Annual Events

There is always something fun going on in Orange County. Plan your visit around these major events happening this summer!


Paperhand Puppet Event

August 4-September 4  18th Annual Forest Theater Giant Puppet Pageant. Paperhand Puppet Intervention Shows Fri-Sun and Labor Day, Forest Theatre on the UNC Campus, (919) 923-1857. 

The North Carolina football team's annual "Meet The Heels" day is set for Saturday, Aug. 5, from 4-6 p.m. on The Plaza at 140 West Franklin Street.  Meet The Heels is free to the public and event parking information can be found on at  Tar Heel Express services will be provided from select lots. Please check  for additional parking information. The event will begin at 4 p.m. with the public unveiling of the new Jordan Brand Carolina Football uniforms.  The autograph session featuring the 2017 Carolina football team and head coach Larry Fedora will run from 4:30-6 p.m. Featured activities include: • Interactive inflatables for kids • Unveiling of new Jordan Brand Carolina Football uniforms • Free Carolina football posters and schedule cards • Balloon twisters, face painters, and a walk-around magician • Chapel Hill Sportswear with all the newest Jordan Brand football gear

August 12. BikeFest 2017: The 21st Annual Rural Heritage Tour. The Tour with 850 riders begins at the Superior Courthouse in downtown Hillsborough, and offers a choice of several rides in rural Orange County: a 35-mile half metric, a 62-mile metric century, and a 100-mile English century. Rides split into age 17 and under and 18 and older). Also enjoy a 7-mile Family-oriented Historic District Fun Ride. Check-in opens at 6:30am and first ride at 7:30 am. Sponsor: Carolina Tarwheels Bicycle Club. (919) 383-9722. 


September 1 - Tar Heel Downtown. Friday 6 pm – 9 pm a family-friendly event, centered around 140 West Plaza on West Franklin Street, highlighting the University and downtown business district. Tar Heel Town will still take place at Kenan Football Stadium on gameday. Food, face painting, UNC band and cheerleaders, other live music.

September 9.  Bluegrass at Moorefields.  2 pm – 7 pm will take place on the lawn at Moorefields, an idyllic homestead on 70 beautiful acres in Hillsborough. Rain Date is Sunday Sept 10.   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 for tickets.   Call (919) 732-4941.

September 15-16. Hog Day. Friday 6 pm – 10 pm and Saturday 10 am – 5 pm.  River Park, Downtown Hillborough, W. Margaret Lane.  Music, crafts, kids events, contests, and barbecue. New 5K Run and Pigs on Parade Art Project.

Sculpture in the Garden 

September 17-December 8.  Sculpture in the Garden.   Preview party September 16. Exhibit on display up to two months.  North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill. Annual display of nearly 50 one-of-a kind sculptures placed amid the native wildflowers and shrubs to delight garden visitors.  (919) 962-0522. 


September 23-24. 20th Annual  Carrboro Music Festival.   On Saturday, music begins at 2 pm at the Carrboro Town Commons with evening performance at Cat’s Cradle from 7 pm – 10 pm.  On Sunday, September 25 there is free music beginning at 1:00 PM until midnight. All types of music!  Event features two dozen venues throughout downtown Carrboro with over 180 musical acts as well as a children’s area which includes two large inflatable play areas, participatory games, storytelling and music. Free shuttle bus from Carrboro Plaza Park & Ride from noon -8:00 PM. Sponsor, Carrboro Arts Commission; (919) 918-7367.


Click here for a complete listing of 2017 Major Annual Events