September Events 2022: What’s happening in Raleigh this month?

I often feel conflicted when September arrives. I’m so overjoyed as I absolutely love Fall in Raleigh and all the fun that is to come between now and the holidays. But, it’s a month that also chips away a little at that joy because it means summer is on the way out. And I always love summer.

Two red tractors parked by a lake

Another reason we love living in Raleigh so much, is that our warm summer weather usually stays until the end of October. So in reality, September and October are the best months of the year because we get summer like weather with so many fun festivals and events on.

For this post, let’s dive into what’s happening in Raleigh in September. We can’t include everything and some events we don’t know about so please leave your ideas in the comments below for those reading this post!

We sometimes share personal things happening for our family during the month. Simply because our community loves following what we are doing (live on Instagram). Our lives are dedicated to exploring, discovering cool things to do in Raleigh and just living large.

CONCERTS IN RALEIGH, SEPT 2022

  • Sept 1: The Black Keys with special guest Band of Horses, Coastal Credit Union
  • Sept 7: Collective Soul and Switchfoot, Koka Booth
  • Sept 7: Five Finger Death Punch, Megadeth and The Hu, Coastal Credit Union
  • Sept 10: Lee Brice, Red Hat Amphitheater
  • Sept 16: Alec Benjamin, The Ritz
  • Sept 17: Nas and Wu-Tang Clan, Coastal Credit Union
  • Sept 27: Alice In Chains and Breaking Benjamin, Coastal Credit Union

Week 1: Sept 1-4, 2022

This week we’re attending the State of Downtown Raleigh. Here’s a report of the key learnings!

First Friday, Sept 2, 2022

Portrait painting of a black women in an art museum
Contemporary Arts Museum, Raleigh
  • Where: Various locations downtown
  • Time: 5pm onwards
  • Cost: Free. (but also what you spend yourself!)
  • Website

Support Raleigh’s great artisan community on the First Friday of every month. Art galleries and studios are open late with rotating exhibits and artist talks..

Here are some events and experiences for First Friday. We love wandering around the Artspace studios in the City Market area.

  • Sir Walter Coffee has drink specials, games on the patio and DJs for their Coffee House Sessions. 
  • State Of Beer hosts an artisan mini market.
  • Taverna Agora has a Greek night with food, drink, songs and dancing!! Opa!
  • Designed for Joy offers tours of their studio on First Fridays where you can also shop their wonderful brand of leather handbags, jewelry and home décor in the Warehouse District.
  • First Friday Night Markets is also on at Moore Square with local growers and makers plus entertainment and a free outdoor movie after sundown hosted by the City of Raleigh. High School Musical will be September’s movie!

Bands, Bites, & Boats, Sept 2, 2022

  • Where: Bond Park, Cary
  • Time: 6-8pm
  • Cost: Free

On the first Friday of every month, Bond Park Boathouse hosts musicians, food trucks, and after-hours boat rentals. What a great sunset experience to kick off the weekend.

  • Band:  My Cousin Skinny 
  • Bites: Jerkman Island Cuisine and The Blue Window
  • Brews: BruePrint

African American Cultural Festival, Sept 3-4, 2022

  • Where: Fayetteville St, Downtown Raleigh
  • Time:
  • Cost: Free
  • Website

Help celebrate African American culture this Labor Day weekend through art, music, food, and dance. An Art Gallery Wall will display works of local and national artists.

The festival has become Raleigh’s premiere destination for teaching, sharing and celebrating the distinctive folk and cultural traditions of African Americans in N.C. and from around the world.

Week 2: Sept 5 – 11, 2022

We’re celebrating Kalyra’s birthday this week!

Hopscotch Music Festival, Sept 8-10 2022

crowds enjoying concert at Hopscotch Music Festival
Image by HopScotchMusicFest.com

Earning notoriety as one of the country’s top music festivals is the Hopscotch Music festival, known for its eclectic music representation covering almost every genre  —rock, hip-hop, metal, folk, electronic, experimental, and more.

It’s three days of music celebration with a spirit and atmosphere that has been likened to the New Orleans Mardi Gras.

American Dance Festival, Sept 8- 11, 2022

Since 1934, the American Dance Festival has been a recognized leader in modern dance presenting dance performances. The ADF will present a wide spectrum of dance styles outdoors at the NCMA.

Micaela Taylor’s The TL Collective will make their ADF debut, while Limón Dance Company will present an ADF commission by ADF alumni Chafin Seymour. PHILADANCO!, an explosive company from Philadelphia, is sure to get audiences moving, and Chapel Hill native Luke Hickey will bring an exciting evening of tap dancing and live music

Special Offer: Kids Night Out tickets. One youth, aged 6-17, is able to attend a performance FREE with the purchase of one regular-priced adult ticket.

Atlantic Tire Championships, Sept 11-18, 2022

The Atlantic Tire Championships is back at the award-winning Cary Tennis Park. This ATP tennis tournament is a United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pro Circuit event and features top men’s tennis professionals from across the world. Players ranked as high as number 50 in the world typically compete in these Challenger events.

