Can’t Miss Events for Triangle Newcomers

Explore the Triangle like a Native

It can be difficult figuring out what to do when you move to a new area, especially an area as vibrant as the Triangle. But, with something for everyone, there’s plenty to get out and do anytime of the year.

Concerts at Koka Booth Amphitheatre

Koka Booth Amphitheatre located in Cary has concerts, festivals and movie screenings throughout the summer. Concerts range from jazz bands to performances by the North Carolina Symphony. Other musicians in the past have included Vance Joy, the Philharmonic Association, the B-52s and more. Movies shown are typically family-friendly and past titles include Coco and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.  

First Friday Gallery Walk

First Friday is a monthly event in Downtown Raleigh presented by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance to showcase the creative community in the Raleigh area. The event is hosted every first Friday of the month from 6-9pm and is free for the public. Local art galleries, studios, museums and other exhibitors stay open late and host special events for the public to participate in.  

Fest in the West

CaryCitizen hosts the Fest in the West event every year since 2015. The event hoses live music, art vendors, food trucks, local beer vendors, contests, a kids’ zone and more.


Hopscotch is a three-day music festival hosted in Raleigh featuring 120 bands. From large outdoor main stages at Raleigh City Plaza to more intimate club shows, there’s something to entice any music lover. The festival features music in almost every genre imaginable: rock, hip-hop, metal, electronic and more.

NC State Fair

Every October, the NC State Fair comes to Raleigh. The State Fair is the largest event in the state and the largest 11-day agricultural event in the nation with an annual draw of around one million people. The fair showcases the best of North Carolina, with horse shows, livestock shows, handmade crafts, culinary features, rides and games. The “Homegrown Music Fest” concert series features talented musicians from all over the states. With 11 days and three stages, fair-goers have the opportunity to hear 117 different musicians from all across the state.


Raleigh is known as the “Smithsonian of the South” because of their abundance of high-quality, free museums, historic attraction and educational institutions. BugFest, hosted by the North carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is a must-see event for anyone. From 9am until 5pm, event-goers can experience more than 100 exhibits, crafts games and activities while interacting with entomologists and other scientist.

Freedom Balloon Fest

Fuquay-Varina hosts the Freedom Balloon Fest every Memorial Day Weekend. For four days, event-goers are treated to games, balloon rides, foods, local beer and wines, live music and more. Sponsored by Project Uplift, the Freedom Balloon Fest is dedicated to honoring military personnel and the concept of “service above self”. The mission of the event is to remember the sacrifice of those in the military and celebrate as a community our freedom. No matter what you like to do, there’s something for everyone in the Triangle area. From adults-only to family-friendly, there’s no limit to what you can find nearby.  

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