Raleigh. At this corner of the research triangle, there’s more than meets the eye, the region quietly marching forward in academics, sport, medicine, the arts, and growth. Whether tourist, returnee, or local, if you’ve chosen the Raleigh area as your destination, you won’t be disappointed. Read on for some of our favorite autumn festivals and events in the area and get ready to see Raleigh like never before.
North Carolina State Fair
One of the largest events in the Carolinas, the North Carolina State Fair is a fun, colorful (and delicious!) way to celebrate all facets of North Carolina’s identity. Games, rides, vendors, competitions, exhibitions, stunts, and shows are just some of the things visitors can experience at the North Carolina State Fair. Sample famous North Carolina-style barbecue, fresh catches and oysters from the coast, gator and shark meat, and festival fare staples such as deep-fried candy bars. Or enjoy the many stunts and adventures of North Carolina performers, including pig races, lumberjacks throwing axes, floating log runs, and livestock competitions. In addition to the rides, there are a number of edutainment exhibitions showcasing the life and activities of North Carolina of a bygone era. The daring can also ride in a real monster truck, in the dizzying starship, or a number of extreme coasters! Take the group to the North Carolina State Fair, where there’s something for everyone.
Hopscotch Music Festival
This event is noted for its scope as well as its scale, bringing over one hundred and twenty bands in various genres to growing crowds each year. If you can catch this event in September, get ready to enjoy the pumping atmosphere and appearance by major names such as Animal Collective, Flying Lotus, The Flaming Lips, CHVRCHES, Pusha T, James Blake, and more! Any concertgoers in the Raleigh area during autumn will want to mark this one on their calendars.
Wendell Harvest Festival
This festival is a great way to learn about the agricultural heritage of North Carolina and the Raleigh area but in a more laid-back manner. Community is at the forefront of the festival here in neighboring, quaint Wendell, where visitors can spend the day with charming small businesses and food trucks, live concerts, and a family area. For travelers with a group of varied ages and interests, this is a great low-stakes addition to any itinerary.
International Festival of Raleigh
The International Festival of Raleigh is a great way to learn about and celebrate the diverse and varied identities of the Raleigh area, a tradition of sharing and unity held since 1986. Here, visitors can sample and learn about the many groups that have come to Raleigh and made it the city it is today, with shows, dance, and cooking classes, small business, and of course, tons of delicious food. Raleigh boasts a stunning diversity of gastronomy, and it truly is something to enjoy if you get the chance, from papaya salad to momo to Sudanese karqadeh, Hungarian goulash, and Vietnamese bun thit nuong.
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