Fall festival season in full swing in western Wake County

The next Chatham Street Chowdown – Cary’s food truck rodeo – is Sunday, Oct. 4.
The next Chatham Street Chowdown – Cary’s food truck rodeo – is Sunday, Oct. 4. DAVE GILL

Fall means its festival season, a time to enjoy the weather while also enjoying good food, crafts and the arts.

Beericana in Holly Springs and Lazy Daze in Cary already have attracted huge crowds, but get your calendars out. Southwest Wake County still has plenty to occupy your weekends.

Fuquay-Varina BBQ, Blues and Brews Festival

When: Sept. 26, 3-8 p.m.

Where: Downtown Fuquay Varina, various locations on Broad Street.

Cost: Ticket packages are $15 to $40 per person. Tickets go on sale at 2 p.m.

Why you should go: There will be live music, 25 barbecue teams competing for a $1,000 prize, plenty of local craft beer and an auction at 5 p.m. for the painted Bengal Tiger statues that are currently displayed around downtown. If you’re interested in the auction, head to the main stage in the parking lot at the corner of Broad and Fayetteville streets at 5 p.m. Tiger bids start at $750.


RailHawks Homebrew Soktoberfest

When: Sept. 26. Soktoberfest starts at 5:30 p.m. A match against Ottowa Fury FC starts at 7:15 p.m.

Where: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary

Cost: Soktoberfest is free, but donations will be accepted for the Spread Your Wings Foundation, which benefits the RailHawks. Tickets to the game start at $11.

Why you should go: Free beer, free food and free liquor for early guests, and more food and drinks available for purchase. There also will be a contest for fans to judge the best home brewed beer.


Triangle Oktoberfest

When: Oct. 3, noon to 10 p.m., and Oct. 4, noon to 6 p.m.

Where: Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary

Cost: $20 for one-day admission, $30 for Saturday and Sunday, and other packages and discounts. The event is held by the Rotary Clubs of Apex Sunrise and Cary MacGregor with proceeds benefit Alzheimer’s disease research.

Why you should go: In addition to many beers, there will be traditional German food and dancing and a best-dressed contest for those who show up in liederhosen. There are games for both kids and adults, ranging from a pretzel toss to a beer stein hoisting competition and wiener dog races.


Chatham Street Chowdown

When: Oct. 4, Noon-4:30 p.m.

Where: Chatham Street, downtown Cary

Cost: Entry is free, food and drinks are not.

Why you should go: Food trucks, a beer and wine tent, live music and other entertainment will be in full swing throughout the afternoon.

Information: Search “Chatham Street Chowdown” at

Fuquay-Varina Day in Downtown

When: Noon-9 p.m., Oct. 10

Where: Downtown Fuquay-Varina, on Main Street

Cost: Free

Why you should go: Live music, martial arts and dance shows, a juried arts and crafts fair, food trucks, a beer and wine festival, classic cars and an area for kids with games, a climbing wall and inflatables.



When: Oct. 10. Gates open at 10 a.m., the main speech is at 5:15 p.m., concerts start at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks start at 8:30 p.m.

Where: Koka Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary

Cost: Free, but parking is $5.

Why you should go: Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights, a holy day for Hindus. But for others, it’s still a day of celebration and fun. There will be stage performances, cultural exhibits, crafts, vendors and cuisine from local Indian restaurants.


Holly Springs Chili Cook-Off

When: Oct. 10, 9:30 a.m. a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Holly Springs Farmers Market at South Main Street and East Center Street parking lot

Cost: Free to enter. $15 to $25 to participate.

Why you should go: Nothing says fall like a nice, warm bowl of chili. Both amateurs and professionals will compete for awards from judges and residents. Plus there will be live music and a symbolic closing of the market for the season.



When: Oct. 11, 1-5 p.m.

Where: Apex Town Hall Campus on Hunter Street

Cost: Free

Why you should go: It’s a celebration of Money magazine naming Apex the best place to live in the country. There will be inflatables for kids to bounce on, food trucks, games, a rock wall, music and photo ops.


Cary’s Great Pumpkin Carve and Downtown Harvest Festival

When: Oct. 24, 2-8 p.m.

Where: Downtown Cary

Cost: Harvest Festival is free for adults, $2 for kids.

Why you should go: There will be carnival games, corn hole, bounce houses, food and the Halloween TV specials for kids, including Charlie Brown. Costumes are welcome. Families can also buy a pumpkin, take a carving lesson and carve it on site.


Looking ahead

Nov. 7: Fuquay-Varina Chili Cookoff,

Nov. 28-Jan. 3: North Carolina Chinese Lantern Festival,