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 an event’s organizer directly for updates.
Check out our separate “Halloween/Fall Movie Showings” events here. Movies this weekend include a free craft-and-movie at Braswell Memorial Library.
Friday, October 19, 2018
Franklin County (NC) Farmers Market
Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 8:30am-until sold out
Located at 137 Shannon Village, Louisburg NC, this farmers’ market is open Tuesday (9am-until), Friday (8:30am-until), Saturday (8am-until), through December. On Facebook here.
Sidewalk Social at The Hinge
Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 5-8pm
Head to The Rusted Hinge Marketplace 106 E Vance Street, Zebulon NC, for this annual outside sale with door prizes, contests, giveaways, a food truck, and local “makers, crafters, and artists.” See event and vendor list here.
Six Pack of Authors Book Signing
Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 6-8pm
Franklin County Arts Council opens their gallery at 118-B N Main Street, Louisburg NC, for this special event with six NC authors. Come and meet the authors, purchase books-as-gifts, or peruse the gallery. See author information here.
Note that this event takes place next to the town’s amphitheatre (116 N Main Street) while one of the free OkTARberfest concerts is going on. Event times overlap, so enjoy free music as you browse, or browse while waiting for the music.
Nashville Creekside Music Series
Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 6:30-8:30pm
The Town of Nashville will be bringing back its popular Creekside Music Series for a second year with four concert dates. We hope that you will bring your friends and family out to this free community event at Stoney Creek Park in Nashville. The address for Stoney Creek Park is 455 West Washington Street, Nashville NC. Series details on this Town of Nashville web page.
Town Square Concert Series
Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 6:30-9:30pm
Free concert outdoors in Downtown Clayton’s Town Square, 110 W Main Street, Clayton NC. Arrive early and set up your lawn chairs and/or blanket. Activities, vendors, and inflatables will be available starting at 6pm. Live music will start on-stage at 6:30pm. See the full concert series on Facebook here and on the town website.
Movies in the Park: Lego Batman
Friday, October 19, 2018 @ 7-9pm
Bring blankets/chairs and watch a movie outdoors at Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC, under the stars and whirligigs. Made possible by Cucalorus’ Pop-Up Cinema and Gig East. Movies will start at sundown. See more about the park at www.wilsonwhirligigpark.org.
October 19-20, 2018
A variety of events meet in downtown Louisburg NC this weekend, including the OkTARberfest Weekend with free concerts Friday and Saturday evenings (6:30pm), plus a living history immersion event in the park Saturday with vendors.
Also going on in Louisburg this weekend: the Chamber Oyster Roast (ticketed Saturday, $35), and the Franklin County Arts Council “Six Pack of Authors” book event (Friday) by the Writers’ Guild (see above). Multiple locations. (Article)
Wake Forest Lit Fest
October 19-20, 2018
Celebrate literature at events in Wake Forest NC — at Page 158 Books and the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre for the Arts. See details and ticket prices at www.wakeforestrencen.org/event/wake-forest-lit-fest.
North Carolina State Fair
October 11-21, 2018
Head to the NC State Fairgrounds, 1025 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh NC, for fair foods, unusual snacks, concerts, contests, competitions, rides, and more. Download the detailed, daily scheduled via www.ncstatefair.org/2018/Visitor/Daily.htm.
Pet Food for Fines Drive
October 18-20, 22-26, 2018 @9am-6pm
Library patrons may bring in canned pet food (no expired or open food) and receive $1-per-can off their overdue library fines (not lost-item fees). Patrons may donate pet food without owing, too, and help the library collect pet food in celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month and Make a Difference Day. Only at the HD Cooley Library, 114 W Church Street, Nashville NC. Benefits the Nash County Animal Shelter. The library is on Facebook here.
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Tarboro HomeGrown-Handmade Market
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 8am-noon
As the name implies, a variety of goods are available at this market, which is open on first- and third-Saturdays of the month. The market is open, rain or shine. First and third Saturdays market are held at 526 N Main Street, Tarboro NC. The HomeGrown-HandMade Market Saturday dates may be found on this Facebook event.
