Wilmington’s Riverfest, celebrated on the first weekend of October, runs through Historic Downtown Wilmington on Water Street from the foot of Market Street to Cape Fear Community College. Currently drawing nearly a quarter-million people, this free, family-oriented celebration is a three-day event and has grown to be a widely anticipated annual celebration. Riverfest was created in February 1979, by a group of Wilmingtonians interested in showcasing the Cape Fear River that has since resulted in a cultural street festival that entices locals and tourists alike to our amazing Historic Downtown.
Riverfest boasts craft vendors, concessions booths, a children’s play area, entertainment on various stages, Saturday night fireworks, a rowing regatta, a paddleboard race, and more. This year, we will also be debuting the First Annual Miss Riverfest. One well-deserving young lady will be crowned and perform hostess duties throughout the festival.
Although the yearly festival is dependant on sponsorships and donations from community businesses and organizations, the economic impact of Riverfest for Historic Downtown and the surrounding community has been estimated at over three million dollars!
You are invited to participate in RIVERFEST, an Old Wilmington Riverfront Celebration, Inc. This is an outdoor show open to all artists and craftsmen. A limited number of commercial vendors will be allowed to display and/or sell their goods. The Arts and Crafts sales and displays will be held on Saturday and Sunday only.