Duke University Jazz Series, Durham. Formerly known as the NC International Jazz Festival, this event is in its 20th year. Internationally renowned jazz musicians are featured at various locations throughout the city. Call tel. 919/660-3300 or go to www.duke.edu/music for more information. Throughout the year.
African American Arts Festival, Greensboro. Many cultural and artistic events highlight the achievements of the state's African-American population. Call tel. 336/333-6885 or visit www.ncgov.com for more information. Early February to April.
Home, Garden & Flower Show, Raleigh. You can find everything from roses to garden fountains to furniture in this vast display in the Raleigh Convention Center, which attracts serious gardeners from all over the South. Call tel. 919/831-6011 or visit www.raleighconvention.com for more information. Late February to early March.
Annual Star Fiddlers Convention, Star. This event features performances by virtuoso bluegrass fiddlers from all over the South. Call tel. 910/428-2171 for more information. First weekend in March.
Stoneybrook Steeplechase, Southern Pines. This event features horse races and tailgate parties. Call tel. 910/875-2074 or go to www.carolinahorsepark.com for more information. April (exact date varies).
North Carolina Azalea Festival, Wilmington. A parade, entertainment, and home and garden tours are all included in this annual festival. Call tel. 910/794-4650 or visit www.ncazaleafestival.org for more information. Early April.
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Carolina Theatre, Durham. The largest festival of its kind in North America, this event (formerly the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival) has been hailed for its creative programming and exhibition of films rarely seen on screen. Call tel. 919/687-4100 or visit www.fullframefest.org for more information. Early April.
Festival of Flowers, Biltmore Estate, Asheville. This festival celebrates a century of elegance at the Biltmore Estate. The gardens are brilliant with color for your viewing. Call tel. 800/411-3812 or go to www.biltmore.com for more information. Early April to mid-May.
Spring Garden Tour, Winston-Salem. Each spring in historic Old Salem, people gather from everywhere to celebrate spring with a tour of the city's 18th-century gardens. Call tel. 888/653-7253 or visit www.oldsalem.org for more information. Mid-April.
Easter Sunrise Service, Winston-Salem. Thousands of people come to see this Moravian religious service in "God's Acres," the cemetery where the early settlers are buried. Call tel. 336/725-0651 or visit www.carolinamusicways.org for more information. Easter Sunday.
Spring Historic Homes & Gardens Tour, New Bern. Tour Tryon Palace and other area homes, gardens, and historic sites. Call tel. 252/633-6448 or visit www.visitnewbern.com for more information. Late April.
CityFest Live! Charlotte. Live bands provide entertainment at this 3-day music festival while folks stroll through the streets of the Uptown Entertainment District, buying snacks from food vendors and checking out the arts and crafts. The city missed a few years, but is planning to host again starting in 2009. Call tel. 704-987-0612 or visit www.cityfestlive.com to check their plans. Three days in early May.
Ole Time Fiddlers and Bluegrass Festival, Union Grove. Traditional musicians and the fans who love bluegrass make a yearly pilgrimage to what may be the most renowned fiddling competition in the country. PBS made an award-winning documentary on the festival, held in the Brushy Mountain foothills. Call tel. 828/478-3735 or visit www.fiddlersgrove.com for more information. Memorial Day weekend.
Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte. This action-packed race, which is part of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, takes place at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Enjoy the Food Lion Speed Street, 3 days of race-related festivities on Tryon Street in Charlotte. Call tel. 704/455-5555 or go to www.600festival.com for more information. End of May.
Herb Day, Durham. See displays of traditional herbal remedies and recipes from the mid-19th century. There are herb plants from an on-site garden, herbal crafts, and food available for purchase. Call tel. 919/477-5498 for more information. First Saturday in June.
American Dance Festival, Durham. Considered to be the largest and most prestigious modern-dance event in the world, this festival has been held on the Duke University campus since 1978. Call tel. 919/684-6402 or go to www.americandancefestival.org for more information. Early June to late July.
The Lost Colony, Roanoke Island. Paul Green's moving drama is presented in the Waterside Theater Monday through Saturday at 8:30pm. It's the country's oldest outdoor drama, running since 1937. Tickets cost $16 for adults; $15 for seniors, military personnel, and people with disabilities; and $8 for children 11 and under. Contact the Waterside Theater (tel. 252/473-3414; www.thelostcolony.org) for tickets. Early June to late August.
75th Anniversary Weekend, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park staff offers programs and events honoring the region's Cherokee and Appalachian ties. Call tel. 865/436-1200 or visit www.nps.gov/grsm/parknews for more information. June 13-15, 2009.
Hillsborough Hog Day, Hillsborough. Featured attractions include barbecue, potbellied-pig contests, entertainment, crafts, and a vintage car show. Call tel. 919/732-8156 or visit www.hogdays.com for more information. Mid-June.
National Hollerin' Contest, Spivey's Corner. Immortalized by a visit from Charles Kuralt at its 1969 inaugural, this event celebrates hollerin' as a traditional form of communication. Drawing visitors from all over the country, the contest swells Spivey's Corner's usual population of 49. Call tel. 910/567-2600 or visit www.hollerincontest.com for more information. Third Saturday in June.
