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Top Events in Raleigh in 2020

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HAPPY 2020, RALEIGH! We’re so excited for this upcoming year! There are so many awesome events happening in our favorite city and we can’t wait to share them with you.  

To help you guys get as pumped as we are, we’ve made a list of our top 20 events happening in 2020. Keep on scrollin’ and make sure to get out your calendar because you will want to save-the-date for these!

Event Details
🗓 JAN 20–26
📍 Downtown Raleigh

Calling all Triangle foodies! This one is one of our favorites and it’s right around the corner! During Triangle Restaurant Week, participating restaurants offer special three-course pre-fixe menu options, giving you the opportunity to try the area’s hottest restaurants. You’ll find $15 lunch options and dinner options ranging from $20–$35! Celebrate the food that you love or indulge in something new.

Join the statewide kickoff to Black History Month with this awesome event at the North Carolina Museum of History. This celebration hosts over 75 artists, dancers, chefs, musicians, re-enactors and so much more.

Named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society, this is something that you won’t want to miss!

Event Details
🗓 FEB 1 | 8AM–11AM
📍 NC State Bell Tower

What started as a challenge among a few friends is now a tradition for NCSU students and Raleigh-ites alike! Participants run from Memorial Belltower to the Downtown Krispy Kreme, (attempt to) stuff their faces with a dozen donuts, and then run BACK to the belltower. You DONUT want to miss this amazing way to support UNC Children’s Hospital!

Event Details
🗓 MAR 14 | 10AM–5PM
📍 Raleigh City Plaza

This is the Triangle’s largest St. Patrick’s Day event! The 38th Annual Parade kicks off at 10AM and will be followed by the festival featuring food, beer, music, dancing, and stuff for the kiddos to do.

This is a great way to start your St. Patrick’s Day activities, especially since both are FREE to attend.

Raleigh’s favorite festival of flowers is back at NCMA this weekend! See floral representations of your favorite works of art, enjoy extended hours, and participate in fun events all weekend. We suggest getting your tickets for in-between hours if you can to avoid the crowds! You can also check out this budding blog post, where we break it all down for you.

Event Details
🗓 APR 4 | 12PM–11PM
📍 Dorthea Dix Park

We are SO stoked that J. Cole’s Dreamville Festival is coming back to Raleigh! As a native to North Carolina, J. Cole hopes to give back to the state that shaped him while giving back to the Dreamville Foundation and Dix Park Conservancy.  

Stay tuned for the official lineup! We know it’s going to be a great one!

Event Details
🗓 APR 18 | 12PM–6PM
📍 The Pit Authentic BBQ

Name a more iconic duo than BBQ and bluegrass! We’re so excited that Cuegrass is back with a jam-packed day of ‘cue, local brews, and of course, BLUEGRASS! The Pit is shutting down the streets and firing up the grills as they host their 12th annual event. 
Your donation at the door goes to SAFEchild and the Junior League of Raleigh’s BackPack Buddies program. So do good and eat good, too! 

Event Details
🗓 APR 24–25
📍 Fayetteville Street

USA Today named Brewgaloo the best beer festival in the US and we couldn’t be more proud! This awesome beer fest brings together over 100 local North Carolina breweries, food trucks, vendors, and talented musicians. On Saturday, you can buy beer by the sample for 2 tickets and by the pint for 5 tickets. Drink tickets are available for purchase at the festival or pre-order your ticket bundle to skip the lines.

On Friday night, there will be a Kick-Off Sampling Event from 6PM–10PM to get the taps flowing! Purchase your ticket to receive a 2 oz sample cup and wristband for unlimited pours while skipping the big crowds of Saturday. Note this event is 21+ only, unlike Saturday’s festivities. 

We’re feeling at little SPRING DAZED and confused! Not really, but we’re excited for a day filled with unique crafts from over 170 artists, our favorite local food trucks, live performances, activities for the kids, and so much more. Don’t miss out on all the ways to celebrate Cary’s rich arts community.

There are several parking lots around Bond Park so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a spot. And since it’s at a public park, well-behaved doggies are welcome!

Event Details
🗓 MAY 2 | 9AM–5PM
📍 Historic Downtown Apex

Celebrate the “Peak of Good Living” in Downtown Apex this Saturday! For over thirty years, PeakFest has been bringing together the community for live music, artist vendors, entertainment for the kiddos, food, and more. 

As the largest public event in Apex, PeakFest is jam-packed with things to do! There are three main stages with music going from 9AM–5PM and a children’s corner with magicians and character visits. All your favorite food trucks are sure to show up so be sure and check out the official vendor lineup closer to the event!