October Mobile Market
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 9-11am
Bread For Life Of America‘s free mobile food for those in need. Will be set up at the Zebulon Boys and Girls Club, 1320 Shepard School Road, Zebulon NC.
Around The Tables: Monthly Free Clothing+Meal Event
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 10am-noon; meal at noon
Free clothing and a free meal, open to all. Clothing available for adults and children. Held once a month as a service to the community. October only: Location will be Knightdale United Methodist Church, 7071 Forestville Road, Knightdale NC. Normally held at Faith Community Baptist Church on Buffaloe Road. Next date is November 17, 2018.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 10am
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 10am-9:30pm (see below)
Downtown Louisburg NC this weekend includes the River of Yesteryear (10am-4pm) in River Bend Park Saturday with vendors, and an evening concert (6:30-9:30pm) in the town’s amphitheatre (116 N Main Street) downtown. Also Louisburg Saturday is the Chamber Oyster Roast (5-7pm, tickets $35 per adult, age 12 and under free). See our OkTARberfest Weekend article.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 11am-1pm
Join Knightdale Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Programs Department for their annual pet-focused event. Take part in a 2K9 walk, check out dog-related vendors, and enter your pup in the costume contest. Held at Ashley Wilder Dog Park (part of Knightdale Station), Knightdale NC. See details here.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 11am-2pm
Celebrate the monarch butterfly migration across Mexico, the United States and Canada at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W Jones Street, Raleigh NC. The day offers a variety of butterfly-oriented activities and presentations, in partnership with the Consulate General De México in Raleigh and the Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta. See details at naturalsciences.org/calendar/event/monarch-migration (linked page says event is free).
ENC Food, Brew ‘n Que Fest
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 11am-7pm
Join the fun at Pearson Park in downtown Kinston NC, for a mix of Eastern North Carolina food, food trucks, craft beer, vendors, live music, wines, and fun. Event listed on the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce website at directories.kinstonchamber.com/events/details/enc-food-brew-n-que-186980.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ noon
Head to Koi Pond Brewing Company, 1107 Falls Road, Rocky Mount NC, for music, beer, food trucks, and more. For families, there will be a “Kid Zone” plus yard games, vendors, and free entertainment. See event/updates on Facebook here.
Grill-Billies Chili Cook-off
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ noon-5pm
This first-annual cook-off will bring two dozen teams together to compete with their chili recipes. Public needed to sample the chilis (free) and help choose the best chili. There will be arts and crafts vendors there for your holiday gift shopping pleasure too. Event organized and hosted by Grill-Billies BBQ, 36 N Pine Street, Wendell NC. Visit www.grillbilliesbarbecue.com/products/copy-of-peoples-choice-contest-mar-24th-wendell for details.
Fayetteville Dogwood Fall Festival
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ noon-10pm
Food, music, vendors, hayrides, cemetery tours, and so much more in Fayetteville NC. See details, schedule, free stuff to do, and ticket information at www.faydogwoodfestival.com.
Downtown Beats and Eats
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 2-6pm
This is the fifth year for the city’s fall concert series which will be at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC. Entry is free for this live music event. Additional concerts planned on alternating Saturdays through October 20, 2018 (final date). Food trucks on-site. Adults-only: wrist bands available for $1 allowing beer/wine purchase. Bring chair/blanket for comfort. No coolers. See event details on the Historic Downtown Wilson website.
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 6-8pm
This Miracle League of Franklin County event will be held inside the school, 1753 Long Mill Road, Youngsville NC. Costumes are optional. Open to all — whether Miracle League participants or not — all special needs children and their families are welcome. Visit www.miracleleagueoffranklincounty.com.
