Construction Crews are hard at work on the Riverwalk Extension lining the Port City Marina. They have nearly finished laying the utilities, and are working on installing the railing systems. They are also grading the Riverwalk areas in preparation for pouring concrete.
Cape Fear Blues Festival
Wilmington’s annual celebration of blues music, The Cape Fear Blues Festival, is an event featuring local, regional and national performers. The three-day all-blues celebration includes live concerts, a blues workshop, an all-day blues jam, and the ever popular ‘Blues Cruise’ aboard the Henrietta III riverboat.
When: This year’s festival will be July 26th-28th
Where: Wilmington’s premier blues music venues, the Rusty Nail Saloon (1310 S. 5th Street) and Ziggy’s by the Sea (208 Market St.), will host the Festival. Other various events are held in different locations throughout Wilmington; mostly located in the historic downtown area. See the schedule below for specific locations.
Friday, July 26
- Cape Fear Blues Cruise on Henrietta III featuring Russ Wilson & His Mighty Mighty Men, The Rusted Rails, & Mojo Collins on board at 7:30; plus Randy McQuay II on the dock prior to boarding at 5:30. Cruise features 3 bands, 3 decks and 3 cash bars, with heavy appetizers catered by Angie’s. Tickets are $53 per person and can be purchased now at www.capefearblues.org
- Post Cruise Blues Party at The Rusty Nail with Cape Fear Blues Challenge champions Fat Bastard Blues Band. Cover charge applies. Begins around 9 p.m.
Saturday, July 27
- Blues Workshop at Finkelstein Music with local Blues musicians Jake Horton & Vince Stout. They will demonstrate their techniques, talk about their influences and play some blues. Free to public. Info at 910-762-5662. 11 a.m.
- Blues Showcase at The Rusty Nail. Outdoor event featuring local and regional players. 4 p.m.
- Saturday Night Blues Party at Ziggy’s with James Armstrong and special guest Mojo Collin. 9 p.m. Advance tickets available now at Ziggy’s by the Sea.
- Live Blues at 9 p.m. at The Rusty Nail featuring Brett Johnson’s Blues Revue. Cover charge applies.
Sunday, July 28
- Free All-Day Blues Jam under the tent at The Rusty Nail hosted by the Cape Fear Blues Society. Beverages and food will be available for sale all day. Free to public.
For more details about the Cape Fear Blues Festival, including tickets, times and locations, visit the festival website at www.capefearblues.org or call 910-350-8822.
Wilmington’s Local Farmers’ Markets
Wilmington has several great Farmers Markets where you can buy products and produce from actual local farmers and crafters. These markets serve as a seasonal destination for locals and tourists alike. Here you can meet local farmers and shop a variety of local produce and arts and crafts. The community setting and social atmosphere promote quality of life in Wilmington while offering a venue for local growers and crafters to sell their products.
Open air markets provide a unique summer shopping experience. Spend a few hours outside at one of the following Wilmington Markets browsing the freshest produce around, listening to music and checking out local artists work.
- When: Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Where: Located along the Cape Fear River in Historic Downtown Wilmington in Riverfront Park; 00 block of N. Water Street
- Info: Situated in Historic Downtown Wilmington along the scenic Cape Fear River featuring local farmers, producers, artists and crafters. Products offered include fresh vegetables, fruits and berries, herbs, flowers, plants, eggs, cheeses, farm raised meats, seafood, honey, baked goods and confections, legumes, pickled items, jams & jellies, arts & crafts, and more. Musical entertainment is provided to set the mood and customers can take advantage of special events, activities and seasonal projects.
- When: Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
- Where: Lewis Nursery & Farms, 6517 Gordon Road, Wilmington NC
- Info: This unique market features “pick your own” blueberries, strawberries and blackberries. You have the opportunity to pick the fruit fresh yourself. In addition to produce, the market also has a great selection of annuals, perennials, herbs and vegetable plants including gorgeous hanging baskets and potted plants. Before you leave, grab an ice cream cone or milkshake because this market is known for their homemade blueberry and blackberry ice cream (made with their own fresh berries).
- When: Mondays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Where: Seawater Lane at the Town of Wrightsville Beach municipal grounds
- Info: Provides an opportunity for residents and visitors of Wrightsville Beach to purchase fresh, locally grown produce and meet local farmers. Features vendors offering fresh and local produce, plus flowers, crafts, bread and other baked items, herbs, dairy products, meat and seafood, treats for dogs and more.
- When: Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Where: Along the shores of Carolina Beach Lake; Highway 421 and Atlanta Ave, Carolina Beach NC
- Info: This outdoor “island style” market is right on the shores of the scenic Carolina Beach Lake. There is an abundant selection of fresh and local fruits and vegetables, dairy products, wines, meats, baked goods and natural soaps. Local artists and crafters also have their items on display and available for purchase. Local musicians provide live music while you shop.
Wilmington’s Outdoor Summer Concerts
Most people will agree that enjoying live music at an outdoor concert is one of the best ways to spend a warm summer evening. Luckily, summertime brings a variety of free concert series to Wilmington, NC. So pack a cooler, grab your beach chairs and head outdoors to listen to some great local music. Here are a few suggestions of places to find outdoor concerts in Wilmington this summer…
- Where: Held at Riverfront Park in Downtown Wilmington. Located at 5 N. Water St.
- When: May 24th-August 30th, every Friday evening; Music starts at 6pm
- Info: This popular Friday night live music entertainment takes place on the riverfront in downtown Wilmington. They usually feature cover bands of various musical genres (Journey, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, etc.). Coolers are not allowed but there is beer and wine available for purchase onsite. This is a picturesque concert venue, as listeners can watch the sun set over the Cape Fear River while nestled in the center of the ‘downtown’ scene. Admission is free.
- Where: At the Wrightsville Beach Town Park and Recreation area; 321 Causeway Drive Wrightsville Beach, NC
- When: June 13th-August 8th; Thursday Evening from 6:30-8pm
- Info: The WECT Sounds of Summer Concert Series features live music at the Wrightsville Beach Park. Pack a picnic, bring your beach blankets and chairs, and enjoy an evening of local music with family and friends. Admission is free.
- Where: Bands set up on the Mayfaire Event Field located directly behind Ulta and World Market in the Mayfaire Shopping Center; 6835 Main St.
- When: May-July; Every Friday evening from 6pm until dark
- Info: The series delivers a tremendous line-up of bands appealing to all ages and musical tastes from Classic Rock, Beach, Blues, 80s, funk and everything in between. The kids can enjoy several moon bounce castles, cotton candy and snow cones for a small fee. Additional activities and goodies weekly for all. Bring a blanket or chairs and pack your picnic basket or cooler with whatever you please. You could also grab some food from one of Mayfaire’s restaurants afterwards or catch a movie at the nearby Mayfaire Cinemas. Admission is free.
- Where: On the Oak Lawn in Airlie Gardens; 300 Airlie Road
- When: May-September; the first and third Friday of every month from 6-8pm
- Info: Relax under the oak trees in Wilmington’s historical treasure and well-known formal Garden while the area’s premier musicians perform. The Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series offers wonderful music, including beach music, dance bands and jazz. It also doesn’t hurt that the setting (Airlie Gardens) is arguable one of the most beautiful places in Wilmington. Picnics, chairs, coolers and blankets welcome. Admission ranges from $2-$8.