It’s Fall Y’all! Check out 12 Things to Do in Onslow this October

It doesn’t seem possible that it’s October and the year has flown by at such a rapid pace.  A crispness in the air is just around the corner!  A time to open the windows and let in the cool breezes.  It’s Fall Y’all!

As the leaves begin to turn brilliant colors of red, gold and orange, Onslow County becomes a playground for outdoor fall activities.  Whether you are feeling your heartfelt patriotic spirit or are set to enjoy some fun weekends, we’ve got a great line-up of wonderful events and happenings for you, your family and friends.  Get out there and enjoy all the fun!

The 65th Annual Swansboro Mullet Festival of North Carolina

Mullet Festival 2019 Logo_REV1

Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13

The two-day weekend kicks off on Saturday, October 12 and runs through Sunday, October 13.  The festivities begin with a parade down Highway 24 at 9 a.m.  A wide array of vendors including arts & crafts, commercial and food will line the streets throughout Historic Downtown Swansboro and are open for patrons at 10 a.m.  There’s a kids’ area that opens at 10 a.m. with activities geared towards children of all ages.  Live music begins at 11 a.m. at the Pug Pavilion in the heart of downtown and continues throughout the day and into the evening on Saturday and Sunday. To accent the meaning behind the festival, the Swansboro Rotary Club serves fried mullet throughout the event.  Parking and shuttle services will be offered from behind the Hampton Inn & Suites at Ward Farm. For more information visit or call (910) 326- 2600.

Mullet Moon/Fireworks Cruise aboard the Lady Swan 

Lady Swan

Saturday, Oct. 12 and Sunday, Oct. 13

Take off in Downtown Swansboro by embarking on an evening cruise while you celebrate the Annual Swansboro Mullet Festival with Lady Swan Tours.  Enjoy full views of the sunset and moonlight including a dynamic festival fireworks display…all in one night! This will be a popular cruise, so claim your seats early. You can register for either the Lady Swan or the Carolina Swan for this event. Reserve your seat at on visit their Facebook page.

Beirut Memorial Ruck 

Taking place on Sunday, October 20, the Memorial Ruck will start at 8:00 a.m. marking the beginning of a week of remembrance in honor of the 241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom on October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon.  Starting at the Beirut Memorial, traveling along the green-way to the Camp Lejeune Main gate, back to the Memorial – 10.23 miles.  Participation is $35 per person.  If you’d like to know more, or you’re interested in participating in this year’s event you can register by visiting the North Carolina USO website.

Beirut Memorial Remembrance Observance at the Lejeune Memorial Gardens

Beirut Memorial Observance

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 10:30 am – 11:30 am

We are marking 36 years since the Peace Mission to Beirut, Lebanon that took place on October 23, 1983.  The Beirut Memorial, located in Lejeune Memorial Gardens, was a gift from the citizens of Onslow County to honor those men that lived among us and gave so much. It is a solemn tribute to the 273 Marines who gave the last full measure of devotion.  Set in a wooded site with beautiful landscaping, the memorial is also a fitting tribute to our military men and women who answer the call every day without regard to personal safety.  Each year, a Remembrance Observance takes place of October 23 at the Beirut Memorial to remember those who gave the greatest sacrifice for their country. The public is welcome to attend.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard Challenge & 5K

Freddy's 5k Challenge

Saturday, Oct. 19

The last stop on the 2019 Jacksonville Onslow Sports Commission Race Series is the Freddy’s Frozen Custard Challenge & 5K on October 19.  Challengers run the flat course around the Jacksonville Commons Loop and then head into a nature trail, filled with frozen custard and a few challenges. 5k runners run the flat course around the Commons Loop and then enjoy some frozen custard at the finish line. There will be vendors, a DJ and a frozen custard bar for everyone to enjoy!  For more info visit or call (910) 347-3141 ext.248.

Walton’s Distillery Open House 

Waltons Distillery_Oct 2019 Open House
Saturday, Oct. 19, 12 pm to 5 pm

It’s time for Walton’s Distillery Open House season to start on October 19!  Come on out and join them for the first Open House event of the year!   Enjoy live music featuring “Firewater Express!”  The event is FREE and includes lunch provided by Smithfield’s BBQ,  as well as sides and desserts from the Walton Family.  Free tours will be conducted hourly and free tastings will be set up at the tasting bar. Open and welcome for all ages to enjoy the festivities, but you must be 21 or older to sample the spirits.  Visit Walton’s Distillery Facebook Page for more information or call (910) 347-7770.

