Whether it’s the arts, music, food, beer, history, animals, outdoor movies or fireworks, there are plenty of amazing Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Hillsborough festivals and events to check out this summer. Here are 16 super summer events not to miss in 2023.

Southern Village on the Green hosts Thursday Night Music, Sundays at Sundown Music, Summer Movies on the Green ( Saturdays June 17 - September 2 at $8.25 person. First movie is ET) and other special events. Make sure you Wine Down Wednesdays at La Vita Dolce. Download the June and July events to plan your summer visit. 

Movies on the Lawn Summer Blog
Movies on the Southern Village Lawn

Enjoy the family fun at the Efland Seafood Festival featuring food, music, carnival rides, games, face painting, cornhole, balloon twisters, fire performers and more. Admission is $5 or $20 for three-day VIP package from June 16, 3 pm -10 pm, June 17, 10 am -10 pm and June 18, 1 pm - 9 pm at the  Efland Ruritan Grounds, 3009 Forrest Avenue, Efland.

Kick back and kick off the First Day of Summer June 23 at The Carolina Inn’s Fridays on the Front Porch. Each Friday through October 27, you can enjoy food trucks, beer, wine and music on The Inn’s expansive lawn from 5 pm – 8 pm.

Historic Hillsborough Excursion Day on June 24 is10 am - 4 pm. Activities take place The Alexander Dickson House, the Burwell School, the Orange County Historical Museum, Masonic Lodge, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, Ayr Mount, and the Occaneechi Replica Village. Learn about Hillsborough's historic significance through reenactments, exhibits, tours, and more.

Ayr Mount Summer Blog
Ayr Mount Historic Site by Visit Chapel Hill

The Westend Bazaar comes to West Franklin Street in Downtown Chapel Hill. Shop handmade crafts and creations from several talented local makers, and enjoy awesome eats and drinks at one of the many phenomenal neighboring restaurants, cafés, and bars. It's all happening on Sunday, June 25 from 12 to 5 pm at the 427 West Franklin Street Lot between The Lantern and The Cat Tales Cat Cafe.

Last Fridays & Art Walks in Hillsborough this summer are June 30, July 28 and August 25.  See the Makers Markets with art, live music, art making activities, face painting, food trucks, roaming poets and 20+ Art galleries and venues open. Don't miss the Living arts collective in the River Park or stroll the Riverwalk trail.  Activities run 5:30 pm – 9 pm.  

Goatsravaganza July 4th Weekend Farm Festival at Chapel Hill's Spring Haven Farm is June 30 - July 2 each day from 10 am – 6 pm. Tickets are $13.50 and must be purchased online in advance. See cute animals, a  live DJ, engaging games and Gem Mining. There is also food trucks and beer. Beginning at 8 pm each of the three nights have fun at the Goats and Glory Independence day Brewhaha

July4th at Spring Haven Summer Blog

Celebrating July 4th at Spring Haven Farm Facebook Image

Happy Independence Day at Carrboro’s 4th of July Celebration with costume contests, bike decorating, People’s Parade, Frederick Douglass essay reading, and afternoon of music, food, games and more.  Events run 9:30 am – 3 pm. . Bring your blankets and chairs to see the Town of Chapel Hill’s Fireworks at Southern Village Community Park. Event opens at 7 pm with fireworks at 9 pm.

Uproar Festival of Public Art is a new arts festival July 14 – August 12. Sixty bold, high-impact, outdoor works of art will be showcased throughout the downtown communities of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough, and cash prizes will be awarded based on public voting and a jury panel of experts.  Trolley service and bus service is available on Saturdays. Read about the artists, kick off and closing events and plan your visit. Artists and art work is from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Arkansas. 

Uproar Artist Jane Cheek Sample Art Piece Summer Blog
Sample Work from Raleigh Artist Jane Cheek Website

Summer would not be summer without tomatoes. The Carrboro Farmers’ Market celebrates all things tomato on Tomato Day 2023 on Saturday, July 15. Shoppers can enjoy freshly-sliced tomato samples, live music, tomato recipes, and a raffle with prizes from local businesses. CFM farmers grow over 70 varieties of tomatoes. The market opens at 7 am and the event starts at 8:30 am and will run until noon.

Tomato Day Summer Blog
Tomatoes at the Carrboro Farmers' Market by Visit Chapel Hill

International Soccer at Kenan Stadium on the UNC Campus on July 19 features Chelsea vs Wrexham. Search the web for remaining tickets.

Watch family-friendly Movies Under the Stars at the Forest Theatre on the UNC Campus July 20, 27, August 10 & 17 at 8 pm. 

From August 4 –September 17 enjoy the 23rd Annual Forest Theatre Summer Giant Puppet Show with the theme Where Our Spirits Reside by Paperhand Puppet Intervention. You will see a giant puppet spectacle for all ages featuring masks, stilts, painted flats, cardboard trickery, illuminated puppets and shadows, all with a live musical score.  Shows Fri-Sun and Labor Day at the Forest Theatre on the UNC Campus. Matinee shows are on Sunday, September 10 and September 17. Tickets are $10 - $20. (Photo at the top of blog shows past Puppet Show at the Forest Theatre by SP Murray)    

Tarheel Dog Day Festival (UPDATE: EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED FROM AUGUST 18-19 TO APRIL 19 & 20, 2024. Come for the celebration of our  furry best friends. The festival will feature demonstrations, vendors and interactive exhibits. There will also be an attempt to break a Guiness Book of World Records. The event is at 1001 Bushy Cook Road, Efland NC 27243 . It is located between West Ten Road and Buckhorn Road. 

The popular Hog Day returns to the River Park in downtown Hillsborough, 114 E. Margaret Lane, September 15-16. On Friday 6 pm – 10 pm and Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, enjoy live music, local handmade crafts and gifts; local food vendors, classic car show, children’s area, 5K Run, Pigs on Parade Art Project, the BBQ cookoff contest with lots of BBQ to enjoy.

Hillsborough Hog Day Kids Games Summer Blog
Kids games at Hillsborough Hog Day by SP Murray

New this summer is the Live at Legion Community Concert at 1714 Legion Road, Chapel Hill on September 16 from  3 pm – 6 pm. Bring your blankets and chairs. The event is free and all ages are welcome.  Check back for the lineup of musical acts. Food and drink beverages will be available for purchase.