A list of local festivals
One of the more unusual local festivals is Aberdeen's Sardine Festival. It was started in 1993 by Randall Moss, who wanted a place to eat sardines where the smell wouldn't bother anybody. The festival is always held the second Friday in October.
Fine Arts Festival, Campbell House Galleries, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines, through Aug. 26. Features work by artists from all over the country in a variety of mediums, as well as an art competition. (910) 692-4356 or mooreart.org.
Umoja Festival, Seabrook Park, Aug. 27. This family festival with an emphasis on African-American heritage features storytellers, artists, dancers and music. 488-7130.
Labor Day Food & Wine Festival, Pinehurst Resort, 80 Carolina Vista Drive, Sept. 2-5. There will be wine tastings, seminars and cooking demonstrations from guest chefs. (800) 487-4653 or pinehurst.com.
Pig Pickin' Festival, Wagram, Sept. 9 and 10. Music, food, kids' events and more. (910) 369-2776 or townofwagram.com.
Lafayette Celebration, downtown Fayetteville, Sept. 10. Day-long activities commemorating the city's namesake will include walking tours, a dog parade, 5 and 10k runs, sidewalk sale, a fencing tournament, festival of yesteryear and more. 678-8899.
Greek Fest, Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Oakridge Avenue, Sept. 9-11. Greek foods, live bands, dance troupes and more. 484-2010, 484-8925 or stsch.nc.goarch.org.
N.C. Turkey Festival, Raeford, Sept. 10-17. The celebration features food, crafts and entertainment, including a parade. (910) 904-2424 or ncturkeyfestival.org.
Cape Fear Fair, Fayetteville Motor Speedway, Fayetteville, Sept. 1-11. Rides, games, food and live entertainment. 323-1711 or capefearfair.org.
Cumberland County Fair, Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, Sept. 15-25. Rides, games, food, live entertainment. 323-5088 or cumberlandcountyfair.org.
Benson Mule Days, Sept. 22-25. Rodeo, parade, carnival rides, street dance and more. (919) 894-3825 or bensonmuledays.com.
International Folk Festival, downtown Fayetteville, Sept. 23-25. Representatives of dozens of countries celebrate the diversity of the region with food, costumes and a Parade of Nations. 323-1776 or theartscouncil.com.
Malcolm Blue Historical Crafts & Farm Skills Festival, Aberdeen, Sept. 23-25. Traditional crafts and skills, barnyard animals, Civil War re-enactments, pony and wagon rides and museum tours. (910) 944-7558 or malcolmbluefarm.com.
Denim Days, Erwin, Oct. 1. Parade, music, games, crafts and children's activities. (910) 897-7300, erwin-nc.org or erwinchamber.org.
Scotland County Highland Games, historic John Blue House complex, Laurinburg, Oct. 1. (910) 276-2995 or schgnc.org.
Cameron Antiques Fair, Cameron, Oct. 1. Hundreds of dealers display their antiques and collectibles along streets in the historic district of Cameron. There also is a spring antiques fair in May. (910) 245-3055 or antiquesofcameron.com.
Autumnfest, Downtown Park, Southern Pines, Oct. 1. One-mile fun run or walk, 5k race, arts, crafts, entertainment and youth activities. (910) 692-2463 or artscouncil-moore.org.
Shaw House Vintage Collectible and Antique Fair, Shaw House, Southern Pines, Oct. 8. (910) 692-2051 or moorehistory.com.
John Blue Cotton Festival, Laurinburg. Oct. 8-9. Old-time fun with music, arts, crafts, tractors and engines, pre-Civil War cotton gin, grist mill and shingle mill operations. (910) 276-3761 or johnbluecottonfestival.com.
International Sardine Festival, Aberdeen, Oct. 14. Sardines, RC Cola, Moon Pies and the crowning of the Sardine Queen. (910) 944-1115.
Holly Arts and Crafts Festival, Pinehurst. Oct. 15. Exhibitors including woodworkers, jewelry makers and metal sculptors, plus food and entertainment. (910) 295-7462 or pinehurstbusinessguild.com.
Fairmont Farmers Festival, Oct. 15. Country, rock and gospel music, parade, arts and crafts and kiddie rides. (910) 628-9766 or fairmontnc.com.
Fayetteville State University homecoming, FSU campus and other venues, Oct. 8-15. Downtown parade, concerts, games, step shows and more. 672-1474 or uncfsu.edu
North Carolina Yam Festival, Tabor City, Oct. 22. Food, crafts, vendors, parade and more. (910) 653-2031 or taborcitync.org
Ole Mill Days, Hope Mills Municipal Park, Oct. 22. Crafts, food, music, storytelling, kiddie rides and costume contests. 424-4555 or townofhopemills.com.
Oktoberfest, Fort Bragg Fairgrounds, Oct. 27-Nov. 6. Food, carnival rides, entertainment. 396-6126 or fortbraggmwr.com.
Beast of Bladenboro Festival, Bladenboro, Oct. 29. Classic car show, rides, music, street dance, arts and crafts. (910) 863-4655.
