The Most Exciting May Events and Things To Do on the OBX

The Most Exciting May Events and Things To Do on the OBX

Summer is on its way and prime beach season is right around the corner on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. May kicks off the unofficial start of summer with the Memorial Day holiday weekend, but there's so much more to see and do before that even arrives. We've rounded up the best OBX events and things to do in the month of May. Start making your plans to join in all of the Outer Banks fun and festivities. 
Here are the highlights of events, festival and things to do this month. Mark down these dates!


Sea Turtle Nesting Season Begins on the OBXSea Turtle

May 1- October 31

Sea turtle nesting and hatching season begins on May 1st on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and continues through the end of October. Given the fact that almost all of the species of sea turtles worldwide are on the threatened or endangered list, it's very important to remove any obstacles that can impede them during their nesting and hatching.

So what can you do to help? Here are a few quick tips!


  • If you see a see a sea turtle call the NEST (Network for Endangered Sea Turtles) hotline at 252-441-8622.
  • Keep away from turtles on the beach, especially moving turtles that may be looking for a nesting site. To observe, sit quietly away from the turtle.
  • Leave turtle hatchlings on the beach. Call the NEST hotline for direction.
  • Turn off flashlights, cell phone screens, and all other oceanside lighting during hatching or nesting events.
  • Respect all nest markers. Report disturbances to the NEST hotline.
  • Remove beach litter such as balloons and plastic bags (they may be mistaken for food in the ocean and ingested by sea turtles).
  • Fill in all holes on the beach at the end of the day as they may become traps for female turtles that generally nest on the beach at night.
  • Remove all beach furniture at the end of the day.
  • Keep pets on a leash and away from sea turtles and nests.


Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) Regionals at Jennette's Pier

Friday, May 5, 2017

Don't miss your chance to watch the ESA Mid-Atlantic Regional Surf Competition this month at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head. Catch all of the wave action and get inspired to take a surf lesson or two while you're here on the Outer Banks. The competition starts early morning and continues all day. Check it out! 

Dare County Kids Fest at Festival Park in ManteoKids Fest

Friday, May 12, 2017


The Children & Youth Partnership for Dare County holds its 10th Annual KidsFest on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 9:30am-12:30pm at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo (Rain Date: May 19). This annual event is a free and fun-filled day where children, ages five and under, can enjoy face painting, bubbles, ice cream and snowballs, arts and crafts, music, large vehicles, and much more! Join in for a morning of family-filled fun for the little ones.


Artrageous Kids Art Festival at Dowdy Park Grand Opening

Saturday, May 13, 2017



Enjoy a double dose of family fun! The Town of Nags Head is partnering with the Dare County Arts Council on the Grand Opening of Dowdy Park on Saturday, May 13 from 10am - 8pm. The Grand Opening is a free, family-friendly event to celebrate the visual, performing and culinary arts. The event features the Dare County Arts Council’s 28th Annual Artrageous Kids Art Festival from 10am - 3pm, followed by a free outdoor concert from 3pm - 8pm. The entire day is complemented by local restaurants providing artistically inspired cuisine. The theme is "Art is the Heart of the Park" which focuses on the importance of art in the community. Come celebrate the arts and the park with us!

Mother's DayMother

Sunday, May 14, 2017

We've already covered Why Moms Love Spending Mother's Day on the OBX. Have you booked your Mother's Day beach getaway yet? 

OBX Shred Fest

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The second annual Dare2Care OBX Shred Fest is held Saturday, May 20 from 2-8:30pm at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head. The family-friendly event features live music by multiple bands and musicians, demos by professional skateboarders, BMX riders, roller derby women, Special Olympics athletes, food, art, a silent auction, games and more. Shred Fest is an annual fundraiser for Dare2Care OBX, which builds awareness for veterans and encourages inclusion for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities within the Outer Banks community. Great fun for a worthy cause! 


Hang Gliding Spectacular at Jockey's Ridge State ParkHang Gliding

May 19-22, 2017

The Hang Gliding Spectacular is the longest running hang gliding competition in the world! Join professional hang gliders, fans, and families at Jockey’s Ridge State Park for this Outer Banks tradition. The Hang Gliding Spectacular and Air Show is free to the public for viewing with fun activities all day long. It's one of the best OBX events you'll experience! 


Soundside Live Sunset Concert Series in Nags Head

May 25, June 1, June 8, 2017

The Outer Banks Visitors Bureau presents the Soundside Live Sunset Concert Series. Mark your calendars for a highly entertaining, unique and fun-filled concert, food and beverage experience for Outer Banks visitors and locals on May 25th, June 1st and June 8th. All shows, located at the Soundside Event Site in Nags Head, are a curated line-up of regional and national touring talent playing an eclectic mix of rock and roll, blues, soul, funk and bluegrass. Each show also features performances by Imagine Circus, a cirque-style entertainment troop with aerial arts, acrobatics, fire, flow arts, theatrics, dance and more. Admission is free, $10 for onsite parking and gates open at 3pm for all shows. See you there!


80th Anniversary of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island 

May 26, 2017 - August 19, 2017  


On opening night of The Lost Colony on May 26th, the park facilities hours stay open until 6:30pm. Nestled along the shores of America’s most historic and mysterious island, over 100 professional actors, technicians and designers have gathered every summer since 1937 to honor the memory of the brave people who came here to build a new country. The production is as epic as their story. Written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paul Green, The Lost Colony is America’s Outdoor Drama. Get your tickets now!


Island Art Show at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center

Monday, May 29, 2017
Held at the Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center (just south of Liberty Gas Station), the Island Art Show benefits a different local cause each year from the OBX SPCA to the Hatteras Meals and more. With more than 20 local Outer Banks artists and crafters showing and selling their work, everything from fine local art and prints to woodworks, surf art, sea glass jewelry, handmade soaps, hula hoops, photography and more—there’s something for everyone. Admission to the event is free, but please consider supporting our local artisans and crafters and by buying a raffle ticket or two where one lucky winner receives a basket full of assorted local art, donated by our participating artists.

 Memorial Day

Memorial Day on the Outer Banks

Monday, May 29, 2017

Celebrate the symbolic start of summer at the beach! The Outer Banks is the perfect place to get your beach time in and celebrate Memorial Day in true OBX style. 

Take a peek at these Outer Banks vacation rentals and book your Memorial Day getaway now. 

Stay tuned for next week's post on Everything You Need to Know About Memorial Day on the Outer Banks. We'll give you the Memorial highlights and best ways to spend the holiday here.


You can find additional details on all of the Outer Banks events and things to do plus more on the calendar of events page

So which Outer Banks events are you planning to attend this May? We'd love to know!

 The Most Exciting May Events and Things To Do on the OBX Pin

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