Annual Events 2024

Plan your trip around these featured select 30+ events worth a weekend stay! The communities of Orange County show their unique personalities through historical events, music, art & film, cultural heritage plus a little bit of sports and holiday cheer. Click above for our restaurants, lodging options and to read our blog. Here is our complete list of 2024 Major Annual Events which will be revised and updated as needed as we go through the year.


February

February 15-1747th Annual Carolina Jazz Festival, Locations on the UNC Campus, Chapel Hill; Sponsor UNC Department of Music (919) 962-1039 http://music.unc.edu/jazzfest

March

March 10. Carrboro Kite Fly, Hank Anderson Park in Carrboro, off Hwy 54 West.  Free 1 pm – 3 pm. Welcome spring and bring your own kite.  If raining, event will be cancelled. http://carrbororec.org/calendar.aspx?eid=7593

April

April 6.  Revolutionary War Living History Day. Revolutionary War Reenactment at the historic Alexander Dickson House, plus other events around downtown Hillsborough sponsored by the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, 10 am – 4 pm. (919) 732- 7741.  https://visithillsboroughnc.com/event/revolutionary-war-living-history-day-2/

April 6.  UNC Science Expo, UNC Campus at Morehead Planetarium & Science Center, Chapel Hill,  11am - 4pm.  Celebrate science with our community — as a part of the North Carolina Science Festival. This annual expo features more than 100 hands-on activities and science demonstrations lead by STEM students, researchers, and practitioners from UNC-Chapel Hill.  (919) 843-7959.  

April 6-7.  Tarheel Antiques Festival. This Fall festival features antique vendors, auctions and appraisals. Located at the historic Barn at Lloyd’s Dairy centrally located between the Triangle and Triad regions of North Carolina at the merge of Interstate 40 & 85. $7 weekend pass. Saturday Main Day: 9 am – 5 pm. Festival opens to the public featuring antique and craft vendors, auctions, appraisal and Christmas themed activities and entertainment. Sunday - Finale Day: 9 am – 5 pm. Second day of antiques, crafters and vendors. 226 N. Lloyds Dairy Rd, Efland. (919) 732-7322. (Occurs again in October).

April 20-21.  Piedmont Farm Tour.  Orange, Chatham, Person, Durham, Wake and Alamance counties; Tour various farms throughout the area from 2 pm – 6 pm, both days.  Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (919) 542-2402. Cost: $30 per car for ALL FARMS if purchased in advance, $35 per car for ALL FARMS if purchased during the tour, and $10 per car per farm the day of the tour. (All proceeds benefit CFSA).

Plow Girl Farm on Piedmont Farm Tour

April 27-28. Chapel Hill Garden Tour with the theme Tucked Away Treasures. More information to come. https://chapelhillgardenclub.net/

TBA. Fields of Funk Beer Festival. Coordinated by Steel String Brewery at Pluck Farm at 6901 NC Hwy 54 West, Mebane in western Orange County. Times and details to come. https://www.facebook.com/PluckFarmNC/

TBA.  River Park Concert. The event opens at Noon and music begins at 12:30 pm ending around 8 pm. Entrance to the park at the River Arch is 228 S. Churton Street, Hillsborough. There will be 4 bands, local beer, food, art vendors, live mural painting, and community mural. It is completely free to attend. https://www.trianglemusicalliance.com/

May

May 3- June 21. Freight Train Blues Concert Series.  Each spring the Music Makers and the Town of Carrboro present eight free root music concerts at the Carrboro Town Commons on Fridays from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Beer and food available for purchase. https://musicmaker.org/freight-train-blues-concert-series/

May 4,5 & 11. The 29th Annual Art in the Garden Sculpture Exhibition is a unique once yearly event and one of the finest outdoor sculpture exhibitions in the triangle region of North Carolina. The event is held at the private residence of artists Tinka Jordy and Mark Donley just six miles away from downtown Hillsborough. Saturday hours 10 am – 5 pm; Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm.

Art in the Garden Sculpture for Annual Events Page

 

June

TBA. Historic Hillsborough Excursion Day from 10 am – 4 pm. The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough, together with Hillsborough’s local historic sites, is hosting the return of   Historic Hillsborough Excursion Day. The Alexander Dickson House, the Burwell School, the Orange County Historical Museum, Ayr Mount, the Occaneechi Village, and more, are coming together to showcase Hillsborough’s historic significance. This will be a day full of reenactments, exhibits, tours, and family-friendly fun. More details to come. https://historichillsborough.org/

Pride Events and Juneteenth Events to come.

