Here’s what’s happening this weekend in the Cape Fear area

WILMINGTON, N.C. (CAPE FEAR WEEKEND) - Another weekend filled with events from Halloween festivities to concerts and races. As we get closer to October 31st, more events involve trick-or-treating and running from zombies at Long Leaf Park.

On Friday, WECT takes our newscasts on the road for Highway 6, live from Ocean Fest in Surf City! Come by, say hello and watch our live newscasts starting with Carolina in the Morning at 6:00 a.m. and continuing through WECT News at Six

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

October 12th

Historic Thalian Hall Tour & Thunder Roll

Thalian Hall | 310 Chestnut St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.

Come celebrate the 165th anniversary of Thalian Hall, one of the oldest US theatres. Enjoy a free behind-the-scenes tour showing its unique past and hidden gems followed by the majestic Thunder Roll, an 1858 thunder sound effects machine. You will view the many renovations, storied performers and more before you travel back in time to experience America’s only operating Thunder Roll. Which is when cannon balls rolled down narrow, zigzagging wooden shoots positioned high in the rafters above the stage and that resulted in the cascading rumble that has been imitating the sound of a thunderstorm for generations. This is a wonderful way to celebrate history!

Switchfoot in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheater Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 p.m.

Experience the GRAMMY award winning alt-rock band Switchfoot as they were meant to be heard live, loud and under the stars surrounded by nature! Known for their insightful, uncompromising lyrics played with hard-driving rock and roll beats, this concert tour celebrates the 20th Anniversary of their monumental album The Beautiful Letdown featuring hit songs “Dare You to Move,” “Meant to Live,” and more.

October 13th

Nick Carter in Concert

Wilson Center | 703 N 3rd St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy a stellar night with global superstar Nick Carter who rocketed to fame as the youngest of the Backstreet Boys. With heartthrob status and boyish good looks, his successful career extends far beyond sold out arenas with television, film, and other projects. Bringing his new hit “Hurts To Love You,” as well as many fan favorites from his extensive 30 year career, this is sure to be an exciting show. Opening the show is crowd pleasing Maddie Poppe, Season 16 American Idol winner. Come see why this legendary boy bander became a star at age 12 and continues to charm his audiences.

Common Kings: Celebration Tour

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheater Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Have a mystical night under the stars as Common Kings, a group of Pacific Islanders, bring their unique brand of Polynesian reggae lakeside. With almost all of the group first-generation Americans, they have been sharing their mellow sounds for over a dozen years. They will be playing songs from their GRAMMY nominated latest release as well as their chart-topping hits. Also appearing is Jakobs Castle.

The Lodger: Halloween Spooktacular

St Paul’s Episcopal Church | 16 N 16th St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

Come experience Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent film thriller “The Lodger,” with a live organ performance by world renowned concert organist Dorothy Papadakos at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Tickets are $10 and are available on Eventbrite or at the door. All proceeds from the concert benefits St. Paul’s.

Wilmington Boat Show

Wilmington Convention Center | 515 Nutt St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 12:00 - 6:00 p.m.

The Wilmington Boat Show is back again this year at the convention center located downtown. Alongside the Cape Fear River, this destination show is the largest of its kind between Annapolis, MD and Tampa, FL. An event happening all weekend long, come see and experience the latest and greatest in watersports including boating, sailing, and fishing. The Boat Show includes areas inside the convention center and surrounding areas. Times of the show vary each day: Friday, 12:00 – 6:00 p.m., Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tickets are required to enter, which vary by age.

October 14th

Ocean Fest

Surf City | 102 N Shore Dr, Surf City, NC 28445 | 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Ocean Fest was founded in 2019 and now it’s one of the most well attended festivals in the Southeast. The purpose is to celebrate the ocean, support nonprofit organizations and teach people about ecological threats that harm marine environment and teach them how we can better protect our ecosystems. At the festival you can watch the Vintage Surf Contest and learn about the surfboards from the 1960s and 1970s at the “beach museum”. Visit the Eco Zone, run the Ocean Fest 5K Beach Run, take the kids to the kids zone, shop the arts & crafts at the vendor zone, drink a tasty beer in the beer gardens and listen to great live music. Note: Parking can be difficult, so plan accordingly.

