Plan your 2023 with events, fairs, festivals and more

Graphic via Lauren Rose/North State Journal


Blowing Rock Winterfest 

Blowing Rock, Jan. 26-29 

The winter festival has been a tradition for more than 20 years and features a polar bear plunge, chili cook-off, ice carving and more. 



Carolina Hurricanes NHL Stadium Series Outdoor Game at Carter-Finley Stadium 

Raleigh, Feb. 18 

The Carolina Hurricanes host the Washington Capitals in this installment of the NHL’s Stadium Series. The event is years in the making as the Hurricanes were first awarded the game in 2020. 



ACC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments at Greensboro Coliseum  

Greensboro, Women’s March 1-5; Men’s March 7-11 

The ACC brings both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments to Greensboro for what could be the final time as the conference prepares to leave its headquarters in the Triad for Charlotte. 



Dreamville 2023 Festival 

Raleigh, April 1-2 

Hip-hop superstar J. Cole brings his annual music festival to Raleigh’s Dorothea Dix Park. The multi-staged event brings some of the biggest names in music for the Fayetteville native’s brainchild.  


NC Azalea Festival

Wilmington, April 16-19 

Spring in Wilmington means the return of the annual celebration of the Azalea. Each year, colorful parades, home tours and nationally known music build to the crowning of the Azalea Queen.


NC Pickle Festival

Mount Olive, April 28-29 

A 5K, live entertainment and a car show will all serve as warmup acts for the star of Mount Olive’s annual celebration — the pickle! From a recipe contest to a pickle-eating contest, everyone’s favorite brined vegetable will be the start of the show. 



Wells Fargo Championship 

Charlotte, May 1-7 

The PGA Tour returns to Quail Hollow Country Club for the Wells Fargo Championship. 


NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race 

North Wilkesboro, May 21 

In a stunning turnaround for the historic racetrack, North Wilkesboro will host NASCAR’s annual All-Star Race following the revival of racing at the facility. 


Coca-Cola 600 

Charlotte Motor Speedway 

Concord, May 28 

The stars of NASCAR make their Memorial Day return to the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the series’ longest race of the season. 



NC Black Bear Festival 

Plymouth, June 3 

The largest black bears on the planet are found in eastern North Carolina, and they’ll be celebrated at the seventh annual Black Bear Festival. The Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula is also home to the highest concentration of black bears in the world. 


Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament 

Morehead City, June 9-18 

Last year, more than 750 boats entered Big Rock to compete, the most since 1999. Interest in the tournament has grown and even brought Michael Jordan out for a few days on the water in search of the week’s biggest blue marlin.



Savannah Bananas NC Tour 

Kannapolis, July 12; and Durham, July 14 

The Savannah Bananas experience is one that must be seen — unless you’re a baseball purist. The team makes a pair of stops in the state for its sold-out 2023 tour. 


Luke Combs Stadium Show 

Bank of America Stadium  

Charlotte July 15 

Country music superstar and North Carolina native Luke Combs hosts one of his biggest concerts of the year in Charlotte. 



Wyndham Championship  

Greensboro, Aug. 2-3 

The PGA Tour’s annual stop in Greensboro took on bigger importance with the advent of the FedEx Cup. 


Winston-Salem Open 

Winston-Salem, Aug. 19-26 

The Wake Forest University Tennis Complex plays host to the only major professional tennis tournament in the state in August. The yearly event is the last ATP World Tour 250 event prior to the U.S. Open in September and more than 40 of the world’s top 80 players compete for the trophy. 


American Legion National Convention 

Charlotte, Aug. 25-31 

The American Legion’s largest annual meeting features members from each of the Legion’s 55 departments, and they’ll meet to determine the course of the Legion, electing a national commander and five national vice commanders. 



Benson Mule Days 

Benson, Sept. 21-24 

More than 30,000 come to the town of Benson for a weekend packed with rodeos, a mule pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, street dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, bluegrass shows and more. 



NC State Fair 

State Fairgrounds 

Raleigh, Oct. 12-22 

The State Fair returns after a successful 2022 in which crowds came in large numbers for the food, livestock, shows and celebration of all things North Carolina. 


Lexington Barbecue Festival 

Lexington, Oct. 28 

Returning last year, the Lexington Barbecue Festival is highly anticipated across the state and region, celebrating one of our state’s gems: pulled pork barbecue. 



Carolina Renaissance Festival 

Huntersville, Sept. 30-Nov. 19 

History meets the present during the annual Renaissance Festival, bringing crowds to stroll through a 16th-century European village with an artisan market, jousting knights on horseback and more. 



Christmas Town USA 

McAdenville, Dec. 1-31 

The Gaston County town of McAdenville transforms each year into Christmas Town USA for its display of Christmas lights, decorations and more.