
The Zebulon Farm Fresh Market focuses on Autumn, with sweet potatoes, collard greens, mums, pansies, apples, grapes, and pumpkins. There will also be demonstrations, gift baskets, and the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck for part of the day. The ZFFM is located in front of the Zebulon Municipal Complex, 1003 N Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC — just across the street from the Food Lion plaza.
Adoption Event and Rabies Clinic (September 30, 2017 @ 9am-3pm)
Join the Friends of Edgecombe County Animals at Edgecombe County Animal Control, 2909 N Main Street, Tarboro NC, for one-year rabies shots given for $5 and animals available for adoption.
Zebulon Fire Prevention Event (September 30, 2017 @ 9am-6pm)
Join the Pilot Fire Department at Walmart, 841 E Gannon Avenue, Zebulon NC, for pictures of your children “driving” the firetruck. Learn about fire prevention, fire extinguishers, and more. Free and open to the public.
Hemp Oil Workshop (September 30, 2017 @ 8:30am-5pm)
“The Art and Science of CBD Oil” all-day training is being held at Peachtree Hills Country Club, 3512 Peachtree Hills Road, Spring Hope NC. Attendance fee is $295, with discounts available. See additional details on this event by The Hemp University on EventBrite.
2017 Biennium Community Forum (September 30, 2017 @ 9am-5pm)
This special event by the Edgecombe County Clerk of Superior Court is being held at Edgecombe Community College, 225 Tarboro Street, Rocky Mount NC. Attendance is free, and includes refreshments, potential for door prizes. The presentations will include community networking of panelist discussions on relevant topics affecting our community, such as Power of Attorneys/Estates/Wills & Probates, Elder Abuse & Exploitation, Foreclosure Prevention, Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Depression/Anxiety Resources, Reentry and Expunction, and more. See event details here.
September Pop Up Market (September 30, 2017 @ 10am-2pm)
Held at the Garner Recreational Park, 221 E Garner Road, Garner NC. Parking and admission are free. (Park at Garner Senior Center, 205 E Garner Road). See more Garner events at downtowngarner.com/events.
2017 Fall Festival (September 30, 2017 @ 10am-2pm)
Held at Deans Farm Market, 4231 NC Highway 42 W, Wilson NC. Enjoy a day on the farm and celebrate the beginning of hayride season. Hayrides are $10, and include access to the farm playground, goody bag, and a pumpkin. See more on their Facebook page.
Stepping Into The Past (September 30, 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 7, 2017. Note that November 10-11, 2017, a BBQ cook-off is scheduled.
Catch a Fire Tour: A 19th Century Methodist Revival (September 30, 2017 @ 10am-4pm)
Come for this guided tours through the historic area as guides discuss how Methodism and religious revivals might have impacted the Dukes and families like them. These free, public tours at the Duke Homestead State Historic Site, 2828 Duke Homestead Road, Durham NC, will begin at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. No tickets or reservations needed; arrive ahead of time as spots are likely to fill. This historic site is on Facebook here.
Banned Books Storytime (September 30, 2017 @ 10:30-11am)
Celebrate the freedom to read without censorship by enjoying a few books that have, at some point, been banned. This is a kid-friendly event. Children will hear stories like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear”, sing songs, and may participate in a craft. Held at the Harold D. Cooley Library, 114 W Church Street, Nashville NC.
Brown Bag Lunch (September 30, 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 on this date, the church is also holding a Fall Cleanup and there may be an opportunity to volunteer.
Annual Storytelling Festival (September 30, 2017 @ 11am-4pm)
Held by the Wake County Public Library system at Historic Oak View County Park. Listen to storytellers at this free event. See more on this annual Saturday event at www.wakegov.com/…/storytelling.aspx.
Downtown Beats & Eats (September 30, 2017 @ 1-5pm)
Come and see performances by The Oatmeal Conspiracy and Greg Humphreys Electric Trio, grab a meal from the food trucks onsite, and network with friends, family and neighbors. 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.
