Raleigh Events in 2023

downtown skyline featuring Raleigh Events in 2023

Any time of year you visit, you’ll find plenty of Raleigh events, festivals and things to do. People travel from far and wide to The City of Oaks to attend concerts, conventions, and celebrations in this interesting and diverse city. Count on  The StateView Hotel for a comfortable stay in a convenient location near many of these activities. Explore our full list of the year’s best food and drink festivals, cultural events, gun shows, conventions, concerts, and more to make any trip to Raleigh entertaining.

Event dates are subject to change. The below information is provided to the best of our knowledge. Please verify event dates, times, and ticket prices with the event vendor.

January Raleigh Events

African American Cultural Celebration | January 28, 2023

The African American Cultural Festival is an annual Raleigh event held on the last Saturday of January each year. The event serves as the statewide kickoff to Black History Month and offers cultural demonstrations, presentations, and performances. Join in this free celebration from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

Dixie Gun & Knife Show | January 21–22, 2023

The Dixie Gun & Knife Show is one of the biggest gun shows in Raleigh, NC. In previous years the show has featured more than 500 exhibitors showcasing shotguns, rifles, handguns, scopes, and other shooting and ammunition supplies. The selection of antique, modern, military, and sporting guns interests hunters, collectors, and enthusiasts alike. This event takes place from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. $9 cash admission for attendees 13 and up is due at the gate. See their website for other dates in May, August, and November. 

Raleigh Events Happening in February

Krispy Kreme Challenge | February 4, 2023

The 19th annual Krispy Kreme Challenge is a student-run, charity-based race supporting the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. This inventive challenge requires participants to run or walk 2.5 miles throughout downtown Raleigh to the Krispy Kreme at the intersection of Peace and Person Streets. After consuming one dozen donuts, the team or individual races another 2.5 miles back to the start. Register with friends or try this feat solo. There’s a one-hour time limit to complete the challenge. The race begins at 8:00 a.m. at the Memorial Belltower on the North Carolina State University campus. Register in advance online.

March Events in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival | March 11, 2023

The Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates its 39th year in 2023. This beloved downtown Raleigh event has a rich history that dates back to 1938. The parade is held rain or shine, and is set to begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. at the corner of N. Wilmington and E. Lane Streets.

Art in Bloom | March 15–19, 2023

Raleigh’s annual Art in Bloom event includes five days of viewings in 2023. Floral designers interpret works of art in the North Carolina Museum of Art. These creative floral arrangements are a stunning sight to behold. Tickets for the event go on sale on February 1st for the general public and cost $33 per person.

Playthrough Gaming Convention | March 18–19, 2023

The Raleigh Convention Center will host one of the largest video game conventions in the state this spring. The Playthrough Gaming Convention showcases the latest games and gives gamers a chance to network and play-test new creations. Exhibits at the convention will include gaming demonstrations, new game showcases, competitions, and more. Tickets start at $30, plus fees.

Wake Forest Veg Fest | March 25, 2023

Bring your appetite to VegFest this spring. This one-day event is held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at E. Carroll Joyner Park in Wake Forest. Speakers will present about plant-based lifestyles and provide other vegetarian-friendly information during free seminars. Enjoy a variety of vegetarian foods, and see an assortment of products and services that are 100% plant based. The event is free to attend.

Things To Do in Raleigh in April

Casks On Fools | April 1, 2023

The 7th annual Casks on Fools festival is set to return this spring at Crank Arm Brewing. More than 20 North Carolina breweries will participate in this unique event that celebrates innovations in the craft beer industry. A portion of the proceeds from this Raleigh festival will support the NC Brewers Guild.

LIVE @ Lake Raleigh | April 6 & 20, 2023

The Live @ Lake Raleigh sunset concert series is returning in April and May this year. These Raleigh concerts are outdoors near Lake Raleigh. Bring your own blanket or lawn chair to relax in as you enjoy the evening entertainment. When you stay at StateView, our boutique Raleigh hotel, you’re within walking distance of the shows. The schedule for these spring concerts is still being finalized. Check the NC State 2023 events website for upcoming announcements.

