Outer Banks Events You Need To Know About
The summer season is winding down but autumn on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is revving up to be absolutely amazing. If you think summer is the only time to take an OBX beach vacation, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, the off-season on the Outer Banks is one of the best times to vacation here. Ask our locals and many of them will tell you that this is hands-downs their favorite time of year.
Check out these upcoming Outer Banks events that you need to know about and start making your plans to be here. We'll take you from now into the start of the holiday season on the OBX. Get out your calendars and start marking down the dates. You won't want to miss these!
September 2016 Events on the Outer Banks
Surfalorus Film Festival, Manteo, Sept. 15-17: T Other aquatic activities will also take place during Surfalorus, including a surf craft exhibit at the Dare County Arts Council Gallery in downtown Manteo.
Cape Hatteras Wave Classic, Waves, Sept. 17-23: The 2016 Cape Hatteras Wave Classic is a wave-focused kitesurfing event in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. September is the perfect time of year to run this event. The 2015 Cape Hatteras Wave Classic saw 6 days of pumping surf with ideal wind conditions, providing the perfect stage for top international pros to put their wave riding and aerial skills on display.
Kitty Hawk Kayak Fishing Tournament, Nags Head, Sept. 17: Kitty Hawk Surf Company presents the 5th Annual Outer Banks Kayak Fishing Tournament, which is a 4-category catch and release fishing tournament. Categories are flounder, speckled trout, red drum and slam. Over $2,000 in total prize value for the lucky winners!
Outer Banks Cycle Races, Manteo, Sept. 17-18: Our wheels are turning, literally, here on the OBX. The Outer Banks Cycle Rally i
Outer Banks Triathlon, Manteo, Sept. 17-18: It is two days of inspiration, excitement, relationships and achievement! Come to the SAGA Outer Banks Triathlon and experience it all. This USAT Sanctioned event includes custom designed finisher medals, SWAG, and post race party with free beer and food for all finishers.
ESA Eastern Surfing Championships, Nags Head, Sept. 18-24: The largest amateur surfing organization in the world hosts the season's grand finale where the best of the best surfers go head to head off of Jennette's Pier.
Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival, Manteo, Sept. 21-24: Roanoke Island Festival Park is the place to be for all Bluegrass all the time during the OBX Bluegrass Festival. Named one of the world's best festivals by the Travel Channel, it's a must-see and must-hear event.
Artrageous, Kill Devil Hills, Sept. 24: Dare County Arts Council’s 27 Annual Artrageous is held at the Dare County Family Recreational Park in Kill Devil Hills from 10a.m.-3p.m. Presented by PNC Bank, Artrageous is a free community event that brings families together to paint, sculpt, dance, sing and be creative. This year’s event focuses on the art of reuse and recycling. Bring your family, bring your friends!
October 2016 Events on the Outer Banks
OBX Shredfest, Nags Head, Oct.1: Join the fun for the first annual Dare 2 Care OBX Shred Fest featuring seven incredible live bands along with rad demos from professional skateboarders and BMS bikers at The Soundside from 2p.m.-9p.m. This family-friendly event has a silent auction, kid zone, art vendor village, local food and beverage vendors along with the Dare2Care OBX Community Corner showcasing awesome area non-profits.
Island Farm's Pumpkin Patch, Manteo, Saturdays Oct. 1-29: Saturdays in October, come to the farm and take an ox-drawn wagon ride to the farm's pumpkin patch and find your perfect pumpkin to take home. Other activities included are make your own corn husk doll, candle making, children's 19th-century toys and games, stuff a scarecrow, scarecrow photo booth for taking your own photos, and interacting with the farms animals. On the last day of this event, October 29, wear your Halloween costume and receive a surprise. Wagon hayrides are available, too!
