Go Fly a Kite
Join hundreds of serious kite flyers for the 13th annual Cape Fear Kite Festival, which is open to amateurs and professionals alike. Organized as a “fun fly” without competition or rules, the festival celebrates kite flying madness with colorful flyers of all shapes and sizes. Admission: Free for spectators. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, 1000 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach. For info: (910) 520-1818 or capefearkitefestival.org.
24th Annual Cucalorus Festival
From its humble beginnings in 1994, the Cucalorus Festival has blossomed into a multi-disciplinary arts organization and one of the largest film festivals in the South (last year’s attendance was close to 20,000), hosting hundreds of films, stage and dance performances all over downtown Wilmington. This year, ’90s indie punk rockers Superchunk will kick off the festivities with an opening-night concert at the Brooklyn Arts Center. Nov. 7 – 11. Various locations in downtown Wilmington. For schedules, tickets, and more information: cucalorus.org.
Come One, Come All!
Venture out to the midway and celebrate the 54th annual Cape Fear Fair & Expo, jam-packed with livestock, crafts, cotton candy, rides, balloons and clowns. This weekend features a variety of events for the whole family, among them: Hansen’s Spectacular Family Acrobatic Show, Old McNally’s Pig Derby, assorted agricultural displays and an appearance by Brad Matchett, Comedy Hypnotist. Tickets: $22. Nov. 1, 5 p.m.- 11 p.m.; Nov. 2, 5 p.m.- midnight; Nov. 3, 12 p.m.-midnight; Nov. 4, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. 1739 Hewlett Drive, Wilmington. For info: capefearfair.com.
The Lower Cape Fear Hospice presents the 32nd Cape Fear Festival of Trees at the North Carolina Aquarium. Come celebrate the season and view an enchanted forest of more than 50 holiday trees decorated by local artists, businesses and nonprofit organizations. Admission included with aquarium tickets. Tickets: $13. Nov. 17 – Jan. 3, 2019, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 900 Loggerhead Rd., Kure Beach. For info: (910) 796-8099 or ncaquariums.com/fort-fisher.
The Wilmington Jewish Film Festival hosts the North Carolina premiere of Who Will Write Our History, a film that reveals the heroic efforts of Polish Jews to document the events inside the Warsaw Ghetto, featuring some of the most compelling eyewitness accounts of the Holocaust. Producer/director Roberta Grossman is an award-winning filmmaker whose most recent documentary, Seeing Allred, premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The film’s executive producer is Nancy Spielberg, who teamed with Grossman in 2014 to produce Above and Beyond, the story of Jewish-American WW II pilots who volunteered to fight in Israel’s War of Independence. Tickets: $50 (includes a pre-screening meet and greet with Roberta Grossman as well as reserved seating). General admission: $15; $10 students and military. Nov. 4, 7 p.m. Thalian Hall, 310 Chestnut Street, Wilmington. For info and tickets: thalianhall.org.
Battle by Candlelight
Moores Creek National Battlefield hosts its annual 1776 Candlelight Tour. Travel back in time as Colonial-costumed guides recount the story of the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge as they lead you along a 3/4-mile path lined with hundreds of candles. Scottish Highlanders will then lead you to the bridge, where there will be a re-enactment of the battle with muskets and cannon fire. Tickets: $3 per person. Nov. 17, 5:30 – 9:15 p.m. Moores Creek National Battlefield, 40 Patriots Hall Drive, Currie. For information: (910) 283-5591, ext. 2222, or nps.gov/mocr.
Art in the Garden
Celebrate autumnal splendor at Art in the Arboretum, the largest coastal outdoor art show in North Carolina. A joint venture of the Friends of New Hanover County Arboretum and the Wilmington Art Association, the show will feature the works of hundreds of local artists in all media, displayed throughout the gardens in the arboretum. There will also be a raffle, silent auction and performances by local musicians. Admission: $5. Nov. 2-4. New Hanover County Arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. For info: (910) 798-7660 or nhcarboretum.org.
Deck the Hulls
What could be better after Turkey Day than fireworks over the ocean and a parade of holiday-bedecked boats? Wrightsville Beach hosts the 35th annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla, a weekend of events including a tree-lighting ceremony with a visit from Santa and Festival in the Park on Saturday afternoon before the Flotilla. Admission: Free. Nov. 24. For more info and to enter a boat: (910) 256-2120 or ncholidayflotilla.org.