Exciting Raleigh Events in 2021

People come far and wide for the variety of Raleigh events that take place throughout the year. Below are some of the exciting festivals and events happening this year in Raleigh.

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. 


International Festival of Raleigh | 2021 Dates TBD

Celebrate a fun-filled weekend with more than 60 different cultures from around the world at the International Festival of Raleigh. Patrons can enjoy live entertainment, food and drink vendors, a world bazaar with a variety of unique shopping to explore, and so much more! 

The 2021 Raleigh Convention Boat Show | Dates TBD

Boat lovers will not want to miss this year’s Boat Show in Raleigh, NC. Anglers Marine, Boats Unlimited, and Goose Creek Maine are just a few of the many dealers and lines that will be participating. 

Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival | 2021 Cancelled

“In the light of a global pandemic, we, the organizers of the parade, have made the heart-wrenching decision to cancel this year. We want to keep everyone as safe as possible, participants and spectators. We worked really hard but we feel it is the best decision to keep our community safe. We hope to see you in 2022!” – The Raleigh St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.


Fairgrounds Southern Ideal Home Show | April 9-11, 2021

Get your tickets to the Raleigh Fairgrounds home and garden show of the year! Explore home improvement, decor, and garden needs with more than 100 specialty vendors. Tickets are $9 online or $12 day of the show.

Special Admission Days for 2021 include Senior Day on Friday, April 9th (Seniors 60+ can purchase tickets for $6), Hero Day on Friday, April 9th (free admission for all active military, veterans, and frontline workers including healthcare, fire, and police), and Teacher Day on Sunday, April 11th (free admission for teachers with valid faculty ID).

HerbFest | April 30 – May 2 and May 7-9, 2021

Historic downtown Wake Forest will host the annual HerbFest for two weekends this Spring. This is the longest-running organic herb festival in the US. You’ll find the event on S White St. next to The Cotton Company, approximately 40 minutes north of the StateView Hotel.

This fundraising event, which benefits the Graham Johnson Cultural Arts Endowment, will have certified organically grown produce, organic stock, vegetable plants, and perennial herbs for purchase, plus live entertainment, artists, and more. Admission is free. Event hours each weekend will be Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. 


Raleigh Grilled Cheese Festival | May 1, 12-5 p.m.

Oooy, gooey, endless grilled cheese is what you’ll get when you attend the Raleigh Grilled Cheese Festival! You won’t want to miss this one! Beyond the amazing grilled cheese varietals, there will be live music, games, a Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar, and artisan vendors.

General admission ranges between $30-$40, which includes entry to the event at 1 p.m., unlimited samples of grilled cheese, 3 drink tickets, 2 tickets to vote for Raleigh’s Best Grilled Cheese, and 1 raffle ticket. VIP admission ranges between $45-$55, which includes entry to the event at noon, unlimited samples of grilled cheese, 5 drink tickets, 3 tickets to vote for Raleigh’s Best Grilled Cheese, and 2 raffle tickets. Purchase your tickets in advance for the best deal.

Artsplosure – The Raleigh Art Festival | May 15-16, 2021

Artists from all over Raleigh and North Carolina come together to bring you this exciting art market. During this two-day festival in downtown Raleigh, you can purchase and discover works of art from more than 170 artists and craftspeople in 10 different mediums. Plus, you can indulge in live music, art installations, and food trucks! Kids will enjoy free arts and crafts at Kidsplosure. This event is free to attend.

Thrive NC Festival | May 20-21, 2021

Get ready to nosh on some delicious and savory eats at the Thrive NC Festival in downtown Raleigh. Sample flavors from more than 65 local restaurants and chefs, and enjoy live music at this two-day event. All ticket proceeds benefit local nonprofit organizations in North Carolina. Tickets can be purchased online.

Animazement | May 28-30, 2021

This larger-than-life Japanese Anime event comes to the Raleigh Convention Center this May. Animazement attendees can expect live music, art displays, guest speakers, panels, merchandise, and more! Tickets are $65 per person.  (If you purchased tickets for the canceled 2020 event, they have automatically been rolled over to 2021 dates.)


Race 13.1 – Half Marathon, 10K, and 5K | 2021 Dates TBD

Calling all runners! Visit downtown Raleigh and participate in the 13.1 Half Marathon, 10K, or 5K. The races will start in midtown and wind through the Crabtree Creek Greenway. Be sure to heck the event website for 2021 dates and updates.

Art in Bloom | June 3-6 and 10-13, 2021

The annual Art in Bloom event is back with two extended weekends for 2021. The event allows floral designers to create stunning displays, which interpret works of art in the museum collection. Tickets for the event go on sale April 14th for the general public.

Raleigh International Food Festival | June 5, 2021

Flavors from around the world meet in North Carolina for the Raleigh International Food Festival. Attend this free event and enjoy food, culture, live music and dancing all day long! Check the event’s Facebook page for the most up-to-date information.

The Man Expo | June 4-6, 2021

Everything a man could want and more can be found at The Man Expo this June. From one-of-a-kind bars made from vintage truck parts to gaming, fishing, and hunting – the vendors here will deliver no matter what your guy is into.

Event hours are Friday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets are $10-$36; kids 5 and under are free.

Brewgaloo | Junes 11-12, 2021

Brewgaloo is a two-day North Carolina craft beer festival hosting a variety of local vendors. Enjoy craft beer, food trucks, entertainment, and live music as you peruse Fayetteville Street. The Friday Night Block Party from 6-10 p.m. features all-you-can-sample 3 oz pours. Tickets are $45 online in advance or $55 on the day of the event.

The Saturday Street Festival will run from 2-10 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 bundles of 15 or 25.


State Capitol Independence Day Festival |2021 Details TBD

Celebrate our nation’s independence at the annual State Capitol Independence Day Festival in Raleigh. Families can enjoy live music, kids’ activities, free birthday cake, food vendors, era-dress up, and more!

GalaxyCon | July 29-August 1, 2021 

Nerd Alert! The GalaxyCon is in Raleigh for a four-day festival filled with everything SciFi. Fans can participate in cosplay, celebrity interviews, entertainers, merchant vendors and more! Ticket prices vary based on day and tier.

Casks On Fools | July 25, 2021, 12-10 p.m.

The 7th annual Casks on Fools festival returns to kick off NC Beer Month. More than 20 North Carolina breweries will participate in this unique and unusual event that celebrates innovations in the craft beer industry.


Carolina Fall Boat Show | August 20-22, 2021

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 more than 65 boating manufacturers. The boat show will be held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

Boat Show hours are Friday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and military, and free for kids under 12. Paid admission is valid for all three days of the event.


French Market & Seafood Festival | September 12, 2021, 12-4 p.m.

Dance your way down Lafayette Village during this New Orleans-inspired French Market & Seafood Festival! Enjoy food, shops, art, and jazz at this fun-filled downtown Raleigh event! 

BrickUniverse and LEGO Fan Convention | September 25-26, 2021

Calling all LEGO ultra-fans! Raleigh Convention Center will host the BrickUniverse and LEGO Fan Convention this fall. Have an experience like no other as you explore massive LEGO sculptures, LEGO play area, artists, entertainment, and color-coded building zones!

Tickets are available in 2.5 hours blocks from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day. Early booking is advised. Purchase tickets for your desired time slot online. Tickets start at $14.99.

Need help navigating around the City of Oaks? We’ve put together the perfect Raleigh, NC Visitors Guide to help you make the most of your stay in our beautiful city.