Red Drum Fishing Tournament, Nags Head, Oct.1: The Jim Mulford Memorial Red Drum Fishing Tournament runs from
Inshore Slam Fishing Tournament, Manteo, Oct. 7-8: The tournament is held the first weekend in October with the expectation of more fish and warmer weather. Most locals will agree that early October is one of their favorite times on the Outer Banks. The fishing tournament is on the Manteo waterfront, with docking available, at the Maritime Museum. This is a family event, so we hope you bring your spouse, your kids, your extended family and your friends for a day of fishing fun.
Duck Jazz Festival, Town of Duck, Oct.8-9: The Duck Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th year of bringing high quality jazz performers to the Town of Duck on Columbus Day weekend. Enjoy FREE live music from a variety of jazz performers starting Saturday evening, October 8, and throughout the day on Sunday, October 9, 2016 at this non-ticketed day-long festival.
Island Art Festival, Rodanthe, Oct. 10: Held at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center in the northern village of Hatteras Island, the Island Art Shows host over 20 local Outer Banks Artists and their wares. Each event is a benefit for a different local cause from the OBX SPCA to Hatteras Island Meals and more. Admission is free, so come out and support the local artists.
Outer Banks Seafood Festival, Nags Head, Oct. 15: Outer Banks Seafood Festival is a fun and educational experience promoting, honoring and celebrating the area’s seafood heritage and community. The festival offers opportunities to meet watermen and see the tools of their trade, including boats, crab pots and pound nets. You’ll find cooking demonstrations, educational booths and, best of all, the chance to eat fresh, local seafood from more than a dozen restaurants.
Outer Banks Stunt Kite Festival, Nags Head, Oct. 22-23: The Outer Banks Stunt Kite Competition is a regional event that showcases world-class stunt kiting skills. Competition categories include: precision, choreography, and dual team and feature some of the top kite fliers in the nation! OBSKC is sharing the stage with the OBX Brewtag in 2016. The kite competition is held on Saturday and Sunday morning with free kite demos also available on both days. Free admission!
OBX Brewtäg, Nags Head, Oct. 22: A celebration of flight & beer, OBX Brewtäg is modeled after the whimsical and entertaining Red Bull Flutag, translated to "flying day” in German. With OBX Brewtäg, the general premise is the same, although rather than human-powered flying machines, Brewtäg contestants compete to see who can launch and fly an empty 1/6 keg barrel the furthest. This is a family-friendly event with kids' activities, live music and food and drink available for purchase. Free admission!
Harvest HayDay at the Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, Oct. 29: We love family traditions at The Elizabethan Gardens, and Harvest Hayday is one of our fall favorites! This daytime event combines all the colors, flavors and fun of fall. Whether it is the hayride or hale bale maze, we have families that look forward to this event all year. Activities include: stuff a scarecrow, educational stations, face painting, educational crafts, hay bale maze, hay rides through the gardens, music, story time, games as well as hot cider, pumpkin pie and bonfires to warm your heart.
Wooden Boat Show, Manteo, Oct. 29: The Roanoke Island Maritime Museum hosts its 5th Annual Wooden Boat Show. The show is open to all wooden boats new construction or restored. Boats will be displayed in the George Washington Creef Park, the museum, and in the water at the Roanoke Marshes lighthouse docks. All proceeds from this event benefit the Museum’s youth sailing program.
OBX Halloween Parade, Nags Head, Oct. 30: Trick or treat stations, surprise guest appearances, celebrity photo ops, live entertainment and much more, in addition to an unbelievable collection of prizes for the best costumes in each of our age groups and categories registered to participate in the parade. All costume contest entries must be registered to participate in the parade and to be eligible for prizes. Registration at 2p.m. Rain or shine event and free for anyone wearing a Halloween costume.
November 2016 Events on the Outer Banks
Outer Banks Shrimp Cook-Off, Kitty Hawk, Nov. 6: Noon-3p.m. at the Ocean Boulevard Restaurant is the place to be for the OBX Shrimp Cook-Off. Local chefs compete to prepare the best shrimp dish. Attendees may sample all shrimp dishes and vote for their favorite. There will also be a large silent auction highlighting donations from local businesses as well as a 50/50 raffle, live MC and dolphin conservation outreach booth. Tickets are $20 at the door or in advance during October at Ocean Boulevard or the Outer Banks Veterinary Hospital. All proceeds the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research.