Port City Fear Factory Special Guest Appearance

Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 p.m.

Have you seen the movie The Black Phone? A thriller that was filmed right here in Wilmington back in 2021. Some of the cast and crew are coming back for a special meet & greet event and will be walking through the Chapel of Horrors haunted house. A night that is supposed to feel like a spooky block-party between the haunted house, Hi-Wire Brewing and Bowstring. Stop by to endure spooky and strange things and meet a few famous actors in the meantime.

Pam Tillis in Concert

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

Enjoy an evening with the soothing sounds of country crooner singer/songwriter Pam Tillis who always insists on writing and performing songs that speak from the soul. With more than 30 singles charting on Billboard and ten studio projects, this is sure to be a night of stellar hits. Plan ahead, this will be a sellout.

Fall Skate Film Festival

Satellite Bar and Lounge | 120 Greenfield St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 7:00 p.m.

To support the Wilmington skateboarding community, Friends of Wilmington Skateparks will be hosting the second annual Fall Skate Film Festival at Satellite Bar & Lounge! They invited skaters and filmmakers from all over to submit their footage for a chance to have it premiered at the festival on October 14th, 2023. Although the deadline to submit is over, now you can enjoy the night watching the chosen films.

Brightmore of Wilmington Fall Festival

Brightmore of Wilmington | 2324 41st St, Wilmington, NC 28403 | 11:00 a.m.

Get ready for a day filled with fun, food, and fantastic entertainment at our Family-Friendly Fall Festival. As the crisp autumn air settles in, we invite you to embrace the spirit of the season and create lasting memories with your loved ones. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Dementia Alliance of NC, helping to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families affected by dementia.

Fire in the Pines Festival

Halyburton Park | 4099 S 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28412 | 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

This free event is held to raise awareness about the importance of controlled burning and educate the public about its relationship to the longleaf pine forest. People can participate in many activities, demonstrations, hikes, hayrides, educational booths, live music, crafts, food and more. The highlight of the festival is a demonstration-controlled burn.

The Groove Market

Riverlights | 109 Pier Master, Wilmington, NC 28412 | 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Join The Groove Market Riverlights for a pop-up market and live music on the Cape Fear River! Shop locally with various vendors selling everything from hand crafted items to boutique clothing. This event is kid and dog friendly.

The Veg-Out Festival

Riverfront Park | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 3:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The 3rd annual Veg-Out Festival is back, which is a free event that promotes healthier eating and living for a greener planet. The event includes traditional medical providers, holistic health care providers, organic, holistic, vegan, vegetarian, green, cruelty-free products and information, guest speakers, cooking demonstrations, select arts & crafts, vegan & vegetarian food vendors, non-profit organizations and more.

Beachin’ Car Show

Carolina Beach Lake Park | 306 Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Held every year, dozens of cars of all makes and years are showcased at the Beachin’ Car Show. The event includes vendors, food trucks, and raffle prizes. People are also able to cast their vote for their favorite vehicles, and trophies were awarded to those with the most votes. The event is hosted by the New Hanover County Republican Party

Back Door Kitchen Tour: Residents of Old Wilmington

517 Orange St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Differing from other historic home tours, participants are invited to “come through the back door” and get a closer look at cooking and living arrangements in a wide variety of home settings. Each home has several docents present to explain its history, features, renovations and quirky items, as well as the unique history for special kitchens designed for the homes. Built beginning in 1872, the homes have varied architectural styles with one dwelling designed to be earthquake proof. Though the homes have all been renovated through the years, they still retain many original features such as heart-of-pine floors, fireplaces, exposed brickwork, and period moldings. Eventbrite tickets are available online.

