2024 Summer Events

Our 2024 summer event roster is packed with your favorite summer ingredients: hiking through trails, encountering wild animals, listening to upbeat beach music, and eating delicious summer eats! Mark your calendar for these events and subscribe to Carolina Traveler to receive our weekly newsletter, where we regularly offer free or discounted tickets to these events and more!

Bulls Bay Nature Festival

Birds of prey flight demonstrations are a regular feature of the Bulls Bay Nature Festival.

Bulls Bay Nature Festival

The only downside to this 2024 summer event is that it’s confined to one day. Aimed at increasing awareness and promoting engagement with the cultural history and unique wildlife in the Bulls Bay community, this completely free Bulls Bay Nature Festival offers a plethora of engaging activities for attendees of all ages.

Nature enthusiasts can embark on kayaking adventures along pristine waterways or participate in guided photography workshops at the Sewee Center to capture the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Edible and native plant walks provide opportunities to learn about the region's flora, while bird and wildflower walks offer insights into its diverse avian and floral species.

History buffs can delve into the past with historic tours at Hampton Plantation and Sewee Shell Ring, while those interested in cultural heritage can enjoy Gullah Geechee stories and songs. Have an animal lover in your horde? Programs on red wolves, reptiles, raptors, and beekeeping offer valuable insights into local wildlife conservation efforts.

We imagine most of your crew will gravitate to the hands-on workshops in trades like sweet grass basketry, wild bird banding, and bird feeder building. Kids are invited to enjoy a range of activities just for them, including freshwater pond explorations, a boat simulator, an inflatable BB gun range, archery, and identification.

Dates: May 18, 2024
Time: 7:30 AM to 5 PM
Price: Free!
Location: Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center (5821 N Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429)

Rogallo Kite Festival

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's…a giant fish kite! | Photo @kittyhawkkites (Instagram)

42nd Annual Rogallo Kite Festival

Honor the legacy of Francis Rogallo, NASA scientist and inventor of the flexible wing. Th3 42nd Annual Rogallo Kite Festival celebrates his contributions to hang gliding and the evolution of kite designs in the place where the Wright Brothers first took flight.

Join in the festivities as Kitty Hawk Kites and friends showcase marvelous kites, some reaching heights of 30 to 100 feet, above Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Visitors can participate in kite flying, enjoy free walk-up stunt kite lessons, and engage in kite coloring activities for all ages.

Whether flying a kite or simply enjoying the breathtaking spectacle of colorful kites against the backdrop of the sky, the Rogallo Kite Festival offers a fun-filled experience for all attendees to commemorate Rogallo's pioneering achievements in aviation. If you’re traveling with thrill-seekers, stick around for sandboarding or hang-gliding on the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park – a Carolina bucket list must!

Dates: June 14-15, 2024
Time: 10 AM to 4 PM
Price: Free!
Location: Jockey's Ridge State Park (300 West Carolista Drive, Nags Head, NC)

The Daniel Jordan Band NC Potato Festival kickoff party

The Daniel Jordan Band NC Potato Festival kickoff party
Photo: North Carolina Potato Festival (Facebook)

NC Potato Festival

The NC Potato Festival is French-fried fun for the whole family! Highlights of this 2024 summer event include: Spudtacular Ride Midway, National Potato Peeling Competition, Little Miss Tater Tot Contest, and FREE fries (while they last).

Dates: May 17-19, 2024
Time: Fri 5-11 PM, Sat 10 AM to 11 PM, Sun 10 AM to 6 PM
Price: FREE!
Location: Downtown Elizabeth City, NC

Sumter Iris Festival

Your new Memorial Day Weekend tradition. The 3-day Sumter Iris Festival – packed with music, art, car shows, contests, and more – is hosted in the only US public park home to all eight swan species.

Dates: May 23-26, 2024
Time: Thurs 6-9 PM, Fri & Sat 10 AM to 6 PM, Sun 10 AM to 5 PM
Price: FREE!
Location: Swan Lake Iris Gardens (822 W Liberty St, Sumter, SC 29150)

Original Gullah Festival

Yuh ain’ gwine waan miss dis 2024 summer event! Savor unforgettable Gullah cuisine while learning the art of Gullah traditions like sweetgrass basket weaving, percussion drum making, and string quilting at the Original Gullah Festival.

Dates: May 24-26, 2024
Time: 10 AM to 6 PM
Price: See website for event prices
Location: Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park (Bay St, Beaufort, SC 29902)

The Fair at Heritage Parkis one of our favorite 2024 summer events.

The perfect end to a summer day at Heritage Park | Photo @devenstapletonphotography (Instagram)

Fair at Heritage Park

Gasp in awe at the Rock-N-Circus trampoline stunts, bet on your favorite racing pig, and get up close to baboons, zebras, and other rare animals. Kids 10 & under get in free to the Fair at Heritage Park!

Dates: May 17-26, 2024
Time: See website for Fair Hours
Price: Kids 10 years and under get in free; $10 for all other admission. See daily promos on the website.
Location: Heritage Park (861 S.E. Main St, Simpsonville, SC 29681)

NC Trail Days

Take a hike! Better yet, why not three to celebrate NC Trail Days? Pack your boots, bikes, and kayaks for themed hikes, a downtown block party, live music, outdoor gear exhibits, local beer, and more, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Dates: May 30 to June 2
Time: See schedule for all the activities taking place at this 2024 summer event
Price: Enjoy a mix of free and ticketed events!
Location: Activities take place throughout Elkin, NC — see schedule for addresses

Rock Hill Pride Festival

Be proud. Be visible. Be you. Enjoy face painting, get your hair tinseled, and experience the 360 Selfie Bar at the Rock Hill Pride Festival. 50+ vendors will be serving hot eats, thrifty fashion, and artisanal self-care products.

