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Annual Events in Durham

Durham is a multi-cultural and artistic community and there is a long list of festivals and events that take place in the city of which these are some of the best known and most popular.

Bimbe Festival in Durham, NCThe Bimbé Festival a free, family event showcasing local and regional musical talent and celebrating Durham's cultural diversity. Bimbé is an African harvest festival, during which villagers gather to give thanks and praise. Festival-goers in Durham enjoy hip-hop, jazz, blues, Latin, Caribbean, R&B, and gospel music, in addition to hands-on children's activities, a community resource area, a Bimbé crafts bazaar, and an eclectic mix of food. The festival takes place in June at Durham Central Park. For more information contact Alison Fiori, 560-4965, ext. 249 or visit their website.

Unityfest in Durham, NCThe fifth annual Southwest Central Durham CommUNITY Festival (a.k.a. Unity Fest) at Lakewood will take place on October 27, 2007 from 12 Noon to 6 PM at the Lakewood Shopping Center, 2000 Chapel Hill Road, in Durham. This festival traditionally coincides with National Make-A-Difference Day, a celebration of neighbors helping neighbors, sponsored by the Durham Community Land Trustees. CommUNITY Fest is a free event featuring live music and dance, as well as local food, crafts, nonprofit booths, neighborhood history displays, and family fun activities. The six neighborhoods comprising Southwest Central Durham include Burch Avenue West End, Lyon Park, Morehead Hills, Lakewood Park, and the Tuscaloosa-Lakewood neighborhood. Many have been designated National Historic Districts and they all represent classic examples of Durham's cultural, ethnic and socio-economic diversity. The goal of CommUNITY fest is to celebrate the gifts, talents, and history of our community by bringing people together in a fun, festive atmosphere, thereby building an even stronger community. The success and growth of this festival shows that we are well on our way. We thank you for your support.

For more information, contact Christine Hill (225-7830,, Billy Stevens (489-8282, carrom1@hotmail,com), John Heffernan (749-2849,

Taste of Durham FestivalThe Taste of Durham: International Celebration with Food, Music & Entertainment
Restaurant Food Sampling, Eclectic music lineup featuring main stage acts like Jose Conde y Ola Fresca, Seth Walker, The Afromotive, The Boogie Hustlers, John Brown Jazz Orchestra, International Dance Demonstrations, International Wine Tasting Pavilion, International Beer Tasting Garden, Chef Demonstrations, Taste of New Orleans' Mardi Gras, Art is Alive, Family Fun and so much more.

This signature event offers a unique venue to showcase international and cultural entertainment, area restaurant food sampling, art and cultural experiences, venues for artist and musicians, activities for children, and a unique mix of entertainment.  Some of the best local chefs, restaurateurs, and creative caterers will showcase their talents with demonstrations and offer a wide assortment of food samples to please any palate. They will also serve up treats that defy conventional notions of festival food. Savor the gourmet, home-style and international food samples from area food establishments.
For more information see

American Dance Festival, Durham, NCThe American Dance Festival is the largest and most influential dance festival in the world and features more than two dozen modern dance companies and choreographers, including José Limón, Pearl Lang, Alwin Nikolais, Merce Cunningham, Ruth Currier, Erick Hawkins, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp and Pilobolus. Held at various locations on Duke West Campus the festival lasts for 6 weeks from early June to mid-July. For more information contact the American Dance Festival. Box 90772, Durham, NC 27708-0772. Phone:919.684.6402. Fax:919.684.5459 or e-mail

Eno Festival, Durham, NCProbably the area's biggest and best Independence day celebration the The Festival for the Eno is presented by the Eno River Association. All proceeds go to preserve and protect lands along the Eno River. With dozens of performers, exhibits, arts and crafts on the banks of the Eno River. E-mail or phone (919) 477-4549 for more info.