Fairgrounds Southern Ideal Home Show | April 14–16, 2023

Get your tickets to the Raleigh home and garden show of the year! Explore two fairgrounds buildings packed with home improvement, décor, and garden exhibits with more than 100 specialty vendors. Advance tickets are $10 when purchased online by April 13th, and all other general admission tickets are $12. Children ages 13 and under are free.

Special admission days for 2023 include Senior Day on Friday, April 14th (Seniors 60+ can purchase tickets for $7), Hero Day on Friday, April 14th (free admission for all active-duty military, veterans, and first responders) and Teacher Day on Sunday, April 16th (free admission for teachers and school employees with valid faculty ID).

North Carolina ‘Cuegrass Festival | April 15, 2023

Get ready for bluegrass and barbecue and brews—oh my! This is one of the tastiest downtown Raleigh events for 2023. The 13th annual ‘Cuegrass Festival will feature award-winning barbecue, bluegrass music performed by local bands, a draft beer tent filled with local brews, and so much more. The Main Stage will be on Fayetteville Street in front of the Capitol, and the Beer & Banjos Stage will be on Hargett Street in front of The Raleigh Times. Admission is free and proceeds from food and beverages will benefit local charities.

Brewgaloo | April 21–22, 2023

Brewgaloo is a North Carolina craft beer festival featuring two days of fun. Enjoy craft beer from more than 110 breweries and delicious eats from food trucks as you listen to local bands and peruse Fayetteville Street. Brewgaloo features a Friday Night Block Party from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., which features all-you-can-sample 3-oz. pours of your favorites plus limited releases, sours, and barrel-aged brews. Tickets are $45 online in advance or $55 on the day of the event.

The Saturday Street Festival is an all-day downtown Raleigh event, running from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Admission is free, and drinks are available for purchase in 3-oz. samples (2 tickets) or by the pint (5 tickets). Drink tickets will be sold in discounted bundles of 25 online, and they’ll be available on-site at the festival as well.

If you love beer, check out our top 15 favorite breweries in Raleigh.

HerbFest | April 28–30 and May 5–7, 2023

This is the longest running organic herb festival in the US. Historic downtown Wake Forest hosts this annual HerbFest for two weekends this spring. The event is located at 525 S. White St. next to The Cotton Company. If you’re in Raleigh and looking for new things to do, this historic city is only 40 minutes north of the StateView Hotel.

A portion of the proceeds from this fundraising event benefits the Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment. Select from certified organically grown produce including vegetable plants and herbs, plus perennials. Enjoy live entertainment and learn about low-maintenance organic gardening at the educational seminars at Festival Park. Admission is free. Event hours each Friday and Saturday are 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

NC Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival | April 29, 2023

The Lafayette Village shopping center is hosting its annual NC Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival this spring. This tasting event includes a variety of wines from different regions, plus cheese and chocolate samplings. Browse the vendor offerings in the courtyard and bring a lawn chair to enjoy the music and entertainment between sips and snacks. The festival goes from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tickets start at $39.99 per person.

Raleigh Events in May

LIVE @ Lake Raleigh | May 4 & 18, 2023

This FREE sunset concert series features live music beside beautiful Lake Raleigh. Pack a blanket or lawn chair and relax lakeside with your loved ones. This event is within walking distance of StateView, our boutique Raleigh hotel that’s the perfect place to tuck in post-show. The schedule for these spring concerts is still being finalized. Check the NC State 2023 events website for upcoming announcements.

Longleaf Film Festival | May 12–13, 2023

The North Carolina Museum of History is proud to host the annual Longleaf Film Festival. This Raleigh festival will screen both short- and feature-length independent narrative and documentary films, animated films, music videos, and more. This free event is fun for anyone who wants to enjoy inspired storytelling through film.

Artsplosure – The Raleigh Art Festival | May 20–21, 2023

Artists from all over North Carolina will come together at this Raleigh festival to bring you an exciting two-day art market. Browse artwork for sale in 10 media created by more than 175 artists and craftspeople. Artplosure is a free downtown Raleigh event that also features live music, art installations, food trucks, plus arts and crafts for children at Kidsplosure.

Animazement | May 26–28, 2023

Animazement is a larger-than-life Japanese Anime event coming to the Raleigh Convention Center this May. Attendees can expect concerts, cosplay events, art displays, guest speakers, panels, merchandise, and more! Animazement weekend passes are available for preorder and include a Thursday evening Pre-Con event on the 25th. Adult weekend passes are $65 plus fees online or $70 at the door. Kids’ tickets cost $55 for ages 6 to 12; children ages 5 and younger are free. Single-day passes are also available at the door and start at $30 for adults and $25 for children.

