6 of the Best Sunset Beach Summer Events

Sunset Beach, NC is a great place to be at any time of the year, but it really outdoes itself during the summer months. Thanks to the efforts of the Town of Sunset Beach, local businesses and organizations, and private individuals, everyone from residents to vacationers will find a special event to match their interests. Keep reading here to learn more!

Daily: The Shallotte River Swamp Park

Located just outside of Sunset Beach, the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, NC offers amazing personal growth and family-building day events that cater to adventure seekers and educational enthusiasts alike.

Knowledge lovers in your group will learn all about the local area by taking a 50-minute guided eco tour aboard a swamp boat, by hiking the mile-long self-guided riverwalk trail, and by visiting the 3,000 square foot reptile sanctuary. Is your party looking for a little more action? Spend a couple of hours challenging your group and yourself on the 53-obstacle aerial adventure course or soaring through the trees on the “longest and tallest” zipline course on the East Coast.

This outdoor center prides itself for maintaining "focus on our beautiful, natural landscape. Not only will our rangers guide you through a world of adventure, they also educate each tour about the ecological benefits our natural habitat provides. We do not sacrifice our surroundings for adventure, but rather cautiously enhance the experience by weaving the two together."

Choosing to undertake any of the event/activity options possible at the park guarantees that you will experience something really special and unique to the Sunset Beach area. Call 910-687-6100 or visit their website to learn more.

Weekly: Summer Concert Series

Music lovers rejoice, for the Sunset Beach Summer Concert Series is back for 2018!

The Town of Sunset Beach as well as more than 40 business Sponsors and private Friends of the Concerts have pooled their money to provide this uniquely amazing and FREE TO THE PUBLIC summer entertainment opportunity. Performers will hit the stage from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. every Wednesday from May 30th through September 5th, 2018. The new, larger venue is The Village at Sunset Beach, on Sunset Boulevard North at the intersection of Park Road North (near the Planetarium).

The Concerts committee recommends arriving early (6:30 p.m. at least). Bring your own lawn chairs or picnic blankets, and settle in for a fun evening. Snack on items that you brought with you from your Sunset Beach NC rental or (even better!) buy dinner and/or treats from one of the on site event food sponsors. Parking is nearby and plentiful. Check out the full seventh anniversary band lineup below. 

May 30, 2018 Parrot Party Trop Rock, Jimmy Buffet Tribute
June 6, 2018 NTRANZE Motown/Beach/R&B/Reggae/Hip-Hop
June 13, 2018 Big Time Band Variety/Pop
June 20, 2018 Jebb Mac Band Variety/Country
June 27, 2018 Steve Owens & Summertime Band Beach/Variety
July 4, 2018 Blue Pickups Band Oldies/Country/Rock
July 11, 2018 Jim Quick & Coastline Band Beach/Variety
July 18, 2018 Paper Work Rock/Funk/Dance
July 25, 2018 Trey Calloway Country/Soul/Rock
August 1, 2018 Gary Lowder & Smokin' Hot Beach/Variety
August 8, 2018 Painted Man Band Dance/Soul/Rock/Funk
August 15, 2018 Tim Clark Band Beach/Variety
August 22, 2018 Lees Cut Band Beach/Variety
August 29, 2018 Dustin Chapman Contemporary Christian/Country
September 5, 2018 Silk Groove Motown/Variety/Soul

Weekly: The Summer Market

For a true taste of local flavor, look no further than the Sunset Beach Summer Market! This vendor fair event is scheduled every Thursday from May 3rd until October 11th. The market is located at 206 Sunset Blvd (the Sunset Beach Town Park). Operating hours are 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

You can expect to find all kinds of yummy eats produced and/or prepared by local growers as well as crafted goods such as pottery and jewelry handmade by local artisans. One of the stated goals of this market is “to enhance the quality of life in our communities by providing social gathering and interaction,” so come ready to mingle and make new friends!

Weekly: Lasers and Lectures

No family trip to Sunset Beach would be complete without visiting the Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium. Located four miles apart, these local gems were both conceived by a single man, Stuart Ingram, for the purposes of bringing educational opportunities to the community.

