There are plenty of entertaining activities — music, sports, theater, museums, parks and shopping — to choose from in Onslow County. Take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean at Hammocks Beach State Park, for instance, or tee off at the Scottish-links style 18-hole Castle Bay Golf Course. Don’t miss Riverwalk Palooza, the Onslow County Fair or the fireworks display at the annual Freedom Festival. And be sure to check out the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial.
Onslow County residents can make good memories for themselves and their families at dozens of annual events, festivals and community gatherings all year long.
The Fourth of July Freedom Festival in Onslow Pines Park has been celebrated for more than 30 years with live entertainment, food, crafts, a petting zoo, amusement rides, a car show and activities for the kids, and of course, a fireworks display that lights up the night sky.
The two-day Jacksonville Jamboree takes place the first weekend in May at the Jacksonville Commons. Statewide softball and basketball competitions run throughout, and Saturday is the day for musical entertainment, the annual Jacksonville’s Got Talent Competition, mouth-watering festival food and marketplace vendors. The entire family can enjoy demonstrations by local organizations and a children’s activity and play area.
Onslow County Fair
Come one, come all to the midway and wonderful guilty-pleasure fair food at the Onslow County Fair the first week of October at the Jacksonville fairgrounds. The fair is packed with events such as free concerts, the Ms. Onslow Beauty Pageant, games, attractions, swooping carnival rides and livestock shows.
Swansboro Mullet Festival
Back in 1954, a brand new bridge and a tasty little fish were linked for what may be forever in the Swansboro Mullet Festival, which has been held the second weekend each October ever since. It all started when local fishermen heated up the oil for a community fish fry to celebrate the town’s new bridge, a feast that has expanded to an opening parade, locally made crafts and foods, great bands and live music all weekend, a children’s area with games, a climbing wall and inflatables, and the ever-popular “Mullet Toss.”
A party too big for just one place, Winterfest happens the first weekend in December at two locations: Saturday in Riverwalk Park, and Friday through Sunday in Jacksonville Commons. In Riverwalk Park, the season is celebrated with children’s games; ice sculptures; holiday-themed entertainment; food; pony, hay and train rides; and Santa himself, as well as his workshop for little ones to visit. Sled on real snow, and admire the tree lighting and the spectacular twinkling Flotilla on the New River. The holiday arts and crafts show spread throughout Jacksonville Commons gives shoppers a chance to purchase something unique for the season from locals.