Wilmington, NC: Three events held in Wilmington, North Carolina’s river district and island beaches have been selected as Southeast Tourism Society (STS) Top 20 Events during the months of November and December, 2017. The 23rd Annual Cucalorus Film Festival (Nov. 8-12) in Wilmington and the 34th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla (Nov. 25-26) in Wrightsville Beach make return appearances on the prestigious STS Top 20 Events list. Making its STS Top 20 debut is the 25th Annual Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration (Dec. 31) at the Carolina Beach Boardwalk. These STS Top 20 winners exemplify the festive and creative spirit that’s ever-present from the river to the sea during the fall and holiday seasons:
23rd Annual Cucalorus Festival, Wilmington, November 8-12: Known for its gorgeous riverside setting and its laid-back, rock ‘n’ roll atmosphere, Cucalorus is a non-competitive festival, which showcases more than 300 independent films from all over the world. In addition to film screenings, guests enjoy a diverse selection of stage performances and over 50 connect conference events that focus on technology and entrepreneurship. The festival’s spirited celebration has been recognized as a breeding ground for young artists, new ideas and lifelong friendships. Moviemaker Magazine has recognized the event as “One of the Coolest Film Festivals in the World” and “One of the 50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” Admission charge. For details: 910-343-5995.
34th Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla, Wrightsville Beach, November 25-26: The North Carolina Holiday Flotilla at Wrightsville beach is the Southern coastal version of a Holiday parade—on water—at night. It’s also among the state’s largest Thanksgiving weekend events as it attracts over 50,000 visitors and reaches many more through extensive media coverage. The total Flotilla experience is a weekend full of fun events with something for everyone including the Flotilla Launch Party featuring music by The Embers, an annual tree-lighting ceremony with a visit from Santa on Friday, along with the Festival in the Park for families and children on Saturday afternoon just prior to the flotilla. Don’t miss the spectacular lighted boat parade starting at 6:00 p.m., followed by a fireworks show. Free admission to flotilla and festival; admission charge for launch party. For details: 910-256-2120.
25th Annual Island of Lights New Year’s Eve Celebration, Carolina Beach, December 31: This small island community really knows how to throw a party. For 20 years, The Island of Lights New Year’s Eve celebration has rotated between Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. This year’s event will be held at the newly renovated and expanded Carolina Beach Boardwalk where visitors will enjoy music, fireworks, the signature “beach ball drop” and a heaping dose of Southern hospitality. The party kicks off at 9:00 p.m. and the giant beach ball drop and fireworks are at midnight. This free family-friendly event will feature a DJ, dancing, refreshments and party favors available for purchase and a raffle. For details: www.IslandOfLights.org.
Since 1983, the Southeast Tourism Society [STS] has been the largest membership organization promoting travel to the Southeast. Through a nomination process, STS chooses the Top 20 events in the Southeast for each month of the year and publishes this list of winners quarterly. The Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau is a member of STS and provides Top 20 event information to local event organizers.
Stray off course and see where the water takes you when you visit Wilmington, North Carolina’s river district and the island beaches of Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach. For a free official Visitors Guide to Wilmington and its island beaches, call 1-866-266-9690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for seasonal highlights and specials. You can also download a free Holiday Events Brochure.