Upcoming Events in Wilmington, NC

Upcoming Events in Wilmington, NC
Upcoming Events Wilmington NC - Upcoming Events in Wilmington, North Carolina include exciting festivals, concerts, museum displays, social gatherings, holiday festivities, and more. We want YOU to participate and share in the excitement! Take a glance at these upcoming events taking place in Wilmington North Carolina, and start planning your trip to this beautiful coastal city today! Enjoy comfortable Wilmington beach accommodations and take part in all of the wonderful events that Wilmington has to offer. 

Upcoming Events in Wilmington NC - Whether you are searching for delicious dining, family fun things to do, outdoor adventures, beautiful scenery, or indoor activities, Wilmington is the place to be! Enjoy fantastic upcoming local events and activities all year long. 

If you are hosting an event or attending an event this not currently listed on our Upcoming Events page, please tell us about your event today so that we can promote your local event for FREE!

Upcoming events in Wilmington, North Carolina
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North Carolina Holiday Flotilla
November 24, 2018
Welcome to the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach. It is the Southern coastal version of a holiday parade – on water – at night. The Flotilla Experience is a weekend full of fun events with something for everyone including an annual tree lighting ceremony with a visit from Santa on Friday, along with the Festival in the Park for families and children on Saturday afternoon prior to the actual Flotilla. The 35th Annual Flotilla weekend will be held on Saturday the 24th, 2018. When was the last time that you spent Thanksgiving weekend at the beach?! Y’all come on down! Our newest award is the Paula Sturdy Award for the Best Wrightsville Beach themed boat. This award was established from donations given by her family and friends. Because of their generosity, it will be funded for many years to come. Click here for additional information.

Island of Lights Festival - Christmas Parade
November 30, 2018
Area residents young and old look forward to the annual Christmas Parade. The Christmas Parade is always the second Friday after Thanksgiving and begins at 7:30 PM. The parade proceeds from Atlanta Ave down Lake Park Blvd to the Federal Point Plaza in Carolina Beach. Floats, bands and Santa Clause will be there to add to the festivities of the season and provide a night of entertainment for families. Click here for additional information.
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Battleship Alive - USS North Carolina
December 1, 2018
Watch and interact with World War II living history interpreters as they bring the Ship to life by re-enacting daily duties and drills. A great event for all ages. Bring your questions and cameras! This event is free with Battleship admission. Click here for additional information.
Kure Beach Holiday Market
November 17 & 24, 2018 from 9AM - 3PM
Enjoy beautiful ocean views as you browse through handcrafted items such as soaps, jewelry, mosaics, paintings, photos, foods, sewn items, bird houses, cards, wreaths, wood art, and much more. Click here for additional information.








Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot
November 22, 2018
Who doesn’t want to burn some calories in support of building homes before eating your Turkey dinner?! Join us for this year’s Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot. Come dress in your finest Turkey attire and support a great cause while having fun! Click here for additional information.

Island of Lights Festival - Lighting at the Lake Celebration
November 23, 2018 at 7PM
The Lighting at the Lake Ceremony officially begins the month long Island of Lights Festival in Carolina & Kure Beaches. The Lake is located at the intersection of Atlanta Ave and Lake Park Blvd in Carolina Beach, NC. There is parking in the lot at the lake, a lot across the street from the lake and on Lake Park Blvd where indicated. The event is always the night after Thanksgiving and the opening ceremony is at 7 PM. The brief opening ceremony, prior to the actual lighting, will feature the President of the Island of Lights Committee, Pleasure Island elected officials, and musical entertainment. Local Cub Scouts provide the Honor Guard and display the flag for the singing of the National Anthem. After the Lighting at the Lake Celebration Santa will make a guest appearance under the shelter area. Click here for additional information.

Enchanted Airlie
November 23, 24 & 30, 2018 | December 1, 7-22, 2018
A New Hanover County tradition since 2005, guests from around the world have visited Airlie Gardens from Thanksgiving to Christmas to take in the sparkling sights and festive sounds of the season. Guests will experience a 0.5m stroll through the Gardens, on a self-guided walking tour while feasting their eyes on a spectacular array of lights and holiday displays. Also in attendance, Santa Claus himself, and a few local food and beverage vendors with hot chocolate, popcorn, cookies, beer, wine and more! Tickets often sell out in advance so reserve yours early! Click here for additional details.

North Carolina Holiday Flotilla
November 24, 2018
Welcome to the North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville Beach. It is the Southern coastal version of a holiday parade – on water – at night. The Flotilla Experience is a weekend full of fun events with something for everyone including an annual tree lighting ceremony with a visit from Santa on Friday, along with the Festival in the Park for families and children on Saturday afternoon prior to the actual Flotilla. The 35th Annual Flotilla weekend will be held on Saturday the 24th, 2018. When was the last time that you spent Thanksgiving weekend at the beach?! Y’all come on down! Our newest award is the Paula Sturdy Award for the Best Wrightsville Beach themed boat. This award was established from donations given by her family and friends. Because of their generosity, it will be funded for many years to come. Click here for additional information.

