Carolina Beach Events In 2021
Carolina Beach is a beautiful place to visit just about any time, especially with such a variety of festivals and events happening throughout the year. In the spring and summer, you can check out live music on the beach, and in the fall and winter, you can enjoy the Carolina Beach Boardwalk events. But that’s not all! We’ve put together a year-long overview of Carolina Beach events happening in 2021 for you to peruse while planning your next vacation or getaway to North Carolina.
Summer Events in Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market – May 15 – October 2, 2021
Every Saturday, pick up fresh, locally sourced meats, produce, baked goods, dairy products and more at the Carolina Beach Farmers’ Market. This weekly event is held at the Carolina Beach Lake Park on Atlanta Ave. from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. each Saturday. There will also be local arts & crafts for sale plus live entertainment each week.
Turtle Talks – June 2 – August 25, 2021
This summer, join the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project for weekly Turtle Talks where you’ll learn about local nesting sea turtles and their habitats, a sea turtle’s life cycle and how you can help the endangered species survive. Turtle Talks take place every Tuesday starting June 2nd at the Carolina Beach State Park Visitors Center. You can also attend Turtle Talks every Monday starting June 14th at the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion. Turtle Talks start at 7:00 p.m. and last about one hour.
Jolly Mon King Classic – June 9-13, 2021
The annual Jolly Mon King Classic is a family-friendly fishing tournament hosted by the Ocean Isle Fishing Center. Up to 250 teams will compete for more than $70,000 in cash and prizes during the year’s tournament. Register online and see a full list of tournaments taking place in 2021. Be sure to check out details on the Jr. Jolly Mon (on June 11th) & Jolly Mon Rock the Dock (on June 10th) tournaments for junior anglers and aspiring fishing pros.
Spanish Mackerel Open – June 11-13, 2021
More than $8,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded at this year’s Spanish Mackerel Open hosted by Fisherman’s Post in Wilmington, NC where up to 50 teams will compete in multiple categories. Both teenagers and adults are invited to take part. Online registration will be open until May 31st.
Cape Fear Blues Jam – June 8 – December 28, 2021
Every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., the Cape Fear Blues Society will host Blues Jam at The Rusty Nail in Wilmington, NC. You’re welcome to sit back, relax and just enjoy the jams, or bring your instrument and join in the musical fun. Check the Facebook events page for weekly updates.
Carolina Beach Double Sprint Triathlon – June 19, 2021
The annual Carolina Beach Double Sprint Triathlon is a favorite among triathletes along the Atlantic coast. While the individual segments of the race may seem quick to the untrained eye, a double sprint is exactly what the name implies. Athletes kick off the triathlon with a 375-meter swim, immediately followed by a 1.5-mile run, a 20K bike ride, and another 1.5-mile run before finishing with a second 375-meter swim. See full race details and register for your spot online.
Kure Beach Market – June 9 – August 25, 2021
Check out the Kure Beach Market every Tuesday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. You’ll find local artisans’ handmade goods, locally grown produce and beautiful ocean views. The market can be found at the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion next to the pier.
Family Night at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk – July 6 – August 31, 2021
Tuesday nights are for families at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Tickets for rides and games on the Boardwalk are $1.50 each. There will also be FREE entertainment each week from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Boardwalk Gazebo, weather permitting. See the event calendar for the full entertainment schedule.
Patriotic Golf Cart Palooza – July 1, 2021
The Patriotic Golf Cart Palooza kicks off the Fourth of July holiday weekend in Carolina Beach. Island Men hosts the event as locals and visitors decorate their golf carts in red, white and blue. The parade will weave through Carolina Beach’s residential neighborhoods, starting at Publix on St. Joseph’s St. and ending at the Boardwalk Gazebo. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.
Independence Day Fireworks by the Sea – July 2, 2021
Join all the fun and festivities at Carolina Beach this 4th of July weekend. There will be vendors, family activities, fireworks and more. Live music begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Boardwalk Gazebo, and fireworks start at 9:00 p.m.
Boardwalk Blast in Carolina Beach – July 8 – September 30, 2021
This Fourth of July celebration will officially be the start of the summer-long Boardwalk Blast Fireworks and Music Series returning for 2021. Every Thursday night, join in the fun, live music and fireworks on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Music will be live on the Gazebo stage starting at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks begin promptly at 9:00 p.m. Visit the Pleasure Island Facebook page for the full summer schedule.
