Need weekend plans? Look at this week’s Cape Fear Weekend Planner

WILMINGTON, N.C. (CAPE FEAR WEEKEND) - As always, the Cape Fear area has a lot going on over the weekend. Everything from pre Halloween trick-or-treating to outdoor fishing, concerts and competitive races. One thing to keep on your radar for Saturday are many road closures spanning from Wrightsville Beach to Downtown Wilmington for the annual Ironman race. If you get stuck along the route... get out and cheer on the hard working athletes!

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

October 20th

Leftover Salmon in Concert

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

Spend a surreal night under the stars with the bluegrass band who first added highly combustible musical styles of the modern jam band scene. In their fourth decade as a band, Leftover Salmon is showing no signs of slowing down with a recent release proving it is possible to recreate themselves without changing who they are. Their current status as elder statesmen of the jam band scene proves they have been a crucial link by keeping alive the traditional bluegrass music, while at the same time adding their freshly exciting unique sound.  Also appearing is Fireside Collective.

Halloween Fest

Maides Park | 1101 Manly Ave, Wilmington, NC 28405 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Davis Center in Maides Park is excited to hold it’s annual Halloween festival, which is open to all ages. The event will include safe trick-or-treating, games, food and music. Children are encouraged to dress up in their best costume and bring their own bags.

October 21st

Port City Fear Factory Fall Festival

Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Get ready for a family-fun day that includes haunts, scares and live music for the whole family. The Chapel of Horrors haunted house is scaling down the thrill and opening it up to families with kids from noon to 4 p.m. Across the street at Hi-Wire there will be a fall festival with local vendors, food, and games. Next door you can find the live music at Bowstring post festival from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m. Then the creatures come back out to play at the haunted house from 6:30 – 11:00 p.m. Get ready to jump, scream and have the ultimate spooky/fall experience.

FlowILM: Outdoor Light, Sound & Movement Show

Cameron Art Museum | 3201 South 17th St, Wilmington, NC 28412 | 4:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Enjoy an exquisite live light and sound performance with installation by the researchers, artists and scientists known as the Algae Society.  This fall celebration will explore the unique aquatic Cape Fear River organisms and their coastal ecosystem by Bioart Design Lab projection-mapping them onto the museum’s exterior walls and landscape interfacing with silhouettes, shadows, and movements of dancers, connected through the medium of sound. Water samples and data from the museum’s pond and surrounding community will make the invisible visible through projected digital light and scales of magnification. The first half of the evening is filled with educational and family fun activities while the second half encourages visitors to meander the museum grounds and interact with the art, experiencing symbiotic worlds of biological and ecological art, biomimicry, interactive systems, and multi-sensory data translation in light and sound. This event is free to attend.

Greenfield Lake Family Nature Walks

Greenfield Lake Park | 1739 Burnett Blvd, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Join the knowledgeable guides from Cape Fear Bird Observatory and their partners for a family friendly fun nature walk! Meeting at the Greenfield Lake boathouse (near the tennis courts) for an informational session beginning at 9:00 a.m. followed by a narrated 60-minute stroll around the lake looking at interesting birds, plants, mammals, reptiles, and other fascinating wild things. All are welcome, no registration required, but plan on bringing sunscreen, insect repellent, water and comfortable walking shoes.

International Observe the Moon Night

Cape Fear Museum of History and Science | 814 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Join a worldwide evening lunar celebration filled with fun and educational activities at the Cape Fear Museum.  This two-hour family fun evening has hands-on activities, exhibit explorations, telescopes for moon observation, themed story time and more!  Activities will happen outside in the museum garden as well as inside the museum. This event is free along with free museum access.

IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina

Riverfront Park | 10 Cowan St, Wilmington, NC 28401

With excitement from beach to battleship, the IRONMAN 70.3 North Carolina triathlon will feature a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. This “point-to-point-to-point-to-point” event begins in Wrightsville Beach and takes athletes along the same fast channel swim. The bike course runs through the coastal countryside outside Wilmington, and the run loops around Greenfield Park before athletes finish in historic downtown across the river from the USS North Carolina Battleship. This event is free for spectators.

Paul Cauthen in Concert

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

Experience an unforgettable night rocking lakeside with country funk, rhythm and blues singer/songwriter Paul Cauthen, one of the founding members of Sons of the Fathers. Proudly embracing his larger-than-life nickname “Blue Velvet” for his distinctive baritone, he will be singing his new hit “Desert Woman” as well as other fan favorites. Come see why Rolling Stone put his debut album on their list of Top 40 Albums of the Year!

Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge

224 Canal Drive, Municipal Docks, Carolina Beach, NC 28428 | Midnight on Friday – Noon on Sunday

Pleasure Island, made up of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Fort Fisher, provides the perfect coastline for surf fishing, and is home to the area’s premiere land-based surf fishing tournament. Everyone is welcome to come and join this weekend of fishing for a chance to win over $30,000 in cash and prizes. The fishing starts at midnight on Friday and goes through noon on Sunday. The awards dinner is on Sunday from noon to 2:00 p.m., for which the awards will then be awarded. Click here to register as a fisherman.

October 22nd

Fall Festival & Trunk or Treat

Grace United Methodist Church | 401 Grace St, Wilmington, NC 28401

This downtown Wilmington church is hosting its annual fall festival and trunk or treat for everyone of all ages. In addition to receiving bags and bags of candy, the event will also have free food, a cake walk, games, crafts, face painting and so much more. Throw on your favorite Halloween costume and join the spooky fun!

The Cat Empire

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

Spend the night lakeside with the reincarnation of a jazz project that began over two decades ago.  Their new album, which launches in August, includes brand-new music the band describes as containing “all the elements (and then some) of a Cat Empire classic.”


Hi-Wire Brewing | 1020 Princess St, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Join HI-Wire as they celebrate their annual Oktoberfest. Little German Band and Dancers will be there to set the scene and they’ll also have games, specials, pretzels, live music and more.

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.