Planning a trip to Raleigh, NC ? Here are some of the best events happening there in 2020:
- Krispy Kreme Challenge– 2/1/20- One of America’s most unique running events (and toughest eating events!), the Krispy Kreme Challenge requires competitors to run five miles, eat a dozen doughnuts at the halfway point and hit the finish line in under one hour.
- 34th International Festival of Raleigh, March 6-8, 2020
This three-day event, a comprehensive platform for local ethnic communities and artists to present their culture, serves more than 25,000 each year. Now taking place at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, more than 70 ethnic groups will participate to present a variety of arts, cuisine, dance, textile design and cultural expression from across the globe. Art exhibits, dance competitions, sidewalk cafés, main stages for music, vendor booths and more make for fun finds and discoveries.
- Art in Bloom, March 19-22, 2020
One of the can’t-miss events of the year at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Art in Bloom is a four-day festival of art and flowers. More than 50 floral interpretations inspired by the museum’s galleries, some more than 10 feet tall, are created on-site by world-class designers and showcased throughout the museum’s West Building (have your cameras ready!). The ticketed event invites participants to attend presentations and workshops, dine at Iris and shop for one-of-a-kind gifts.
- HerbFest, April 17-19 and 24-26, 2020
Those who love to cook will love HerbFest! Stroll through downtown Wake Forest‘s charming White St. and shop organic, non-GMO herbs and vegetables, plus heirloom tomatoes and peppers and beautiful perennials specific to the area.
- Brewgaloo, April 24-25, 2020
N.C.’s largest craft beer festival-featuring 100 breweries, 50 food trucks and drawing 30,000 people-Brewgaloo takes over downtown Raleigh for two days each April. The festival, which has free admission on Sat. (so bring plenty of friends!), allows you to purchase either beer samples or full pints from breweries located across the state. The event is part of Beer Month in Raleigh, N.C., a month-long celebration of the nearly 30 craft breweries that call the area home.
- Got to Be NC Festival, May 15-17, 2020
Putting the best of N.C. food and beverage on display, the Got to Be NC Festival offers tons of eating opportunities, live music, a huge collection of antique tractors, a carnival for children and more activities (plus free parking and admission) at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.
- Raleigh’s 5th Annual International Food Festival, June 6, 2020
Celebrate Raleigh’s diverse community and welcoming spirit by trying food, beer and wine (plus listen to live music and see more entertainment) from around the world. Nearly 20,000 attendees are expected in downtown Raleigh‘s City Plaza for the event.
- Peak City Pig Fest, June 19-20, 2020
Live music, a beer garden, a barbecue competition (sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society) and more make for one of Apex‘s tastiest events of the year.
- Packapalooza, Aug. 22, 2020
This annual, all-day block party and street festival, drawing more than 80,000 attendees, caps off North Carolina State University‘s Wolfpack Welcome Week at the start of another academic year. The free and open-to-the-public event features more than 300 vendor booths lining Hillsborough St., along with food, games, arts and crafts, a water slide (bring your bathing suit!), visual and performing arts and more. Music will take center stage to close out the evening.
- Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept. 10-12, 2020
Three days, nearly 150 bands, 12 venues in downtown Raleigh, 50 totally-free day parties and 25,000 fans-it’s no wonder why Hopscotch Music Festival is time and time again named one of America’s can’t-miss music events. The acts-and genres-are as wide ranging as the venues they play in (the 5,000-seat Red Hat Amphitheater and a tiny dive bar, Slim’s Downtown, for example). Headlining acts in recent years have included Angel Olsen, Big Boi, Solange, Run The Jewels, Margo Price, The Flaming Lips and more.
- World of Bluegrass, Sept. 29-Oct. 3, 2020
The arrival of a toe-tappin’, banjo-strummin’ week of non-stop week of bluegrass in downtown Raleigh is one of the most anticipated times of the year. The International Bluegrass Music Association brings their business conference, along with the world’s most talented bluegrass musicians, to Raleigh during this week. Those musicians then perform in clubs, on street corners and in hotel lobbies-anywhere they can find a jam session-during the Bluegrass Ramble. Then the week is capped off with Wide Open Bluegrass, a two-day festival that sets up five stages of free music, a dance tent, a barbecue championship, tons of art vendors and more. The free Main Stage at Red Hat Amphitheater has featured the Steep Canyon Rangers with Steve Martin, Sierra Hull, The Infamous Stringdusters and more in recent years.
- 2020 N.C. State Fair, Oct. 15-25, 2020
The largest annual event in the state, the N.C. State Fair draws one million visitors through the gates each Oct., marking what many consider to be the unofficial beginning of the fall season. Eleven days of high-flying rides, deep-fried foods, live music, stunt shows and other entertainment (including nightly fireworks) has been a can’t-miss event for generations of families—the 2020 version of the N.C. State Fair marks the 153rd year of the event!
- 76th Annual Raleigh Christmas Parade, Nov. 21, 2020
A Raleigh tradition for more than 75 years, the Raleigh Christmas Parade is the largest parade of its kind between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The parade-filled with marching bands, dancers, classic cars, super heroes and more- marches through downtown Raleigh for two hours along a 1.4-mile route that draws a crowd of 60,000 spectators.