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Summer Events on the Outer Banks


The Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina, with its enchanting beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant local culture, transforms into a bustling hub of activities and festivities during the summer months. Each June, July, and August, locals and tourists alike are treated to a diverse array of events that celebrate everything from music and sports to heritage and the arts. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, the Outer Banks has something exciting to offer. Let’s dive into some of the annual summer events that make the OBX an unforgettable destination.

Outer Banks Rum Festival (June)

A toast to the vibrant spirit and rich maritime heritage of the Outer Banks, the Outer Banks Rum Festival is a celebration like no other. Enjoy a day under the sun, filled with the sweet aroma of rum, echoing with the sounds of waves and music, and the joyous laughter of the community coming together.

Rum, with its deep ties to sea voyages and pirate lore, is more than just a spirit; it’s a sip of history. The festival likely offers a tasting session featuring an array of rum styles from local distilleries and international brands, each telling its own tale of adventure, craftsmanship, and the essence of the islands.

Pairing sessions, where rum meets culinary delights, offer attendees the chance to explore the harmonious blend of flavors that local cuisine and rum can create together.

For the most current information and to support a great cause, visitors and enthusiasts are encouraged to check the Beach Food Pantry’s event page directly. Let’s raise our glasses to the Outer Banks, to rum, and to the spirit of community that defines this enchanting region.

Rogallo Kite Festival (June)

The Rogallo Kite Festival, a tribute to NASA scientist and flexible-wing inventor Francis Rogallo, transforms the town’s picturesque landscape into a kaleidoscope of kites in all shapes, sizes, and hues.

Francis Rogallo, the man of the hour, left a significant footprint in the world of aeronautics. His innovative flexible-wing design set the stage for the exciting sport of hang gliding and opened the doors for the development of various stunt kites, power kites, and modern-day hang gliders. 

Held atop the dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park, this event is a visual delight. Kitty Hawk Kites and kite enthusiasts from all corners grace the festival with their breathtaking 30-100 ft kites, dancing and swaying against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. The event invites everyone, regardless of age or experience level, to participate. Fly your kite, glean from FREE walk-up stunt kite lessons, or immerse yourself and your little ones in kite coloring activities. If you prefer, you can simply kick back, relax, and revel in the enchanting sight of an array of kites soaring above.

Attending this kite festival is an adventure and as with any adventure, the right preparation is key. As you plan to join the event on the dunes, remember to bring along enough water, comfortable seating, and shade for you and your family. Given that the sand can reach high temperatures, appropriate clothing and footwear are essential. For those bringing pets, the same precautions apply – ensure that they have ample shade and a cool surface to lie on.

Jim Tobin Memorial Dolphin Tournament (June)

The Outer Banks, a premier destination for both serious anglers and enthusiastic beginners, is set to host the Annual Jim Tobin Memorial Dolphin Tournament.

Participants would engage in a day of friendly competition, vying for the biggest catch and the best fishing stories, all while enjoying the picturesque settings of the Outer Banks – a place famous for its rich marine life and excellent fishing conditions.

The tournament will benefit the following local support groups – The Outer Banks Waves of Grace, The Interfaith Community Outreach, and The Outer Banks Relief Foundation. 

Independence Beer Mile (June)

Independence Beer Mile

Prepare for a unique blend of athleticism and revelry at the Outer Banks, as The Outer Banks Brewing Station presents The Independence 1 Mile Beer Run. This intriguing event combines the competitive spirit of a race with the lighthearted fun of a backyard party.

Limited to 125 participants, the event’s tagline “Drink, Run, Drink, Run, Drink, Run, Drink, Run, Party” captures the essence of what competitors will experience. Participants get the chance to join the Brewing Station crew for an American Independence-themed beer mile, an event that promises not just a run but also a festive celebration of freedom and camaraderie.

During the course of the beer mile, participants will conquer four quarter-mile laps, each punctuated by a refreshing 10 oz. beer to keep spirits high and the atmosphere electric. Beyond the standard run, the occasion includes chip timing and a commemorative T-shirt for all who register. This adult-only, 21-and-over social run is as much about the community and enjoyment as it is about the challenge.

True to the spirit of friendly competition, prizes will be awarded to the fastest male and female runners overall. But speed isn’t the only way to win; participants are encouraged to wear their American spirit finest, with a costume contest offering accolades for the most creative attire. It’s a great opportunity to showcase patriotism and creativity all in one go.

Set at the heart of Kill Devil Hills, the Outer Banks Brewing Station provides the perfect backdrop for this social run. Situated at Milepost 8 & ¾ on the Bypass, this venue is easily accessible for locals and visitors ready to partake in the festivities.

For anyone looking to lace up their running shoes, raise a glass, and dive into an event full of energy, exercise, and entertainment, this beer mile is a chance to create unforgettable summer memories.

