The Biggest Events of March, April and May in Raleigh, N.C.
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 1pm by visitRaleigh
Raleigh, N.C., keeps adding happy occasions to the calendar. Festivals and major events serve an important purpose—they mark history and sense of pride, plus they showcase talent, creativity and culture, delicious foods and beverages (and some surprises, too!).
Make plans now to spend a day or a weekend in the Raleigh area around these trip-worthy events this spring!
Raleigh St. Patrick's Day Parade and the Wearin' 'O the Green Festival, March 16, 2019
In celebration of the great St. Patrick as well as Irish and Celtic traditions and culture, a parade of dancers, bagpipes, musicians and more march through downtown Raleigh and afterwards continue a day of fun with a full line-up of live music and performances in Raleigh's City Plaza.
North Carolina Theatre presents Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I, March 19-24, 2019
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens.
Art in Bloom, March 21-24, 2019
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.
North Carolina Football Club Friendship Cup International Doubleheader, March 23, 2019
North Carolina Football Club is set to host a historic doubleheader at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. 2018 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) champion North Carolina Courage will host Alex Morgan, Marta and the rest of the Orlando Pride in a preseason match, followed by an international exhibition between North Carolina Football Club—members of the United Soccer League—and Necaxa of Mexico’s Liga MX.
Casks on Fools, March 31, 2019
The annual kick-off party for Raleigh, N.C.'s Beer Month celebrations in April, Casks on Fools at Crank Arm Brewing features truly-unique casks from more than 20 N.C.-based breweries. We're talking everything from mango habanero IPAs to chocolate cream stouts, Irish stouts with cherries and way more. The by-the-glass cask festival celebrates the innovation of craft beer across the area—this is for the beer lovers and the adventurous drinkers!
Carolina Hurricanes vs New Jersey Devils, April 4, 2019
This marks the final home game of the regular season for the Carolina Hurricanes, the NHL's hottest team in the league aiming to stake their claim to a playoff spot. Expect a big crowd for this one (and don't forget to wear red and be loud!).
North Carolina Opera presents Puccini's Tosca, April 5 and 7, 2019
Immerse yourself in Italian culture by watching Tosca, the quintessential Puccini thriller set in 1800s Rome. Not seen in the area since North Carolina Opera’s premiere season, Tosca returns with a cast of rising stars and the North Carolina Opera Orchestra and Chorus, all conducted by Joseph Rescigno. This fully-staged production is sung in Italian with projected English translations.
Dreamville Festival, April 6, 2019
Curated by platinum-selling rapper and N.C. native J.Cole, Dreamville will be a one-day, multi-stage festival at downtown Raleigh's Dorothea Dix Park with a one-of-a-kind celebration of local culture, food and art that also features a curated selection of music performers blending together some of today’s biggest national acts with exciting up-and-comers. In addition to J.Cole, the lineup includes SZA, Big Sean, 21 Savage, 6LACK, Nelly, Mez, Teyana Taylor, Davido, Bas, Rapsody and more!
Beer & Bacon Fest, April 6, 2019
Bacon, more bacon and then some bacon! The Beer & Bacon Fest at Cary's Koka Booth Amphitheatre offers plenty of local restaurants and food trucks with awesome bacon dishes. Each guest receives a souvenir glass with 75+ of their favorite craft beers, wine, spirits and ciders to taste! Live music and a whole hog butchering demo round out a full day of fun.
Zac Brown Band, April 13, 2019
Set to play an early-season show at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek (the area's largest outdoor music venue!), the Zac Brown Band returns to Raleigh with their signature country sound.
Mid-Town Square Spring Festival, April 13, 2019
Held at Bond Brothers Beer Company (which was voted 2017's "Best New Brewery" in the country in USA TODAY's 10Best) in Cary, this free-admission festival features food trucks, local artists, live music and, of course, Bond Brothers' award-winning brews (new releases and special casks included!). Kids and leashed dogs are welcome at the brewery but heads up—this event will draw a big crowd!
Live & Local: Spring Fest on Hillsborough St., April 13, 2019
An annual, family-friendly street festival featuring a full day of music, artists, inflatables for kids, beer from Raleigh Brewing Company and more.
Lebanese Festival, April 13, 2019
The 21st annual Lebanese Festival in downtown Raleigh promises non-stop dancing and musical performances to go along with Lebanese desserts, beer, wine and more (including all the belly dancing you can handle!).
Cary's Downtown Chowdown, April 14, 2019
Enjoy a food-filled afternoon in downtown Cary. Taste some of the area's best food (barbecue, burgers, beignets and more!), enjoy cool beverages from craft beer and wine vendors and relax to the music of great local performers. More than 30 total vendors will be on hand—see you there!
HerbFest, April 19-28, 2019
Those who love to cook will love Herbfest! Stroll through 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.
North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival, April 20, 2019
What could be finer than a jam-packed day of drool-worthy barbecue from The Pit, plenty of local brews and toe-tappin' bluegrass music in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District?
