By Kay Whatley
On Monday, September 4, 2017, Labor Day is celebrated across the United States. Across North Carolina, a variety of events offer a three-day weekend of fun.
Events are listed by location, starting with five-county area and surrounding counties’ happenings, then eastern NC coastal events, and finally Charlotte area/western NC events.
Note that additional events may be added as Labor Day approaches. Send event information via email to have a public event added to this list.
Be sure to take some time to remember the American workers who labored to create this state and country. Learn more about Labor Day and its history on the US Department of Labor website.
Zebulon (Wake/Five County Area)
The Carolina Mudcats have home baseball games scheduled on September 1, 2, 3 & 4, 2017, at Five County Stadium, 1501 NC-39 Hwy, Zebulon NC. Game times vary, with fireworks presented on Friday and Sunday, and Patriotic Jerseys worn on Monday. See full schedule at www.milb.com.
Wilson (Wilson County)
First Friday on the Lawn is scheduled for September 1, 2017, from 6pm to 9pm. Enjoy music by the Swivel Hip Band to kick off your Labor Day Weekend. Held at the Wilson County Public Library, 249 Nash Street W, Wilson NC. See www.wilsonnc.org/…/1st-fridays-on-the-lawn.
Kenly NC (Johnston/Wilson Counties)
The Tobacco Farm Life Museum’s “Stepping Into The Past” series focuses on demonstrations and displays of traditional / old-time processes. For September 2, 2017, the focus will be on Spinning, Casting and Knotting: Fabric art demonstrations. This presentation is included with museum admission. See details at www.tobaccofarmlifemuseum.org/events/stepping-into-the-past. Held at the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, 709 N Church Street, Kenly NC.
Raleigh (Wake County)
The African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County is being held September 2-3, 2017, starting at 11am. The main stage will be set up in City Plaza, 400 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh NC. See stage, food, vendor, and schedule information at www.aacfestival.org.
Fayetteville (Cumberland County)
The annual Cumberland County Fair will be held at the Crown Complex, 1960 Coliseum Drive, Fayetteville NC, September 1-10, 2017. Labor Day weekend enjoy the fair with amusements, food, rides, animals, and more. See schedule and more at cumberlandcountyfair.org.
Durham (Durham County)
Bull City Rumble returns for September 1-2, 2017, at 1007 W Main Street, Durham NC. This “world-renowned vintage motorcycle and scooter rally” is hosted by Ton Up NC each year on Labor Day Weekend. The event has evolved from its humble parking-lot beginnings in 2005 to a multi-venue, multi-day rally drawing thousands. The Saturday show is free to the public. Judging will take place on Saturday. See more at tonup.bigcartel.com/bull-city-rumble.
Also in Durham, the Labor Day Weekend Food Truck Rodeo is Sunday, September 3, 2017, at Durham Central Park, 501 Foster Street, Durham NC. Free to enter; food and drink available for purchase.Come and enjoy food and beer from the variety of 50+ food trucks. Live music from Wood Robinson’s New Formal begins at 12:30pm. See details at durhamcentralpark.org/event/labor-day-weekend-food-truck-rodeo-3.
Siler City (Chatham County)
Celebrate American farm life with this annual Labor Day weekend event, Old Fashioned Farmers Day with runs September 2-3, 2017, starting at 9am each day. The event is held at the Silk Hope Farm Heritage Park, 4221 Silk Hope Road, Siler City NC. See old-school working farm animals in action, antique tractors/equipment, restored steam engines, cotton gin, grist mill, molasses making, and much more. Wide variety of entertainment too. See more on this Facebook event page.
Carolina Beach (New Hanover County)
Summer Fireworks By The Sea and Boardwalk Gazebo Music are planned September 1, 2017, along the Boardwalk at Carolina Beach NC
Pleasure Island Summers ‘officially’ begin when the weekly fireworks kick off on Memorial Day Weekend. Watch the show from the beach and listen to music at the Gazebo stage. Music starts at 6:30pm followed by fireworks at 9pm. The surrounding area offers other activities for the weekend… See more at www.pleasureislandnc.org, or this Facebook page.
Oak Island (Brunswick County)
The Oak Island Labor Day Surf Off is September 2, 2017, 8am-5pm. Join the fun at the Ocean Crest Pier, 1409 E Beach Drive, Oak Island NC. All levels of surfers are invited to compete. This year there will also be a cornhole tournament with prizes, taking place at the 16th Street beach access. For more information, visit the Parks and Rec website, or call 910.278.5518.
Also at Oak Island, the 28th-annual Oak Island Art Guild Arts & Craft Festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 2, 2017, 9am-4pm at 46th Street & Dolphin Drive, Oak Island NC. See vendor information here.
Hendersonville (Henderson County)
The North Carolina Apple Festival, themed “The Fruits of our Labor Day,” is scheduled September 1-4, 2017. The location is 318 N Main Street, Hendersonville NC. Note that Hendersonville is near Asheville.
See entertainment, parade, and activity details at www.ncapplefestival.org.
Hickory Area (Catawba County)
Hickory Fair 2017 is scheduled for August 30-September 4, 2017. Held at the American Legion, 1 American Legion Avenue, Newton NC. Enjoy rides, side shows, live music, tasty food, and more. For schedule, ticket fees, and other details, visit the fair online at www.hickoryfair.com.
Canton (Haywood County)
Also near Asheville, the town of Canton is holding its annual Labor Day Festival on September 3-4, 2017. Held at Sorrells Street Park, Canton NC, the festival includes live music, food, a parade, craft vendors, an air dogs show, and much more. See full details at www.cantonlaborday.com.
Also in Haywood County, the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival is scheduled for September 1-2, 2017, offering regional music and dance. The schedule includes fiddlers, banjoy players, square dance teams, and much more. Tickets are $12 per day. See details at www.lakejunaluska.com.
Troutman (Iredell County)
The Iredell County Agricultural Fair is open for its 82nd year on September 1-9, 2017. General Admission tickets are $5. Enjoy fair food, rides, entertainment, and more. Held at the county fairgrounds, located at 630 N Main Street, Troutman NC. See details at www.statesvillekiwanis.org.
Beech Mountain (Avery/Watauga Counties)
Come and fly a kite on Labor Day weekend. The town’s annual Mile High Kite Festival is September 2-3, 2017, in the kite field at the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria, 402 Beech Mountain Pkwy, Beech Mountain NC: “Located at more than 5,000 feet in elevation, the meadow makes it easy to sail kites more than a mile above sea level.”
The Mile High Kite Festival includes kite-flying music and more, with prizes awarded for biggest kite, smallest kite and best-decorated kite. Races with kids pulling parachute kites are also planned. Face painting and craft and food vendors will be available at the site. See more at www.beechmtn.com/things-to-do/happenings/mile-high-kite-festival.
Matthews (Mecklenburg County)
Matthews Alive Festival is a Labor Day weekend celebration dedicated to the support of local non-profit organizations. Matthews Alive will be held September 1-4, 2017. Festival will be packed with family activities, food, arts, and entertainment. Address for GPS is Stumptown Park, S Trade Street, Matthews NC. Note that Matthews is near Charlotte. See schedule and other details at www.matthewsalive.org.
Following the festival, the net proceeds earned at Matthews Alive go to local nonprofit organizations.