Events: Enjoy Year-Round Events and Festivals

Dare Days, Manteo NC 2010
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Marshes Light has everything we were looking for. We may retire here permanently! - Joan Drexler and Bob Ciardi

Life at Marshes Light is filled with celebration and history. Enjoy festivals, cultural, musical, and sporting events, and special traditions year-round.

Outer Banks Things to Do

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Independence Day

Independence Day in Manteo is a full day of fun, with children's games and activities, contests, and a flea market. Nighttime activities include the North Carolina School of the Arts Pops Concert at Roanoke Island Festival Park, and culminate in fireworks over the Roanoke Sound.

Red Nose Wine Festival

Celebrate Christmas in July at Marshes Light, wine tastings, food, music, and more along the waterfront. Proceeds benefit the Outer Banks Relief Foundation, which provides relief to local families in need.

Manteo First Fridays

First Friday is a fun-filled, family-oriented street festival held the first Friday of each month, April through December from 4 to 8 p.m. on the Downtown Manteo Waterfront. The sidewalks pulse with live music, magic, artisans, period-dressed actors, a rockclimbing wall and much more. Tantalizing aromas waft from the kitchens of the Waterfront’s diverse eateries. Many shops and restaurants do individual celebrations inside their establishments, offering their own live music, unique merchandise, special sales and light refreshments.

Manteo Farmer's Market

The Manteo Farmer's Market provides fresh fruits, vegetables, handcrafts, and more, every Saturday morning June through August, in Washington Creef Park, adjacent to the maritime museum. Click here for more information.

The Lost Colony

The Lost Colony is the nation's premier and longest-running symphonic drama. This historic dramatic treasure plays nightly (except Sundays) from June through August each year at Manteo's Waterside Theatre. The Lost Colony honors the original lost colonists through drama, education, and literature. Click here for more information.

The New World Festival of the Arts

The New World Festival of the Arts is a juried exhibition featuring 80 selected artists from Vermont to Florida exhibiting and selling their works on the Manteo Waterfront. This two-day outdoor art show has been held for over 25 years. Click here for more information.

Outer Banks Taste of the Beach

Presented by the Dare County Restaurant Association, this grand food festival will feature wine tastings, cooking classes, special menu presentations, celebrity guest chef appearances, brewery tours, tapas crawls and many more events with an exciting array of creative combinations and culinary delights. For more information visit and to purchase tickets

Kelly's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Following a traditional Irish Blessing, each petal on the Shamrock represents a wish for good health, good luck & much happiness. Awards include Best Overall, Best Float, Best Band/Music Theme, Best Unity & Best Parade Route Theme.  The parade hosts 100+ entries annually & is viewed by 8-10 thousand bystanders.


Dare Day

Dare Day is an annual celebration of the people and history of Dare County, held on the streets and waterfront area of downtown Manteo for over 30 years. Dare Day entertainment features live music for audiences of all ages, and ends with a street dance. Click here for more information.

Christmas in Manteo

Christmas Season in downtown Manteo gets underway with two annual events: The Lighting of the Town Tree traditionally takes place the 1st Friday night in December on the Manteo Waterfront and The Annual Christmas Parade follows the next day, replete with marching bands and floats.