Wright Kite Festival (July)

Take a step back in time and enjoy the Annual Wright Kite Festival, bearing witness to the place where flight first began. Presented by Kitty Hawk Kites in collaboration with the Wright Brothers National Memorial, this festival offers attendees an enriching experience and a chance to honor the historic feats of the Wright brothers.

Experience the unparalleled feeling of walking the same grounds where Wilbur and Orville Wright took their momentous inaugural flight in 1903. But the adventure doesn’t stop at just observing. You are encouraged to participate and fly high with kites of your own!

To liven up the sky, large kites ranging between 30 – 100 feet will be on display, soaring high and creating an array of colorful wonders against the vast blue horizon. With the opportunity to experience the thrill of stunt and power kite flying through FREE lessons, the festival presents an exciting excursion for aspiring and experienced kite flyers alike.

Families and children are particularly welcome at our kite-making station, where the process of creating an airborne marvel from scratch is both educational and fun. All in all, it’s an environment steeped in history and packed with entertainment, making it a must-visit destination for kids and adults alike.

Watermelon Festival (August)

Watermelon Festival

The Outer Banks Watermelon Festival is an annual event that showcases everyone’s favorite summer fruit. From watermelon carving contests to indulging in all possible recipes featuring this refreshing fruit, the festival offers an engaging and lively atmosphere for people of all ages.

More than just a feast of watermelon-themed festivities, the event is a fundraising platform for the Outer Banks Bicycle & Pedestrian Safety Coalition. This local 501 (c)(3) organization serves the practical safety needs of drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and all residents and visitors of the Outer Banks of North Carolina in a positive and proactive manner.

OBX Watermelon Festival is free for guests to attend; however, the purchase of tickets is required to play and eat! Compete in classic competitions to win from a selection of awesome prizes.

Outer Banks Pirate Festival (August)

Ahoy Mateys! The call of the sea is beckoning adventurers of all ages to the Outer Banks Pirate Festival, a treasure trove of history, fun, and swashbuckling adventures. Hosted by Kitty Hawk Kites, this much-anticipated event promises to plunge you into the heart of pirate life, as it unfurls the sails this August in the scenic landscapes of Nags Head.

The Outer Banks have long been whispered about in tales of piracy and seafaring legends. The Pirate Festival is not just an opportunity for entertainment; it’s a portal into the vast history of pirates that once roamed these waters. It’s a chance to learn about the buccaneers who sought treasure and adventure on the high seas, making the Outer Banks a storied part of their lore.

The Outer Banks Pirate Festival offers a unique blend of education, adventure, and whimsy, all set against the beautiful backdrop of the Outer Banks. Whether you’re drawn by the history, the fun, or the chance to unleash your inner pirate or mermaid, this festival promises treasures for everyone.

National Aviation Day (August)

Nestled in the heart of every year is a day dedicated to the remarkable advancements and evolution in the field of aviation — National Aviation Day (NAD). Painted with significance, this day also marks the birthday of Orville Wright, one of the Wright brothers credited with inventing the world’s first successful airplane.

The inception of National Aviation Day can be traced back to 1939 when then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed the nation should annually celebrate its continued growth and groundbreaking strides within the aviation industry. A living testament to the impressive leaps mankind were making, Orville Wright, born in 1871, was still alive to witness and take part in these annual celebrations, up until nine years after their inauguration.

Preserving this rich history and continuing to spur innovation, National Aviation Day is more than just a celebration. It’s an affirmation of human potential, a testament to the spirit of exploration, and a constant reminder of how far we’ve come in conquering the skies. It encapsulates the past, highlights the present, and holds ambitions for a future where the sky is not the limit but a challenge we readily accept and strive to surpass.

Vacation with Village Realty

In closing, the tapestry of events, historical narratives, and the celebration of human achievement in the Outer Banks offers a mosaic of experiences that promise to enrich your vacation beyond the conventional. From the juicy delights of the Outer Banks Watermelon Festival to the swashbuckling adventures at the Outer Banks Pirate Festival, and the sky-high inspirations of National Aviation Day, these venues and celebrations encapsulate the spirit of exploration, community, and innovation.

Village Realty is renowned for providing access to a range of premium vacation rentals—from oceanfront condos and pet-friendly homes to large estates perfect for the whole family’s retreat. Whether you’re seeking a classic Outer Banks beach house rental or a villa on the fairway, Village Realty offers an accommodation style to suit every preference and requirement.

So, why choose Village Realty for your vacation? Because here, you’re not just booking a stay; you’re unlocking an adventure, a slice of history, and a bounty of unforgettable experiences that await in the Outer Banks. Come, be part of a journey that promises to be extraordinary, with Village Realty as your trusted guide.

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