Downtown Wilmington is the place to be this Memorial Day weekend! Kick off summer 2017 with some of the events offered in the heart of Wilmington.

Wilmington’s historic downtown is always hopping with places to eat, drink, shop, and hear live music. We love to stroll on the Riverwalk and take a literary tour or a horse drawn carriage ride. Here are just a few suggestions to keep you busy this Memorial Day weekend in downtown Wilmington.

Battleship North Carolina

Remember our veterans at the Battleship North Carolina’s traditional Memorial Day Observance. It features a military speaker, an all-service Color guard, a 21-gun salute by a Marine Corps Honor Guard, a military band, and more. The Memorial Day Observance is at 5 p.m. May 29, 2017, and it’s free with Battleship admission.

Orange Street Arts Festival

The 22nd Annual Orange Street ArtsFest is the largest arts festival in Wilmington with more than 80 artists, a variety of food, plus hourly music, dance, and theater performances. It’s right next to the Hannah Block Historic USO Community Arts Center on Orange Street between Front and Third Streets. Check it out on Memorial Day weekend: Hours are Saturday, May 27, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday, May 28 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Riverfront Farmers Market

Every Saturday in the nice weather, including Memorial Day weekend, the Riverfront Farmers Market brings together local growers, producers, artisans and crafters to sell their goods. Don’t miss the seasonal berries this month! The market is at North Water St. and Riverfront Park.

Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace

The Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace features more than 25 vendors selling handcrafted art along with area musicians. This event is in downtown Wilmington each Sunday from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. until the end of October. Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time to look for those one-of-a-kind deals.

Cape Fear Museum

View a giant ground sloth, the Michael Jordan Discovery Gallery, and a Golf Exhibit at the Cape Fear Museum on Market Street. Programs and exhibits change, but on Memorial Day weekend you’ll find Museum Explorers, Skyquest film: The Little Star that Could, and lots more.

Cape Fear Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise

It’s not a trip downtown without a ride on the river! Cool your heels on a one-hour sightseeing cruise aboard the John Knox, the Captain J.N. Maffit, or Jacob’s Run, three riverboats operated by Wilmington’s oldest continuously operating cruise company. An educational and entertaining narration by the captain adds to your enjoyment of the fresh river breezes and amazing scenery.

Bring along a picnic, or food and beverages from the dockside River Grill—there’s no better place to grab a bite than on the Cape Fear River! This Memorial Day weekend, don’t miss a Cape Fear River cruise. Find the ticket booth right on the Riverwalk at the foot of Dock Street.

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