The new year brings about many things to look forward to once again, including our favorite annual festivals.

If you find yourself in southeast North Carolina, these festivals near Bald Head Island will enhance any season whether you’re a local or on vacation.

North Carolina Azalea Festival

This major festival in Wilmington showcases the city’s natural beauty and Southern hospitality plus big-name entertainment, festive galas, and fun family events including a street fair and parade. The North Carolina Azalea Festival takes place April 3-7 this year and is free with the exception of some events that require ticket purchase.

Days at the Docks

Holden Beach hosts two large festivals each year, and one of them is Days at the Docks. On April 27 and 28, this free festival kicks off spring with artisan and food vendors, live music and entertainment, a cardboard box paddle race, hermit crab races, a family fun run, and the famous “Bopple Race” plus other family activities and a children’s area.

Sunset at Sunset Festival

At Sunset Beach in Kitty Hawk, Sunset at Sunset Festival runs all summer June 10 through September 1. Come to Jockeys Ridge Crossing and enjoy shopping, sweet treats, gorgeous sunsets, and nightly events including Mermaid Mondays, Totally Tuesdays, Windy Wednesdays, Scallyway School Fridays, and Shark Sundays.


In Historic Downtown Wilmington, Riverfest draws tens of thousands of people each year with excellent craft and food vendors, live entertainment on various stages, a fireworks show, a children’s play area, and both antique and classic car shows. This widely-anticipated annual festival on October 5 and 6 is also free to attend!

North Carolina Oyster Festival

Celebrate everything oyster in Ocean Isle Beach on October 19 and 20 with a variety of foods, crafts, contests, and musical performances with giveaways in between sets. Admission to this festival is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under.

North Carolina Festival by the Sea

On October 26 and 27, this free festival marks the only days of the year you can walk across Holden Beach Bridge. You’ll also get to enjoy arts and crafts vendors, a horseshoe tournament, a sandcastle-building contest, face painting, kite flying, children’s rides, and live music.

All of these festivals are approximately an hour and a half away from Bald Head Island, and travel time includes the ferry ride to get to North Carolina’s mainland.

Whether you’re traveling for the festivals or looking for things to do around Bald Head Island during your stay, you can’t go wrong with incorporating a festival and island vacation in your weekend. Have a lot of festival fun with the family and spend the rest of your time taking in the serene nature of Bald Head Island as well as visiting points of interest like the Old Baldy Lighthouse and Smith Island Museum of History.

Related content: Things to Do on Bald Head Island

As far as accommodations go, Marsh Harbour Inn is a popular choice with the relaxing rooms you’d expect of a seaside hotel plus gorgeous views of the marina. Staying here also grants you temporary access to the Bald Head Island Club amenities including their pool, tennis courts, fitness center, and golf course to make the the most of your vacation.

Related content: Marsh Harbour Inn on Bald Head Island

If you plan to visit Bald Head Island more than once a year, Marsh Harbour also offers fractional ownership allowing you to have a unit four weeks out of the year.

For more things to do near Bald Head Island like annual festivals, register on 910area and connect to everything in the Wilmington and Fayetteville area.


Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay