WILSON, N.C. (MARCH 13, 2018) – Wilson, a North Carolina community located just 45 minutes east of Raleigh off I-95, is celebrating springtime with a fun slate of things to do for people of all ages. Known for its farming roots, its historic downtown, the world’s largest collection of whirligig sculptures –housed at newly opened Whirligig Park – and a booming arts scene, Wilson will play host to myriad community events this spring, including festivals, concerts, and sporting activities. Whether for families coming to Wilson for tournaments or for folks looking to experience quintessential Eastern North Carolina barbecue or even just to enjoy one of the four lakes, there’s lots of excitement to be found in the City of Wilson.

Check out these highlights:


(April 21 through July 29; free)

This year’s Eyes on Main Street marks the fourth year of the renowned outdoor and indoor photography festival, which draws visitors from around the country and the globe. The work of 100 prominent photographers (50 men and 50 women) from 38 countries transforms Historic Downtown Wilson into a vibrant gallery of large-scale photographs spanning six city blocks along Nash Street storefronts. The theme for 2018 is “Main Street, a Crossroad of Cultures,” as interpreted by the individual photographers.

This year, the Festival will include six additional exhibits, including Eyes on India, Eyes on Ukraine, and a special indoor/outdoor Eyes on Main Street Kids Gallery demonstrating the talents of young participants given a chance to express themselves.

For more information about 2018’s events, including the free Van Dolsen Lecture Series, visit www.eyesonmainstreetwilson.com.


(April 18 through June 13; free)

Gig in the Park, formerly the Downtown Alive Concert Series, is Historic Downtown Wilson’s annual tradition of food, beverages, dancing, and fun for the community. Every other Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., newly opened Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park is the place to be to enjoy outdoor music from new genres such as classic rock, rhythm and blues, reggae, country, tribute bands, and more. The music is free, and beer and wine are for sale. For more information, visit www.historicdowntownwilson.com/downtown-alive.


(May 20; free)

The Wilson Rose Garden features more than 1,200 rose plants, consisting of 100 varieties that include American Garden Rose Selections award-winners and advanced releases of next year’s rose “picks.” Celebrate Sunday, May 20, in the Rose Garden, where guests can enjoy the beauty of the roses along with a unique art competition and display. The day includes music, refreshments, gardening advice, and door prizes. Roses are usually in full bloom starting around May 1. Find out more at www.wilsonrosegarden.com.


(May through July; tickets starting at $7 for adults, $6 kids under 12)

Baseball has been part of Wilson’s storied roots for more than 100 years through its Wilson Tobs (known as the Tobacconists in the early 1900s). Today’s Tobs were one of the original teams in the collegiate Coastal Plain League when the league was founded in 1997. The Tobs are an NCAA-sanctioned amateur collegiate summer baseball league team that often sells out Wilson’s 4,000-seat Fleming Stadium. The Tobs have a reputation for producing future stars of Major League Baseball, including former American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander. Visit www.wilsontobs.com for a schedule of their 24 home games.

For baseball fans, a trip is doubly worth the drive because the North Carolina Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame is located next to Fleming Stadium and features prized memorabilia from North Carolina’s stars, including showcases for the seven National Baseball Hall of Fame Inductees from the state.


(June 15-16; free)

The 301 Endless Yard Sale is a Friday-Saturday must-do each year as communities across five counties (Wilson, Johnston, Halifax, Nash, and Harnett) come together along their 100-mile stretch of US Highway 301 to sell crafts, antiques, collectibles, food, and more. In Wilson, more than 300 sellers will be located at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. Unique finds are guaranteed! For more information, visit www.301endlessyardsale.com.

For a complete list of other Wilson events, area activities, and lodging and dining, please visit www.wilson-nc.com or contact the Wilson Visitors Center toll free at (800) 497-7398.

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Dan Strickford, Director of Public Relations, Clean (919) 987-3623


Sandra Homes, Executive Director, Wilson Visitors Center (252) 243-8440


Category: Featured PR , Press Release