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Trick or Eat Food Truck Rodeo
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ noon-5pm
Head to downtown around 111 W Main Street, Garner NC, for this food truck rodeo with more than a dozen food trucks, craft breweries, street music, and an opportunity to shop from local artisans. See details at downtowngarner.com/trick-or-eat-food-truck-rodeo-2018.
Fall Fun on the Farm Fest
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ 1-5pm
This third-annual festival at Odom Farming Co, 1426 Claridge Nursery Road, Goldsboro NC, offers farm activities, vendors, food trucks, music, games, contests, and more. Watch for event/updates via the farm’s Facebook page.
Murder We Write: “Steps in Writing a Book: Fiction & Nonfiction”
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ 2-4pm (doors open 1:45pm)
Help for writers with issues from “I want to write but I don’t know where to begin” to “I’m close to my goal but not sure what’s next.” This event is free. Held on the first floor of the High Point Public Library, 901 North Main Street, High Point NC. See www.murderwewrite.org.
Pet Loss Support Group
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ 3:30-5:30pm
Are You Grieving the Loss of a Pet? The SPCA Pet Loss Support Group is not intended to replace professional counseling services or physician recommendations; it provides a space for sharing with others who have experienced the loss of a pet. The group’s meetings are open to all who are interested. Meetings held on third Sunday of most months at the SPCA of Wake County, 200 Petfinder Lane, Raleigh NC. The SPCA of Wake County website is spcawake.org.
Animal Stewardship Service/Blessing of the Animals
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ 4pm-?
Held at New Hope United Methodist Church, 200 E New Hope Road, Goldsboro NC, bring leashed/contained animals (of any type) to this “outdoor worship service where Pastor Steve Wellman will give us insights in our relationship with God and the animals that He has entrusted us with. Hymns, a mini-sermon, and concludes with the blessing of our animals.” Church info at gotnewhope.org.
Fall Festival and Trunk-or-Treat
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ 4-6pm
Free for all ages. Wear a costume, collect candy, and enjoy the free hot dog dinner for the whole family. Festival activities include carnival games, a (cup)cake walk, face painting, pumpkin painting, cornhole, and more. Held at Faith Baptist Church of Smithfield, 202 S 4th Street, Smithfield NC. See church updates at www.facebook.com/FirstBaptistSmithfieldNC or visit the church website at fbcsmithfield.org.
Adult Only Night at Panic Point
Sunday, October 21, 2018 @ 7-10pm; doors open 6:30pm
Head to the Haunted Forest at Panic Point, 2808 Cedar Creek Road, Youngsville NC, for an evening just for grown ups. Tickets available via www.raleighhauntedhouse.com This date, Raleigh Brewery will have quality brews available (with ID).
Family Sundays (every-other Sunday)
Sunday, September 30-December 23, 2018 @ 2-4pm (every-other Sunday)
Sundays are for families, and are free. Bring your family to the Art Gallery for an afternoon full of family-friendly activities instructed by April Dickens. Drop into the gallery for art making, interactive play, gallery sketching, or go on your own exhibition tour! Registration is not required, drop-ins of age 3 and up with accompanying adults welcome. Held at Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences, 270 Gay Street, Rocky Mount NC. See the event on Facebook. For more information, visit imperialcentre.org. (Article)
Writing Talk: Developing the Character-Driven Plot with Merry Simmons
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 @ 7-8:30pm
Held at Wilson County Public Library, 249 Nash Street N, Wilson NC. All writers welcome. Join author Merry Simmons (2018 Romance Writers of America RITA Award Finalist) as she shares advice for moving your story forward using goals, motivation, and conflict. This program is presented in partnership with the Wilson Writer’s Group. The Wilson County Public Library is online at www.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl.
Thursday, October 25, 2018 @ 4:30-8:30pm
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department annual Spooktacular is a free, family-oriented festival designed for children ages 12 and under. Held at the Flaherty Park Community Center, 1226 N White Street, Wake Forest NC. Festival include face painting, a cupcake walk, ghostly games/activities, and a supply of free pumpkin. Costumes encouraged. For more details, visit www.wakeforestnc.gov/halloween-spooktacular.aspx.
