Who said winter has to be dull and dreary?! In no other season are there more reasons to get out of town and make memories with loved ones. From Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day to MLK and Presidents Day weekends, now is a great time to start checking off winter 2024 events on your Carolina bucket list.

Two women playing the trumpet in a Mardi Gras parade

Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

Mardi Gras

Beaufort, NC, Feb 9-11

Get a taste of “Nawlins” without a trip to Louisiana at Beaufort’s (NC) Mardi Gras Festival. This 3-day winter 2024 event, inspired by Mardi Gras in New Orleans, features Cajun and Creole food, a masquerade ball, a parade in which costumed “krewes” toss jewelry and charms to onlookers (don’t miss The Sweet Potato Queens), a street carnival, and the Sinner’s Remorse Brunch. Kids can partake in family activities, while roaming street performers add to the festive atmosphere. You can even experience the thrill of victory (of a taste of it) as professional and amateur cooks compete in a gumbo cook-off.

Fearrington Folk Art Show -- one of the best winter 2024 events in the Piedmont!

A folksy flea market is perfect for a cool winter weekend.

Fearrington Folk Art Show

Pittsboro, NC, Feb 17-18

Calling all antique hunters, flea market raiders, and roadside stand devotees…we’ve found the perfect little folk art show to satisfy your eclectic art and decor needs. A $5 bill will get you entry into the annual Fearrington Folk Art Show in Pittsboro, NC. Walk away with a whimsical painting, sculpture, or downright funky (yet conversation-provoking) creation to add to your home or garden collection.

Don’t leave this winter 2024 event without stopping by the Chatham Beverage Districtan eco-park home to brewers of beer, mead, cider, and other spirits.

Two paddlers on a river turned green

Who wants to put the “paddle” in St. Paddy's?!

Green River Revival — One Of Our Favorite Winter 2024 Events!

Charlotte, NC, Mar 16

You’ve heard of fountains bubbling green water on St. Patrick’s Day, but have you ever seen an entire river turn green? Celebrate the anticipation of the spring season at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, NC. The Green River Revival line-up will be overflowing with fun, including a Color Me Green 5K Trail Run, slow-flow yoga classes, live music, and, of course…paddling the green rapids with St. Paddy!

Hilton Head Irishfest revelers

I think they found their new favorite holiday!

Hilton Head IrishFest

Hilton Head, Mar 16-17

Head down to the Hilton Head IrishFest and St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Fun fact: it’s the oldest St. Paddy’s Day parade in Palmetto State history! See if you can spot the towering Budweiser Clydesdale horses, zooming military jet flyovers, or the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, among other parade spectacles. Over the weekend, catch appearances by Irish cloggers, traditional dancers, bagpipers, and Celtic rock groups. This is one of the most exciting winter 2024 events you won't want to miss!

DockDog competition in Waccamaw

The world record for dock jumping is 36 feet, six inches, set by a Whippet named Sounders in the summer of 2022.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Charleston, SC, Feb 16-18

This winter, the South Carolina coast hosts two of the nation’s most-anticipated outdoor sports and wildlife winter 2024 events. The annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) features majestic birds of prey that flaunt their feathers in live flight demonstrations. You can hold cold-blooded reptiles, and cheer on courageous canines as they compete to leap the furthest distance over a body of water in enthralling DockDog competitions.

Can’t make it? The Waccamaw Sportsmen’s Expo in downtown Conway, SC is Mar. 22-23. In addition to their own DockDogs competition, the expo organizes a live game cooking demonstration, wildlife rehabilitation sessions, and a quick draw event!

Looking for more winter 2024 events, weekend festivals, NC and SC itineraries, and recommendations for things to do in the Carolinas? Follow Carolina Traveler on Facebook or subscribe to Carolina Traveler digital/print magazine!

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