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    Festive Entertainment and Events To Enjoy In Wilmington

    Each year in Mid-August travelers slip back in time in Wilmington, North Carolina and experience 100 years of food, entertainment, and Southern culture at the Annual festival, “Flavor of the Past.” The exciting festival highlights Wilmington’s rich history from the 1850s until the 1950s. The celebration of musical rhythms is enhanced by costumed interpretation, plus guests can enjoy a variety of tasty treats made with historic-inspired recipes. This unique interactive living history event pairs Wilmington restaurants with period homes and venues to provide a delicious and melodious twist on traditional historic tours.

    Riverfest is another tradition that celebrates life and culture on the Cape Fear River and provides endless hours of family fun. Each year the event gets bigger and better, with fun and festivities held in Early October. The event kicks off with the “Battle of the River” riverfront showdown that pits local bands in a fierce musical competition at Battleship Park, adjacent to the Battleship North Carolina.

    There’s more for kids at this year’s RiverFest than ever. Returning are the popular Children’s Stage where kids enjoy entertainment with song, dance, magic and the KidzZone at the Cotton Exchange, with activities such as face/hair painting, games, amusements, arts, crafts, clowns, rides, and more. This year’s festival also includes an Invasion of the Pirates Treasure Hunt. On Saturday at 11am, pirates distribute free Treasure Hunt maps.

    Downtown Wilmington comes to life during the weekend with a street fair that winds its way along the Cape Fear River. Continuous live entertainment underscores the influence of arts and culture on the Cape Fear lifestyle. Outdoor stages feature a variety of dance and music performances. Set against the backdrop of the Cape Fear River, the area's rich heritage is further demonstrated by more than 200 Arts & Crafts vendors selling art and handmade crafts such as pottery, jewelry, sculptures, paintings, photography, baskets, holiday items, and more. Over 30 food vendors serve a variety of edible festival treats.

    Art and garden lovers can experience the natural beauty of 10 fabulous public and private gardens enhanced by art and music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 5pm during the Annual Art in the Gardens Tour. Tours begin at the Arboretum at New Hanover County Cooperative Extension Center, located at 6306 Oleander Dr. in Wilmington. Admission charge for tours.

    Kids who stop at all the places on the treasure map will receive a pirate outfit to wear during the Annual Invasion of the Pirates Flotilla. This year’s Invasion of the Pirates Flotilla is ‘bigger and badder’ than before. The pirate-themed flotilla begins Saturday at dusk on the Cape Fear River with boats of all sizes that are decorated as pirate ships. Sinbad will arrive on the Meka II. Fireworks follow at 9pm to celebrate the pirates’ successful siege. Free Wilmington Trolley shuttle will be available between the sites. For more information and to reserve your place on the tour, please call the Cape Fear Museum at 910-798-4362.

    By Melody Schubert

    Getting There:

    Explore Wilmington’s activities, events, attractions, and trip planning options by visiting the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.wilmingtonandbeaches.com.