Holly Day Fair, Crown Expo Center, Fayetteville. Nov. 3-6. The largest gift and craft show in eastern North Carolina. Sponsored by the Junior League of Fayetteville. 323-5088 or jlfay.org.
N.C. Cotton Festival, Dunn, Nov. 5. Family fun, entertainment, education. (910) 892-3282 or nccottonfestival.com.
Festival of Trees, Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst, Nov. 15-20. Featuring lavishly decorated trees, wreaths and tabletop trees, as well as live bands, a silent auction and pictures with Santa. Benefits Sandhills Children's Center. (910) 692-3323 or sandhillschildrenscenter.org.
Cameron Antique Dealers' Christmas Open House, downtown Cameron, Nov. 19 and 20. All shops participating. (910) 245-3055 or antiquesofcameron.com.
Seagrove Pottery Festival, Seagrove, Nov. 19 and 20. North Carolina potters present their works. (336) 873-7887 or visitseagrovenc.com
A Dickens Holiday, downtown Fayetteville, Nov. 25. Carolers, carriage rides and costumed actors portraying characters from "A Christmas Carol." 323-1776 or theartscouncil.com.
New Year's Party in the Park, Festival Park, downtown Fayetteville, Dec. 31. Music, children's activities, fireworks, countdown to the new year. 323-1934.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, J.W. Seabrook Auditorium, Fayetteville State University, Jan. 17. 672-1474.
Heart 'n Soul of Jazz, Pinehurst Resort, Feb. 10-11. Nationally acclaimed jazz artists perform concerts Valentine's Day weekend. mooreart.org
North Carolina Pickle Festival, Mount Olive, April 27-29. Celebrates the agricultural heritage of the area with music and more. (919) 658-3113 or ncpicklefest.org.
Fort Bragg Children's Festival, late April, Games, rides, more. 396-7632.
Fayetteville Dogwood Festival, Festival Park, downtown Fayetteville, April 27-29. Street fair, dancing, live music, food, arts and crafts. 323-1934 or faydogwoodfestival.com.
Fort Bragg Fair, Fort Bragg fairgrounds, late April through mid-May. Rides, food, concerts and other entertainment over more than two weeks. 396-9126 or fortbraggmwr.com.
Sanford Pottery Festival, Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, Sanford, May 5-6. Pottery from all over the Southeast, displays, techniques and music. (919) 770-8002 or sandfordpotteryfestival.com.
North Carolina Strawberry Festival, Chadbourn, early May. Parade, historic homes tour, beauty queens, food and crafts. (910) 654-4259 or ncstrawberryfestival.com.
Eastover Heritage Day, May 5. The Cumberland County town celebrates its history with a parade, exhibits, music, food and car display. 483-6725 or eastovernc.com.
Field of Honor, downtown Fayetteville, May. Personalized flags honor veterans and active servicemen. 222-3382 or glorydaysnc.com.
Buggy Festival, Carthage, May 12. Old-fashioned buggy displays, children's events, car show, crafts and entertainment. (910) 947-2331 or thebuggyfestival.com.
Storytelling Festival of Carolina, Laurinburg, May 18-20. Nationally known and local storytellers at the historic John Blue House. (910) 277-3599 or storytellingfestivalofcarolina.org.
White Lake Water Festival, White Lake, May 18-20. Water skiing, parade, road race and art shows. (910) 862-4368 or whitelakenc.com.
Glory Days, downtown Fayetteville, Memorial Day weekend. Patriotic celebration. 222-3382 or glorydaysnc.com or 31daysalute.com
Blues-N-Brews Festival, Festival Park, downtown Fayetteville, late May or early June. Microbrew tasting and live blues music. 323-4234 or cfrt.org.
Ammon Blueberry Festival, Bladen County, June 2. Pancake breakfast, parade, rides, crafts and antique car show. (910) 588-4592.
National Hollerin' Contest, Spivey's Corner. June 16. (910) 567-2600 or hollerincontest.com
Lumbee Homecoming, Pembroke, late June or early July. Sports, pageants, crafts and food. (910) 521-8602 or lumbeehomecoming.com
Bluegrass Festival, Malcolm Blue Farm, Aberdeen, mid-June. (910) 944-7558 or malcolmbluefarm.com.
Fourth of July festivities. Fort Bragg and the Town of Hope Mills are among the communities celebrating the Fourth with games, music, food and fireworks. Call Fort Bragg at 396-6126 or Hope Mills at 424-4500.
Blues Crawl, downtown Southern Pines, July. Call (910) 692-8501 or visit sunrisetheater.com.
Christmas in July, Seagrove. Potters will have their wares on sale, and special events will be held. (336) 873-7887 or (800) 626-2672 or seagrovepotteryheritage.com.
National Airborne Day, Airborne & Special Operations Museum, August. The salute to the military will feature displays of current equipment, re-enactments, performances by the 82nd Airborne Division Band and Chorus and a parachute free-fall demonstration. 483-3003 or asomf.org.