(WGHP) — There’s no shortage of things to do in the Piedmont Triad this spring and summer as North Carolina rolls into the season of festivals.
From MerleFest, which begins Thursday in Wilkesboro, to NASCAR Day Festival, set for Sept. 30 in Randleman, the Triad has dozens of events in store for the warmer seasons.
Drawing from Kristian Campana’s Festival Guides and Reviews, FOX8 put together a list of all the festivals happening in the FOX8 viewing area from now until the end of September. The guide does not include county fairs, and we did not include any events without set dates for 2023 as of publication time.
You can check out the full list or explore the map below to find the next event closest to you.
Here are a few of the events that we're most excited about.
MerleFest is a weekend-long celebration of what music legend Doc Watson called "traditional plus" music, sampling across the realm of country, bluegrass, folk and their relatives near and far. The festival has been around since 1988 when it was founded in memory of Doc's son, Eddy Merle Watson.
This year, some of the highlights on the lineup are The Avett Brothers, Maren Morris, Marcus King and Tanya Tucker.
You can see the full lineup on the MerleFest website.
Burlington Carousel Festival
In Burlington City Park sits a piece of history: the Dentzel Carousel. The city has few details about it's life before it reached Burlington in 1948, but they think it may have been built somewhere between 1906 and 1920.
But, in 2019, the music stopped as the carousel underwent intensive renovations.
The carousel reopened in 2022, and the Burlington Carousel Festival is the city's way of celebrating this city icon.
More details about the Burlington Carousel Festival are available on the City of Burlington's website.
You can also check the carousel's usual hours and learn more about the other rides at Burlington City Park.
Carolina Blues Festival
Back for its 37th year, the Carolina Blue Festival is bringing a ___ of music to LeBauer Park in Greensboro.
Blues Hall of Famer Charlie Musselwhite, a legend with a harmonica, is headlining. The lineup also includes Calesta "Callie" Day, Little Pink Anderson, Kat Riggins, Sandra Hall and The King Bees, as well as local favorites Wezo/Trollinger Band and Mama & The Ruckus.
Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the event will include vendors, food, full bar service and a VIP area.
Learn more about the Carolina Blues Festival and the rest of the North Carolina Blues Week festivities on the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society website.
Southeast Old Threshers' Reunion
June 30-July 4
The Southeast Old Threshers' Reunion got its start when G. Brown Loflin and some buddies decided to offer airplane rides to raise money for the local rescue squad. Farm machinery was added to give folks something to look at while they were waiting on their ride. In the 1980s, they phased out the planes in exchange for a train with the 1-and-a-half-mile Handy Dandy Railroad.
The event includes the Southeast Old Threshers' Queen Pageant on June 30, and live music, train rides and more all weekend long. Watch the horse pull, tractor pull, and their less-refined cousin, the lawnmower pull. And explore the whole historical Denton FarmPark, including 15 restored buildings, among them a blacksmith shop, a church, a grist mill and a log cabin.
The event will go out with a bang with fireworks for Independence Day.
For more information and ticketing details, visit the Denton FarmPark website.
Fun Fourth Festival
The Fun Fourth Festival will take place in Downtown Greensboro on Independence Day.
The day will begin with the Freedom Run at 7:30 a.m. Participants can register for the 1 Mile Fun Run, the 10K or the 5K. There are also options for a virtual 5K and a virtual 10K.
After that, the Freedom Fest will begin at 1 p.m. and last until 6 p.m. You can still apply to be a performer or vendor.
You can also apply for a chance to win the Red, White + Say "I Do" and earn a free wedding in Downtown Greensboro.
For more information visit the Fun Fourth Festival section of the Downtown Greensboro website.
North Carolina Peach Festival
Move over Bowser. The true peach fanatics are right here in North Carolina.
The North Carolina Peach Festival is a celebration of the fuzzy fruit and serves to honor the peach-growing history of Montgomery County, dating back to the late 1800s with the founding of the Candor Fruit Company.
The festival gets its engines started with the Peachy Pit Stop Cruise-In on July 13. The whole weekend includes entertainment, vendors and plenty to eat. The event also boasts "the best homemade peach ice cream in the Great State of North Carolina."
For more information, visit the North Carolina Peach Festival website.
Gears & Guitars Music Festival
It's the "biggest party on two wheels," and it's happening in Winston-Salem. Now in its 10th year, the Gears & Guitars Music Festival is a marriage of bicycle racing and rock 'n' roll.
It all gets rolling with "Streets of Fire"—the event's street sprint races—on Friday, Aug. 4. On Saturday, "The Fondos" bring 42- and 68-mile road races and 7- and 15-mile greenway/gravel races, and "Criterium Racing" sends amateurs and pros alike on a challenging loop up and around Bailey Park. It closes out with the Gears & Guitars Afterparty on Sunday.
Organizers expect the music lineup to be announced in May.
Find out more on the Gears & Guitars website.
You can get a taste of the fun with the Gears & Guitars 2022 recap video.
North Carolina Folk Festival
After three successful years with the National Folk Festival, the North Carolina Folk Festival was born in 2018.
With more than 300 artists, it's one of the biggest music events in the state. But it's not just about music. Folk arts include a wide spectrum of creative expressions, and you can find a little bit of everything along the NC Makers Marketplace.
The festival plans to begin announcing performers this spring with the schedule following this summer. The NC Folk Fest offers a newsletter for anyone looking to make sure they're among the first to know.