February 21, 2020
Did you know that over 768 million vacation days went unused last year?
Whether it’s a long weekend or week-long getaway, these signature Cabarrus County events are perfect to plan an entire experience around. This year, you’ll find everything from major races and a rock music festival to baseball in a brand new stadium and one of the Southeast’s top barbecue competitions. Pair these events with thrilling attractions like a legendary speedway and an indoor water park resort for year-round fun everyone in your crew will enjoy.
Mark your calendar with these key dates, then start planning and put your vacation days to good use!
April 1-30: NC Beer Month
Cabarrus County’s craft beverage scene is award-winning and steeped in rich history. Have a cold one at any of the area’s nine breweries during Beer Month, then make plans to explore wineries and the nation’s first distillery inside a former prison with the free Race to Taste coaster set.
April 2-5: Pennzoil AutoFair
Calling all car lovers! The world’s largest automotive extravaganza features more than 10,000 displays that showcase hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. For another can’t-miss pit stop for auto enthusiasts, visit the Mustang Owner’s Museum.
April 16-September 7: Kannapolis Baseball Games
Cabarrus County’s minor league team has an all-new identity and new ballpark! Cheer on the Cannon Ballers during the home opener on April 16, or anytime throughout the season, and enjoy the inviting new streetscape along West Avenue in revitalized Downtown Kannapolis.
April 24-26: NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
See the stars of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series race four-wide during this 44,000-horsepower festival of nitro! The “Bellagio of drag strips” is the world’s first four-lane, all concrete drag strip and every ticket is a pit pass giving fans unprecedented access to drivers, cars and teams.
April 29-May 3: Jiggy with the Piggy
Named a “Top 20 Event” by Southeast Tourism Society, this four-day festival includes a Kansas City Barbeque Society competition with more than 70 teams plus fireworks, rides, a zucchini race car competition and a free concert by multi-platinum country artist, Sammy Kershaw.
May 1-3: Epicenter Festival
This three-day experience features 65 bands including rock legends, top rock artists and breaking talent performing on four stages. Metallica is headlining two nights and other acts include Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deftones, Papa Roach and more.
May 14-16: NASCAR All-Star Race Weekend
Fans are in for a spectacular year of motorsports as Charlotte Motor Speedway celebrates their 60th anniversary season! High-speed spring festivities kick off on May 14 as more than 30 NASCAR haulers roll through Downtown Concord during the Haulers on Union Parade. This free event features family-friendly activities and entertainment including live music, show cars and more. On-track action begins the next day during the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series NC Education Lottery 200. Then, arrive early on May 16 –For the first time ever, every ticket is a pre-race pit pass with access to see breakout country music superstar, Chris Janson in concert before witnessing the best Cup Series drivers battle under the lights for $1 million during the NASCAR All-Star Race!
May 22-24: Coca-Cola 600 Race Weekend
Staying in town after the All-Star? Visit NASCAR Race Shops before cars take the track again the very next weekend. Spectrum Pole Night sets the field for Sunday’s big show and brings ARCA racing during the General Tire 150 on May 22. May 23 features a horsepower double-header with the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco 300 and United Rentals Patriot Nationals at The Dirt Track. Less than 24 hours later, the green flag will fly on NASCAR’s most challenging race—the Coca-Cola 600. As the nation’s most patriotic sports event, Memorial Day Weekend at America’s Home for Racing is an incredible experience. Before the race, honor our veterans during a spectacular Salute to the Troops including performances from the 82nd Airborne Chorus and Lee Greenwood singing God Bless the USA.
June 8-July 28: Bojangles’ Summer Shootout
The family-friendly Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the ultimate grassroots racing experience! Rising stars compete in Legend Cars (replicas from the 1930s and 40s) and Bandoleros, and each week includes fun races such as mascots in go karts to principals driving school buses!
August 15: Circle K Back-to-School Monster Truck Bash
Say goodbye to summer and start the school year with a night of high-flying action! Get a picture with the five-ton trucks and meet the drivers during pre-race festivities, then settle in and watch as the 2,000-horsepower beasts take on The Dirt Track’s challenging course.
September 11-19: Cabarrus County Fair
Indulge in classic fair food like roasted corn, fresh-squeezed lemonade and fried Oreos, whiz around on more than 40 thrilling rides and enjoy entertainment including a petting zoo, live music, chainsaw art demonstrations by Mountain Mike and of course, Robinson’s Racing Pigs!
September 25-27: NTK NHRA Carolina Nationals
The third of seven races in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship, the Carolina Nats feature exciting side-by-side action, and every ticket is a pit pass giving you unmatched access to the drivers and crews who operate these 11,000-horsepower machines.
October 10-11: Bank of America ROVAL 400 Race Weekend
On Saturday, take in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying and be sure to wear pink to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 as the race raises awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Sunday brings one of the season’s most anticipated events—the Bank of America ROVAL 400. As the first road course race in the history of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, this 17-turn challenge combines a portion of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s traditional oval with a winding infield road course.
October 22-24: Pennzoil AutoFair
The world’s largest automotive extravaganza returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway in the fall. Come see more than 10,000 displays that showcase hot rods, muscle cars, exotic sports cars and classic automobiles. Don’t forget—Kids ages 13 and under get in free!
November 5-7: Can-Am World Finals
The most prestigious dirt racing event in the country culminates in the crowning of champions from three series—the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series, the World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series and the Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series.
November-December: Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge
Stay in a magical winter wonderland complete with indoor snow showers, visits from Santa and more holiday fun along with 11 waterslides and a water fort treehouse! Winter is the perfect time to visit since the 80,000-square-foot indoor water park is always a toasty 84 degrees.
November-December: Speedway Christmas
Southern Living calls this dazzling drive through holiday light course one of the best displays in the South. See four million LED lights paired with holiday music as you drive the nearly four-mile course, then watch a drive-in movie on one of the nation’s biggest screens!
November-December: Celebration of Lights & Winterland Express
The hometown of legendary NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Sr. celebrates the holidays with over 250,000 twinkling lights, train rides, a double-decker carousel, and performances by the animated Kannapolis Singing Bears—all located at Village Park near Downtown Kannapolis.
December: A Golden Christmas
Celebrate the season with a daytime candlelit tour through the underground mine tunnels where gold was first discovered in America. Condé Nast Traveler includes Reed Gold Mine State Historic Site on their list of “8 Best Museums in Charlotte.”