Week 3: Sept 12 – 18, 2022

Disney Frozen Tour, September 14 – October 2, 2022

elsa on stage with icicles surrounding her Frozen the musical

We all experienced the joy that was Frozen the movie. Now the Broadway version, Frozen the Musical is coming to Durham at DPAC on their national tour. The show will have everything you love in a musical: sensation special effects, stunning sets and costumes, and powerhouse performances.

Frozen features the songs you know and love from the original Oscar-winning film, plus an expanded score with a dozen new numbers by the film’s songwriters.

The show is recommended for everyone ages 8 and up.

We are contracted by Biz Chica and Disney to create and post this content and will be creating more content after attending the opening show on the 14th September! We’re looking forward to it and I’m already walking around the house singing ‘Let it Go!”. Tickets here.

Ladies Night on White, Sept 15, 2022

street with buildings  and friday night white sign
Downtown Wake Forest
  • Where: White St, Downtown Wake Forest
  • Time: 6 – 9pm
  • Cost: Whatever you spend in the local stores
  • Website: ladiesnightonwhite.com

The mission of this monthly event is to bring women together by indulging in the beautiful downtown of Wake Forest, North Carolina. Ladies Night on White is a monthly event held on the third Thursday of each month in downtown Wake Forest.

About 20 businesses stay open late and offer various sales and specials throughout Ladies Night on White . There are also giveaways on the evening and a food drive benefiting a local food pantry.

Pride and Prejudice, Sept 16 – Oct 2, 2022

  • Where: Raleigh Little Theater
  • Time: Thurs. – Sat., 8pm; Sun. 3pm
  • Cost: Adult, $27; Senior/Student, $23
  • Website: Raleigh Little Theatre

Oh Mr Darcy, how lovely to see you again! Bold, surprising, boisterous, and timely, this modern version of Pride and Prejudice explores the absurdities and thrills of finding your perfect (or imperfect) match in life.

Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, Sept 16-18 & Sept. 23-25, 2022

Where: Juniper Level Botanic Garden: 9241 Sauls Road Raleigh. Fri/Sat 8am – 5pm; Sun 1-5pm

We’ve been hearing of the beauty of these gardens for years, but can never quite time it right! What makes it so special? Juniper Level Botanic Gardens is a 28-acre campus showcasing more than 27,000 different kinds of native perennials, exotic plants, rare delights and unusual specimens of trees and shrubs not found many (or any) other places on earth.

It’s a private garden, only open to the public 8 weekends a year. It is said to be one of the most spectacular gardens in the USA!

BugFest, Sep 17, 2022

butterflies on a plant stem

Bug lovers, get ready for the largest bug even in the USA. More than 100 exhibits on the fascinating world of arthropods. You can also participate in games and activities and chat with entomologists and scientists. .

This year, BugFest spotlights the myriapods, the group that includes millipedes and centipedes.

7th Annual Asia Fest with Dragon Boat Racing, Sept 17, 2022

The Greater Triangle Dragon Boat Festival, or Asia Fest, is a chance to celebrate Asian culture, diversity, and history. What better way to do it than with dragon boat races on Symphony Lake, games, stage performances and unique ethnic street food. 

La Fiesta del Pueblo, Sept 18, 2022

Another celebration of a vibrant culture living in Raleigh. La Fiesta del Pueblo is the time to honor Latin American culture with live music and dance  performances, visual and folk art exhibits, educational booths, and activities for the whole family.

Live music includes Grupo Mojado, internationally famous and nominated for a Latin Grammy for Best Group Album!

Week 4: Sept 19 – 25, 2022

Craig flies to Ireland for a week! Follow ytravelblog on Instagram for that fun!

Family Health & Fitness Day, Sept 24, 2022

Paid Listing

  • Where: Pullen Park, 520 Ashe Ave, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • Time: 10am-2pm
  • Cost: Free
  • See Website: for schedule and more information

Join this free, family-friendly event that’s focused on health, wellness and FUN. Event activities include:

  • Family yoga and kids yoga classes
  • Pop-up market featuring health & wellness professionals, parenting experts, and local makers & crafters
  • Family movement activities including yoga and ninja courses
  • Games to get everyone in your family moving and having fun
  • A free swag bag full of coupons & local goodies for the first 150 families
  • A raffle for awesome giveaways
  • Music from a family-friendly DJ

This event is hosted by Milestones Pediatric & Maternal Nutrition and presented by Emerge Pediatric Therapy. This event is sponsored by Be a Problem Solver Services, Triangle ABA, and Gladwell Orthodontics.

Benson Mule Days, Sept 22- 25, 2022

a parade of mules and carriages down main st benson
Mule Days Parade | Photo: Johnston County Visitors Bureau
  • Where: Main St Benson, Johnston County
  • Times: Various (all day events)
  • Cost: Some free and some ticketed events
  • Website: https://bensonmuledays.com/

Benson Mule Days is a legendary 4-day festival, one of the largest in North Carolina drawing in 20,000-30,000 people. If you like quirky then this festival in celebration of all things mules and farms is for you.

