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Outer Banks EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.

With its brisk wind currents, towering sand dunes and legacy of aviation history, it seems only natural that many Outer Banks events would involve imaginative ways to experience “flights.” If you can tear yourself away from the waves at the beach or the lure of the fishing pier, check out one of the high-flying festivals sponsored throughout the year by Kitty Hawk Kites, which was founded by a hang gliding pioneer. The company’s main store is in Nags Head , just across the street from Jockey's Ridge State Park (where many of these family-friendly events take place).

Fun things to do with kids in the Outer Banks

Children delight in learning how to fly a kite at Fly Into Spring and Easter Eggstravaganza in March. Games and kite-making demonstrations are among the festivities. The Hang Gliding Spectacular in mid-May claims to be the nation’s oldest competition in that sport. Pilots come from around the world to show off their international flight maneuvers and vie for awards. A street dance adds to the festivities.

The following month brings the Rogallo Kite Festival , which salutes Francis M. Rogallo, a NASA scientist and inventor of the flexible wing, the predecessor of today’s hang gliders. He tested his concept in the early 1960s, soaring from the top of Outer Banks sand dunes. Kite-flying exhibitions and demonstrations, nighttime entertainment and children’s activities also are part of this 2-day event.

At the Wright Kite Festival in July, held where flight began at the Wright Brothers National Memorial , both adults and children can show off their kite-flying skills.

Things to see in OBX

The Outer Banks area also has its share of cultural events. The Frank Stick Memorial Art Show , held in February in Nags Head, features the works of more than 125 Dare County artists. Stick, a noted early 20th-century illustrator, developed a love for the Outer Banks after visiting the area on a fishing trip in the 1920s and was a major proponent of the creation of Cape Hatteras National Seashore .

In Dare County, the first Saturday in June has been declared Dare Day , an occasion for the citizenry to gather and celebrate their past (visitors are welcome to join in the merriment as well). Residents congregate around the historic waterfront in downtown Manteo for some down-home fun and to officially begin the summer season. Lots of crafts booths, food vendors serving up tempting treats, family entertainment, music, a rollicking street dance, games, rides and fun things to do create a party-like atmosphere.

Locals and visitors convene once again in downtown Manteo's waterfront area in August for the New World Festival of the Arts . This juried exhibition brings together works created by more than 80 artisans for a 2-day midweek outdoor art show. Booths and tents are manned by artists from around the country showing off their paintings, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and other things to see.

Regional musicians, storytellers, artisans and performers converge in Ocracoke the first weekend in June for the OcraFolk Festival . The village fills with the sounds of music, from bluegrass to classical, and the lilting voices of storytellers spinning their yarns. Displays of arts and crafts, a square dance and a live auction are what to do during the 3-day affair.

See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.

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Outer Banks, NC

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