Best Summer Events in Raleigh, NC

By Phil Bost

Summers are hot in Raleigh, but as the temperature rises, so does the vibe of the city. As you’re planning barbecues and picnics, make sure you schedule some time for popular local events. Here are some of the top summer events in Raleigh that you’ll want to fit into your calendar.

1. Independence Day Block Party
Head to the Neuse River Brewing Company on July 2 for the second-annual Independence Day Block Party. A lengthy list of food trucks will be on hand offering everything from gourmet hot dogs to Maine lobster for sale. Enjoy the food and retail vendors, while you enjoy live music from Midlife Crisis and Heads Up Penny. This is the perfect event to kick off the upcoming Fourth of July festivities!

2. The ‘Works!
Downtown Raleigh is the place to go for the Fourth of July, with a fireworks extravaganza taking place along Fayetteville Street. Festivities start at noon with rides and games for the kids, live music, a beer and wine tent, Circus Maximus, street performers, eating contests and more! You can even have a picnic right on Fayetteville Street! Around 9:30, the sky will come alive with fireworks over the Duke Energy Center.

3. SouthEast Crab Feast
Do you love crab? Then head to Lake Wheeler Park at noon on July 2 for the 7th Annual SouthEast Crab Feast event. Here the Low Country coastal tradition of fresh seafood cooked outdoors is celebrated in style. With your ticket you will enjoy all-you-can-eat fresh Blue Crabs, with a side of fish and chips. The family-friendly event also features live music. Bring your own dipping sauce, or simply enjoy the rich seasonings cooked right on to the crab!

4. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
The original beer and BBQ festival, the Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival takes place in nearby Cary at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre on July 28 and 29. With your paid admission you will enjoy all you care to taste samples of beer and bourbon, as well as plenty of BBQ for sale form the on-site vendors. The tasting theater will host seminars about the local brews, and you will enjoy the sounds of live music throughout your visit. Festivities start at 6 on Friday night with a Whole Hog Pig Pickin’, followed by a full tasting session on Saturday at 2.

5. Sunday in the Park
Sunday in the Park is a free concert series that takes place on Sundays throughout the summer at Fred Fletcher Park and Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh. This music series will feature a different genre each week, so you’re sure to find something that matches your tastes. Bring your food, a blanket and your friends or family to enjoy the sounds of jazz, Rhythm and Blues, pop, bluegrass and more! The concerts begin at 6, but come early for the best possible seating. The July 9 concert will feature the four-part vocal jazz ensemble Capital Transit, which performs swing, pop, Doo-Wop and traditional blues for your enjoyment.

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