Events

17 Excellent Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Charlotte

It's a wonderful time of the year in Charlotte with the holiday season right around the corner. Halloween is nearly here and once it's over, it won't be long before Christmas lights are found everywhere and the cheer of the season is in the air.

When the holiday season rolls around, several annual events also come to town. If you want to know some of the best ways to celebrate the holidays in Charlotte, here are 17 to choose from.

Southern Christmas Show

Get your holiday season started early from November 8th to 18th with the Southern Christmas Show. This is the place to enjoy freshly decorated trees, plenty of gift shopping and more. It will be held at The Park Expo & Conference Center.

Vintage Charlotte Winter Market

On November 17th, you can enjoy the Vintage Charlotte Winter Market with more than 60 vendors on hand with all kinds of items. Find the perfect gifts at The Fillmore during this event.

Speedway Christmas

You don't have to be a race fan to enjoy the Charlotte Motor Speedway from November 18th to December 31st. It will be filled with light displays you can drive through and enjoy with classic holiday movies playing and plenty more.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical

Starting on November 23rd and running through December 23rd, this is one...

Enjoying Haunted Houses and Trails Around Charlotte

Finding great things to do for Halloween throughout Charlotte isn't difficult. There are plenty of fun events and plenty of haunted houses and trails. If you love to be scared, you'll want to hit up this entire list of incredible haunted houses and trails this Halloween season.

Before we go any further, it's important to note, these choice are not for the faint at heart. You will have to be the judge of whether your children are old enough for the haunts or if they should wait another year or two. Here's the list of the top haunted houses and trails found throughout Charlotte.

BoogerWoods

Rated at the most entertaining haunt in the Carolinas, BoogerWoods should be very high on your list. It has won several awards and the original Flatback is back, making it even better this year. No matter the weather, BoogerWoods will be open on October 26th & 27th and November 2nd & 3rd.

A total of 14 scenes are found in BoogerWoods including:

  • Mine Shaft
  • Twisted Saw
  • Club Booger
  • Booger Meat Packing
  • Boogerassic Park
  • Booger Vortex
  • Time Machine
  • Booger Maze
  • Texas Full Service
  • And More!

Parking is free and you can take pictures with the BoogerBusters, along with getting your t-shirt, hats, and other gear. There will also be a large movie screen to watch while you're in line.

Tickets are $20 for general admission or $30 for fast pass admission. Make sure to bring cash, as they don't take cards.

Find out more about BoogerWoods on their website here.

The Haunted Mill

Another incredible haunted attrition is the Haunted Mill. This is actually a 120-year-old Mill and includes a total of...

10 Top Charlotte Halloween Events for 2018

Charlotte has plenty going on for Halloween and it's right around the corner. In fact, some of it has already started, but it's not too late to join in the fun. Here's a look at the top 10 Charlotte Halloween events for 2018.

The Great Pumpkin Festival and SCarowinds

Held at Carowinds every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through October 28th, this event provides plenty of fun for the entire family. It's very family-friendly and includes:

  • A Costume Parade
  • A Foam Zone
  • Mazes
  • And More!

When 7pm rolls around, SCarowinds begins and it gets a bit spookier in the park. If you want to enjoy one of the best Halloween events in Charlotte, The Great Pumpkin Fest at Carowinds is the right choice.

The 13th Acre

Held in Monroe, NC, The 13th Acre is another great event for Halloween. It's a fun event with a redesigned trail filled with characters ready to frighten you. This isn't an event for everybody and you should probably leave the little kids out of this one. However, if you love a good haunted trail, The 13th Acre is the place for you.

This Halloween event will be held on Fridays and Saturdays through October 27th at 3718 Plyler Mill Road in Monroe, NC.

Scarrigan Farms

Every year in October, Carrigan Farms transforms into Scarrigan Farms with a trail filled with haunts and horrors. This is one of the most frightening trails you will find this Halloween and it's not for the faint of heart. Leave the little ones with the babysitter and come out to Scarrigan Farms on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October.

Creepy Crawly Critter-ween

Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center has the perfect family-friendly Halloween event for you to enjoy. It will be held on Friday, October...

Upcoming Event: South End Wine Fest

Known as one of the best wine events in Charlotte, the South End Wine Fest will be held on October 20th this year. The event will include 25 vineyards providing plenty of samples, along with food and entertainment. Proceeds from the event will help to support Classroom Central.

Past years have seen the event win several awards including being voted as the Best Charlotte Wine Event in both 2016 and 2017. In addition, the event has been a winner of the BOB Awards three years in a row and have been recognized several times.