July

TBA. Movies Under the Stars at 8 pm at Forest Theatre between Boundary Street and Country Club Road.  Family friendly movies beginning in July. https://www.chapelhillarts.org/festivals-events/

August

August 2 –September 13 in Chapel Hill, NC. 24th Annual Forest Theatre Summer Giant Puppet Show.  Theme to be announced. Shows Fri-Sun and Labor Day, Forest Theatre on the UNC Campus, 123 S. Boundary Street (919) 923-1857. Ticket sales begin June 1.Each summer, the creative team of Paperhand Puppet Intervention brings a newly themed show with spectacular life sized puppets to the beautiful outdoor Forest Theatre on UNC Campus. Paperhand Puppet Intervention's annual puppet pageant includes giant puppets, rod puppets, mask and dance, shadow puppetry and stilt walking and paper-mache’characters. Paperhand’s yearly spectacle tells stories of the human heart, illuminates and incorporates myths from around the world, and inspires young and old alike. 

Paperhand Puppet Show for Annual Events Page

September

TBA.  36th Annual Sculpture in the Garden.  Annual display of works of 50 North Carolina artists displaying their one-of-a kind sculptures placed amid the native wildflowers and shrubs to delight garden visitors.  (919) 962-0522.  100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 https://ncbg.unc.edu/visit/exhibits/sculpture-in-the-garden/ 

September 20-21 Hog Day. Friday 6 pm – 10 pm and Saturday 10 am – 6 pm.  River Park, 114 E. Margaret Lane, Downtown Hillsborough.  Live music, local handmade crafts and gifts; local food vendors, classic car show, children’s area, 5K Run, Pigs on Parade Art Project and BBQ cookoff contest with lots of BBQ to enjoy. www.hogday.org.  

Kids area at Hillsborough Hog Day for Annual Events Page
 

September 28 - November 1.  Weekends.  Fall Corn Mazes at McKee Farms in Rougemont.   $15 corn maze admission. Age 2 and Under Free.  Fridays 3-8pm, Saturday 10-8pm, Sunday 1-7pm.  2 mazes – 12 acre cornfield maze and 2 acre fun, interactive adventurous maze for children.  Also hayrides, pumpkins, farm animals, play area, games, picnic area, barrel train rides and more.  Cedar Creek Farm, 5011 Kiger Rd, Rougemont, (919) 732-8065. https://mckeecornfieldmaze.com/corn-maze-1 

TBA. 27th Carrboro Music Festival.   All types of music!  Event features numerous venues throughout downtown Carrboro with dozens of musical acts as well as food, craft and non-profit vendors. Free shuttle bus from Carrboro Plaza Park & Ride. Coordinated effort by the Carrboro Recreation, Parks, & Cultural Resources Department and the Carrboro Music Festival Planning Committee. (919) 918-7364.  www.carrboromusicfestival.com.


October

October 4-5. Annual Efland Ruritan RodeoFeaturing all the classic events of rodeo such as Ranch Style Bronc Riding, Team Roping, Cowgirls Break-Away Roping, Calf Roping, Cowgirl Barrel Racing and of course Bull Riding, clowns, special entertainment, good food and more. Ticket booth and gates open at 5:30PM.  Rodeo starts at 7:30PM. Admission - $15 - Adults, $14 - Adults with military ID (active, reserve, retired), $7 - Military in uniform, $7 - Children aged 5 - 12.  3009 Forrest Ave, Efland, NC 27243   (919) 971-1129. Hwy 70, I-40/85 Exit 160.  Parking is free. (Photo below by Wesley Broome)

Efland Rodeo by Wesley Broome
TBA. 9th Annual Bluegrass at Moorefields.  1 pm – 6 pm will take place on the lawn at Moorefields, an idyllic homestead on 70 beautiful acres in Hillsborough. Bring your chairs and blankets.  Proceeds benefit Historic Moorefields.  The event features five bands, food trucks, beer & wine. Moorefields Estate, 2201 Moorefields Road, Hillsborough, Visit www.moorefields.org  to see when tickets available for purchase. Lawn seating tickets are $15 per person. Teens 13-17 are $10 and kids 12 and under are free. Free parking.  Call (919) 732-4941.

October 12, 19, 26. Festifall Arts Markets & More. Chapel Hill’s downtown annual arts festival returns in October spanning multiple days, and featuring dozens of local artisans, diverse performances, and interactive arts experiences. Highlights include 30+ art vendors, savory and sweet food trucks, drink vendors, live music, community mural making, commemorative screen printing, dancing, poetry, painting, drumming and more. The Festifall Arts Markets & More at 140 West Franklin Street.

