The “Queen City” of Charlotte offers a diverse calendar of annual things to do. Here you’ll find festivals honoring heritage, pride and the holidays, tasty culinary happenings, and, of course, tribute to NASCAR.

If you’re planning a wedding during one of these annual events, you may want to include it as part of your guests’ itinerary. Or you might want to avoid the crowds and look at another weekend for your big celebration.

Bring on the Festivals

Weekends in October and November find locals and visitors alike at the Carolina Renaissance Festival. This popular annual event features live entertainment, artisan crafts, delicious food, and even jousting tournaments.

Members and supporters of the LGBTQ+ community celebrate in August with the Charlotte Pride Festival & Parade. In addition to the parade, revelers enjoy live music, dance performances, and vendors.

It’s up, up, and away in October with the Carolina Balloonfest. This is the second oldest hot air balloon festival in the country. Imagine a mass ascension of the colorful floating giants in the morning or the glow of the balloons in the evening. The festival also includes entertainment, a wine and beer garden, and an artisan village.

Outdoor adventurers will want to put the three-day Tuck Fest on their calendars for April. Held at the US National Whitewater Center, visitors will find a full slate of competitions and demonstrations in trail running, kayaking, biking, climbing, and paddling. End the day with awesome live music.

While today’s Charlotte is known for its diversity, the city still reigns supreme when it comes to NASCAR. Held during the Memorial Day weekend in conjunction with the Coca-Cola 600, Speed Street is the ultimate motorsports-themed festival. You’ll find car displays, concerts, interactive exhibits, driver appearances, and family-friendly activities.

Celebrating History and Heritage

Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of African American slaves. Charlotte marks the federal holiday with a commemoration in the West Corridor. Juneteenth Celebration Charlotte is a free multi-day event offering a lively look at African American culture.

The city also has a vibrant Latino community and October finds Uptown playing host to the Hola Charlotte Festival. There are cultural and dance performances, acclaimed Latin American musicians as well as talented local rising stars, and a village representing a dozen nations.

Events like the Yiasou Greek Festival are a great way to learn more about a country’s heritage. This cultural festival takes place in September and showcases the traditions, music, dance, and cuisine of Greece. Save room for some baklava!

Take a Taste of Charlotte

Enjoy wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, gourmet dinners, and a charity auction at April’s Charlotte Wine & Food Week: This major culinary endeavor brings together renowned chefs, winemakers, and food enthusiasts. For over three decades, the week has raised funds to benefit Queen City’s children.

June finds city residents and visitors grazing their way through Taste of Charlotte. For three days, festival goers enjoy delicious food samples, multiple stages of entertainment, and interactive tours.

If you or your visitors enjoy craft beers, then check out the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival. Held in May in nearby Huntersville, over 40 local breweries are represented. Find new favorites while enjoying a diverse musical lineup.

Celebrate Charlotte’s Art Scene

If you’re looking for some family-friendly fun, take a look at September’s Festival in the Park. This three-day outdoor celebration in Freedom Park with art displays, live music, crafters, food vendors, and activities for children.

The city also rolls out the red carpet in September with the Charlotte Film Festival. Screening independent films from around the world, the festival showcases a diverse range of genres and provides a platform for emerging filmmakers.

Bring on the Holiday Season

New York may have its Macy’s Parade, but Charlotte gets the jump on the holiday with the Thanksgiving Eve Parade. Folks line Tryon Street for the holiday celebration, one of the largest and oldest Thanksgiving parades in the country.

And what’s the holiday season without a little shopping? Skip the big box and online scenes with the Southern Christmas Show. Held in November at the Park Expo and Conference Center, this annual holiday presents a large variety of vendors selling holiday decorations, crafts, and gifts. There are also live performances, cooking demonstrations, and festive displays.

Remember, schedules and details can change, so it’s always a good idea to check websites and local event calendars for up-to-date information. To find out more about these 15 annual events, along with other great happenings in the area, visit All Events in Charlotte.