Event Details
🗓 MAY 15–17
📍 NC State Fairgrounds

Love the NC State Fair? Double up on the fun! Head out to the Got to be NC Festival and enjoy a weekend packed full of everything that you love about North Carolina! It’s three days of local music, food, wine, and beer with carnival rides, live animal attractions, music, and more. What more could you want? 


Event Details
🗓 JUN 19 & 20
📍 Historic Downtown Apex

We’re SQUEALIN’ because Peak City Pig Fest is coming back to Apex this year! This is a JAM-PACKED event with BBQ competitions, live music, kids activities, and a street fest. 

Enjoy a great lineup of your favorite local beers from throughout the Triangle, rib eating contests, pig races, and more. Check back with us in June for an official schedule for the event!

Formally SuperCon, GalaxyCon is going to be one of the most out-of-this-world Raleigh events this week! This 4-day festival is the ultimate celebration of fandom! Keep scrolling for all the info on this iconic Raleigh event. 

GalaxyCon boasts tons of awesome celebrity guests and events unlike anything else. From cosplay contests and comedy shows, character wrestling, and gaming tables, everywhere you look there’s something to do! Stop by Exhibition Hall to shop unique collectibles and snag professional photos with some of the guests. Read through their FAQ if you have any additional questions.

Summer Daze is back for 2020! Keep it rockin’ with this rad Raleigh event at North Hills

Summer Daze is a total jam sesh featuring tunes by some awesome musicians (check back with us later for the official lineup). There will also be a great lineup for food trucks, vendors, and lots of family-friendly fun. Here’s the kicker: Admission is totally FREE!

PRO TIP: Buy your beer tickets early to save time and money!

Event Details
🗓 AUG 22–23
📍 Cary Town Hall Campus

Lazy Daze Arts & Crafts Festival will be taking over downtown Cary once again! This family-friendly art extravaganza will feature over 300 artists, a variety of activities, and vendors of all kinds.

Lazy Daze seriously has something for everyone! Art connoisseurs will love the wide variety of artists booths stretching across various mediums. For music lovers, the festival features multiple stages with an eclectic mix of jazz, bluegrass, reggae, rock, and funk and a full schedule for both days. And for the foodies, there will be over 25 food vendors and trucks to chow down. 

Event Details
🗓 SEP 10–12
📍 Downtown Raleigh

Raleigh, are you ready to rock?! Well, hopefully, you answered yes because Hopscotch Music Festival is happening from September 10th–12th and we’re pretty dang stoked.

Besides this being Raleigh’s premier music event on the year, DTR turns into one giant block party. You can walk into basically any bar downtown and find something Hopscotch related going on!

Event Details
🗓 OCT 2 & 3
📍 Downtown Raleigh

One of our favorite things to do in Raleigh this weekend just happens to be the largest FREE urban bluegrass festival in the world. 

There are plenty of family-friendly activities like youth-centered jams, seminars, workshops, performances, and more! And don’t forget The StreetFest taking over Fayetteville and will feature a variety of food trucks, vendors, and activities on both Saturday and Sunday.

Event Details
🗓 OCT 15–25
📍 NC State Fair Grounds

Last year’s fair brought us some awesome new stuff like the SkyGazer–North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel, and of course tons of delicious treats to FALL for.

Let’s see if this year can top it! We know we have the best fair around so be sure to tune in this October for a peek at the 2020 State Fair!

We LOVE this one.  It’s the perfect way to discover all things local. Hayrides, free pumpkins, and craft beer galore! The perfect place for kids and adults to FALL for all things Raleigh in autumn.  

Don’t worry, we will remind you when it’s coming up and give you guys even more details on this awesome event!

📷 Visit Raleigh

Event Details
🗓 NOV 19 | 9:15AM–12PM
📍 Hillsborough Street

The perfect family-friendly way to get your crew feeling holly-jolly, the parade usually lasts about 2.5 hours.

Make sure you look out for your favorite local icons and mascots as well because Raleigh never disappoints with it’s guest stars! 

It's going to be a great year!

Thank you guys for making 2019 such a success. 2020, here we come! UNATION has got some really exciting things planned for this year so stick with us because you won’t want to miss it!  

Keep on reading, liking, tagging, and subscribing because we love to see what you guys are up to. HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS!

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Kiersten Fisher, Rachel Goldberg

Kiersten Fisher, Rachel Goldberg

Kiersten is a City Manager for UNATION and author for the Stuff to Do in Raleigh Blog. For more insight on the best events and things to do in the Raleigh area, download the UNATION app and follow @StufftoDoinRaleigh on Instagram and Facebook.

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