Kidz Zone

We've got loads of Inflatables, rides, stage events, and activities for your...

Street Fair

Nothing says “festival” like the smell of turkey legs, waffle cones, and popcorn....

Live Music

What’s better than listening to live music on the river? Oh, yeah… FREE live music on...

Fireworks Display

The Saturday night fireworks display is a family and festival-goer favorite. Standing on...

Wilmington NC Riverfest

Celebrated on the first full weekend of October, the Riverfest runs through Historic Downtown Wilmington on Water Street from the foot of Market Street to Cape Fear Community College. Currently drawing tens of thousands of people, this free, family-oriented celebration is a two-day event and has grown to be a widely anticipated annual celebration.  Riverfest was created in February 1979, by a group of Wilmingtonians interested in showcasing downtown Wilmington and the Cape Fear River and has since resulted in a cultural street festival that entices locals and tourists alike to our amazing Historic Downtown.

Fun & Entertainment



Riverfest boasts craft vendors, concessions booths, a children’s play area, entertainment on various stages, Saturday night fireworks, and more. This year, we will also be crowning our 5th Annual Miss Riverfest. One well-deserving young lady will be crowned and perform hostess duties throughout the festival.

Voted Top Seven Festivals to Visit!

Trips To Discover has voted Wilmington Riverfest one of the TOP Seven Festivals to Visit in North Carolina!

Benefit the Cape Fear Area

Although the yearly festival is dependant on sponsorships and donations from community businesses and organizations, the economic impact of Riverfest for Historic Downtown and the surrounding community has been estimated at over thirteen million dollars! Over 114,000 New Hanover county residents and visitors attend the Riverfest! Of those attending, 93% are FAMILIES, with 60% Female and 40% Male. Come on down to beautiful, Historic Downtown Wilmington, NC and spend a couple of days by the Cape Fear River where we will be celebrating our amazing community. See you there!

A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

A Special Thank You to Our Media Sponsors
Cumulus Media and WWAYTV3

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