Battleship 101

USS Battleship North Carolina | 1 Battleship Road, Wilmington, NC 28401

Join the fun when special volunteers are stationed throughout the top levels of the ship to help history come to life sharing their expertise about specific battleship subjects during Battleship 101. Some of the areas they are knowledgeable about are the gunnery, radar, sickbay, galley, engineering, and daily shipboard life. Kids and the young at heart can try on helmets, raise signal flags, “text” using semaphore flags, tap out your name using Morse code, and more. This event is sure to interest all ages. Enjoy a unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with someone who knows about what life was like aboard a WWII Battleship. The event is included with Battleship admission.

Outlander at the Battle of Moores Creek Bridge

Moores Creek National Battlefield | 40 Patriots Hall Drive, Currie, NC 28435 | 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Celebrate the Scottish influence during Colonial times with an Outlander concentrated, history highlighted program featuring guest speakers: Christine Lamberton, Museum Director for the Burgwin-Wright House speaking about the popular book and video series Outlander’s connection to the area, and Dr. Kimberly Sherman providing additional information about the NC Highland Scots. Tours will be offered featuring the difference between Diana Gabaldon’s book “A Breath of Snow and Ashe” and the proven Moore’s Creek events. Also enjoy family friendly entertainment like living history featuring Highland Soldiers, Scottish dancers, colonial trades demonstrations, as well as live music from the Wilmington Police Pipes and Drums. This event is free for spectators.

Outrigger East Coast Championship

Soundside Adventures at Wrightsville Beach | 275 Waynick Blvd, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480

Join the excitement of the Outrigger East Coast Championships starting and finishing at Soundside Adventures at Wrightsville Beach. The 12-mile course will include flat water on Banks Channel as well as ocean paddling. This competition is sure to be swift and thrilling to watch, with the after party located nearby. This event is free for spectators and the course can be found here.

Zombie Run 5K and Monster Mile

Long Leaf Park | 314 Pine Grove Drive, Park Shelters 5 & 6, Wilmington, NC 28409 | 5:30 p.m.

Start your spooky Halloween season by running for your life in the first annual Zombie Run! Doomed participants navigate a non-timed 5K course with a flag belt while groups of costumed zombies stationed and hidden throughout the course try to pull flags from the runners’ belts. Participants who complete the course with at least one flag will receive an additional prize. Whether you are “eaten” by the zombies or you escape to tell the tale, all participants will receive a t-shirt. Must be Age 12+ to participate. Zombies LOVE middle schoolers, so it is recommended for their survival that they are always accompanied by an adult.

Another event is the Family Monster Mile, which is a family friendly run/walk where kids bring their Halloween baskets to trick or treat as well as take pictures with the costumed zombies. Families are encouraged to run/walk the Monster Mile together. Zombies will be along the course, showing their softer side cheering on the families as they run/walk.

October 15th

The Hampstead Wedding Showcase

Pond Break | 153 Pansy Lane, Hampstead, NC 28443 | 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.

For those who have the big day coming up, connect with top-of-the-line vendors to make your special day a memorable one. The event includes prizes, discounts raffle drawings, giveaways, a bridal fashion show, live music and the best wedding service providers in the region. Try to be the first 100 visitors there because there will be a free goodie bag waiting for you.

Swim the Loop and Mott’s Chanel Sprint

Dockside Restaurant | 1308 Airlie Road, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28403 | 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Join the fun or cheer on the swimmers as they start and finish at the Dockside Restaurant. Beginning at high tide to ensure an even tide pattern throughout the 3.5 mile swim. The other race, the Mott’s Channel Sprint, has a mass start at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, and then finishes across the Intracoastal Waterway at the Dockside Restaurant with an approximately 1.3 miles long point to point swim. Swim The Loop and Mott’s Channel Sprint are both part of the annual open water Carolina Swim Series. Click here to see where to park and information about the swimmer shuttle.

SOJA in Concert

Greenfield Lake Amphitheater | 1941 Amphitheater Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy an unforgettable evening under the stars with the multiple GRAMMY nominated group SOJA. This popular reggae band started when the eight musicians began as a garage band in high school and continues with multiple projects charting Number One in the reggae category. They will be joined by Hawaii’s own genre blending group Hirie as well as the Vermont based old soul singer/songwriter and Twiddle co-founder Mihali.

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.