Outer Banks Fall Events

From Film and Food Festivals to Surfing Competitions and Fishing Tournaments, There’s Something for Everyone to Enjoy

by | Sep 19, 2018

There is nothing quite like fall on the Outer Banks. The days are still warm but not as hot as summer; the ocean temperature is pleasant; the peak season crowds are largely gone, but there are still enough visitors to keep businesses open.

And the event calendar explodes with things to do.

There is something for everyone—surfing and wind sport competitions, film festivals, fishing tournaments and food festivals.

Summer is the time when families from everywhere visit the Outer Banks, but fall is the time locals and neighbors get to truly enjoy life on a sandbar.


Surfalorus Film Festival, Outer Banks
Photo by Logan Marshall

Surfalorus Film Festival

Sept. 20­–22

If it’s a film about surfing produced by anyone between Wilmington, N.C. and Norfolk, Va.—and places farther away as well—there’s a good chance it will be screened at Surfalorous.

Sponsored by the Dare County Arts Council, the three-day film festival includes an amazing array of surf movies from five-minute shorts to feature length films. The quality is consistently good and sometimes excellent.

Of particular note this year, be sure to check out Manteo High School senior Logan Marshall’s feature length film Outer. Its Outer Banks premier in July got deservedly excellent reviews.

Movies are screened at various locations. All movies are free.


Mustang Rock & Roast, Outer Banks
Photo by George Wood

First Annual Mustang Rock & Roast

Oct. 13–14

The Mustang Music Festival is back, and we couldn’t be happier.

Until 2016 Mike Dianna’s Mustang Music Festival in Corolla was one of the most anticipated music festivals of the year. And then Hurricane Matthew came along and put the kibosh on everything in 2016 and 2017. But now it’s back.

Expect the best local and regional bands on stage, as well as some national acts, often just before they’re about to go to the next level.

This year’s event will prove to be the best yet—great music and an oyster roast all included.


Big Curri-Shuck, Outer Banks
Photo by Brooke Mayo Photography

Big Curri-Shuck

Nov. 24

The concept is simple—eat as many fresh steamed oysters as possible and sample some wine from Sanctuary Vineyards where the event is held. Maybe sip some local beers, try eastern North Carolina barbecue and some steamed crab. Mix all of that up with some good country music, and the Big Curri-Shuck becomes the perfect way to wrap up a Thanksgiving weekend.

What makes the Big Curri-Shuck even nicer is the special attention paid to making the event fun for kids, with a hayride around the vineyards and farm and other activities geared toward the younger set.

This is a ticketed event, and it sells out every year. Get your tickets early.


WinterLights, Outer Banks
Photo by John Buford


Nov. 25–Jan. 20

The Elizabethan Gardens is beautiful at any time of the year, but during the holiday season when the paths, trees, plants and statuary are adorned with lights it becomes magical.

The Grand Illumination is the kickoff for the event that includes music from local high school bands and choruses, a Christmas movie and other events.

As family friendly events go, this is about as good as it gets. Any event that has a roaring fire pit in the middle of everything with marshmallows ready for the roasting gets a big thumbs up.


Surfalorus Film Festival

Dare County Arts Council, Manteo

Sept. 20–22




Nags Head

Sept. 21–23


John Brown Groove Shop

First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

Sept. 22


Crabdaddy Wine/Beer Festival

Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg

Sept. 22



Dare County Motorcycle Toy Run

Sept. 22


Outer Banks Jeep Jam

6800 South Croatan Hwy., Nags Head

Sept. 27–29


The Lost Colony Wine & Culinary Festival

The Lost Colony, Manteo

Sept. 28–29



Jim Mulford Red Drum Tournament

Jennette's Pier, Nags Head

Sept. 29


2018 Invitational Fine Art Photography Show

Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery, Nags Head

Oct. 2–27


Outer Banks Bluegrass Festival

Oct. 4–7

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Oct. 3–6


Island Art Show

Rodanthe-Waves-Salvo Community Center, Rodanthe

Oct. 4


Outer Banks Parade of Homes

Oct. 4–7


First Friday on Roanoke Island

Oct. 5



Oink N’ Oyster Roast

Longboards Restaurant, Kitty Hawk

Oct. 6


Duck Jazz Festival

Town of Duck

Oct. 6–7


Stars of the Grand Ole Opry

Roanoke Island Festival Park, Manteo

Oct. 9


Love Is a Rose-Linda Ronstadt Tribute

First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

Oct. 13



Southern Shores Crossing

Oct. 13



Mustang Rock & Roast

Timbuck II Shopping Center, Corolla

Oct. 13–14


Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival

Dates vary Oct. 16–Dec. 9


The Jones Sisters Band

107 Budleigh St., Manteo

Oct. 19


Fall Restaurant Week

Outer Banks

Oct. 19–27


Outer Banks Seafood Festival

Soundside Event Site, Nags Head

Oct. 20


The NC VIP Fishing Tournament

Jennette's Pier, Nags Head

Oct. 22–24


Halloween International Film Festival

Kill Devil Hills

Oct. 25–27, 2018



Soundside Event Site, Nags Head

Oct. 27



Harvest HayDay

Island Farm, Roanoke Island

Oct. 27


Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Boat Show

Roanoke Island Maritime Museum, Manteo

Oct. 27–28


Roanoke Island Maritime Museum Haunted House

Roanoke Island Maritime Museum, Manteo

Oct. 31


First Friday on Roanoke Island


Nov. 2


Collision of Rhythm

First Flight High School, Kill Devil Hills

Nov. 3


OBX Veteran's Week

Downtown Manteo

Nov. 10–11



Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon

Kitty Hawk and Nags Head

Nov. 10–11


Tipsy Turkey Beer Mile

Outer Banks Brewing Station

Kill Devil Hills

Nov. 21


ADVICE 5K Turkey Trot


Nov. 22


Surfin' Turkey 5K

Hatteras Village

Nov. 22


OBX Gobbler 5K

Village of Nags Head

Nov. 22


Heritage Cooking and Food Preservation

Island Farm, Manteo

Nov. 23–24


Hangin' with Santa

Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head

Nov. 23–24



Kites with Lights

Jockey's Ridge State Park, Nags Head

Nov. 23–24



Big Curri-Shuck

Sanctuary Vineyards, Jarvisburg

Nov. 24



Grand Illumination

Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island

Nov. 23



Elizabethan Gardens, Roanoke Island

Dates vary between Nov. 25–Jan. 20

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