If you’re searching for something fun to do during your Emerald Isle, NC, getaway, you won’t be short of fun-filled options. Why not check to see if there are any exciting annual events on Emerald Isle happening? From craft shows to marathon races to music festivals, you’ll find a little bit of everything along the Crystal Coast. Check out our picks for some of the best annual Emerald Isle events!

For more local insight regarding some of the best things to see and do throughout Emerald Isle in North Carolina, such as restaurants and outdoor activities, refer to our things to do page.

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Annual Events on Emerald Isle

Spring Events

St. Patrick’s Day Festival

Enjoy the luck of the Irish during the Emerald Isle St. Patrick’s Day Festival. This all-day event is fun for the whole family. It includes art and crafts, a petting zoo, face painting, and more! There are over 75 vendors who attend the event, so prepare for a little Irish-themed souvenir shopping. Bring your appetite, as the smells of barbecue, hamburgers, funnel cakes, and other fun fares are sure to grab your attention. Don’t forget to visit the beer garden!

Emerald Isle Marathon

Run for a cause when you attend the Emerald Isle Marathon. Each year in March, the marathon raises money for a worthy organization. Choose from the full marathon, the half-marathon, or the 5K. You won’t want to miss it!

Summer Events

4th of July Fireworks

Each year, the town of Emerald Isle is proud to partner with Bogue Inlet Pier to offer July 4th fireworks over the ocean! You can bring blankets and beach chairs and watch the show from the beach. Or, you can relax from the comfort of your vacation rental, as the bright lights can be seen in the sky from miles away. The firework display will begin at 9 P.M., but the fun starts earlier. Live music from local bands will kick off at 4 P.M. 


Treat yourself to a night filled with tunes and fresh air at EmeraldFest. Bring your chairs, blankets, snacks, family, and friends and enjoy live local music by the oceanfront. 

Fall Events

Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival

music festival

There are few things more enjoyable than listening to live music by the ocean. The Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival is a family-friendly, free event that lasts all day and is an awesome way to mark the end of summer. Grab some grub from a local food truck, and don’t forget to buy your commemorative t-shirt to remember one of the best outdoor concerts in the area!


Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation has proudly hosted the Annual Day4Kids for over 12 years. This event brings together adults and children of all ages for a memorable day of fun. You can enjoy vendors, games, face painting, laser tag, inflatable rides, balloon sculpting, and more! Many vendors will give away free souvenirs, and the first 100 kids at the event will receive free t-shirts. Be sure you come hungry and chow down on delicious fair foods like hotdogs and cotton candy. 

Winter Events

Emerald Isle Christmas Parade

Year after year, locals and visitors alike line the streets to view the annual Christmas Parade in Emerald Isle. It begins at 3 P.M. on the corner of Mangrove Street and Emerald Drive. You’ll feel the Christmas spirit as you watch holiday-themed floats flow down the street. Then, crowds will gather at the Emerald Isle Visitor’s Center to visit with Santa Claus. In the park, you can enjoy free refreshments, such as hot cider and yummy cookies. There’s also a holiday sing-a-long that leads up to the annual Christmas Tree Lighting! 

Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair

Shopping at the Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair is the perfect way to start getting excited for the holidays! You can find unique gifts for your loved ones for the holiday season at this fair in Emerald Isle. This one of a kind fair features handmade items from local artisans and crafters. 

Additional Annual Events Throughout the Crystal Coast

Spring Events

Beaufort Music Festival

The Emerald Isle Beach Music Festival marks the end of the summer season, but the Beaufort Music Festival kicks it off! Typically held in mid-May, this event has brought music, family-friendly activities, and plenty of quality North Carolina food and brews to Beaufort. The festival spans two days and features some of the best up-and-coming musicians in the region. Best of all, admission is free! 

Crystal Coast Boat Show

For over 10 years, the Crystal Coast Boat Show takes place on the Morehead City waterfront in May. This boat show is one of Eastern Carolina’s premier events and features top-notch marine products and services. You’ll find fishing gear, boat brokers, sailing races, boating education demonstrations, and an antique car show. Admission is free!

Summer Events

Beaufort Wine & Food

Beaufort has an amazing annual event that will excite the undercover foodie in you. Attend the Beaufort Wine & Food Festival to sample some of the best wine from around the world. Indulge in food prepared by celebrity chefs, and take home a few tips when you attend one of the many cooking demonstrations.

Swansboro Arts by the Sea Festival

The Swansboro Arts by the Sea Festival is held annually on the second Saturday of June along the waterfront of downtown Swansboro. You can gaze at fine arts and crafts and taste delicious food and wine. Take home a souvenir and choose from pottery, jewelry, paintings, photography, stained glass, and more. 

Fall Events

N.C. Seafood Festival

oyster basket

Enjoy three days of food and fun at N.C. Seafood Festival! This event, which started in 1987, is a cornerstone event for Carteret County and brings visitors to Morehead City every fall. Some of the best attractions at the festival include cooking demonstrations, a fishing tournament, a boat show, fireworks, a blessing of the fleet, and plenty of great performances on the three stages. 

Crystal Coast Oyster Festival 

Enjoy the gorgeous fall weather at the Crystal Coast Oyster Festival. The event takes place in downtown Morehead City and is hosted by Pints for Purpose. The oyster festival is beloved by the community and attracts visitors from near and far. Come enjoy live music, vendors, beer, wine, and fresh local North Carolina oysters! 

Winter Events

The Crystal Coast Countdown

Start the year off right with the epic Crystal Coast Countdown. Larger than any single event, the Countdown is a collection of New Year’s celebrations occurring throughout downtown Morehead City. Local businesses and restaurants provide activities, food, and live music throughout the evening. End the night at midnight with the big crab pot drop downtown and a fireworks show.

Carolina Chocolate Festival

Held at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City, the Carolina Chocolate Festival brings local non-profit agencies together and is the largest chocolate festival in eastern North Carolina. The day kicks off with the annual Cocoa 5k Fun Run & Walk and a Bake Off. Then, shop the many vendors and taste mouthwatering treats. Be sure to pamper yourself and stop by the Chocolate Spa, where you can indulge in 90 minutes of relaxation and chocolate. 

Relax at a Luxurious Spinnaker’s Reach Vacation Home

After you attend these fantastic annual events on Emerald Isle, return to a beautiful home from Spinnaker’s Reach. Take a look at our many gorgeous rental properties to find the one that fits your needs. From oceanfront homes to pet-friendly properties, we’ve got it all!

Check out the rest of our vacation rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.

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