Arts & Culture in Elizabeth City, NC
Elizabeth City's long history of hospitality is on display throughout its rich downtown, where the city's culture scene comes to life through art, theater and museums.
Arts in Elizabeth City
In 2009, the old Lowry-Chesson Building – once an opera house and then a flagship department store – was once again brought to life. It is now known as the Arts of the Albemarle Center, commonly called The Center. Home to the Jaquelin Jenkins Gallery, the Maguire Theatre and the School of the Arts, The Center has become a cultural hub in Elizabeth City.
The Encore Theatre Company has been a mainstay of the arts community in Elizabeth City for the past 20 years. Performances are held at the Maguire Theatre inside Arts of the Albemarle. Encore’s season runs from November to May, and each year the troupe stages three shows, which include musicals, comedies and dramas.
Elizabeth City Historical Attractions
Visit the Museum of the Albemarle for a sampling of local history. Located near the waterfront, the 50,000-square-foot museum contains both long-term and changing exhibits showcasing more than 700 artifacts reflecting the history and culture of the region.
The museum regularly holds free events and lectures that provide hands-on learning opportunities about music, history, art and more.
Walking tours provide a different approach to taking in local history. Pick up the “Elizabeth City Historic Walking Tour” guidebook and stroll along the historical Main Street commercial district, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Festivals and Events
Elizabeth City is home to a variety of events and festivals that will stimulate the senses and the palate. The annual North Carolina Potato Festival takes place each May and features a variety of activities and, of course, potatoes. Get free French fries, plus funnel cakes, hot dogs and much more. Visitors can enjoy amusement rides, potato sack races, the street fair and a street dance.
Held in October, the Downtown Elizabeth City Harvest Festival provides family-friendly fall fun. The event features a pumpkin-carving contest, pie-eating contest and costume competition along with food and live music.
Find more on the arts in Elizabeth City, NC.