The weekend starts with community floats, bands, and dignitaries parading down the Holden Beach causeway Saturday morning. It’s actually the only time each year the Holden Beach bridge is closed to traffic, allowing for gorgeous views of the waterway as you walk across – and cool photo opps with your family and friends from atop the bridge!
After the parade, head over to the Holden Beach Pavilion to check out the arts and crafts vendors. They’re open from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Saturday and 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM on Sunday. Bringing the entire family? Your children will love the activities geared just for kids, including face painting, kite flying, costume contests, and bouncy houses. Come hungry because there’s no way to resist the fares of our local food vendors on site.
A weekend of live musical entertainment at the pavilion is always popular, so pull up a seat or hit the dance floor! The festival also holds a sandcastle building contest (our favorite!) and horseshoe tournament for those who are down for a little competition.
How much does the North Carolina Festival by the Sea cost? Nothing at all! Enjoy free admission and free parking - a great reason to keep coming back all weekend long to enjoy the salt air and ocean breeze. Of course, if you’re staying on the island, it’s an easy walk or bike ride down the island to the center of all of the festivities.