Huffman Vineyards 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off 

Huffman Vineyards_chili cookoff 2019

Saturday, Oct. 19, 6 pm

Huffman Vineyards
is calling all cooks and chili fanatics for their 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off on October 19! They had so much fun last year with the cook-off that they decided to do it again. First place takes home a $200 cash prize. This is a cook-off for those creative chefs to display their most prized or most unique chili recipes. Contact Huffman Vineyards at (910) 324-3997 to sign up and compete. The “Carolina Swamp Dogs” will serenade you with their cool bluesy jams as you sample the goods.  Wine and beer will cool off those taste buds. This is a family-friendly event with a $5 tasting fee for all you can eat chili samples!

Annual Onslow Oktoberfest Festival


Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 am to 8 pm

Celebrate the Bavarian culture with flowing pints of beer at the Annual Onslow Oktoberfest at Riverwalk Park in Downtown Jacksonville!  Featured activities include amusement rides, games, a food court and beer garden, arts & crafts, vendors, children’s performances, a Last Man Standing Contest, and the Miss Oktoberfest Pageant.  The headlining performance by “Mike Corrado” takes place on the main stage at 6:00 p.m.  Proceeds benefit charitable programs offered by Onslow Community Outreach, a 501c3 nonprofit.  For more information on event happenings throughout the festival week, visit the Onslow Oktoberfest Facebook page.

Dancing Stars of Onslow County 2019

Dancing Stars of Onslow

Saturday, Oct. 26, 5 pm

Dancing Stars of Onslow County 2019 will foxtrot across the floors of the American Legion Burton Cowell Post 265 in Jacksonville on October 26. This annual event benefits the Onslow Women’s Center in the cause to stop domestic violence.  Attendees will enjoy a spectacular evening of dancing that includes dinner, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, and a cash bar!  Local stars throughout Onslow County will be pairing up with the best dancers in town to put on an amazing show for a great cause.  This event is based on the hit television show “Dancing with the Stars”. The evening will consist of 10 local celebrities paired with 10 professional dancers to compete for two awards, all the while raising money through your votes.  The awards include the “People’s Choice Award” (given to the Star with the most votes by raising the most money) and the “Dancing Star Award” (given to the Star with the highest Judge’s Score).  Be sure to donate to your favorite dancer and purchase your tickets before the night of the event to ensure to save your seat.  For Dancing Star information visit their website at  or call the Onslow Women’s Center Main Office at (910) 238-2941.

Trunk or Treat at Hammocks Beach State Park 

Hammocks Beach_Trunk or Treat Bash

Sunday, Oct. 27, 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Bring the kiddos out to the park in their scariest or funniest costumes to enjoy this Annual Ghoulish Halloween Event. Some of the spooktacular activities you can enjoy are a haunted house, hayrides, games, candy, prizes, and more! This event is free and fun for all ages!  For more information call (910) 326-4881.

Hog Wild at Howards Farm

Hog Wild at Howard Farm

Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays – throughout October

Hog Wild at Howards Farms is one of Onslow County’s newest attractions.  Go “Hog Wild” with your family on their 5-acre corn maze, including a kiddie maze.  Enjoy the barrel train ride, tube slides, corn hut, hayrides, pumpkin patch, and s’ mores pit…kids will LOVE roasting their marshmallows, creating the perfect outdoor fall treat!

Mike’s Farm Pumpkin Pickin’

Hayride Schedule for October
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 1 pm to 8 pm
Saturdays, 10 am to 8 pm

Down the lane and around the pond to the pumpkin patch, you go!  Come out and enjoy an old-fashioned hayride around the farm, Mike’s Farm that is!  During the fall season “Pumpkin Pickin’” is one of the most popular events that are so much fun to do.  A fall hayride is an experience both kids and adults will enjoy.  Oftentimes, during a relaxing and scenic ride, a “singing jubilee” breaks out that can be heard all over Onslow County! Walk through the fields and select the perfect pumpkin to bring home. The cost is $2.00 per person for ages 3 and older. Pumpkins are weighed and run $0.69 per pound with a $3.00 minimum.

That’s all not folks…Mike’s Farms’ new NC Products Barn is open!  While there, don’t miss a visit the bakery for some delicious home-made sweets and treat the family to a country dinner complete with crispy fried chicken with all the fixins’.  More information on all their fall festivities can be found at and on their Facebook page.

There are lots of things to see and do during the month of October in Onslow County.  We hope you get outdoors and enjoy!  For more additional events and happenings please visit our calendar of events at and visit our Facebook page.

Pumpkin Gourds Stock Image

Onslow County Tourism

Onslow County Tourism

As one of North Carolina’s oldest counties, Onslow County reflects a rich and varied history.  It’s also the proud home of the Marines of Camp Lejeune, New River Air Station, Camp Johnson and Camp Geiger.

The county has been graced with an extraordinary natural beauty: over 30 miles of wide, unspoiled beaches, waters teeming with an abundance of marine life, forests filled with wildlife, and rich farmland to harvest.

Today, you can explore everything from military and historic monuments to beautiful waterways and beaches to friendly spots to eat and play.