Summer Lawn Concerts at Fort Fisher – July 9 – September 24, 2021
Grab the family and relax with the sounds of summer. Twice a month on Friday evenings, the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area will host a live concert from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bring your beach chairs, blankets and a picnic dinner to enjoy. Concerts are scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Friday in July, August and September. See the Facebook event page for the entertainment schedule.
Movies at the Lake – July 11 – September 25, 2021
The Carolina Beach Parks & Recreation will host FREE weekly movies at the Carolina Beach Lake on Lake Park Blvd. Movies begin at dusk (around 8:45 p.m.) with concessions available on-site for purchase. See the full movie schedule online.
Carolina Beach Music Festival – August 14, 2021
The Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival returns for its 35th year as one of the longest-running beach festivals in the US. Shaggers of all ages join for a day of dancing, fun and fellowship. Gates open at 10:00 a.m. with the first band starting at 11:00 a.m. This year’s lineup includes Band of Oz, Black Water Rhythm & Blues Band and Jim Quick & Coastline. Tickets are $35 in advance or $40 on the day of the event.
Cape Fear Independent Film Festival – 2021 Dates TBA
Referred to as Hollywood in the South, the Cape Fear Independent Film Festival showcases local, regional and international films and filmmakers. Check the Facebook page for the latest updates.
Wahine Classic – August 21-22, 2021
The 11th Annual Wahine Classic is an all-female surf competition for amateur and pro surfers. This year’s competition will take place at the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier next to Freeman Park. Register online and see a full schedule of the weekend’s activities.
O’Neill/Sweetwater Pro-Am – Postponed Until 2022
Hundreds of amateur and professional surfers flock to Carolina Beach every summer for the annual O’Neill/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes are awarded each year as over 15,000 beach spectators watch surfers young and old catch some waves. Check the Facebook Page for the latest event updates.
Fall Events in Carolina Beach
Annual Arts & Crafts Festival – September 4, 2021
The Oak Island Art Guild hosts this year’s Annual Arts and Crafts Festival featuring more than 100 vendors selling their locally made arts, crafts and other unique hand-made goods. Categories include pottery, fabrics, photography, jewelry and more. The event is from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. with a rain day set for Sept. 5th.
Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta and Festival – September 17-18, 2021
The Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta is back for its 7th year at the Carolina Beach Yacht Basin. The fun begins on Friday night with a kick-off party and FREE outdoor concert starting at 6:00 p.m. Races begin Saturday morning promptly at 9:00 a.m. There will be food and drink vendors on-site during the races. The awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday at 4:00 p.m. This event is FREE for spectators. Those who wish to take part may register online.
Farewell Summer Jazz Funeral – October 2021
In true NOLA fashion, Kure Beach mourns the death of summer with a jazz funeral. You can enjoy vendors, masks, beads and of course, live jazz music. Join the procession from L Avenue down Atlantic Ave. to the Ocean Front Park & Pavilion. Festivities start at 7:00 p.m. Check Kure Beach’s special events page for the 2021 date announcement.
Wilmington Riverfest – October 1-3, 2021
Voted one of the top 7 festivals to visit in North Carolina, the Annual Wilmington Riverfest has become a highly anticipated event since its inception in 1979. The event will include family activities, food, fireworks, live entertainment and more. This year’s event will also see the return of the crowning of Miss Riverfest. Wilmington Riverfest is a FREE event that takes place in Historic Downtown Wilmington on Water Street. See the event’s Facebook page for the latest updates.
Wilmington Boat Show – October 1-3, 2021
Wilmington has joined the ranks of one of the largest annual boat shows on the Atlantic coast. Stop by the Wilmington Convention Center to see live demonstrations, boat displays and informational booths. Visit the Wilson Parking Lot of the Cape Fear Community College for more boating fun plus live music, food trucks and family activities. Visit the event’s website for event times, to purchase tickets and to see an event map.