Nashville Fall Fest
Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 4-5:30pm
The fun is happening at the HD Cooley Library, 114 W Church Street, Nashville NC, with this event. Enjoy games, trick-or-treating, a pet adoption event, and more. Get your face painted or a glitter tattoo.
Once the sun sets, hunker down in the parking lot for a free movie showing: Hocus Pocus. (See below)
Movie Under the Stars
Saturday, October 26, 2018 @ dusk
Gather at the HD Cooley Library, 114 W Washington Street, Nashville NC, for a free screening of a Halloween-themed, family-friendly movie, popcorn, and community. See the Town of Nashville’s Parks and Rec calendar for this event and more.
An Evening of Mystery & Imagination: The Tell-Tale Heart
Friday, October 26, 2018 @ 6:30-8:30pm
A wine and cheese social to celebrate the literature of the fantastic, featuring a live performance of Edgar Allan Poe’s Classic story The Tell-Tale Heart. Held at Edgecombe County Memorial Library (ECML), 909 N Main Street, Tarboro NC. Admission is $10 per person, and tickets are available at the library. Proceeds will go to ECML Friends of the Library. Library information is online here.
Monster Movie Marathon
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 9am-6pm
This free event, no registration required, will be held at the Wilson County Public Library’s main library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. Celebrate Halloween early with the Wilson County Public Library with an all-day movie marathon of classic black-and-white horror films. Attendees may bring a lunch. The library will be serving free popcorn and lemonade to movie watchers. (Movie ratings: unrated due to age.) The library is online at www1.youseemore.com/wilsoncountypl.
Fall Fun Fest
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 10am-4pm
Head to Rolesville for fun in the park. Held in Main Street Park, 200 S Main Street, Rolesville NC. There will be arts and crafts vendors, informational booths, small businesses selling goods, hot dogs, live music, and costume contests. Interested in being a vendor? See vendor application form here (PDF).
Downtown Garner Pop-up Market
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 10am-2pm
Monthly public market with baked goods, locally made items, fresh produce, food trucks, and more. Held in Garner Recreational Park, 221 E Garner Road, Garner NC. Future date is November 24, 2018. See event here.
Foster Fall Festival
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 5-7pm
Join the fun at W.A. Foster Center, 1012 S John Street, Goldsboro NC, for a costume contest, dance off, games, refreshments, and more. Tickets are $5 per person (ages 7-14) and may be purchased online at www.goldsboroparksandrec.com/register (must have/make an account to register). For more information, call 919.734.4164.
Pilot Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 5-8pm
Enjoy games, inflatables, free sno cones, a free hot dog dinner, popcorn, and much more. Join in the cake walk, pumpkin pickup, trunk or treat, ride a pony, or visit the petting zoo area. This free event designed for community fun is organized by Pilot Baptist Church, 8103 NC-39 Hwy, Zebulon NC. Sign up (requested for planning) may be done via www.jotform.com/chrismoniz/PilotHarvest2018.
Victorian Mourning Practices Presentation and Social
Saturday, October 27, 2018, 6:30-11pm
Immerse yourself in a real, unusual, and slightly creepy part of the Victorian Era by attending a unique, historical funeral. This event will be held at the Weil House, 200 W Chestnut Street, Goldsboro NC. Presented by the Wayne County Historical Association, the evening presentation offers immersion in a historical home, complete with Victorian era-appropriate furnishings, demonstrations, and displays. See our article here.
Clayton Harvest Festival: Halloween Night
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 @ 5-9pm*
(Rescheduled from September due to Hurricane Florence) This is more than just a Halloween Night. Festival planners and Clayton Chamber of Commerce have loads of events planned, costumes, trunk-or-treat, hot dogs, contests, plus a free movie, plus a Midway carnival. Festival events span Halloween and several days following, taking over Clayton NC. See the Clayton Harvest Festival Facebook page for the event details and a number of posts describing the different parts of the festival, and what’s planned for each day. Note: *Time change.