The Wine

With so many choices, it can be hard to know where to start. The South End Wine Festival will include wine from all over the globe including:

  • 2016 Jeff Runquist 1448
  • 2015 Bodega Septima Malbec
  • 2017 Creto Pinot Noir
  • Rift Lodi Zinfandel
  • Sokol-Blosser Evolution White Blend
  • 2016 Casa Gran Del Siurana GR-174
  • 2014 Anew Riesling
  • 2016 Finca El Origen Estate Malbec Rosé
  • 2016 Boschendal The Rose Garden Rose
  • 2016 Josef Bauer Gruner Veltliner, Austria
  • Fleuraison Blanc de Blancs Brut
  • Pasqua Passimento Prosecco
  • 2014 Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2009 Bricco Rosso Sagna Langhe Rosso DOC
  • Stella Moscato
  • 2014 Hob Nob Pinot Noir
  • 2014 Bricco Dei Tati Barbera
  • JM Fonseca Twin Vines Vinho Verde, Portugal
  • 2013 Dover Chambourcin
  • 2016 Dover Villard Blanc
  • 2015 Dover Villard Blanc
  • 2015 Dover Cabernet Franc
  • And Much More!

Wines will be featured from Spain, Italy, South America, Washington State, Oregon, France, North Carolina, Australia, South Africa and all around the globe.

In addition to the wine, there will be three cider...

Upcoming Event: The Great Pumpkin Fest

An event you won't want to miss, The Great Pumpkin Fest is coming to Carowinds for more than a month. In fact, it has already arrived. The event started on September 15th and will be held on Saturdays and Sundays through October 28th.

It's a family-friendly Halloween event perfect for your children. You can enjoy a consume parade, mazes, foam zone and so much more.  Here's a look at what to expect at The Great Pumpkin Fest this year.

Attractions

There will be plenty of attractions for children to enjoy including:

  • Linus's Pumpkin Patch and Bale Maze - Found near the Camp Store; this maze will keep kids busy. There are many dead ends throughout and at the end of the maze, kids 12 and under can choose a mini-pumpkin to decorate.
  • Charlie Brown's Tractor Tour - A cook little tour for kids, the tractor tour allows each child to pedal on a miniature tractor and enjoy the fun.
  • Lucy's Mummy Pit - It's a fun bubbly pyramid of sudsy delight. The mummy pit is found near Snoopy vs. Red Barron.
  • Sally's Craft Corner - If your children are into crafts, find this cool attraction near Snoopy Junction. It's a great place to enjoy decorating a mini-pumpkin or creating a mask.
  • Franklin's Game Corner - Enjoy all types of Halloween themed festival games near Harmony Hall Arbor.
  • Trick or Treating - All throughout Camp Snoopy, you'll find great trick or treating options starting at 3pm.

There are several great attractions to enjoy for this event and plenty for children to do.

Shows

Along with the many great attractions, the event will include several shows, such as:

  • Haunted Homecoming - Held five times throughout the day at Harmony Hall, this show will feature a cast of teenage dead-heads performing retro rock...

Which Annual Festivals are Held at Charlotte Center City?

Charlotte Center City is a very popular area with plenty of events throughout the year. While plenty of smaller events are found here, you'll also find several annual festivals on the list. Here's a look at the annual festivals held at Charlotte Center City throughout the year.

Hola Charlotte Festival - Fall

Every fall, the Hola Charlotte Festival happens at Charlotte Center City. It's the largest Hispanic Heritage event in Charlotte and has been running for seven years straight. The festival includes plenty of Latin American Culture with entertainers, bands and more. There's always plenty of Latin food, Zumba demos, cultural dance performances and incredible fashion on display.

Find out more about the Hola Charlotte festival by visiting the official website here.

Thanksgiving Day Parade - Late Fall

While it's not exactly a festival, the atmosphere is very much like a festival for the parade. Known as one of the best holiday parades in Charlotte, the Thanksgiving Day Parade may also be one of the best in the country. The parade celebrates more than 70 years of holiday memories as it started in 1947.

The event was once a small-town event and it has grown into a massive parade perfect for families and friends to enjoy together. Usually, the parade includes close to 20 floats, more than 10 huge balloons, about 15 marching bands and more than 10 performing acts. Celebrities such as Miss North Carolina, Santa and Lexi Walker have made appearances in the parade. Find out more about the Thanksgiving Day Parade here.

Holiday on Ice - Late Fall through Winter

While it's also not a festival, a huge event many enjoy in Charlotte Center City is the Holiday on Ice event. This tradition provides an outdoor...