Bull Durham Blues Festival in Durham NCHeld in the historic Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the Bull Durham Blues Festival features national, regional and local blues players, some you know and some you don't. The festival is held the first week of September. The event has become North Carolina’s largest celebration of the blues, attracting fans from over 175 North Carolina cities, 25 states, and 5 countries. Lots of good food too. The festival features some of the best and most well-known contemporary blues artists today including Bo Diddley, Taj Mahal, Etta James, Ruth Brown, Aaron Neville and Charles Neville, Bobby Blue Bland, Denise LaSalle, Tyrone Davis, KoKo Taylor, Shemekia Copeland, Buddy Guy, Dr. John, Otis Rush, Hank Crawford, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Moses Rascoe, John D. Holeman, Etta Baker, Lightnin’ Wells, Big Boy Henry, John Jackson, Algia Mae Hinton, John Cephas and Phil Wiggins and Alberta Adams. If these names are familiar to you then you need to be here. For more information e-mail

phoenixfest logo, durham ncPhoenix Fest is an annual cultural celebration of the business and cultural legacy of Durham's Hayti community, one of North Carolina's oldest African American communities. The festival is family-friendly and handicapped-accessible. Starting with a 9am parade that features marching bands, motorcycles and classic cars, the festivities continue until 6 pm with musical talent from all over the east coast, eye-pleasing vendor displays and lip-smacking soul food. There's plenty of seating and activities for children. The festival takes place on historic Fayetteville Street in the heart of Durham's African American community. Admission is free. For more information, contact Denise Hester at 919-680-2878 or view the website

Now recognized as the premier documentary film festival in the United States, the Full Frame Documentary Festival (formerly the DoubleTake Documentary Film Festival) celebrates the power and artistry of documentary film. The festival was founded in 1998 by Nancy Buirski and is presented in association with The New York Times. Full Frame is an international home for documentary filmmakers. The festival embraces the documentary as an essential art and champions the documentary filmmaker as an important witness to society. Every spring filmmakers and film lovers from around the world come to the historic Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham, North Carolina, for a four-day, morning to midnight smorgasbord of films, panel discussions, seminars, Q&A sessions, and southern hospitality. For more information contact

The North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is held at the Historic Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham and features more than 100 films in early August when it is too hot to do anything else. The North Carolina Gay Pride Parade in October is the largest lesbian, gay event in the southeast and attracts thousands of participants. The World Beer Festival features more than 300 Beers and 130 World-Class Breweries in one place at one time! Food by local restaurants and great entertainment. It is held at the Historic Durham Athletic Park in early October. The Taste of Durham Food Festival which is held on Memorial Day Weekend features samples from the best restaurants in Durham and great live music from bands like Hobex is held in Brightleaf Square.

Durham Arts Council's Centerfest is one of North Carolina's largest street festivals with two-days of visual and performing arts on the streets of historic downtown Durham. Terrific musical line-ups and an international flavor makes this a great festival in early October. 2005 was their 32nd year of welcoming tens of thousands of art lovers from across the region and featured more than 110 juried visual artists, over 25 performers, international foods and a lively Creative Zone devoted to kids and the young at heart. Presented by the Durham Arts Council.120 Morris Street. Durham, NC 27701
Contact them at (919) 560-2722 or via e-mail at

Durham Craft Market, NCThe Durham Craft Market was founded to connect the abundant talent of local artisans with the people of the Durham community by promoting the sale and purchase of fine quality handmade local goods. Their mission is to celebrate the uniqueness of craft while providing a local alternative to mass produced items. Their purpose also includes fostering great community relations by welcoming youth and embracing diversity.The DCM runs from the first Saturday of April through the last Saturday before Thanksgiving on Saturday mornings, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. The Durham Craft Market is located in the growing Durham Central Park area of historic downtown Durham, across from the Durham Farmers Market's new pavilion on Foster Street. Parking available on Foster or on Morris.

For more information, please visit

The Duke Children's Classic, an annual celebrity golf tournament, is celebrated its 32nd year May 20 - 22, 2005. the Duke Children's Classic has grown into one of the most respected charity tournaments in the nation. Names like President Gerald Ford, Arnold Palmer, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Jay Leno, Michael Jordan, Dinah Shore, and Jeff Foxwothy have given their time for the kids at Duke.

Related Pages: Durham Restaurants, Things to Do in Durham, History of Durham, Duke University, Durham Hotels , Chapel Hill , NC Music 

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