North Carolina Theatre presents Murder for Two, April 26-May 5, 2019
Catch this musical comedy at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, telling the story of a small town policeman with dreams of making it to detective. In this hilarious rendition, just two performers play 13 roles! You’ll die laughing.
Art in the Garden, April 27, 2019
Raleigh Little Theatre's arts festival is back, featuring a jury-selected lineup of visual artists, food trucks and live entertainment. This unique, outdoor event takes place in the historic Raleigh Municipal Rose Garden—have your cameras ready for photos with the beautiful backdrop!
Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival, April 27, 2019
Featuring more than 170 local artists, Cary's Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festival (celebrating their 26th year in 2019) fills the streets with art—paintings, jewelry, sculptures and more—plus food vendors, children's activities and all-day live music.
Brewgaloo, April 26-27, 2019
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.
Meet in the Street Festival, May 4, 2019
A day filled with food, fun and entertainment in historic downtown Wake Forest for more than 35 years running, Meet in the Street pulls together all-day live music plus an additional stage of entertainment with dancers, martial arts, magicians and more. Plenty of food trucks and a beer garden headed by Wake Forest's own White Street Brewing Company are sure to keep festival-goers happy.
39th Annual Apex PeakFest, May 4, 2019
Salem St. in historic downtown Apex comes alive with more than 20,000 visitors during PeakFest. For more than 30 years, the arts and crafts festival has brought families together for a day of fun, food and fellowship. The town of Apex's largest annual event, PeakFest has all-day live music, all the arts and crafts you can imagine, entertainment for kids and food vendors that bring their best State Fair-style goodies.
Out! Raleigh, May 4, 2019
Preparing to hold their 9th annual event in 2019, this inclusive and action-packed event draws nearly 50,000 people to celebrate the LGBT community and raise funds to support the LGBT Center of Raleigh. Live entertainment, local vendors and artists, great food and kids' activities line downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville St.
Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo, May 5, 2019
Food trucks as far as you can see (literally!). The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo brings more than 50 food trucks to the city center, spanning a half-mile and 11 city blocks and drawing thousands of hungry visitors to taste the best of the best from local trucks. It's one of the biggest rodeos in the country!
Thrive NC, May 9-10, 2019
A two-day event featuring 50 of the area's top chefs and restaurants, Thrive NC is a two-day food and drink festival in downtown Raleigh's City Market that features 60 of the area's best restaurants serving unlimited food and drink samples (plus live entertainment, chef demonstrations and more).
Tracy Morgan, May 10-11, 2019
One of the most respected comedians in the world, Tracy Morgan spent seven seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live and another seven on NBC's 30 Rock. He'll take stage for two nights at Raleigh Improv, the area's newest venue for stand-up comedy.
Vintage Market Days: Simply Spring Event, May 10-12, 2019
Head to the Jim Graham Building at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds for an upscale, vintage-inspired market featuring original art, antiques, clothing, jewelry, handmade treasures, home décor, outdoor furnishings, consumable yummies, seasonal plantings and more.
Spring Into the Arts Walk, May 11, 2019
Located in Wendell's historic downtown district, this open-air arts competition features a classic car show, chalk art demonstrations, live music, a silent auction, tons of activities for kids and more.
Marc Maron, May 16-18, 2019
Best known for his hit landmark podcast, WTF with Marc Maron, Maron has been writing and performing comedy for 30 years. He'll be performing stand-up live at Goodnights Comedy Club for this three-night special event!
Carolina Ballet: Swan Lake, May 16-19, 2019
Closing out Carolina Ballet's 21st season in Raleigh is one of the most popular story ballets of all time. Swan Lake is an enchanting fairy tale that tells the story of a beautiful swan princess cursed to live as a swan until she can find true love. Set to one of Tchaikovsky’s greatest scores, Robert Weiss’ version is truly spectacular. Music for this performance will be played live by The Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle.
Got to Be NC Festival, May 17-19, 2019
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.
Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival, May 18-19, 2019
One of the Southeast's premier arts festivals, Artsplosure - The Raleigh Arts Festival attracts more than 80,000 people to downtown Raleigh during the third weekend of May each year. Celebrating fine visual art and live music since 1980, the festival puts more than 180 artists' work, using countless mediums, on display for all to see and enjoy during the free festival.
Animazement, May 24-26, 2019
Get in on the action at Animazement, a three-day Japanese animation and culture celebration over Memorial Day weekend that draws 15,000 attendees to the Raleigh Convention Center. Cosplay is a huge draw: guests are encouraged to dress up as their favorite characters simply for fun, or to participate in contests showcasing their talents!
Paul McCartney, May 27, 2019
The Paul McCartney live experience, brought to PNC Arena as "The Freshen Up Tour", is everything any music lover could ever want from a rock show: nearly three hours of the greatest moments from the last 50 years of music, dozens of songs from Paul’s solo act and, of course, Beatles songs that have formed the soundtracks of so many lives.