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Signature events to look forward to in Gaston County in 2023

Updated: Jan 3

2023 promises to be a great year in Gaston County as our signature events create great reasons to plan a visit. Use this list of events to "Save The Date" and make your plans now to visit Gaston County.

This year's list was compiled based on events from the previous year and some have not been officially scheduled. Make sure you are signed up for our once a month newsletter and check our calendar regularly for more information.


A Snowball's Chance Short Track Skate Race

January 21, 2023 | Whitewater Center

Test your ice skating abilities this January in a short track ice skating race. Race categories are broken into four person heats with the winners advancing through a tournament bracket to the finals. Learn More

Fossil Fare

February 25, 2023 | Schiele Museum

Travel back in time during this year’s Fossil Fair! Explore fossil displays and enjoy exciting activities based on prehistoric life. Search for North Carolina fossils, meet live animals, go gemstone mining, visit the Dino Safari, find or buy your own fossils to take home, and so much more! Learn More

Frigid Trail Race and Plunge

February 4, 2023 | Whitewater Center

Brave the cold this winter at the Frigid Trail Race a 5k and 10k race followed by an icy cold plunge into the Deep Water Solo pool at the Whitewater Center. Learn More



Green River Revival

March 11, 2023 | Whitewater Center

Kick off spring this year at the Green River Revival celebrated each year as a part of the St. Patrick's Day celebration. The resident leprechaun transforms the river green then the Color Me Green 5K Trail Run takes place followed by rafting down the river while listening to live music. Learn More

Gaston Max

March 25, 2023 | Gastonia

The City of Gastonia, Gaston County Public Library, Friends of the Gaston County Public Library, and Gaston County Government partner to celebrate the wide variety of cultures living in Gaston County and to showcase artists, authors, and entertainers. Learn More


April 21-23, 2023 | Whitewater Center

This multi-day festival celebrates outdoor lifestyle with exhibitions, demos, live music, and a variety of outdoor competitions that include trail running, kayaking, biking, climbing, stand-up paddle boarding, obstacle, and adventure racing. Learn More

Canine Carnival / Just Plain Dog Show


The Canine Carnival is an opportunity to socialize your dog over games and fun and the Just Plain Dog Show has even more ways for your furry friends to participate and compete. This yearly event typically takes place at the Gaston County Park in Dallas.


May | George Poston Park

Held at George Poston Park, home to over 10 miles of mountain bike trails. BikeFest features food vendors, bike demos, local bike shops, guided trail rides, mountain bike skills clinics, and much more.

Goat Island Games

May | Goat Island

Lace up your running shoes, take out your discs, grab a kayak and ping pong paddles, and bring your best back-yard cornhole game! The annual Goat Island Games is a full day of fun with events for the whole family in Cramerton.



RiverFest is a family-friendly festival held on the banks of the Catawba River. The day is action-packed with, local vendors, opportunities to paddle, food trucks, music and fun for the whole family!

Paddling Season Officially Begins

May 20, 2023 | The Boathouse

Let the paddling season begin with the opening of the Boathouse in McAdenville. Paddling along the Catawba River and its South Fork is quickly becoming one the most popular things to do in Gaston County during the summer. There are several outfitters prepared to get you out on the water for a day of fun. You can kayak, canoe, standup paddleboard, and more! Learn More



Summer Concerts

May-Sept | Various Downtowns in Gaston County

Live music concerts takes place in several of our downtowns throughout the summer months. Keep an eye on our calendar of events as summer draws near for the list of locations and dates.

Kids Catfish Tournament


The Kids Catfish Tournament is an annual kids fishing tournament and is a perfect opportunity to introduce kids to fishing with prizes awarded for best catches. Learn More

Comic Con

June 3, 2023 | Gaston County Public Library

The Gaston County Public Library Comic-Con is back! After four long years, the wait is over! Enjoy comic book and pop culture vendors, costume contests, scavenger hunts, face-painting, food trucks, and tons of other fun. Learn More



Heritage & Harvest Days

October | Dallas Park

This three-day festival typically takes place the second weekend in October and consists of antique engine and farm equipment, vendors and exhibitors from all over the southeast, two days of live bluegrass and folk music, and various food vendors.

Stanley Creek Massacre 5K/10K

October | Stanley

The Stanley Creek Massacre 5K and 10K race has become an annual race event taking place each October in downtown Stanley.



Christmas Town USA

December | McAdenville

The historic mill town of McAdenville transforms each Christmas with an impressive light display including holiday music. Vehicles drive through town and people walk the streets to enjoy the show. Learn More

Holiday Lights at the Garden

December | Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Over half a million lights illuminate the gardens beginning late November through the end of December at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden during Holiday at the Garden. Learn More


Sign up for our monthly newsletter and keep an eye on our upcoming calendar of events as we see these events come back this year.

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