Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, but New Bern is heating up well before then! Check out these three awesome events for the entire family to enjoy.

Get Arty

plein air art festival 2024

The Plein Air Art Festival is set for May 12-19.

One of my favorite events of the year is back, and it promises to be better than ever! The Fourth Annual North Carolina Plein Air Art Festival begins Sunday, May 12, and continues through Sunday, May 19. The eight-day festival spotlights 35 nationally and globally acclaimed plein air artists.

Plein air, which is French and translates to “open air” in English, can be traced back to Impressionist artists. It captures any moment in time outdoors rather than detailed representations. For more information about the Plein Air Art Festival, click here.

Get Loose

Our hometown’s summer concert series, Footloose on the Neuse, kicks off its season on Memorial Day Weekend. On Friday, May 24, at 6:30 p.m., bring your blanket and lawn chairs out to Union Point Park for the ultimate Journey tribute band, Trial by Fire. “Don’t stop believing” how amazing this concert will be! A total of seven concerts are planned over the summer. Check out the concert series full lineup here.

Get Racing

When the calendar marks June, you know it is time for The Great Trent River Raft Race is set for Saturday, June 24! A variety of races, from classic to peddle to paddle, will test participants with design capabilities. The category of “anything that floats” always brings out the laughs. This event is a treat for all ages. In addition to the races, you will enjoy food, games and live entertainment. For all the details, click here.

New Bern is an amazing place to live year-round, and this summer is no exception. For other fun activities, check out