Free Entrance Days in the National Parks, Nov. 11: The National Park Service turns 100 years old in 2016 and we want everyone to join the party! On 16 days in '16, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. The fee waiver includes entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise. That means if you're in the OBX, you get to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills for free this year on Veterans Day!
Outer Banks Marathon & Half Marathon, Manteo, Kitty Hawk, Nags Head, Nov. 11-13: The TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon, follows its way through the natural beauty that is North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Come run with us and cover some spectacular ground! After finishing the Outer Banks Marathon, you will have run one of the most beautiful parts of the East Coast – but don’t take our word for it – come see for yourself! The TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying race. There is something for Everyone: TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon, Southern Fried Half Marathon, Southern 6, Take the Challenge! 8K & 5K, or the Family Fun Run. Medals for all finishers!
Thanksgiving Sale at the Elizabethan Gardens Gift Shoppe, Manteo, Nov. 20: Get your holiday shopping all wrapped up here! Come visit the Gift Shoppe from 9a.m. to 5p.m. and save 20% off all Thanksgiving merchandise during this special sale. Don't miss it!
Poinsettia Week 2016 at the Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, Nov. 21: 9a.m. to 5p.m. come see our specialty poinsettias and find the right one for your home this holiday season. Don't forget, holidays are the best time to visit the gift shop for unique gifts for the season!
Turkey Trot, Town of Duck, Nov. 24: On Thanksgiving Morning in Duck, the Annual Advice 5K Turkey Trot is as traditional as pumpkin pie! Our family and community tradition is for all ages and abilities in this non-sanctioned 5K loop, beginning on Scarborough Lane and finishing up with a music, refreshments, and prize giveaways! What could be more fun? (Please note, that at the writing of this blog the Turkey Trot has already reached its maximum capacity. But go ahead and plan to do it next year!)
Garden to Hearth at Island Farm, Manteo, Nov. 25-26: Looking for something to do with the family after Thanksgiving? Come to Island Farm from 10a.m. to 4p.m. as we interpret fall food traditions and share how Roanoke Island families prepared for winter during the 1850s. Some of the featured activities include: hearth cooking, food preservation, candle making and ox-drawn wagon rides from 10am to noon. Bring a nonperishable food item and receive $1 off the standard admission. Food items are donated to the Roanoke Island Food Pantry.
Hangin' with Santa at Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head, Nov. 25-26: Come spread the holiday cheer with Kitty Hawk Kites and the Jockey’s Ridge Crossing crew. Free visit and pictures with Santa, cocoa and cookies, and a light show with kites on Jockey’s Ridge are just a few of the fun and festive things going on... not to mention all the amazing holiday sales!
Kites with Lights, Nags Head, Nov. 26: Celebrate the holiday season with Kitty Hawk Kites. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, visit Santa and stick around for an amazing light display. Multiple 19ft+ kites flying high over Jockey's Ridge sand, dune decked out in holiday lights. Stay warm with cocoa and cookies and enjoy other festive actives with the Jockey's Ridge Crossing crew. Free admission!
WinterLights at the Elizabethan Gardens, Manteo, select dates Nov. 26-Jan 21: Stroll along enchanted garden paths and discover the joy of the season with holiday lights, sights and sounds transforming The Elizabethan Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland. The radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday décor and fantastical displays are a true spectacle to behold. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse and Reception Hall and a crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide. Adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6. Extended passes available.
It's never too early or too late to start planning your next OBX beach vacation. Get started by perusing our Outer Banks vacation rentals. Let us know if we can help!
Which Outer Banks events are you most excited about this year? We want to know!