Dates: June 15-23, 2024
Time: See schedule for specific event times
Price: FREE!
Location: Events take place throughout downtown Rock Hill, SC — see schedule

Jeep topiary display from SC Festival of Flowers

Can you count all the topiary displays hidden throughout the town of Greenwood? | Photo: Joseph A Spencer

57th Annual SC Festival of Flowers

We're abuzz with excitement for this 2024 summer event: the 57th Annual SC Festival of Flowers! Get lost in garden tours and see if you can spot all 57 stunning topiary displays – ranging in size, color, texture, shape, and plant base –  throughout town.

Dates: June 6-9, 2024
Time: See schedule for specific events
Price: FREE!
Location: This summer 2024 event hosts activities throughout Greenwood, SC — see schedule

North Carolina Fossil Festival

Can you dig it? Uncover fascinating finds in the fossil pit and piles, take part in the Jurassic Classic Bike Ride, and party like it’s 100 million B.C. at the Laser Light Show & Glow Party at the NC Fossil Festival.

Dates: May 25-27
Time: See schedule for all the activities taking place at this 2024 summer event
Price: FREE digging areas available throughout the festival; see website for ticketed events with pricing
Location: 400 Main St, Aurora, NC 27806

NC Rhododendron Festival

Dancing in the street – a Carolina 2024 summer event bucket list item you can enjoy at the NC Rhododendron Festival in the small-town mountain paradise of Bakersville. Highlights: craft fairs, car shows, live music, 10K run.

Dates: June 21-22, 2024
Time: See schedule for specific event times
Price: FREE!
Location: Events take place throughout Bakersville, NC — see schedule

Obstacle race at Thunder in the Smokies

Take part in hilarious motorcycle relay races to win cash prizes at Thunder in the Smokies! | Photo @arielphotography

Thunder in the Smokies

Four wheels may move the body, but two wheels move the soul. Bring your chopper to the oldest and largest bike rally in the NC mountains — Thunder in the Smokies. This 2024 summer event featuring nightly concerts and bike games with cash prizes.

Dates: June 28-30, 2024 (the fall rally is September 6-8)
Time: Fri 11 AM to 11 PM Sat 9 AM to 11 PM Sun 9 AM to 3 PM
Price: You'll need an all-inclusive weekend pass: $25 for Friday through Sunday and $20 for Saturday/Sunday; all bikes and all ages are welcome with 15 and under getting free admission
Location: Maggie Valley Festival Grounds (3374 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley, NC 28751)

Ocrafolk Festival

Celebrate 24 years of great stories, music, and artisans on the beautiful beaches of North Carolina at Ocrafolk Festival. Festival proceeds are invested in educational, artistic, cultural, and environmental activities, workshops, and other opportunities around Ocracoke Island.

Dates: June 7-9, 2024 
See full schedule of activities on website
Price: 2024 ticket prices
include early bird discounts and are broken down by single day, night, and weekend passes. Children/students up to 17 years old get the all-weekend pass free! Festival tickets support hundreds of hours of student and community programming that would otherwise not be funded.
Location: View festival map

Enofest — Our Favorite 2024 Summer Event!

Enofest is one of our favorite 2024 summer events! Jam out to 65 artists while catching and identifying macroinvertebrates, observing backyard chicken coop demos, henna tattooing, home farming workshops, learning to play the ukulele, and more.

Dates: July 4 & 6, 2024
Time: 10 AM to 6 PM daily
Price: $25 for a 1-day pass and $40 for a 2-day pass (advance discount prices are in effect until June 1, then prices go up). FREE for children 4 and under; $10 for kids 5-17
Location: West Point on the Eno — Durham City Park (5101 N Roxboro Rd, Durham, NC 27704) Parking and shuttle available from the Durham County Stadium (750 Stadium Dr, Durham, NC 27704)

Mount Airy Blooms could be included on the list of NC scenic hikes.

Demo topics include gardening with native plants, therapeutic gardening, and the edible landscape.

Mount Airy Blooms

Waltz through secret gardens on a private tour with Mount Airy Blooms, where you're sure to gain inspiration for your next ambitious gardening project. If you read this in time, you can even get free tickets!

Date: June 8, 2024
Time: 10 AM to 4 PM
Price: $20, unless you are a Carolina Traveler VIP subscriber…then they're free! Learn more
Location: Visit the website to learn more

Patriot's Point 4th of July Celebration

Enjoy dazzling fireworks launched from the USS Yorktown's flight deck! Patriots Point 4th of July Celebration includes a fantastic food court, beer garden, live bands, and a terrific children's area.

Date: July 4, 2024
Time: See event page for schedule and details.
Price: In addition to free landside activities, the museum will sell tickets to an enhanced fireworks observation area on the flight deck, which include access to the ship at 8 PM and a free bottle of water. Parking for all visitors at Patriots Point is $20 per vehicle per day, with the fireworks show beginning at full sunset (generally after 9 PM).
Location: Visit the website to learn more

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The Summer 2024 Issue Is Here!

The Summer 2024 Issue Is Here!

Get ready for summer adventures with Carolina Traveler’s 2024 issue! From the biggest Memorial Day celebration in the Southeast to thrilling hikes and hidden gems, our spotlight on the best destinations and events in NC and SC is your ultimate guide. Click to discover more!

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