From dogwood blooms to the Indigo Moon, cultural narratives to family heritage, festivals and fairs, there’s a lot to celebrate in life. The annual festivals in Fayetteville and nearby towns bring the community together to share common bonds or to introduce neighbors to a better understanding of one another.
These are some of the more popular annual festivals and celebrations in Fayetteville and the surrounding area.
Fayetteville After 5: The summer concert series sponsored by the Fayetteville Dogwood Festival brings concerts to Festival Park with food trucks and fun activities. The 2023 season closes with the Simpletones and Jim Quick and Coastlinen on Aug. 11. 910-323-1934 or thedogwoodfestival.com
Fayetteville PrideFest: Celebration of the LBGTQ+ community in downtown Festival Park. The 2023 festival was held on June 24. Featuring live entertainment, vendors, food trucks, an arts project and children’s activities. fayettevillepride.org
Juneteenth Jubilee: The second annual jubilee was held June 17-18 in downtown Fayetteville and featured headliners The Fatback Band and Rose Royce, along with “American Idol” finalist Lee Jean Jr. Other highlights included outdoor roller-skating and trolley tours highlighting the end of slavery in the United States. Food trucks, vendors and artisans are part of the fun as well. 910-223-1089 or visitdowntownfayetteville.com.
Lumbee Homecoming: June 30-July 8. The largest American Indian cultural celebration in the Southeast features pageants, a parade, an outdoor gospel music concert and vendors. 910-521-8602 or lumbee.org
Fourth of July celebrations
Hope Mills: The town’s celebration will be July 1 and includes a parade, music, food trucks and fireworks. Townofhopemills.com
Fort Liberty: The celebration begins at 3 p.m. July 4 on the Main Post Parade Field featuring parachute free-fall demonstrations, a flag ceremony, fireworks, food and beverages. Gavin DeGraw will perform at 6:45 p.m., and headliner Sheryl Crow will perform at 8:30 p.m. Fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. Open to the public; visitor pass required. Liberty.armymwr.com
White Lake: 9 p.m. July 4. Fireworks over White Lake will be launched from Goldston’s Pier. Free. 910-862-4368 or Elizabethtownwhitelake.com
Umoja Festival: Traditionally held the fourth Saturday in August at Seabrook Park, 1520 Slater Ave. A celebration of cultural heritage featuring music, storytelling, vendors and a health fair. For updates, follow Umoja Group Inc. on Facebook.
Greek Festival: Annual family festival featuring Greek culture, including food and entertainment. The Hellenic Center, 614 Oakridge Ave. faygreekchurch.com/greekfestival
Cumberland County Fair: Sept. 1-10 at the Crown Complex, 1960 Coliseum Drive. Agricultural exhibits, livestock, midway carnival rides, pageant, live music, food, arts and crafts, beer garden. 910-438-4140 or Crowncomplexnc.com
Lafayette Birthday Celebration: North Carolina’s official Lafayette Birthday Celebration recognizes the Revolutionary War hero and French nobleman the Marquis de Lafayette, for whom Fayetteville is named. Held annually the weekend after Labor Day. Lafayettesociety.org
Field of Honor: Sept. 11-Nov. 12. Flags are displayed at the Parade Grounds of the Airborne & Special Operations Museum to honor active-duty military and former military members and those who died while serving their country. asomf.org
International Folk Festival: Sept. 23-25, Festival Park, 335 Ray Ave. Live music, international cafe, parade, arts and crafts vendors. Presented by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. 910-323-1776 or Theartscouncil.com
Indigo Moon Film Festival: Oct. 13-15 at three downtown venues. Showcasing diverse films by filmmakers from around the world. Indigomoonfilmfestival.com or groundswellpictures.com
Dogwood Fall Festival: Oct. 20-22 in downtown Fayetteville. Activities include hayrides, live entertainment and vendors. thedogwoodfestival.com/fall-festival
Halloween in Hope Mills: Features Trunk R Treat event. Updates will be shared at townofhopemills.com.
Holly Day Fair: Crown Expo Center. Presented by the Junior League of Fayetteville, this holiday tradition is the largest gift and crafts show in eastern North Carolina. Jlfay.org or 910-323-5509
Heroes Homecoming: Past activities have included a Veterans Day parade, a wreath-laying ceremony, a Gold Star Family dinner, parking sign dedication, motorcycle ride, and other programs to honor veterans in the community. For updates, visit heroeshomecoming.com or follow Heroes Homecoming on Facebook.
Festival of Lights: Nov. 24-26, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Dec. 7-10 and Dec. 14-23, nightly. Lu Mil Vineyard, Dublin. Drive-thru light show with synchronized music, gift shop, wine tasting and country buffet available. 910-866-5819 or Lumilvineyard.com
Holidays on Hay: A Season of Light: State-of-the-art drones are choreographed with holiday imagery across the night sky. Community Christmas tree lighting, gingerbread village, street artists and youth activities. Sponsored by the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County. wearethearts.com/holiday
Kwanzaa celebrations: A weeklong celebration of African heritage and culture includes music, dance, food and traditional performances. Local activities are sponsored by Umoja Group Inc. and held at Smith Recreation Center in Seabrook Park, 1520 Slater Ave. Theartscouncil.com
Fayetteville Rotary Christmas Parade:
Dec. 9, downtown Fayetteville. The route begins on Person Street and ends on Hay Street near the railroad station. Rotarychristmasparade.com
Hope Mills Christmas Parade: Early December. Updates for 2023 will be shared at townofhopemills.com.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade: Feb.18 in downtown Fayetteville.
Rumba on the Lumber: First weekend in March, downtown Lumberton. A weekend of family fun includes a Friday night pasta party and dance; 5k and 10k runs and a family fun mile; chili cook-off; crafts and food vendors; kids zone; and live music. Presented by the Robeson Road Runners, the city of Lumberton and Main Street Lumberton. Rumbaonthelumber.com
Fayetteville Dogwood Festival: The springtime tradition features several days of activities including entertainment, carnival rides, downtown street fair, food, arts and crafts vendors, free concerts in Festival Park. thedogwoodfestival.com
All American Week: Hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Liberty, it celebrates veterans and active-duty service members and includes sports competitions, a Division Review and memorial services. Open to the public.