The North Carolina Blueberry Festival
Historic downtown Burgaw is the setting for the 15th annual North Carolina Blueberry Festival, which now attracts more than 30,000 visitors each year and is truly an extravaganza of all things blueberry. Among them: an annual blueberry scholarship pageant; a bumper crop of produce, pies, jams and other blueberry recipes from local farmers; a 5K run; the Tour de Blueberry, a non-competitive cycling event with routes ranging from nine to 64 miles, organized by Cape Fear Cyclists. And don’t forget the Whole Hog Barbecue Cookoff, as well as a car show, model train show and a BMX stunt show! Admission is free. June 15 and 16, Burgaw. See website for locations and event details. For info: (910) 259-2007 or ncblueberryfestival.com.
A Touch of Beethoven
Founded in 2009 by Wilmington artist Christine Farley and cellist Stephen Famil, the Port City Music Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with a series of free concerts of classical masterworks accessible to all at various locations across Wilmington. This year’s featured composer is Ludwig van Beethoven. Admission is free. June 3 – 10. See website for programs and venues. For information: (910) 239-9450 or portcitymusicfestival.org.
Blues on a Summer Night
Jazz aficionados of Wilmington already know about the Cape Fear Blues Jam, which takes place every Tuesday evening at the Rusty Nail on South Fifth Street, thanks largely to the efforts of the Cape Fear Blues Society. The organization celebrates its 23rd year with the Cape Fear Blues Festival on June 22 and 23, featuring both local artists and national performers on a variety of stages in downtown Wilmington. A few of the acts booked to date: Chicago blues veteran Jon MacDonald, guitarist and songwriter Justin Cody Fox (both Wilmingtonians), Feral Cats, and the Jeff Fetterman Band. June 22 – 24. Various locations. For a full schedule of events and ticket info: capefearblues.org.
Founded in 1982, the North Carolina Coastal Federation is devoted to the protection and restoration of our coastline. On June 6, the group is a hosting Clean Water Week Coastal Cleanup at Carolina Beach State Park. The Coastal Federation is always seeking volunteers to help collect marine debris, which can be dangerous to our local wildlife and salt marshes. Admission: free. Dress for the weather and bring a bottle of water. June 6, 10 a.m. Meet at the marina. Carolina Beach State Park, 1010 State Park Road, Carolina Beach. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Little Pink Houses of Hope hosts an evening of Dining and Dancing on Water Street on June 10. Set on the river at the plaza in front of the federal building, the party will feature a Sunday supper, live entertainment and dancing under the stars. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Little Pink Houses of Hope, which provides breast cancer patients and their families with free weeklong vacation retreats. Tickets: $100. June 10, 6 p.m. Riverfront Park, 5 N. Water St., Wilmington. For information: (336) 213-4733 or littlepink.org/wilmington.
Wilmington Farmers Market
Tired of those suspicious-looking piles of Florida tomatoes? Want to support the local food economy? Check out the new Wilmington Farmers Market at Tidal Creek, a weekly gathering of vetted vendors with fresh produce straight from their farms. A partial list of participants: Black River Organic Farm, Red Beard Farms, Humble Roots Farm, Shelton Herb Farm, Changin’ Ways Farm, Turner Family Farms. Sign up for the weekly newsletter for advanced news of the coming weekend’s harvest. Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. year-round. Wilmington Farmers Market at Tidal Creek, 5329 Oleander Drive, Wilmington. For info: thewilmingtonfarmersmarket.com.
On Top of Old Baldy
The Bald Head Island Lighthouse (also known as Old Baldy) is more than 200 years old and is the oldest lighthouse still standing in North Carolina. The Old Baldy Foundation on Bald Head Island will host the second annual North Carolina Treasures Weekend, a celebration of culture, history and cuisine, beginning with a Swine and Spirits Dinner on June 1. Chef Mark Berruet of Sweet Bay Catering will prepare a whole-hog menu with a Heritage Farms Cheshire hog. The cocktail hour will feature North Carolina distillers, among them Durham Distillery and Seventeen Twelve Spirits. On June 2, the Bald Head Island Club will be the setting for the Gala in White, featuring a buffet, silent auction and live music from the The Magnificients Band. Proceeds benefit the Old Baldy Foundation. The Bald Head Island Club, Salt Meadow Trail, Bald Head Island. For info: (910) 457-7481 or oldbaldy.org.