MUFON Meeting (September 30, 2017 @ 2-3pm)
Held at the Archdale Public Library, 10433 Main Street, Archdale NC. At this free meeting, Kent Senter will discuss some interesting cases he has investigated recently. Lakita Adams will give an update on recent NC sighting statistics. See upcoming announcements at www.mufon-nc.com.
Fall 2017 Movies-on-the-Barn (September 30, 2017 @ 7pm/dusk)
Vollmer Farm, located at 677 NC Hwy 98 E, Bunn NC, will be showing their outdoor movies on Saturday nights, starting Sept. 30. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and settle in to watch movies with family, friends, neighbors, and farm visitors. Fee is __ per person. To see scheduled movies and dates, go to www.vollmerfarm.com/movies.html. (Next date is October 7, 2017).
Wax & Drafts (September 30, 2017 @ 8-11pm)
Held at Koi Pond Brewing Company, 1107 Falls Road, Rocky Mount NC, in conjunction with Station Square Records. Come and watch the vinyl spin and hear music how it used to sound. (“Wax” refers to vinyl albums, for you youngsters.)
Sunday, October 1, 2017
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.
FestiFall (October 1, 2017 @ noon-6pm)
This 45th-annual Arts Festival returns, 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.
Fish Fry (October 6, 2017 @ 11am-until)
The Zebulon Shrine Club is holding their final fish fry of the year at 1201 W Gannon Avenue, in Zebulon NC — on the road just about halfway between J&M Chevrolet and Theo Davis Printing. Watch for updates on the Zebulon Shriners’ Facebook page.
First Friday on the Lawn (October 6, 2017 @ 6-9pm)
This date, kick off Labor Day weekend at the Wilson County Public Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. The first Friday of each month, from July to October, join the city of Wilson on the library lawn for a free community concert. See www.wilsonnc.org/…/1st-fridays-on-the-lawn.
Wendell Harvest Festival (October 6-7, 2017)
Head to the J. Ashley Wall Town Square, 17 W Third Street, Wendell NC, for the 90th-annual Harvest Festival. Friday 5-10pm includes entertainment, vendors, food trucks, and a movie at 7:30pm. Then on Saturday, festival is 9am-10pm with vendors and food trucks, parade (10am), local entertainment, and more. Rides, rock wall, and more. See www.wendellchamber.com.
Railroad Days Festival (October 6-7, 2017)
Selma Railroad Days is returning with two days of activities in Selma NC, including live entertainment, a food truck rodeo, helicoper rides, a pageant, parade, and more. See www.selma-nc.com/railroad-days-festival for a festival overview.
Enfield Riot Film Festival (October 6-7, 2017)
The first-ever Enfield Riot Film Festival is happening at the Enfield Performing Arts Center, 137 SE Railroad Street, Enfield NC. The Enfield Riot Film Festival is the first official fundraiser for EPAC Enfield NC and will kick-start the fundraising campaign so that planning can begin for live events in the fall of 2018. By partnering with the Halifax School system and Enfield Middle School in particular, EPAC aims to bring artistic programming to the students of Enfield Middle School.
On Friday, October 6, there will be an evening VIP Reception with actors in attendance, an introduction and discussion of the EPAC, and Enfield Middle School announcement. Plus, this receiption will showcase the event’s Feature Film.
On Saturday, October 7, attend a full day of feature films and a short film marathon.
Details on this inagural Enfield Riot Film Festival may be found at www.epacnc.org/enfield-riot-film-festival.html. The festival is on Facebook here. Tickets may be purchased online at enfieldriotfilmfestival.brownpapertickets.com.
Zebulon Night Out (October 10, 2017 @ 6-9pm)
Come out for an evening of free food, fun, and games. This will be an opportunity to talk with Fire Department personnel, Police, town staff, and elected officials. Held at 1003 N Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC.
10 Plants That Are Spooky and Scary (October 13, 2017 @ noon)
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).
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.
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).
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. Film titles and schedule will be released later in September. Watch www.cucalorus.org for details, or their Facebook page for updates.
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.
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.