Seasonal & Annual Events
The only way through is to do.
We believe that Durham must be felt, experienced, and traversed personally to be known. The essence of this place is embedded deep within the fabric of our uniquely Durham annual events — and there are many.
Art. Music. History. Cuisine. From the blooms of spring to the coziness of winter, Durham is filled with festivals. From heritage, film and dance festivals, to more unique events like cold-weather scooter rallies and an outlandish Beaver Queen Pageant. Here, we eat donuts before, during and after we compete our triathlons, and we unapologetically love the uniqueness of each parade, show and celebration.
Whether you’re here to see “Hamilton” or visit a ballpark brewery, you’ll find that your passions can and will be nurtured here. Year after year. Month after month. Day after day.
Durham Events & Festivals
Winter — Spring
Kwanzaa Celebration is a time to enjoy family, community, and culture and celebrate both the holiday season and Durham's diversity.
The Hayti Heritage Film Festival showcases diverse works by and about people of African descent. It includes both short and feature-length films from an international cast of directors, as well as classic feature films.
Aiming to "stimulate and educate your palate," the Bull City Food & Beer Experience features food samples from 30 Durham restaurants and beer tastings from 50 breweries and takes place at DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center, in March.
Spring — Summer
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival is a four-day international festival in early April featuring nearly 100 documentary films and the directors, producers, and subjects who make them. We're looking forward to Full Frame's in-person return in 2024.
May's Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival celebrates African American culture with food, arts and crafts, kids' activities, and music.
For six weeks in June and July, celebrate local talent and witness the work of professional and pre-professional choreographers and dancers at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. The Beaver Queen Pageant is an annual Durham fundraiser taking place in early June that features sometimes locally well-known contestants dressed in elaborate beaver-themed costumes and family-friendly fun.
Summer — Fall
The Festival for the Eno features dozens of musical acts on multiple stages, along with art, hands-on crafts, food, beer, and water activities.
OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival celebrates LGBTQ+ life and helps bring the community together with entertaining and sophisticated films and filmmaking.
Early fall kicks off with Black Wall Street: Homecoming is a celebration of Black success, business, and culture. CenterFest Arts Festival is an art and community-focused street festival in downtown Durham. Pride: Durham is all about unity and celebrating equality in Durham.
Fall — Winter
Durham Art Walk Holiday Market kicks off a season of holiday makers markets and provides patrons with the chance to buy one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists. NC Comicon & Comiquest Film Festival is a two-day comics and film festival headquartered at the Durham Convention Center.
Experience Christmas by Candlelight at Duke Homestead and discover how one of the most important families in Durham history would have celebrated.