Thursday, July 25, 2024

Riverfest returns to Wilmington this weekend

Riverfest kicks off this weekend in Downtown Wilmington (Port City Daily FILE PHOTO)
Riverfest kicks off this weekend in Downtown Wilmington (Port City Daily FILE PHOTO)

WILMINGTON — It’s the first full weekend in October and that means the return of the Wilmington Riverfest, the annual two-day festival is held in Downtown Wilmington. The festival offers visitors a chance to enjoy live entertainment, craft and food vendors and more.

According to the Wilmington Riverfest organizers, the event has taken place since 1979 and attracts nearly 250,000 visitors each year. The event is free and open to the public.

“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,” according to the event website.

Wilmington’s Riverfest entertainment kicks off Friday night at with Travis Shallow and the Deep End performing at 6 p.m., followed by Machine Gun starting at 8 p.m.

The music starts at noon on Saturday and Sunday and there will be two classic car shows on both days of the festival.


On-street parking this weekend in downtown is free all day Saturday and Sunday, and after 5 p.m. Friday.

“Enforcement for metered and time-limited spaces will be suspended from Ann to Harnett streets and from Water to 4th streets. On-street parking is always free on Sundays,” according to the City of Wilmington’s website.

The parking garages at Market Street and 2nd Street and the New Hanover County parking deck will charge visitors a $7 event fee after 5 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.

The Hannah Block parking lot will operate as usual all three days, and the 2nd Street Lot will have limited availability all three days.

Be sure to leave all pets at home since city ordinance prohibits any animals, leashed or not downtown during special events like Riverfest. This year also marks the third year of the annual “Miss Riverfest.”

The street fair opens at 9:30 a.m. both days and Saturday night offers a firework show for visitors.

Riverfest happens on Water Street in Historic Downtown Wilmington, the official address is 2 Water St.

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