June Raleigh Events

The Man Expo | TBD 2023

Find everything a man could want and more at The Man Expo. This Raleigh festival features vendors purveying a variety of offerings, from home improvement to gaming, fishing, and hunting items. You’ll also find food and brews to make a day of it. The Man Expo is slated to return in 2023 at the NC State Fairgrounds in the Jim Graham Building. Final dates and details are pending; visit The Man Expo website for updates. 

Capital City Juneteenth Celebration | June 16th–19th

Join the Raleigh community in honoring the history and heritage of African Americans at the long-weekend Juneteenth Celebration. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and snacks if you wish to enjoy an afternoon of entertainment and family activities. Food trucks will be available on-site as well. Planning for the 2023 Juneteenth Celebration is still in the works as of press time; watch the event page for updates on activities, performances, and entertainment options.

Things To Do in Raleigh in July

State Capitol Independence Day Festival | July 4, 2023

Celebrate our nation’s independence at the annual North Carolina State Capitol Independence Day Festival in Raleigh. Families can enjoy live music, children’s activities, free birthday cake, period attire and more! Check the NC State Capitol Facebook events page for updates on this year’s celebration as details become available.

BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Expo | July 24–25, 2023

Calling all LEGO ultra-fans! The BrickUniverse Raleigh LEGO Fan Expo is coming to the Convention Center this summer. Explore massive LEGO sculptures, play areas, and see creations made by famous LEGO artists.

Tickets are available in two-hour blocks beginning at 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. General admission tickets are $14.99, plus taxes and fees. VIP admission access is from 9:00 a.m. to noon on either day and costs $24.99, plus taxes and fees. 

GalaxyCon | July 27–30, 2023 

Nerd Alert! GalaxyCon is in Raleigh for a four-day festival filled with everything super-fans of comic books, gaming, pop culture, Sci-fi, fantasy, anime, and cosplay could want. Guests include celebrity actors, wrestlers, creators, and authors. This festival in Raleigh is held at the Convention Center. Events begin at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. on Friday to Sunday. Ticket prices vary and include a variety of single-day child and adult tickets as well as multi-day passes with general admission and VIP options.

August Events in Raleigh, NC

Carolina Fall Boat Show | August 18–20, 2023

The Carolina Fall Boat Show & Sale is the longest running new product showcase and boat show in NC. This year’s event will host a variety of marine dealers representing popular boating manufacturers. The boat show will be held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Ticket pricing and times are not yet announced for 2023.

September Raleigh Events

Benson Mule Days | September 21–24,2023

Mule Days just outside of Benson, NC is a four-day celebration that’s been a popular annual event since its start in 1949. Rodeos, mule competitions, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, and concerts are just some of the happenings that attract the nearly 30,000 fans who attend Benson Mule Days each year. Saturday’s parade is a can’t-miss event, featuring floats, classic cars, antique tractors, and hundreds of mules, horses, and buggies. 

Raleigh Events Happening in October

North Carolina State Fair | October 12–22, 2023

The state fair in Raleigh is one of North Carolina’s biggest events. Visit the educational exhibits, check out the competition entries, go on thrill rides, and try inventive, delicious deep-fried foods. The NC state fair boasts 11 days of family fun with something for everyone. 

November Raleigh, NC Events

International Festival | November 3–5, 2023

Join in the sharing of traditions and culture at the Raleigh International Festival. More than 50 cultural groups reside in Raleigh communities, and this festival celebrates that diversity. Enjoy educational experiences, art, food, and music during this three-day festival. Stay tuned on the organization’s website for more details as the event nears.

December Events in Raleigh

If you’re visiting the city during the holidays, check out the best of Raleigh’s Christmas Events to find a plethora of festive things to do. 

photo of marching band and raleigh christmas event

Visiting the City of Oaks

Check out our Raleigh, NC Visitors Guide for even more attractions, parks, restaurants, and breweries to round out your trip itinerary. This diverse, exciting city has your entertainment covered, and our luxurious amenities and comfortable, modern rooms will take care of the rest.