Brevard Music Festival, Brevard. For more than half a century, this has been one of the major open-air events in western North Carolina, featuring opera, classic music, pops, and jazz. The center for information is at 100 Probart St. (tel. 888/384-8682 or 828/862-2105; www.brevardmusic.org). Mid-June to early August.
Shindig on the Green, Asheville. At the City/County Plaza (College and Spruce sts.), you'll find mountain musicians and dancers having an old-fashioned wingding. The event is free and lots of fun. For details, call tel. 828/258-6101 or go to www.folkheritage.org. Every Saturday night from early July to September.
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans, Linville. This event is complete with Scottish dance, music, and athletic competitions. Call tel. 828/733-1333 or go to www.gmhg.org for more information. Early July.
Festival of the Arts, Brevard. This weeklong festival features a children's exhibit, creative and performing arts, and food, in venues throughout the city. Call tel. 828/884-2787 or go to www.tcarts.org for more information. Early July.
Coon Dog Day, Saluda. For more than 30 years, coon hunters and nature lovers have gathered for dog trials, arts and crafts shows, a parade, a pancake breakfast, a treeing contest, barbecue, bluegrass and Southern folk concerts, and a square dance. It's truly folkloric Carolina. Call tel. 828/749-2581 or visit www.saluda.com for more information. Saturday following the Fourth of July.
Folkmoot USA (North Carolina International Folk Festival), Waynesville and Maggie Valley. Folkmoot USA provides international music and dance, plus good old-fashioned North Carolina mountain music. Call tel. 877/365-5872 or 828/452-2997 or visit www.folkmoot.com for more information. Mid-July.
National Black Theatre Festival, Winston-Salem. This festival includes performances, workshops, and seminars at various theaters around the city, produced and hosted by the city's own North Carolina Black Repertory Co. Call tel. 336/723-2266 or go to www.nbtf.org for more information. Late July to early August. Held biannually in odd years.
Bele Chere, Asheville. Billed as the "largest outdoor street festival in the Southeast," this music, arts, and food festival has big-name bands and "Taste of Asheville" samplings from local restaurants. Contact the Department of Parks and Recreation (tel. 828/259-5800; www.belecherefestival.com) for more information. Late July.
Mountain Dance & Folk Festival, Asheville. At the Diana Worth Theatre, 2 South Pack Square, the fiddlers, banjo pickers, dulcimer players, ballad singers, and clog dancers don't call it quits until nobody is interested in one more dance. This is the oldest such festival in the country, and you're encouraged to join in. For details, call tel. 828/258-6101 or go to www.folkheritage.org. First weekend in August.
North Carolina Apple Festival, Hendersonville. Bring your favorite apple-pie recipe, and enjoy music, crafts, games, and a cooking contest. Call tel. 828/697-4557 or go to www.ncapplefestival.org for more information. Labor Day weekend.
Festival in the Park, Charlotte. A celebration of regional arts and crafts, with entertainment and good food as bonuses. Call tel. 704/338-1060 or visit www.festivalinthepark.org for more information. Late September.
Mayberry Days, Mount Airy. A celebration of The Andy Griffith Show, with entertainment, a golf tournament, walking tours, and a pig pickin'. Call tel. 800/576-0231 or visit www.visitmayberry.com or www.surryarts.org for more information. Last weekend in September.
SAS Championship, Cary. This $2-million PGA Champions (Senior) Tour event is drawing such well-known golfers as Tom Kite, Lanny Wadkins, and Fuzzy Zoeller as it approaches its seventh tournament year. Call tel. 919/531-4653 or go to www.saschampionship.com for more information. Early October.
MUMfest, New Bern. Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corp. hosts a street festival loaded with food, fun, arts and crafts, and tours. Call tel. 252/638-5781 or visit www.mumfest.com for more information. Early October.
North Carolina State Fair, Raleigh. This traditional gathering draws crowds from all over. Call tel. 919/821-7400 or visit www.ncstatefair.org for more information. Mid-October.
Chrysler Classic of Greensboro, Greensboro. Some 275,000 fans come to the galleries of Forest Oaks Country Club to watch the pros compete for the $5-million purse of this nationally televised tournament, one of the richest on the PGA tour. Call tel. 336/379-1570 or visit www.chrysler-classic.com for more information. Mid-October.
Christmas at the Biltmore Estate, Asheville. The Biltmore Estate becomes a winter wonderland long before Christmas. Enjoy Christmas lights, trees, decorations, and music. Call tel. 800/411-3812 or 828/225-1333, or go to www.biltmore.com for more information. Early November to early January.
Festival of Lights, Tanglewood Park, Winston-Salem. For 9 weeks, more than 750,000 lights are presented in more than five dozen displays. Enjoy storybook themes. Call tel. 336/778-6300 or visit www.tanglewoodpark.org for more information. Mid-November to early January.
Holiday Festival, Raleigh. The city hosts the Holiday Festival at the North Carolina Museum of Art. It's an old-fashioned yuletide celebration. Call tel. 919/839-6262 or visit www.ncartmuseum.org for more information. Early December.
Old Salem Christmas and Candle Teas, Winston-Salem. A re-creation of yuletide as it was celebrated 200 years ago in Old Salem. Enjoy making candles, tasting Moravian sugar cakes, and touring the 1788 Gemeinhaus by candlelight. Call tel. 336/722-6171 or visit www.home-moravian.org for more information. First 2 weekends in December.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.