Your Guide to Fall Festivals in Charlotte

Fall is a great time of year in Charlotte. The leaves are changing, the hot sticky weather is gone and there may even be a little bit of a chill in the air. It's the time of year to light a fire in the firepit, head out camping or hit one of the many great fall festivals throughout the city.

No more swimming pools and lakes, but instead, it's time to change with the season to great music, deep-fried junk food and so much more. Here's a look at the fall festivals you can enjoy throughout Charlotte for 2018.

Charlotte AutoFair - September 6th to 9th

Held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, this is the perfect place to go if you love cars. The Charlotte AutoFair includes some of the best antique cars you will find. Whether you're looking to buy, sell or just look, this is the place for you. You can also enjoy the flea market with plenty of automotive memorabilia and difficult-to-find auto parks.

Find out more about the Charlotte AutoFair here.

Cabarrus County Fair - September 7th to 15th

The fall is the season for the country fairs and the Cabarrus County Fair is one of the best. It includes a huge Ferris wheel, plenty of junk food deep-fried to make it even junkier and livestock competitions. It's also home to some unique things, such as the Frisbee dog acts, pig races and the chainsaw carving artists.

Find out more about the Cabarrus County Fair here.

Lincoln County Apple Festival - September 15th

Held in Downtown Lincolnton, this festival is a great choice. It may not be as big as the North Carolina Apple Festival, but it still brings plenty of fun. Enjoy an apple farmers market, apple pie eating contest, apple pie contest, and even...

5 Top Labor Day Festivals in Charlotte for Free

When Labor Day arrives it's a good idea to take some time away from work, catch up with family and enjoy some relaxation. Charlotte also offers several great Labor Day Festivals and many don't charge admission. If you want to enjoy a fun event, but you don't want to break the bank to get in, here are five top festivals in Charlotte you can attend for free over Labor Day Weekend.

U.S. National Whitewater Center's Labor Day Celebration

While this is an annual event and it's free, you will need to pay $6 for parking and they do charge for other activities and races. However, if you carpool or arrive without a vehicle, you can get in for free and enjoy the event for free.

Enjoy plenty of fun with Dr. Dog and Great Peacock providing live music. There will also be trail races, fireworks and plenty more for all to enjoy.

This fun festival will be held on Sunday, September 2nd from 9am to 10pm at the U.S. National White Water Center, located at 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway. You can also come out on September 1st for plenty of other competitions.

On September 1st, The Dry Tri - Paddle, Bike, Run will be held, along with the Aqua Rock - Deep Water Solo competition.

Fifth Annual Charlotte Kosher BBQ Championship

If you love BBQ, this is the event for you. On Monday, September 3rd (Labor Day) you can enjoy this competition from 11am to 3pm with plenty of things to do and fun to enjoy. It's a free event, but they do charge for food.

Come out and enjoy plenty of live music, a mechanical bull, kids' activities and more. You can purchase tasting tickets or you can enjoy lunch at the event.

The Kosher BBQ Championship will be...

12 Excellent Music Festivals within Driving Distance of Charlotte

Music festivals are a ton of fun and the summer is filled with great music festivals. While Charlotte holds plenty of great events, sometimes, you just need to get out of the city to find a great music festival. Here's a look at 12 of the very best music festivals coming up less than 100 miles from Charlotte.

Chickweed

Held in Salisbury about 42 miles from Charlotte, Chickweed will be on July 21st. It will be held in The F&M Trolley Barn with a cost of $15 in advance or $20 at the gate.

It's an annual indoor-outdoor music festival with plenty of art involved. All musicians are women and the proceeds benefit women and children victims of violence. Performers include Daisy clover, Laura Vella, Rebecca Stinson, The Shana Blake Band and more.

Barnstock BYOB Music Fest

On July 21st, you can enjoy Barnstock in Huntersville, NC. This will be the 10th year for this festival, which is a BYOB festival. The cost of admission is $20 and parking is also $20. This is a 21 and older event only with performances from FamJam, White Collar Funk, Atlas Road Crew, Glen Shepherd and many others.

Reevestock

Held at the Reeves Theater in Elkin on Friday and at Elkin's Hidden Amphitheater in Elkin on Saturday, this music festival is about 76 miles from Charlotte. Tickets range from $23 to $40, depending on how many days you will attend and whether you buy in advance or at the door.

Reevestock will include plenty of fun with Time Sawyer taking the stage and Todd Snider, as well. Friday night will also include a performance from BraveWorldTrio at Angry Troll Brewing as a part of the free aftershow.

Saturday is the main event and a family-friendly choice with the Eric...

