It’s the first full weekend of October, here’s what’s happening!

WILMINGTON, N.C. (CAPE FEAR WEEKEND) - Welcome to October, the month of dropping temperatures, pumpkin patches and spookiness. This weekend is jam-packed with events, which include the county star Jelly Roll, the annual Wilmington Riverfest and a special concert onboard the USS Battleship North Carolina.

To see what else is happening this month, here’s a full list of our October events.

Wednesday, October 4th

Fall Yoga in the Gardens

Airlie Gardens | 300 Airlie Road, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Enjoy the blissful surroundings of nature’s magic with yoga in the Airlie Gardens. Practice with a certified teacher on the serene Oak Lawn with a class that is suitable and fun for everyone from beginners to experienced yogis. Pre-registration online or by phone (910) 769-3494 is required to secure your spot for this popular event, but you can bring your mat and/or towel and arrive at the Oak Lawn at least 15 minutes early to pay and complete registration. Park in the general parking area and get directions from the Ticket Booth to the Oak Lawn. Tickets are $14 for drop-in rate or a discounted price for Airlie Garden members.

Thursday, October 5th

Jelly Roll: Backroad Baptism Tour 2023

Live Oak Bank Pavilion | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

You’ve heard him on the radio, whether it was on a country station or hip/hop, because Jelly Roll does it all. He’s an artist who’s from Nashville, but started out as a rapper made a name for himself in the country industry. He’s had record-breaking songs such as “Save me”, “Need a favor” and “Son of a sinner”. This sure to be sell-out event is one you’ll want to try and snag a ticket for.

Friday, October 6th

Farewell Summer Jazz Funeral

Kure Beach Ocean Front Park & Pavilion | 105 Atlantic Ave, Kure Beach, NC 28449 | 7:00 p.m.

Join the Town of Kure Beach for their annual free jazz funeral procession to wish summer a fond farewell until next year. The Port City Players will perform jazz favorites to celebrate the end of summer. All are invited to participate in the New Orleans style jazz funeral procession with food trucks offering traditional New Orleans cuisine. Don’t forget your fancy hats and finest dress to join the parade!

Musical Salute to the Battleship

USS Battleship North Carolina | 1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

October is an exciting month for Wilmington, not only because of all the fall festivities happening but because it’s when the Battleship North Carolina landmark arrived in Wilmington. In 1961 it arrived in the port city and to celebrate you can attend a concert on the deck of the ship. Expect to hear a musical salute to the battleship with a few patriotic favorites. This two-hour concert is played by Wilmington Big Band as they perform under the big guns on the Fantail.

Torment Haunted Laser Tag

Jungle Rapids Family Fun Park | 5320 Oleander Drive, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Enter if you dare into this special Halloween edition of an ultimate laser tag experience. You never know what might be lurking in the dark corners of an area… it could be a masked figure watching your every move or a ghostly girl looking for revenge. Come test your limits as you navigate through the smoky passageways of their black lit arena while high energy spooky music makes this a one-of-a-kind Halloween thrill. You must purchase a Halloween ticket for $20 per person and call to book a time. Suitable for ages 6 and up.

Saturday, October 7th

Latte Art Show Down

Azalea Station | 1502 Castle St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:30 - 9:30 p.m.

You know those beautiful designs that come on top of your hot cup of coffee? Blue Cup Roastery is hosting an event where baristas from all over Wilmington battle head-to-head to see who can free hand pour the best looking latte art. A raffle will take place with proceeds benefiting Yoga Village and there will also be live music, drinks and snacks.

Wilmington Riverfest

Downtown Wilmington | 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (Sunday: 10:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)

Celebrated on the first full weekend of October, the Riverfest runs through Historic Downtown Wilmington along Front Street between Chestnut and Orange Street. This free, family-oriented celebration is a two-day event and has grown to be a widely anticipated annual celebration, drawing in tens of thousands of people. 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.

Note: There will be no firework display on Saturday night

Romantic Masters

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 p.m.

Join The Wilmington Symphony as they open their season with Romantic Masters featuring Piano Virtuoso Alon Goldstein. Performing Beethoven’s magnificent Piano Concerto No. 5, the “Emperor,” as well as Howard Hanson’s enchanting Symphony No. 2, the “Romantic.” Internationally known for his performances with heavenly piano and incredible voicing… the show will leave you absolutely breathless!

Beach & Barn Designs Fall Fest

Beach & Barn Designs | 4874 Old Long Beach Rd, Southport, NC 28461 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Head to Southport for a fall festival that is fun for the whole family. Expect to see local art, vendors, music and delicious food trucks. If you’re coming from the Wilmington area, make a day trip out of it and ride the Fort Fisher/Southport Ferry.

Bark in the Park

Wrightsville Beach Parks & Recreation | 321 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480 | 11:00 a.m.

Mighty mutts and playful purebreds will leap into the sky to catch flying discs at the Bark in the Park Skyhoundz Hyperflite Canine Disc Championships. Everyone is welcome to enjoy this free, unique event and applaud the talented canine athletes. Spectators can vote for the best dressed dog, best dressed team, and dog displaying the most personality.

Pets in the Park

Carolina Beach Lake Park | 400 Lake Park Blvd S, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Come celebrate pets, their owners and pet-friendly businesses at the lakeside Pets in the Park! The family-friendly event usually includes fun like K9 demonstrations, Puppy Kissing Booth, “Ask a Vet” Booth, Pet Blessing, Rescue Groups, Pet Parade, Costume Contest, DJ Mike, DOGA- a half hour yoga session with your pup, Face Painting and amazing food trucks (for pets and their humans). It’s $5 at the door and kids 10 and under are free.

Fall Market

Burgwin-Wright House | 224 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Enjoy the gorgeous weather and beautiful gardens at the Burgwin-Wright Fall Market featuring over 37 local artists and artisans, homemade crafts and more! Vendors will be scattered throughout their acre of gardens. The historic house, jail, visitor center, and art gallery will remain open for regular operational hours of 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 9th

Billy Ocean in Concert

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:30 p.m.

Enjoy an upbeat evening with GRAMMY winning pop, soul and rhythm and blues artist Billy Ocean. His positive songs with catchy lyrics sung to Calypso Island Beats have captivated a worldwide audience for decades. Sing along to his famous hits like “Caribbean Queen,” “There’ll Be Sad Songs,” and more. Plan ahead this will surely sell out.

Lauren Schuster

Lauren Schuster

Lauren joined WECT in September of 2022 as a multimedia journalist/reporter. Lauren grew up in a suburb of Chicago and graduated from Western Michigan in 2022 with a degree in broadcast journalism. While attending school, she interned at WOOD-TV 8 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also worked as a lifestyle reporter for Rose Tv in Rosemont, Illinois.