Both facilities maintain daily summer schedules packed with things to do. Most events are free for Museum and dual Museum/Planetarium members, active military, and disabled veterans. Non-member all-day admission (includes NC sales tax) is: $9.50 adults, $8.50 seniors (62+), $7.50 children (3-12). The facilities are free for children aged 2 & under. 

The Museum of Coastal Carolina Sand Bar Lecture Series will present a new topic every Tuesday night beginning May 29th and running through August 28th. Lectures are varied and topics range from wildlife to military history to environmental issues. Ingram Planetarium has daily dome theater shows every hour on the hour from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. They also present a movie feature several nights a week AND a one-of-a-kind music-based laser light show. 

Call 910-575-0033 (Planetarium), 910-579-1016 (Museum) or visit their combined website for more daily and special event details. Summer evening events for both locations are listed below for easy reference.

Planetarium Events

Monday (All) 7:00pm Laser Show - Country Music
Monday (All) 8:00pm Laser Show - Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
Tuesday (All) 7:00pm Laser Show - Beatles
Tuesday (All) 8:00pm Laser Show - Led Zepplin
Wednesday (All) 7:00pm Movie - Kaluoka'hina: The Enchanted Reef
Thursday (All) 7:00pm Laser Show - 80's Night
Thursday (All) 8:00pm Laser Show - Plaid and Lasers: 90's Alternative Rock
Friday (All) 7:00pm Movie - Kaluoka'hina: The Enchanted Reef
Saturday (All) 7:00pm Movie - Kaluoka'hina: The Enchanted Reef
Saturday (All) 8:00pm Laser Show - Classic Rock

Museum Events

Tuesday, May 29 6:00pm Lecture - The Carolina Campaign During the American Revolution
Tuesday, June 5 6:00pm Lecture - Understanding Climate Change and Effects
Tuesday, June 12 6:00pm Lecture - Pelicans (live)
Tuesday, June 19 6:00pm Lecture - Lookout Air Raid: The Day Japan Bombed Oregon
Tuesday, June 26 6:00pm Lecture - The Story of the Fort Fisher Hermit
Tuesday, July 3 6:00pm Lecture - Amazing Alligators
Tuesday, July 10 6:00pm Lecture - The Widow Spy
Tuesday, July 17 6:00pm Film - STRAWS
Tuesday, July 24 6:00pm Lecture - Adventures & Challenges: Reflections on a Marine Corps Career
Tuesday, July 31 6:00pm Lecture - Fontana Dam: Power To Win
Tuesday, August 7 6:00pm Lecture - Surfing
Tuesday, August 14 6:00pm Lecture - Marsh Discovery Walk
Tuesday, August 21 6:00pm Lecture - The Battle of Fort Wagner
Tuesday, August 28 6:00pm Lecture - 9-11 Before, During and After

One Day Only! July 4th at the Old Bridge

Start Independence Day off like a local by heading over to the Old Bridge (109 Shoreline Drive West, Sunset Beach) and taking part in the annual 4th of July parade!

Starting at 9:00 a.m. participants of this event walk, bike, roll and otherwise parade across the Old Bridge, all while accompanied by rousing holiday music. Everyone is welcome to join in the parade, so come decked out in your best red, white, and blue!

Plan to hang around after the parade, because the Old Bridge Preservation Society has plenty of games, activities, and light refreshments planned for everyone to enjoy. This event is weather dependent! Visit the Old Bridge Preservation Society website at oldbridgepreservationsociety.org or call 910-363-6585 for additional details. 

One Day Only! Sunset at Sunset

Sunset Beach’s annual “community block party” is held in the open area between the Food Lion and Ingram Planetarium every year on the first Saturday on October. Sponsored by the Sunset Beach Town Council, this event includes a photography contest, a 5k run across the Mannon C. Gore Bridge, and numerous band performances.

If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, there are also dozens of local growers, makers, and artisans from whom you can buy locally sourced and produced items. You can also expect to see representation from local community non-profits and traditional vendors.

This year’s event will be held on October 6th, 2018. Check out their website for more information.

With so many cool and different events happening in Sunset Beach this summer, you're sure to find a few that match your interests. We hope to see you around!

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