One of the Oldest and Longest Running Festivals in all of NC!
Welcome to the home of the Grifton Shad Festival

We are now entering our 52nd year.

The Grifton Shad Festival is one of the most time-honored and longest running festivals in all of North Carolina. Come out and enjoy several days of Down East Hospitality. Most events are held on the weekend.

FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE – Signs will mark the way. You can use the free shuttle to and from the air activities.


Grifton, N.C.


Thursday to Sunday
April 16 to 21, 2024

Days Until Mo' Fun!


Festival Schedule

This Schedule of Events will update as activities are confirmed. Check back on a regular basis for updates.
Last updated: 2/1/2024

***Fireworks April 20th at 9pm. It is best to safely secure pets indoors with a TV or radio on to soften loud noises***

Signs will mark the way. You can use the free shuttle to and from activities. Additional parking will be available on Main Street.

January 2024

Jan. 1st Shad Fishing Contest begins

February 2024

Feb 14th Coloring Contest Begins

Feb. 17th Fish Stew Cook-off, 3 p.m. at Depot

 Miss Grifton Pageant Orientations.

Feb 28th Coloring Contest Closes




March 2024

Mar. 6th, Coloring Contest Winners Announced

April 2024

April 13th Miss Grifton Shad Queen Pageant, Grifton School Auditorium, 7pm

April 15th FishyTales Story Telling Contest Grifton School Media Center. 6pm

April 18th-20th Fun Time Amusement & Rides
Thursday, 18th, 5pm- 9pm, Wrist Bands $20
Friday. 19th, 5pm- 10pm Wrist Bands $25
Saturday, 20th, 10am – 10pm, Tickets Only

April 18th- 20th, Shad Shack – T-shirts & Novelty
Items For Sale
Thursday, 18th 5pm. – 8pm
Friday, 19th 5pm – 8pm
Saturday, 20th 9am- 8pm

April 18- 20th Mo’s Pub & Entertainment
Thursday, 18th 8pm – 10:30pm Local’s Night
featuring Lonnie Britton
Friday, 19th 4pm – 11:30pm
Saturday, 20th 1pm – 11:30pm

April 18th-20th Market Place & Craft Vendors – Lawn at First Citizens Bank

April 18th- 20th Food Vendor – Queen Street and Town Commons

April 19th Shad-O (bingo) School Cafeteria, 7pm – 9pm, Great Prizes!

April 19th Musical Entertainment, Grifton Train Depot
6 pm- 7:30pm MoCo (Morgan & Company)
8pm -11pm The Main Event Band

April 20th

10am Parade Reviewing Stand Opening Remarks, Mayor B. R. Jackson; Commentary by John Moore. MC Introduction of Grand Marshal

10:30am Grifton Shad Festival Parade

11:45am Presentation of Parade Trophies by John Moore, Master of Ceremonies
Presentation of Fishing Trophies by Randall Hart, President, Grifton Shad Festival

10am – 4:30pm Helicopter Rides by Total Flight Solution at River Road/Horse Stables

10am – 3pm Petting Zoo and Pony Rides by Briley Farms, Queen Street

10am- 5pm Antique Tractor Show by Gerald Cuttington. Queen Street

10am – 5pm Cruise-In by Backyard Bandits and
Carolina Classic Cruisers, Queen Street

12 Noon Grifton Shad Festival Fish Stew and
Fried Fish Plates presented by The Bony Fish
Club, First Christian Church CMF and Grifton
Baseball League, Shelter behind Town Commons

12 Noon Carolina Heat Martial Arts
Demonstration, Parade Stand

12 Noon- 6pm Sky High Entertainment, Queen Street. Stilt walking by Sky, Juggling & Bubble Entertainment. LED Robot Stilt Walking, Fire Juggling Show

12 Noon. 2pm & 4pm Protown BMX Stunt Team West Queen Street

12:30pm – 1:30pm Magic by David, Queen Street

12:30pm -2:30pm Mermaid Meet and Greet,
Town Commons

1pm – 2pm Authentic Mexican Dance Team,
Parade Stand

1:30pm – 3:30pm Soap Bubble Circus, Queen
1:30pm & 3:30pm Circus Stella, Town Commons,
Circus Acts and Rescued Dogs

2pm- 5pm Shad Toss, between bank and depot

2pm- 5pm Dunking Booth, Queen Street

2pm – 6pm Gospel Music by Anthony Gonzales

April 20th Entertainment
Grifton Depot and Queen Street
2pm – 4pm Lizzie and Friends
6pm – 7:30pm The Donald Thompson Band
8pm – 11pm The Tams, Drawing for Raffles and Fireworks!

April 20th and 21st

Grifton Shad Festival Art Show, Shad Shack
Building, 6851 Pitt St., Downtown Grifton.
April 20th Noon- 5pm
April 21st 1pm – 4pm

Grifton Civic Center
12 Noon – 5pm Historical Museum

April 21st

April 21th Community Church Service
9am, Creekside Overlook Park (by town landing)
Bring a chair & enjoy the fellowship & the view.
Service by Pastors Michael King and Jamie
1pm Until, The Great Contentnea Creek Duck
Race, Hot Dog Sale and Tick Bite Kayak
Regatta presented by Grifton Shad Festival,
Grifton Volunteer Fire Department and Sound


Festival News

February 8, 2024
Grifton Shad Festival 2024 Presents The MAIN EVENT Band

The Main Event Band is the ultimate party band performing R&B, Soul, Beach, Country, and Funk. Their performances also include music styles from the 80’s and 90’s as well as your favorite songs of today. From Beach to Classic rock, from Soul to Country, from Disco to Buffett, The Main Event Band is the perfect …

February 8, 2024
Shad Drop rings in the new year, raises ‘Mo’ money for festival

GRIFTON — More than 200 people rang in the New Year with help from a big bright fish descending from the sky during the second annual Grifton Shad Drop. The lowering of the lighted shad from a Hugo Fire Department boom capped off a big celebration and fundraiser for the annual Shad Festival at the …

February 8, 2024
Grifton chili cookoff raises spirits, funds for Shad Festival

GRIFTON — An annual chili cook-off in town drew some spirited competition and raised a lot of community spirit as well as money for the Grifton Shad Festival. The Grifton Shad Festival Committee hosted the third annual event on Oct. 28 at Grifton Train Depot. Eighteen contestants supplied their own cooking utensils and ingredients and …

February 8, 2024
Grifton Shad Festival Presents THE TAMS

THE TAMS have been entertaining and thrilling audiences for over 50 years! Known for such hits as “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy”, “What Kind of Fool”, “I’ve Been Hurt” and “Untie Me #12 on the R&B Charts”, The Tams have had Several Gold Records, and 1 Platinum Single. “What Kind of Fool” hit #9 on the Billboard …

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