Top 10 Ring-a-Ding Spring Flings Around the Sandhills

Following one of the soggiest winters in recent memory, spring has finally sprung around the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen area of North Carolina. And with the improved weather arrives a veritable smorgasbord of festivals and other fun outdoor events for which the area has become known, drawing tens of thousands of visitors from near and far. Here are some of our favorite annual rites of spring in the Sandhills region:

Spring Matinee Races
Pinehurst Harness Track
April 6
The Pinehurst Parks & Recreation Department and the Pinehurst Driving & Training Club host the 70th Annual Spring Matinee Races at the Pinehurst Harness Track, a 111-acre equestrian facility that has been a winter training center for standard-bred horses since 1915. Food and beverages will be available for purchase, and picnic baskets are welcome.

Festival D’Avion
Moore County Airport
April 12-13
This second annual festival recognizes the five branches of men and women who have served in the Armed Forces and those who have retired from military service. Visitors will enjoy experiencing a variety of static aircraft and military equipment displays — along with a unique collection of special events, activities, entertainment, and food & beverage options for the entire family — during this one-and-a-half day event.

Celebration of Spring Pottery Tour and Kiln Openings
April 27-28
During this unique weekend event, visitors have the opportunity to tour pottery studios, enjoy special events and marvel at this season’s kiln openings. Hours may vary by location.

Cameron Spring Antiques Fair
May 3-4
Named by the Southeast Tourism Society (STS) as one of the Top 20 Events for May. Home to a dozen antique shops, Cameron has become a destination for the serious collector, tradesperson and those just interested in local history. Featured in Southern Living and voted “Best Antique Shopping” by Our State Magazine readers, Cameron is worth the visit.

Epicenter Festival
Rockingham Festival Grounds
May 10-12
For those about to rock … during Mother’s Day weekend. The Epicenter Festival was formerly known as Carolina Rebellion, a three-day music jamboree held in Charlotte from 2011-2018. Some of this year’s major acts include: Foo Fighters, Tool, Judas Priest, Rob Zombie, Korn and numerous other performers. Organizers estimate 80,000 to 110,000 people will attend producing an economic impact of $40 million for the region.

Carthage Buggy Festival
May 11
The 31st annual festival held to commemorate the famous Tyson and Jones Buggy Factory that produced the carriages essential to life in rural North Carolina from the mid-1800s to the 1920s. All the entertainment is free at this family festival. More than 130 food and craft vendors will line the streets of historic downtown Carthage. Children’s rides are prominent. Enjoy the classic car show and continuous stage entertainment. Also named one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for May.

U.S. Senior Women’s Open
Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club
May 16-19
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is one of 14 U.S. national golf championships organized by the United States Golf Association. The newest USGA championship is open to women whose 50th birthday falls on or before the first day of competition. Last year’s inaugural championship at the Chicago Golf Club received rave reviews. Venerable Pine Needles, host of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open, should prove an equally worthy venue.

Rugged Maniac
Rockingham Dragway
May 18
The Rugged Maniac is an annual obstacle course race — otherwise known as a mud run — hosted in more than two-dozen cities across the United States and Canada. Participants run a 5-kilometer course with obstacles ranging from muddy water slides, crawling through tunnels, jumping over logs set on fire, and scaling large, curved walls.

Ellerbe Strawberry Festival
May 18
The second-annual festival in Downtown Ellerbe celebrates spring and … of course the area’s No. 1 crop for inspiration … strawberries. This free event presented by the Ellerbe Downtown Merchants Association will include music, food, arts & crafts, kids’ events and family fun.

Sandhills Motoring Festival
Village of Pinehurst
May 24-27
This is the second annual Memorial Day Weekend festival for car enthusiasts. Each club has lined up a variety of events for their respective members, along with combined club events, all culminating in the Sunday Car Show (“Concours in the Village”) taking place in the historic Village of Pinehurst. Proceeds donated to Sandhills Community College Foundation.

Learn more about these and other spring events around the Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen area at


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Pinehurst, NC 28374
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Carthage is the oldest town in Moore County, NC. It was incorporated in 1796 and still serves as the county seat.


Pinehurst No. 2 will host the U.S. Open Championship for the fourth time in only 25 years.


In 1982 the Museum of North Carolina Traditional Pottery was established in Seagrove, NC.