Who's ready to go to some of the most exhilarating midsummer 2024 events?! Feel the ground quake after you fire a replica Revolutionary War-era cannon. Put your digestive system to the test in watermelon and hot sauce competitions. Sip on craft brews while encountering rare wildlife species.

Whether you're seeking the most intimidating thrills in the Carolinas or searching for surefire family fun, this list of the top midsummer 2024 events in NC and SC will have you filling up your summer vacation calendar in no time!

Kid standing in front of a half-consumed watermelon receiving a trophy

Smile! You're the winner of the Fair Bluff Watermelon-Eating Competition 🙂

Through August 24 – “The Lost Colony” Outdoor Drama (Manteo)

One of the “oldest” thrills on our list, this symphonic drama under the stars brings to life the nearly 450-year-old quest to explain the disappearance of the first English settlers at Roanoke Island.

Learn more about The Lost Colony outdoor drama.

July 26-27 – Hillbilly Jam 2024 (Maggie Valley)

Meet James Hatfield of the original Hatfields and McCoys vendetta, stand front row at a thrilling car and bike show, compete in cornhole and tug-of-war tournaments, and enjoy deep-fried food and fun at the Hillbilly Jam 2024!

July 27 – Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival (Fair Bluff)

It’s true. One of the oldest festivals in the area started when two best friends started comparing their watermelons… Keep the tradition alive by participating in watermelon-eating contests, watermelon weigh-ins, and more watermelon shenanigans at the Fair Bluff Watermelon Festival!

Mama and baby lion at the zoo

The lions and tigers are always a highlight at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

August 2 – Brew at the Zoo (Columbia) 

You haven’t had a wild night like Brew at the Zoo in a while! One of the top midsummer 2024 events in SC allows visitors to “socialize” with Riverbanks Zoo lions, tigers, and other magnificent creatures after hours while enjoying live music and craft beers from more than 100 local breweries!

August 9 – Star Party at Lake Norman State Park (Statesville)

Wait – you’ve never been to a star party?! Gaze at the mesmerizing constellations of the Carolina night sky through the lens of telescopes provided by Piedmont Amateur Astronomers, who will be more than happy to answer all your “burning” questions at the Star Party at Lake Norman State Park.

August 10Music on the Mountain at Table Rock State Park (Pickens)

Bring your own acoustic instrument to join in on an improv jam session or set up a picnic blanket adorned with your favorite happy hour provisions. Music on the Mountain is a family-friendly way to discover Appalachian heritage in the cradle of the Blue Ridge Foothills. 

Person dressing up as a Revolutionary War-era soldier at one of the best midsummer 2024 events in the Carolinas

You'll feel like you're in the middle of a battlefield with the sound of cannons exploding in the background!

August 17 Battle of Musgrove Mill Commemoration (Clinton)

Attend the 244th Anniversary of the 1780 Revolutionary War Battle of Musgrove Mill. Following a commemoration and light refreshments, participate in a one-hour Ranger Battlefield Talk on the battle’s significance. Bring lawn chairs and bottled water and get ready for a boom-bastic time — this is one of the top midsummer 2024 events in the Carolinas for enjoying military history.

August 17 – Blue Ridge Brutal (West Jefferson)

The self-described “not for the faint hearted” Blue Ridge Brutal bike ride takes cyclists on a strenuous, hilly, 25- to 100-mile-long trek through the Blue Ridge Mountains. The climb up Mount Jefferson rises nearly 1,500 feet in 3.4 miles!

August 27-28 – 16th Annual Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo (Edgefield) — One of the Top Midsummer 2024 Events for People Who Love Yellowstone!

Bring your whole herd to the 16th Annual Sandy Oaks Pro Rodeo at the Lazy J Arena. One of the top summer events in SC, you'll watch daredevil cowboys and cowgirls take on barrel racing, steer wrestling, bareback riding, and team roping!

Blacklight display at the Emerald Village mine tour

You might see a striking sight like this on your underground blacklight tour of the Emerald Village Mine!

September 6-7 – North Carolina Hot Sauce Contest & Festival (Oxford)

Hot sauce competitions, hot sauce eating contests, and fiery entertainment under the hot lights of thrilling carnival rides are just a few things to look forward to at the sizzling NC Hot Sauce Festival!

September 7 – Great Guns on the Ashley at Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site (Charleston)

Great Guns on the Ashley is an excellent kid-friendly activity in Charleston. Enjoy a 20-minute immersive presentation exploring the dramatic historical narrative of the Spanish naval threat to the early Charles Towne colony, then feel the ground shake beneath you as the Charles Town Militia fires (replica) 17th-century cannons!

Discover more fun things to do with family in Charleston SC

Saturdays through October 19Emerald Village Black Light Nighttime Underground Mine Tours (Little Switzerland)

The hyalite opal deposits sprinkling the Bon Amie Mine create a visually dazzling lime green glow, revealed by guided 30-minute black light tours! Professional staff explain the phenomenon while pointing out other fluorescent minerals and their significance on the Emerald Village Black Light Mine Tour.

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