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). While most listed events are free happenings, some ticketed events may be included. Events may be rescheduled, delayed by weather, canceled, times adjusted, or locations changed without our knowledge. Contact organizers directly for updates.
In addition to the events below, note that many churches are holding special sermons or family-friendly events.
Some area restaurants, and pubs are holding New Year’s Eve celebrations that are free admission, but food/beverage purchases may be expected/required.
Events may be added/updated by emailing event details to the Editor.
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Brown Bag Lunch
December 30, 2017 @ 11am-12:30pm
Having a tough time and in need of food for yourself or your loved ones? Pick up lunch, at no cost, at Zebulon United Methodist Church, 121 W Gannon Avenue, Zebulon NC. See www.zumchurch.org.
Christmas Bird Count
December 14, 2017 – January 5, 2018
For the 118th year, the National Audubon Society is organizing its annual Christmas Bird Count. Participate from wherever you are. For more information and to find a count near you visit www.christmasbirdcount.org.
Sunday, December 31, 2017 (New Year’s Eve)
Art in the Park: Super Snowflakes
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 8:30am-5pm
This free event is being held at the Finley Center, Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh NC, and no registration is required. Come celebrate the beauty of the winter season by making pretend snowflakes. Make paper snowflakes and help decorate the exhibit hall. Designed for all ages; adult guardian must accompany children.
Pre-New Years Eve Skate
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Held at Star City Skate and Play, 1131 N Wesleyan Blvd, Rocky Mount NC. Admission $12. Dee Jay and more for ages 14-18. Sunday skates generally 2-5pm. See www.facebook.com/StarCitySkate.
Irish New Years
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 6pm-midnight
Joint event by the Knights of Columbus, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, and Ewes Tree (musicians). This Irish New Year’s Eve gathering will celebrate the beginning of the New Year in Ireland with a toast at 7pm. Held at the Knights of Columbus, 4301 Columbus Club Road, Raleigh NC. See event details and updates here.
New Year’s Eve Celebration
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 7:30pm-12:30am
Join Wendell Baptist Church for this free, family-friendly New Year’s Eve Celebration and “lift up your 2018 mood.” There will be food, games, soda, and everyone will watch the ball drop. Held at Wendell Baptist Church, 3651 Wendell Blvd, Wendell NC.
Koi Pond Roaring 20’s New Year’s Eve Party
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 8pm-midnight
Ring in 2018 at Koi Pond Brewing Company 1107 Falls Road, Rocky Mount NC. Dress up and join the fun at this 20’s-themed night. There will be Swing music, craft beer, drink specials, raffles, and more. Champagne Toast at midnight. Age 21 and over. Visit the Koi Pond Facebook page for updates, and to see their next event: A pig pickin’ and Chowder Cooking Contest on January 6, 2018.
New Year’s Eve Skate Party
Sunday, December 31 2017 @ 8pm-1am
Skate in the New Year at United Skates of America, 2901 Trawick Road, Raleigh NC. Admission is $12, which includes, skate rental, a slice of cheese pizza, a drink, and party favors. Rollerblade rental is $1 extra. See www.unitedskates.com.
New Years Eve with Diane Bailey and Austin Irby
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 9pm-midnight
Award-winning Diane Bailey as Patsy Cline along with Austin Irby as Elvis and Dayle Eason as MC. Held at The Rudy Theatre, 300 N Raiford Street, Selma NC. Tickets Available at rudytheatre.com.
New Year’s Eve Gala
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 9pm-1am
The Arts Council of Wayne County invites you to “Celebrate for a Cause” in the Terrace Room (Mezzanine Level), 104 S Center Street, Goldsboro NC. Ring in 2018 in style with food, champagne, art, and fabulous jazz music provided by the Paul Bomar Quartet. Tickets are $50 per person plus ticketing fees (available here) and formal attire is encouraged.Funds raised will support the community programs and events produced by the Arts Council of Wayne County (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit).
New Years Eve Ball Drop
Sunday, December 31, 2017 @ 9pm-midnight
Enjoy the Town of Tarboro’s 2018 Downtown Countdown. Gather around 500 N Main Street, Tarboro NC. The family fun begins with live entertainment from DJ Slammin, Brad Perkins and The Switch Band from Raleigh. Have your picture taken at the photo booth with Ashley Marie. Purchase from food vendors, grab a hot drink, or visit the beer garden. Join in the downtown countdown to the new year, and see the laser light show.
First Day Hikes
Start the year connecting with nature. See article here.
Artist Reception with Denise White & Judith Glover
Thursday, January 4, 2018 @ 5:30-7pm
Come for this reception and see creations by two local artists. There is no admission fee and light refreshments will be served. Held at the Nash County Arts Council, 100 E Washington Street, Nashville NC. To see this and other Arts Council January events, visit the Nash County Arts Council Facebook page. The exhibit will be open through January 31, 2018.
Washington NC Haunted Tour
January 6, 2017 @ 7-8pm; ticket sales 6:45pm
An exclusive tour of the haunted courtroom of the old Beaufort County Courthouse’s haunted courtroom is planned. Tickets will be for sale at Harding Square, Washington NC, 6:45-7pm. Tickets will be $10 per person, cash only, no reservations. The group will then walk to the old courthouse for an hour-long visit. Hear historical information, and the account of Reverend Carawan — who is believed to haunt the courthouse. There will be Q&A, photographs, and exploration of the haunted courtroom. See updates at www.facebook.com/WashingtonHaunts.
Friendships & Soul-Ties
January 13, 2018 @ 1-3pm
Open to all teenagers. Hosted by Love One Another, this gathering’s location is the SIRI Event Venue, 3456 Airport Blvd NW, Wilson NC. What is a Friendship? Is he/she really your friend? Are you a good friend? Soul-ties…What is that? Is it something you need to know about? Will it affect the way you choose who you let enter into your life? Come and find out the answers for yourself. Enjoy a good message — Speaker is Darron O’Neal. Refreshments will be served. Tickets are free; reserve a ticket here.
DreamFest 2018 Live
January 27, 2018 @ 9am-2pm
The live “Shark Tank-like” event is being held at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center, 108 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. Hosted by Upper Coastal Plain Business Development Center, tickets will be sold for those interested in watching the event and being part of the audience. In addition to the main event, two speakers are scheduled. Audience tickets are $25 per person, available via dreamfest2018.info. Also on that site, enter to win a free ticket to the event, a $25 value. Winning names will be drawn January 4, 2018.
DreamFest 2018 will begin at 9am with registration and festivities in Historic Downtown Wilson. Historic Downtown Wilson restaurants and retail stores will be open for business, food trucks will be out, and downtown will be alive with much anticipation, music, dance, marching bands, and more.
At 10:15am, settle in at the Edna Boykin Cultural Center and hear two fabulous speakers talk about their journeys in the development of their businesses. Learn from speakers Ken Adelglass (Waxhaw Kid Coders) and Julius Tillery (Farmers of Color).
Around 11:30am, the business dreamers pre-selected will give their Oral Presentations to judges. The judges will rate the oral presentations, add the small business plan scores, and come up with the top three winners. Winners will be announced in the afternoon.
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.
Any highlighted events are selected by staff, generally due to prior experience with the event or knowledge of offerings.