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.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Outdoor Movies on the Back Lawn
Thursday, October 4, 2018 @ 7pm
Watch a movie under the stars on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center at 125 Avery Street, Garner NC. There will be food and fun too. Held on the first Thursday of each month from May through October. Times vary depending on dusk-time. Free Admission. Bring lawn chair/blanket for comfort. Food/treats on sale, but attendees are welcome to bring a picnic. Free Parking at two nearby locations. Check the Facebook event for movie titles, parking information, rules (no pets, etc.), and weather updates. In case of rain, the movie will be cancelled. In case of bad weather or rain, this event will be canceled. No pets.
Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair
September 27-October 6, 2018
The 70th-annual fair continues through Saturday at 2801 US 117 S, Dudley NC. Fair details may be found on the Wayne Regional Agricultural Fair website at www.waynefair.com.
Friday, October 5, 2018
Discovery Table: Bat Appreciation Month
Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 8:30am-5pm
Held at Historic Yates Mill County Park, 4620 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh NC. Head to the Park’s visitor center to learn about how important bats are, see the bat display, play a fun game, and take home a bat craft. For all ages (adult accompaniment required for each child). This is free and registration is not required; just stop by during the visitor center program time.
Pork Chop Plate Sale
Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 11am-6pm
Stop by during this fundraiser and pick up a meal while supporting Coopers Fire & Rescue Dept. / Nash EMS, on Volunteer Road, Elm City NC. Coopers Fire Department will be selling pork chop plates for $7, which includes two pork chops, string beans, potatoes, and sliced bread. Eat in, to pick up plates from your car. The Ladies Auxiliary will have $1 homemade cake slices. There will be NO tickets, so plates are first come, first served.
Downtown Beats and Eats
Saturday, October 6, 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. homegrown music . 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. Future date is October 20, 2018.
Chew Chew Food Truck Rodeo
Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 5-9pm
Held at Webb and Waddell Streets, Selma NC, this food truck rodeo is a kick-off for the town’s Railroad Days Festival. Food Trucks will be parked on Webb Street in Uptown Selma. Enjoy a variety of different foods, as there will be samples places on sale starting at $5 each. Listen to the Bad Decisions Band as they play rock selections. Purchase a brew from Double Barley Brewing in the Beer Garden.
First Friday on the Lawn
Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 6-9pm
The Human Relations Commission and the City of Wilson Human Relations Department are celebrating diversity through music on the first Friday of each month (July to October), scheduled for the Wilson County Library Lawn, 249 Nash Street NW, Wilson NC. See bands and more details here.
Movie in the Park
Friday, October 5, 2018 @ 7-9:30pm
Hosted by Greenville Recreation and Parks, enjoy a free family-friendly movie under the stars, shown at the Town Common amphitheater, Greenville NC.
National Pumpkin Festival
October 5-6, 2018
The National Pumpkin Festival takes over downtown Spring Hope NC for the 47th year. Every year, this wonderful family event meshes the best of fall and community gathering. See full schedule in our article here.
Saturday, October 6, 2018
Tarboro HomeGrown-Handmade Market
Saturday, October 6, 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, and runs through October 31, 2018. 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.
Wilson Farmers and Artisan Market
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 8am-1pm
Shop a variety of locally grown and locally made goods. Held on Wednesdays and Saturdays in Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, 301 Goldsboro Street S, Wilson NC. See details at www.historicdowntownwilson.com/farmers-artisan-market.
Master Gardeners are expected to be in attendance on September 29.
Rocky Mount Farmers Market
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 8am-1pm
The Farmers Market is located at 1006 Peachtree Street, Rocky Mount NC. The Rocky Mount Farmers Market is open on Saturdays. (Tuesdays at The Market ended for the season.) See updates on their Facebook page. Market webpage is www.co.nash.nc.us/175/Farmers-Market; see also the Nash County Co-op Ext Service market page.
National Pumpkin Festival
October 6, 2018 @ 8am-4pm(ish)
The National Pumpkin Festival takes over downtown Spring Hope NC for the 47th year. Every year, this wonderful family event meshes the best of fall and community gathering. Parade Saturday. See full schedule in our article here.
Zebulon Farm Fresh Market *Closing Day*
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 9am-1pm
Head to the Zebulon Farm Fresh Market, 1003 N Arendell Avenue, Zebulon NC, for the market day with a variety of local produce, handmade goods, homemade treats, and more. Updates may be posted on their Facebook page.
First Fruits Farm Harvest Fest
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 9am-3pm
Join the fun at First Fruits Farm, 1950 East River Road, Louisburg NC. Enjoy music, crafts, a pumpkin painting contest, inflatables, face painting, and more. Family-friendly event details may be found via the First Fruits Farm events page, wisdomforlife.org/events.
Public Safety Day
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 10am-2pm
Held with the Knightdale Fire Department and other first responders. Join the fun at this free event held at the Knightdale Public Safety Building, Knightdale NC. Food Trucks, Fire Trucks, Armored Trucks, and more. Learn all about what the Knightdale Fire Department does and get insight on community information. The East Wake Professionals will be on hand to answer questions and get you connected! There will be a raffle where you might win a great prize basket.