Festifall Arts Markets &  More for Annual Events Page

 

TBA. Salt & Smoke Festival from 2 pm to 8 pm at The Barn at Sonark Media at 913 Borland Road, Hillsborough. It’s a full afternoon and evening of live music, whole hog barbecue, and raw oysters & roasted clams from our friends at Shooting Point Oyster Co. Delicious Southern sides and plenty of the beverages to wash it all down - local beer, wine, and cocktails. Magicians and yard games.  https://saltandsmokefest.com/

TBA. Hillsborough Spirits Tours 2024.  Hillsborough, the oldest town in the Triangle, is haunted! Join the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and The Orange Community Players for the annual Haunted Tour through the historic district to encounter these ghostly residents! This fun and dramatic tour will bring you face-to-face with Hillsborough’s past. Route and theme to come. Tours last approximately one hour. The ghost performances are family-friendly, but please be aware that this is a walking tour over several blocks, and may include hills and uneven ground. Tours start every 20 minutes. Friday 6 pm - 8 pm and Saturday 5 pm - 8 pm. Tickets are timed and groups depart from the Hillsborough Visitors Center (150 E. King St.). Tickets: Adult – $18, Senior/Student – $15. Children 5-12 – $8. Call (919) 732-7741 or www.visithillsboroughnc.com.

Hillsborough Spiritis Tour

November

November 2-3 & 9-10. 30th Annual Orange County Open Studio Tour. Over 90 artists invite you into their studios to see where and how they work.  Sponsor: Orange County Artists Guild (919) 933-7880.  First two weekends in November, Sat 10 am – 5 pm and Sun 12 pm – 5 pm. 

TBA. Fool's Faire 2024 Renaissance Festival at Pluck Farm. Steel String Brewery, Beer Study, and Honeygirl Meadery have come together to host Fool's Faire from 1 pm - 7 pm at Pluck Farm at 6901 NC Hwy 54 West, Mebane in western Orange County. This renaissance festival offers fantastical beverages, craft vendors & artisans, medieval food vendors, feats of strength, cosplay contest, and more.

TBA. 19th Annual Carrboro Film Festival at The ArtsCenter. Carrboro Film Fest has an established history as a dynamic event that brings filmmakers and audiences together for a heartfelt celebration of independent cinema. In recent years, the South has produced numerous independent films that challenge and expand our understanding of Southern culture. Schedule and Tickets to come.
 

December

December 1 - 31 The Carolina Inn's Favorite Things Holiday Events Holiday afternoon tea, Brunch with Santa, Holiday market and Bier Garten. Get your tickets and reservations, events sell out fast!

December 1 - January 1, 2025. Homes for the Holidays: A Hillsborough Gingerbread Tradition. A downtown walking tour of confectionary creations! collaborates to bring gingerbread scenes to local shop windows in historic, downtown Hillsborough to be enjoyed by the entire community throughout December. The theme TBA.

TBA.  Christmas in the Groves.  6-9 pm. Decorated Christmas Barn with Local Vendors Market. Visit Santa, Horse Carriage Rides, Live Nativity Scene and Food Trucks. Admission to barn is Free. General Admission $10/pp includes a tractor hayride through Christmas Forest. $5/pp includes entry into Who-Ville and visit the Grinch. 3510 NC 86 N. Hillsborough. 

TBA. Hillsborough on Ice Holiday Show. Friday at 6 pm and Saturday at 10:30 am.  Tickets for the show are $15 per person. Orange County Sportsplex, 101 Meadowlands Drive, Hillsborough, NC (919) 644-0339, https://www.oc-sportsplex.com/

TBA. Elfland Christmas Festival features Elfland Christmas Village, Santa’s workshop with arts, crafts, children’s and holiday gifts, Hayrides, Interactive holiday scenes from your favorite holiday memories (A Christmas Story, Charlie Brown Christmas, The Grinch and more for amazing photo opts), Outdoor lights, entertainment, field of Christmas trees and much more. $10 age 13 and older, $5 4-12 and Free 3 years and under. Hosted at The Barn at Lloyds Dairy, 227 North Lloyds Dairy Road, Efland, NC 27243 and Efland United Methodist Church  from 6 pm – 9 pm. www.elflandfestival.com 

December 21: Solstice Lantern Walk  5 pm – 8:30 pm. Each December, the Winter Solstice marks the beginning of the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, and the longest night of the year. Individuals are asked to bring a handmade lantern that lights up the night, to guide all of us along the walk. Participants will gather at the Eno River Farmer’s Market Pavilion at 144 E. Margaret Lane and be led on a procession through River Park, to the River Walk, and ending back in downtown Hillsborough.​ Enjoy Solstice Market with local artists, live music, hot drinks, warm food, and more to be enjoyed before and after the walk Registration is required to attend the event.  $5 registration.  https://www.hillsboroughartscouncil.org/solstice  (photo credit below Drone Data and Film)

Solstice Lantern Walk Annual Events Page