Later This Year
Wilson Whirligig Festival
November 3-4, 2018
The Whirligig Festival is held in Historic Downtown Wilson NC each year, celebrating the life of local folk artist Vollis Simpson and his whirligig creations. Find festival details at whirligigfestivalnc.org.
2018 Ten Plant Tour Series
Friday, November 9, 2018 @ noon
On this date, the topic is “10 Plants That Make Great Holiday Greenery” in this event by the Nash County Co-op Extension Service. Held at the Nash County Arboretum, located at the Nash County Agriculture Center, 1006 Eastern Avenue, Nashville NC. See full 2018 tour at nash.ces.ncsu.edu.
Stepping Into The Past
Saturday, November 9-10, 2018 @ 10am-2pm
This series focuses on demonstrations and displays of traditional / old-time processes. This presentation is included with museum admission fee. See upcoming topics at www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org/events/stepping-into-the-past. Held at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, 709 N Church Street, Kenly NC.
November 9-10 is BBQ Cook Off Challenge: BBQ and family fun activities. Future date: Kenly Christmas Celebration (November 30 and December 1, 2018).
Selma Saturdays Arts and Crafts Market
Saturday, November 10, 2018 @ 9am-1pm
Markets are held once-a-month in Fall and Spring. The market welcomes arts and craft vendors and farmers to sell their wares. The location is the Uptown Selma Gazebo, in the back parking lot of Town Hall, near 100 E Anderson Street, Selma NC. The market season Facebook event is here. See www.selma-nc.com/selma-saturdays.
Shaw RV Family Movie Series
Saturday, November 10, 2018 @ 5:30-7:30pm
Enjoy a free movie outdoors on the football field at Rolesville Middle School, 4700 Burlington Mills Road, Rolesville NC. Bring a chair or blanket for comfort. Concessions will be open for purchases during the movie. See full movie series here.
Toe Tag Chronicles Writers Event
November 11, 2018 @ 2-4pm; doors open 1:45pm
At this free event, Murder We Write presents “Toe Tag Chronicles” with actual case studies from their resident forensics expert, Jacque Perkins, who will present cases she encountered while working in the NC Medical Examiner’s office. This program will be especially helpful for murder mystery writers, but open to writers of all genres. Held on the second floor of High Point Public Library, 901 N Main Street, High Point NC. Visit www.murderwewrite.org for more information.
Zebulon Farm Fresh Market “Holiday Market”
November 16-17, 2018
Zebulon Farm Fresh Market (ZFFM) reopens for two days in November to provide holiday shopping. Shop for gifts at the Holiday Market with vendors, entertainment, food trucks, and more at the Zebulon Community Center, 301 S Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC. See ZFFM web page for market hours/schedule each day.
Arkham Author Expo
Saturday, November 17, 2018 @ 2-5pm
Head to Arkham Comix, 3710 Peppermill Drive, Suite F, Wilson NC, and meet local authors, check out books they’ve written, pick up some books for gifts (or yourself), and you can even get the books signed. Support local authors, buy and read local. Joint event with Sovereign Tomorrow Publications. See author names in Facebook event discussion.
The RTP Mistletoe Market
December 13, 2018 @ 4-7pm
The fourth-annual Mistletoe Market returns to The Frontier, 800 Park Offices Drive, Research Triangle Park NC. This holiday market offers holiday shopping from 50 local vendors and artisans. Shoppers may also enjoy complimentary beer and wine. Visit www.rtp.org/event/the-rtp-mistletoe-market.
Event organizers: News site display ads, with a link, are available for a monthly fee. Call 919.637.6973 or email Sales.
To request inclusion of a free or low-fee event, email details to the Editor. Sponsors and logos are not included in Things To Do in NC When You’re Bored listings. Events are added at the editor’s discretion.
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, knowledge of offerings, or relation to a recent article on this news site.