Wendell Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 10am-10pm
Organized by the Wendell Chamber of Commerce, the event address is 115 N Pine Street, Wendell NC. The annual festival will kick off Saturday at 10am with a parade. Following the parade, visit the vendors for goodies or early gift shopping, explore downtown, eat in the food truck area, and let children expend their energy in the play area. Tickets for the kids’ ride may be purchased upon arrival. Enjoy stage entertainment, the pumpkin derby, a golf ball drop, and a children’s tractor pull. The night closes out with The Chairmen of the Board, featuring Ken Knox. See details, and vendor applications, on the Chamber website at www.wendellchamber.com/pages/harvest-festival.
Pilot Fire Department Fireman’s Day BBQ Plate Sale
Saturday, October 6, 2018 @ 11am-until
Enjoy fellowship and lunch and support the fire department by purchasing BBQ chicken plates ($8) to eat at the fire station or take home with you. The plate sale location is Pilot Fire Department 8028 NC-39 Hwy, Zebulon NC. They are on Facebook here.
Sunday, October 7, 2018
Fall Fitness Fair
Sunday, October 7, 2018 @ 1-4pm
The Wake Forest Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Department is partnering with Camp Gladiator to host this free event at E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Road, Wake Forest NC. “Free and open to the public, the event will feature local health and fitness vendors, along with Yoga, MMA, Zumba and Camp Gladiator clinics”. See schedule here.
Sunday in the Park: Oktoberfest!
Sunday, October 7, 2018 @ 1-5pm
Join Goldsboro Parks and Recreation and the Arts Council of Wayne County for this event at Herman Park, 1101 Park Avenue, Goldsboro NC, including vendors — art, crafts, food, and beer — available for shopping/gift buying, while listening to live music by Shannon Baker & Sometime Soon. The environment will be family-friendly and pet-friendly. See this event and more on the Parks and Rec events page.
Chestnut Roasting Festival (Louisburg NC)
Sunday, October 7, 2018 @ 1-6pm
Come join the fun at this first-annual festival at Rocky Ridge Farm, 135 Rocky Ridge Lane, Louisburg NC. Learn the history of the American chestnut tree and what Rocky Ridge Farm is doing to restore this treasured tree. Take part in roasting chestnuts, touring the farm, listening to live music, getting your face painted, shopping from vendors, or enjoying food available at the event site. See details at www.rockyridgefarmnc.com.
Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 2-4pm
Organized by Clayton Parks and Recreation, 715 Amelia Church Road, Clayton NC. This event offers hands-on opportunities for children to explore, climb and touch trucks, emergency response vehicles, heavy machinery and other equipment at The Clayton Community Center, Clayton NC.
For children sensitive to light and sound/sirens, there will be a quiet hour (2-3pm).
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)
2018 Ten Plant Tour Series
Friday, October 12, 2018 @ noon
On this date, the topic is “10 Plants that Are Creepy” 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.
Indigo Moon Film Festival
October 12-14, 2018
This annual film festival draws movie-goers to multiple venues around Fayetteville NC, to view movies, shorts, and enjoy social activities. See details at www.indigomoonfilmfestival.com, which includes film schedule, venue information and ticket package pricing. Tickets may be purchased for individual films, social events, full pass, and other options. (See our article on how this year’s festival is Going Green.)
Stepping Into The Past
Saturday, October 13, 2018
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.
The October 13 event includes: butter making and candle making.
Selma Saturdays Arts and Crafts Market
Saturday, October 13, 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. Next date is November 10, 2018. The market season Facebook event is here. See www.selma-nc.com/selma-saturdays.
Black Creek Heritage Day Festival
Saturday, October 13, 2018 @ 6:30-9pm
Come out for entertainment, vendors, and community fellowship at this 20th-annual festival. Held near 112 W Center Street, Black Creek NC. Follow the town on Facebook here. (Vendor opportunities.)
Shaw RV Family Movie Series
Saturday, October 13, 2018 @ 7:30-9:30pm
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.
OkTARberfest & More
October 19-20, 2018
A variety of events collide this weekend, including the OkTARberfest Weekend (free concerts Fri-Sat, plus living history in the park Sat), the Chamber Oyster Roast (ticketed Sat), and the Franklin County Arts Council “Six Pack of Authors” book event (Friday) by the Writers’ Guild. Multiple locations. (Article)
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.
Friday Nights on the Tar
Friday, October 20, 2018 @ 6:30-9:30pm
The Town of Louisburg invites everyone to their “Friday Nights on the Tar” Summer Concert Series with live music and food trucks. Doors open at 5:30pm; live music starts at 6:30pm. Held at Downtown Louisburg Amphitheatre, 116 N Main Street, Louisburg NC. Concerts held every-third Friday, April-September. See more on this Town of Louisburg web 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.
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.
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.
2018 Fall FunFest
Saturday, October 27, 2018 @ 10am-4pm
The Town of Rolesville’s annual festival takes place on 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
Head to Downtown Garner for this 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.
Clayton Harvest Festival: Halloween Night
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 @ 5-10pm
(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.
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.
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.
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.