Carolina Beach Pets in the Park – October 9, 2021
Grab your four-legged friends and enjoy the 1st Annual CB Pets in the Park. The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce hosts this event, and it is $5 to attend. All well-behaved pets and their owners are welcome to join the fun on Oct. 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be a pet parade, costume contest, kid-friendly activities, rescue groups, food & drink vendors, local pet-friendly businesses and more. Check the Facebook page for more details.
North Carolina Oyster Festival – October 16-17, 2021
Come out and join the 40th Annual NC Oyster Festival at Mulberry Park in Shallotte, NC. This year’s event features live entertainment, arts & crafts vendors, oyster shucking contests and more. Admission is $5 for adults (cash only) and FREE for children 12 and under.
Voracious & Rare Beer Festival – October 29, 2021
Fifty regional breweries come together to bring the annual Voracious & Rare Beer Festival to Wilmington, NC. Enjoy food, music, local brews and more. This year’s event will take place at the new Riverfront Park Amphitheater from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Purchase your tickets online before they sell out!
Carousel Center Beer & Wine Festival – October 30, 2021
Join the 20th Annual Carousel Center Beer & Wine Festival for a cause. Enjoy local brews and delicious bites while supporting The Carousel Center, a local children’s center providing medical exams and therapy sessions to kids from Brunswick and surrounding counties. The event will take place at the new North Waterfront Park in Wilmington from noon to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.
Cape Fear Fair & Expo – October 29 – November 7, 2021
The annual Cape Fear Fair & Expo takes place at the Wilmington Airport. Families can enjoy rides, festival food, petting zoos, live entertainment, agricultural exhibits and more. Purchase your tickets and see the full event schedule online.
Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge – October 15-17, 2021
Pleasure Island hosts its annual Surf Fishing Challenge this October. More than $25,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs at this year’s event. Anglers may fish from any of the beaches in Fort Fisher, Kure Beach and Carolina Beach. Register online and see the full schedule of events.
Cape Fear Kite Festival – November 6-7, 2021
The sky comes to life at the 15th Annual Cape Fear Kite Festival. Giant penguins, white stallions, huge sea creatures and soaring butterflies are just a few of the larger-than-life kites you will see at the event. Food trucks and other vendors will also be on-site from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days of the event. Check the event’s Facebook page for location and directions.
Winter Events in Carolina Beach
Kure Beach Holiday Market – November 20 & 27, 2021
Visit the annual Kure Beach Holiday Market to kick off your holiday shopping season. Find handmade crafts, local artist creations and more from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. each day at the Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion.
Christmas by the Sea at Carolina Beach Boardwalk – Late November – Christmas
Join the festive fun at the annual Christmas by the Sea event hosted on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Meet Santa Claus & Mrs. Claus, enjoy storytelling by the fire, grab a cup of hot chocolate and take the kids to make their own Christmas ornaments. Check the event’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date times and information.
Island of Lights Christmas Parade – December 3, 2021
There is no telling what holiday creativity you’ll see at the Annual Christmas Parade in Carolina Beach. Floats include decked-out military vehicles, pontoon boats covered in Christmas lights, golf carts converted into Santa’s sleigh, trailers decorated in Charlie Brown Christmas and so much more! You’ll also see marching bands, boy scout troops and Santa riding a horse. The parade starts at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta Ave, heads down Lake Park Blvd until it reaches Federal Point Plaza.
Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla – December 4, 2021
The festivities continue on the water with the Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla. Boats are decked out in their best holiday spirit in this aqua parade. Festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. at Snow Cut; participating boats will float down the Intracoastal Waterway to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back.
Fantasy Christmas Show – December 10-12, 2021
Kure Beach is proud to announce the return of the annual Fantasy Christmas Show. Singers, dancers and Christmas characters come together to bring your favorite Christmas tunes and stories to life. Located at Kure Beach’s Ocean Front Park & Pavilion, visitors are encouraged to bring their own beach chairs as seating is limited. This family-friendly event is FREE to attend. Performances start at 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration – December 31, 2021
Ring the New Year in style with the Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration. Attendance is FREE for all to enjoy with a live DJ, fireworks, refreshments and more! Festivities begin at 9:00 p.m. Check the Island of Lights Facebook page for the location of this year’s celebration.
Events for 2022 will be added as they are announced and details become available.