How to Celebrate July 4th in Charlotte

July 4th is one of the most important holidays of the year and one of the most enjoyable. With parades, fireworks, cookouts and all types of fun summer events, families will be out having plenty of fun in Charlotte.

If you're new to Charlotte or you're just not sure what's going on, you're in luck. We have all the top July 4th events in Charlotte listed below to give you a better idea of what's available and where your family should go to celebrate the holiday.

Charlotte Symphony Summer Pops: Celebrate America

Since July 4th falls on a Wednesday this year, you may want to start the celebration early. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will hold a concert on July 1st as a part of their Summer Pops series. It will include Fireworks and plenty of patriotic songs.

This fun event will start at 8:15pm and will be held at Symphony Park The cost is $5 to $15 and children 12 and under get in free.

Family Fun Night: Queen City Brass Band

Those over in the Mint Hill area will have the chance to enjoy the annual Family Fun Night. This year it will feature Queen City Brass Band on stage, face painting, a bounce house, plenty of food and family games. However, it's important to note, this event does not include fireworks.

The Family Fun Night will start at 6:30pm and will be held on July 3rd at Mint Hill Town Hall. It's a free event for all to enjoy.

Red, White and BOOM

A very popular event held in Rock Hill every year, Red, White, and BOOM will be held on July 3rd this year. It will include food trucks, plenty of inflatables, rides, live music, an ice-cream eating contest, and fireworks.

The event will run from 5pm to 11pm in Downtown Rock Hill. It's free for the...

Upcoming Events: 4th Annual Firetruck Festival

If you or your children love firetrucks, the perfect event for you is coming up in just a few days. The 4th Annual Firetruck Festival will be held on June 23rd from 9am to 5pm. It will be the largest gathering of fire trucks in the entire state!

The event will be organized by the North Carolina Transportation Museum and will include plenty of fun for everybody to enjoy. It's expected to be a record-breaking year with more than 100 fire trucks on hand. You’ll have the opportunity to meet firefighters from all over the state, look at the trucks, see the equipment they use and enjoy an amazing family-friendly day at the museum.

Along with the display of incredible firetrucks, you'll get to enjoy a fire truck parade, the Norfolk Southern Safety Train, music and so much more. This is certainly an event you don't want to miss!

About the N.C. Transportation Museum

The organizer of the event and the venue, the N.C. Transportation Museum is found on a site that was once the Southern Railway Company's largest service facility for steam locomotives. It was opened in 1896 and called Spencer Shops in honor of the first Southern Railway president, Samuel Spencer.

Four acres of the site were donated to the state of North Carolina in September of 1977. Another donation was made in 1979 including many historic structures and more land. This site eventually became known as a historic site and a part of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The museum put on its' first exhibit in 1983 with several improvements since. Today, the museum offers an authentic train depot, 25 locomotives, many rail cars, antique automobiles and so much more. On a regular day, you can enjoy train rides, guided tours and plenty of railway history.

What to Expect at the 4th Annual...

Upcoming Event: Taste of Charlotte

The Taste of Charlotte will be one of the premier events of the summer. This year, it will be presented by Food Lion and held from June 8th to 10th.

This three-day festival will include more than 100 samples from local restaurants, plenty of live music and entertainment, cooking demonstrations, great shopping options, children's activities, street performers and more. It's a free event open to the public and a great way to discover new, exciting restaurants all throughout the city.

The Restaurants

With more than 100 samples available, there will be plenty to choose from. Restaurants committed to participating in the Taste of Charlotte 2018 include:

  • Sunflour Baking Company
  • City Barbeque
  • 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails
  • Queen City
  • Holler & Dash Biscuit House
  • Fidelli
  • American Burger Company
  • Carolina Ale House
  • Brixx Wood Fired Pizza
  • Famous Chubz Chiliburgers
  • Libations Kitchen & Bar
  • Newk's Eatery
  • Caffe Siena
  • Mister B's Crab Pot
  • Lindy's Homemade Italian Ice
  • And Many More!

All of the restaurants will be entered into the Best of the Taste Competition. On Friday, judges will spend time sampling around 100 menu items and will be choosing the winners in each category.

Entertainment

UBER Eats will be presenting a number of great acts on the Main Stage including:

  • Randy Franklin & The Sardines
  • Cycle Bar
  • Woodie & the String Pullers
  • Kids In America - A Totally 80's Tribute
  • 7 Days Band
  • Urban Cardio Dance Company
  • Caroline Keller Band
  • New Local
  • Party of 6
  • Sezessionville Road
  • And More!

Along with the main stage, live entertainment will be found on the...