40th Annual Riverfest expected to attract thousands to downtown Wilmington


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – Riverfest, Wilmington’s biggest fall festival, kicks off Friday night in downtown featuring concerts, food, vendor, classic cars and more.

The festival will be Friday, Oct. 5 and continues Saturday, Oct. 6.

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Concerts featuring Striking Copper, L-Shaped Lot, Josh Solomon & Eric McGuiness, and many more, take place from 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Next to the concert stage, you’ll find the beer garden. The Kidz Zone features inflatable slides and bounce houses which are all free.

Perhaps one of the highlights of the two-day festival is the fireworks show Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

“We have one of the best fireworks displays that Wilmington sees,” said Riverfest Board Member Chris Snowden.

The fireworks will be fired off from Battleship Park located across from downtown Wilmington. The best place to view them is along Water and Front Streets, and in front of the United States Federal Building and Courthouse.

While the festival features lots of music, food and fun, it also serves as an economic booster to brick and mortar businesses downtown as well as 200 participating vendors selling homemade goods or art.

“We try to bring in as many local artists as we can and, again, the original intent of the festival was to draw people to downtown Wilmington for our downtown vendors and to improve business and to draw people down to see who’s in business in downtown Wilmington,” Snowden said.

The festival also features a BMX Bike Show.

“They’re bringing in some national talent this year and we’ve have them for three years now and they’re really popular,” Snowden said.

If you prefer just strolling down the street admiring antique cars, there will be lots of them to see. Click here for a full list of festival events.