The tradition began in 1949 when Nowell Smith, Jr. and the McLamb Brothers had the idea for a festival that would both celebrate the farmer and foster community spirit by incorporating the town’s main draft animal – the mule.

Expect Rodeos, mule competitions, arts and crafts, food vendors, dances, carnival rides, camping, parades, Bluegrass shows, and musical concerts. Saturday’s Mule Day parade is a highlight!

Benson is about 30 minutes from Raleigh in Johnston County. Well worth a visit for Mule Days!

Marbles Imagination Ball, Sept 23, 2022

  • Where: Marbles Kids Museum
  • Time: 7pm
  • Cost: Tickets start at $125
  • Website: Imagination Ball

Marble’s signature grown-up gala – the Imagination Ball – is back in person with this year’s theme –Adventure Awaits. Come ready for spectacular décor, creative eats & drinks, a one-of-a-kind auction, exciting games of chance and legendary live music.

The Imagination Ball raises money to ensure that every child has the chance to imagine, discover, learn and PLAY at Marbles.

Downtown Cary Fall Festival, Sep 24, 2022

  • Where: West Chatham Street and Ivey-Ellington grounds in Downtown Cary, 9am-3pm
  • Website: Cary Farmers Festival

Help celebrate the fall bounty of harvest season with our local farmers. There will be live music on the main stage, a kids performance area, fun games and interactive exhibits, local food and craft beer, art & crafts and a mid-day pie-eating contest.

Farm Aid Festival, Set 24, 2022

  • Where: Coastal Credit Union
  • Time: non -11pm
  • Cost: Starting $75
  • Website: Farm Aid 2022

Great cause combined with great music from some musical greats! This is the annual Farm Aid Festival – an all-day celebration of music and family farmers.

The festival features performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson & Family, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, and Margo Price, as well as Chris Stapleton, Sheryl Crow, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Allison Russell, Charley Crockett, Brittney Spencer, and Particle Kid.

The festival will also have family farm-identified, local and organic foods as part of our HOMEGROWN Concessions. (I can’t applaud this enough!!)

Since its beginning in 198, Farm Aid has raised more than $64 million to promote a strong and resilient family farm system of agriculture. I’m so grateful Raleigh gets to host it this year!

Festa Italiana, Sept 24, 2022

Festa Italiana Raleigh was founded by a small group of Italian – Americans in the Triangle in 2018. Since then it has become a much anticipated annual event celebrating Italian culture, music, food, wine and more.

Features Italian food, wine, merchandise with cooking demonstrations, entertainment and a kids area!

Downtown Food Truck Rodeo, Sept 25, 2022

  • Where: Downtown Fayetteville St
  • Time: 12pm-6pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: Food Truck Rodeo

Get ready to chow down on your favorite food truck tasty treats.

There’ll be 1/2 mile of food trucks from across North Carolina spread out over 10 city blocks.

Week 5: Sept 26 – 30, 2022

Designed for Joy, Evening of Giving, Sept 29, 2022

  • Where: North Carolina Museum of Art
  • Time: 7pm – 10pm
  • Cost: Tickets start at $130
  • Website: Evening of Giving

What a fantastic event to celebrate and support the incredible community service given by Designed for Joy. Over the past 5 years they have hired near 90 women with over $200,000 in living wages earned.

The event will include stories of success from artisans, a silent auction, DFJ products to purchase, opportunity to help sew a signature product, and food and drinks.

Be sure to come say hi to Caroline who will be attending the event. You can listen to our interview with co-founder Cary Heise here to learn more about the DFJ non-profit.

IBMA World Of Bluegrass Festival, Sept 30- Oct 1, 2022

People playing instruments on a stage
The Youth Stage

Are you ready for one of the most popular free events in Raleigh? The IBMA World of Bluegrass is a two-day urban bluegrass music festival that closes out the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Week in Raleigh. NC.

Fayetteville Street is closed down and features five blocks and six stages of music from up and coming artists to bluegrass legends.

The event also includes an amazing street festival complete with delicious food, a dance tent, a BBQ cook-off, an arts & crafts market and many other activities for all ages. Read our full post sharing the World of Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh experience.

Triangle Oktoberfest, Sept 30 – Oct 1, 2022

People standing in a line holding up glasses of beer
Image by TriangleOktoberfest.org

I’m so disappointed the largest Oktoberfest in Central North Carolina conflicts with the Bluegrass. This authentic German festival focused on family fun, traditional Bavarian food and fare; and plenty of local and authentic German beers from Munich.

Of course, rest assured there will be Polka music to ramp up that Oompah vibe. And I can tell you from my Oktoberfest experience in the beer halls of Munich that it is a fun event you’ll never forget. Raise your stein and get prosting!

Read more: 13 Places to celebrate Oktoberfest in Raleigh

Comment: What events and festivals are you most looking forward to attending for the month of September?

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