Battleship Ho Ho Ho
November 23, 2018 10AM - 3PM
Celebrate the Season at the Battleship! Santa welcomes everyone on board and volunteers stationed throughout the ship will help children and parents understand this floating city. Create your own retro e-card by posing in our Happy Huladays banner. Type your Christmas wish list on a vintage typewriter using authentic WWII USS NORTH CAROLINA radio message paper. Call the North Pole from the Battleship’s main radio room. See Santa’s journey being tracked in the Combat Information Center. Bring your camera for some great photo ops! A fabulous way to start your holiday season! Click here for additional information.

Island of Lights Festival - Christmas Parade
November 30, 2018
Area residents young and old look forward to the annual Christmas Parade. The Christmas Parade is always the second Friday after Thanksgiving and begins at 7:30 PM. The parade proceeds from Atlanta Ave down Lake Park Blvd to the Federal Point Plaza in Carolina Beach. Floats, bands and Santa Clause will be there to add to the festivities of the season and provide a night of entertainment for families. Click here for additional information.

The Nutcracker at Thalian Hall
November 30 - December 1, 2018
Is there any more perfect holiday experience than The Nutcracker? Delightful for both the young and the young at heart, this classic Tchaikovsky ballet tells the story of Clara, a young girl, who is transported to a magical land where she fights giant mice, meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, and dances with the Nutcracker Prince. This showstopper sells out quickly, so get your tickets now and create wonderful holiday memories with the tiny dancers in your life. Click here for additional information.

Island of Lights Festival - Christmas Flotilla
December 1, 2018
Fishing boats and pleasure craft electrically decorated with thousands of lights present a spectacular display on the Intracoastal Waterway. They cruise form Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The boats compete for prizes and add to the wonderful holiday spirit. The flotilla always takes place on the second Saturday after Thanksgiving and begins at 6 PM. A panel of judges will be on hand to choose the winners. Bring the family and enjoy the evening at Carolina Beach. Click here for additional information.
Cape Fear Festival of Trees
November 19 - December 30, 2018
The magic of the N.C. Aquarium meets the magic of the holidays during Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation’s Festival of Trees. Shimmering aquatic wonders and beautiful fish provide the perfect inspirational and educational background to the uniquely themed trees. See why this is one of our most eagerly anticipated annual events. All visitors who purchase a general admission ticket to the Aquarium during the event also experience the Cape Fear Festival of Trees. This important event helps us raise funds to help ensure everyone who needs hospice and palliative care receive it, regardless of ability to pay. Click here for additional information.

A Merry Little Christmas Festival at Poplar Grove
December 7-9, 14-16, 2018
Between 5-8PM Friday, noon-8PM Saturday, and noon - 5PM Sunday, the Poplar Grove grounds will be bursting with arts, crafts and gift vendors, spectacularly lit with a Santa's Workshop for children both naughty and nice, a mailbox for posting those letters to Santa, outdoor Christmas movie favorites for the entire family to enjoy, as well as food trucks and concessions. Bring your blankets & your good cheer for this illuminating experience. $5.00 admission for guests 2 and older. Click here for additional information.
Island of Lights Festival - Tour of Homes
December 8, 2018
Take a self guided tour through some of Pleasure Island's (Carolina & Kure Beaches) most beautiful homes when they are decorated for the holidays. Enjoy southern hospitality at its best as the owners welcome you into the privacy of their homes for this special holiday treat. The Tour of Homes is always the third Saturday after Thanksgiving and occurs from 5 PM - 9 PM. Tickets will be available at businesses on Pleasure Island including The Checkered Church @ 800 Saint Joseph Street and Christmasea Store @ 807 N Lake Park Blvd. Click here for additional information.

Holiday Pops Concert
December 19, 2018
North Carolina Symphony presents Holiday Pops! Celebrate the sounds of the season with all of your festive favorites, from “Greensleeves” to “White Christmas,” and much more—and join in our traditional sing-a-long! Doors open at 6:30PM and show time is 7:30PM. Click here for additional details and ticket information.

New Year's Eve Gala at Thalian Hall
December 31, 2018 at 7PM
Escape to the Greek Isles and dance the night away at the preeminent New Year’s Eve party in town! An enchanting evening of dinner, (penny) drinks, dessert, and a sensational performance of the smash-hit musical based on ABBA classics, Mamma Mia! After the show, ring in 2019 with a live DJ, dancing, karaoke, and a champagne toast! Click here 

Island of Lights Festival - New Year Celebration
December 31, 2018
The Island of Lights New Year's Celebration is always held on New Year's Eve and begins at 9 PM. The location rotates between Carolina & Kure Beaches. Don't miss the giant beach ball being dropped at midnight followed by a spectacular fireworks demonstration. This free family-friendly event will feature a DJ and dancing with refreshments and party favors available for purchase. In an Island of Lights tradition there will be a raffle, with the winner taking home the original artwork for the Island of Lights official Christmas card and ornament. Click here for additional information.